UNC-Chapel Hill received a $900 grant from ASG for voter mobilization at the meeting, said Fields Pierce, a delegate for UNC-CH appointed by student government’s executive branch.
UNC-CH student Anita Simha, ASG’s vice president for campus community, gave a presentation on voter engagement and said the grant money will help fund voter registration efforts on campus. Early voting begins statewide Oct. 23.
During the presentation, ASG leaders emphasized the importance of having students participate in an election that is key on both a state and national level, with one of the country’s closest U.S. Senate races.
Simha said the association is taking a four-pronged approach to voting: voter registration, motivation, misinformation and mobilization. Voter registration drives occur on a daily basis at UNC-CH, she said.
“It is important students do vote,” Simha said. “In 2012, 19 percent of the voting population was young people.”
Mobilization efforts will involve students going to the polls together and using public transportation if a voting site has been moved off campus. UNC-CH’s early voting site was moved off campus to North Carolina Hillel on Cameron Avenue. In 2012, it was in Rams Head Dining Hall.
Some student leaders were worried that the 2013 voting law passed by the N.C. General Assembly would impact the student vote — but one controversial provision of the law, which requires a photo ID to vote, won’t affect students until 2016.
Alex Parker, ASG president, said delegates also discussed the White House’s “It’s On Us” campaign, a nationwide effort to combat sexual violence on college campuses.
Parker said the implementation of the campaign will be an extension of the UNC system’s campus security initiative, which was released at the UNC Board of Governors’ July meeting.
Student government members at the meeting were trained on how to implement the “It’s On Us” campaign on their campuses. They plan to encourage students to take the “It’s On Us” pledge to help combat sexual assault.
At the meeting, delegates also discussed techniques on how to reach students and allow them to have a larger say in dictating where tuition increases can be used at their campus.
Pierce said UNC-system schools have different needs, but ASG provides a forum to discuss common issues.
“It was apparent a lot of problems we see at Chapel Hill are seen at other schools in the UNC system,” he said.