Dec 042012

Published: December 2, 2012

By Amy Tsai | The Daily Tar Heel

Once again, members of the UNC-system Association of Student Governments are considering a move to stop funding the association.

Leaders at both East Carolina University and N.C. State University have expressed a desire to stop paying the association’s annual $1 student fee.

But the fee removal would have to be approved by the system Board of Governors.

Frank Byrne, ASG chief of staff, said he doubted the board would approve the schools’ proposals to remove the fee. The board unanimously approved the system-wide fee in 2002.

UNC-CH held a student referendum in February to decide whether to remain in ASG, and students voted to stay by a 57.4 to 40.8 percent vote.

In August, ASG approved structural reforms under new President Cameron Carswell. She has promised to make the association more efficient.

ASG is composed of delegates from all system schools who meet monthly to advocate for students.

The association has faced critics who claim the organization’s student advocacy and use of funds were ineffective.

Despite this year’s reforms, ECU administrators recently initiated a push for ECU to stop paying the $1 fee, said Justin Davis, the university’s student body president.

“I’m not saying we will withdraw participation in ASG,” Davis said. “We just think the (fees) from our university could go to better use for our students.”

Davis said Andy Walsh, NCSU student body president, shared his sentiment.

Walsh could not be reached for comment Sunday.

NCSU and ECU respectively enrolled 34,767 students and 27,386 students in fall 2011 — the first and third largest schools in the system, according to system data.

Last year, NCSU considered leaving ASG. But the university’s Student Senate passed a resolution last spring urging its student leaders to attend ASG meetings.

Kevin Kimball, ASG chief information officer, said in an email that Walsh has yet to attend a meeting this year, and Davis only attended the first meeting, which was held at ECU.

“I’m not sure how they can judge our effectiveness if they don’t show up,” Kimball said.

Will Leimenstoll, UNC-CH student body president, said Carswell, a nonvoting member of the Board of Governors, is respected by board members.

“I’ve been going (to meetings) since last February, and I’d say the difference between this year’s leadership and last year’s leadership is like night and day,” Leimenstoll said.

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