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Association of Student Governments holds last meeting of 2013-14

Robert Nunnery

Robert Nunnery

This year, and in years past, the association has been criticized for inefficiency and wasting student funds — it’s funded by an annual $1 student fee. In the fall, UNC-CH students only narrowly voted to stay in the association.

ASG has consistently been trying to reform itself.

“ASG’s trying to make amends, it’s trying to get itself together,” Parker said. “I’m hoping (critics) will give us one year ... (to) put behind the past, move forward. I think we deserve that chance.”

It’ll be a critical year for the association to see if it can flourish or not, he said.

Outgoing ASG President Robert Nunnery said his year at the helm of the embattled association has been wonderful, albeit challenging.

“The student body presidents have asked a lot of questions, held (Senior Vice President Olivia Sedwick) and I accountable, definitely pushed back when they didn’t like how things were headed — which is good, but it made for a very challenging year,” he said.

While he’ll remain in office until the end of the month, this weekend marked Nunnery’s last meeting as president.

ASG, wh ich met at Western Carolina University, passed its budget for next year. The group voted to shave about $200 from each of the executive officers’ stipends — with the exception of the president and senior vice president — and put the money towards student advocacy, as well as eliminate three executive officer positions.

That decision was made at a meeting that only about half of the executive officers attended.

“I think it’s unacceptable — we’re paying them for a job and they’re not there,” said UNC-CH’s delegate Connor Brady.

Brady said he remains disappointed in the group’s advocacy efforts and accountability.

But he said he’s optimistic about the reforms, and Parker and incoming Senior Vice President Leigh Whittaker’s ability to implement them.

Parker said he and Whittaker have discussed at length how to run an effective organization.

“It sounds kind of intuitive, but it’s not, it’s something we’ve struggled with,” he said. “We always have to keep ourselves in check.”

Next year, Parker said he will focus on implement “soft reforms” that change the culture of ASG.

Nunnery said one of ASG’s biggest accomplishments this year has been garnering public exposure for its stance on certain issues, like voting rights.

“It might take a while to get to what our position was, but when we made it, it was very impactful public relations-wise,” he said. “It might not have influenced the outcome, but ASG didn’t let stuff go down the pipeline without letting our opinion be known.”

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