The main focus of the meeting, held at East Carolina University, was a recap of events from throughout the year. Still, Steve Nunez, a delegate from UNC-Wilmington, said delegates found time to debate several new grants.
A grant for an exam week event and a suicide awareness event for Appalachian State University were passed after multiple suicides this past year at the campus. N.C. State also received a grant for LeaderShape, a summer leadership camp.
UNC-CH applied for a grant to lobby the legislature to pass the Energy Freedom Act, which would allow UNC to buy solar panels from third-party vendors, but Nunez said it failed.
“The Finance and Budget Committee decided that that was a little bit too political to make a stand on as an entire ASG,” Nunez said.
On Friday, ASG also gave out various awards. The Eve Marie Carson Servant Leadership Award went to Chapel Hill shooting victims Deah Barakat, Yusor Abu-Salha and Razan Abu-Salha. The award will be presented to their families this week.
It was the last ASG meeting for Alex Parker, who served at the helm of the organization during a difficult year for the UNC system.
“I think we definitely made progress,” Parker said. “ASG has not always been the most efficient organization and does not have the best reputation among students and among board members and the General Administration.”
Parker said his biggest advice to King was to remember that while on the Board of Governors and leading ASG, he is the voice of students, not any particular group, campus or political ideology.
“Your power comes from the weight of the fact that you are representing over 220,000 students of the system,” said Parker. “That is your strength, and that’s what you need to leverage in order to make a difference.”
King said he’s already looking ahead, and he plans to focus on the “big four” in 2015-16 — sexual assault, mental health and racial and gender issues. He also said ASG will push for better voting access on campuses.
He hopes to expand systemwide initiatives and advocacy, such as the day of sexual assault awareness that occurred on April 6.
“I think if there is just one or two of us, even if we are one of the bigger schools, it’s really not going to make as much of an impact as all 17 schools standing up and saying this is where we all stand on this issue,” King said.