The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Wednesday March 22nd

UNC-system ASG will tap new leader this weekend

Three candidates are running for president of the organization.

This weekend, three candidates will vie for the chance to lead ASG — and perhaps reform it — during its meeting at Fayetteville State University.

The president-senior vice president teams running are: Fields Pierce, a UNC-CH delegate to ASG, and Deans Eatman, N.C. State University’s delegate; Zack King, an NCSU Student Senate member, and Shelby Dawkins-Law, president of UNC-CH’s Graduate and Professional Student Federation; and Jake Srednicki, East Carolina University student body president, and Cody Long, president of NCSU’s Student Senate.

The association represents the 220,000 students who attend the system’s 17 campuses. Its membership includes student body presidents and delegates from across the state, as well as a team of executive officers.

The group, which is funded by an annual $1 student fee, discusses and passes resolutions on issues affecting students, including tuition and sexual assault reform. They also lobby lawmakers in Raleigh and take occasional advocacy trips to Washington, D.C.

The president of the association serves as a non-voting member on the Board of Governors. The current president is Alex Parker.

Pierce said he wants to make ASG leaner and more responsive to student concerns. The association is in the midst of a transition from a legislative organization to an advocacy organization, he said — and he’d like to focus on ASG’s ability to have a collective voice versus legislative power.

“The structure doesn’t really make sense for what ASG is,” he said.

Dawkins-Law, a candidate for senior vice president, agreed that the structural changes to ASG will be a positive move — and said King, her running mate, has helped write them. She also wants to work more closely with the state’s community college system.

She said she wants ASG to be more present in the news.

“We have seen student voices largely absent from the national conversations in outlets such as The New Yorker surrounding BOG policy,” she said.

Dawkins-Law said she and King would bring complementary qualities to the leadership roles. She said she’s attended UNC-CH for three degrees over eight years.

“My tenure here spans across the major struggles our university has felt, and I have been on the front line of representing students through these turbulent times,” she said.

Srednicki said he hopes to bring his extensive experience in student leadership positions to the ASG presidency. He wants to build direct relationships between student representatives and members of the Board of Governors.

“Putting all our words to action this upcoming year is very important to me,” he said.

Pierce said he also hopes to improve the discourse between students and the board.

“We’re seeing the board doing things they haven’t done in decades in regards to the power structure within North Carolina, and I want to make sure that the students have a trusted voice to check that power when necessary and work with that power when it’s in the best interests of students,” he said.


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