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Union splits presidency to get better student involvement

Merrick Osborne
Merrick Osborne

The new role of 2015-16 CUAB president will be filled by junior Merrick Osborne. The new chairman of the Union Board of Directors has yet to be appointed.

“We are splitting the role so the chair of the Board of Directors can focus on the board and the Carolina community, and then the CUAB board president can focus on CUAB,” said Megan Johnson, associate director of communications and creative services at the Carolina Union.

Current Union president Gabe Chess, who currently also presides over the Union Board of Directors as well as CUAB, said he believes the role will be better served by two people.

“I’m excited for both areas to have someone really dedicated to them,” Chess said. “I think CUAB especially is really going to benefit from having someone who is just focused on CUAB.”

Osborne has already been on two boards for CUAB and has developed strong relationships with everyone in the office, Chess said.

“This has been a powerful experience for me, and that’s something I know I can’t really get anywhere else. I’m looking forward to seeing that culminate next year,” he said.

Osborne said the homecoming concerts in 2013 and 2014 — neither of which sold out — were good lessons he learned from.

“Each of them had potential, but there’s something missing. There’s a link missing, and finding that isn’t as easy as saying we need to do this and we need to do that,” he said.

Chess said Osborne was chosen out of three highly qualified candidates.

“Merrick is an exceptional leader who has amazing relationships across campus,” Chess said. “He’s a very well-known student because he does build so many close relationships and reaches out to all kinds of Carolina students.”

Osborne said he found a home in CUAB and is eager to take on this leadership role.

“That’s something that I get to see every year that I’m here ... young adults growing more and becoming closer to professionals,” he said. “It’s an experience that I really cherish.”

While he has learned a lot from Chess, Osborne said he is hoping to encourage more students to become involved in CUAB than in previous years.

“We’re going to give the committee members more responsibility in terms of handling money, marketing and actual involvement within the planning process for an event,” he said.

Osborne said is working on opening applications for the chairman of the Union Board of Directors and leadership positions on the board.

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