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Friday, February 3, 2012

UNCP hosted UNC’s Association of Student Governments

A politically charged monthly meeting of the UNC system’s Association of Student Governments (ASG) took place at UNC Pembroke on January 20-21.

ASG Vice President R.J. Quizon, right, confers with UNCP SGA President Brian McCormick.

ASG Vice President R.J. Quizon, right, confers with UNCP SGA President Brian McCormick.

Black Line

The meeting, attended by about 50 student representatives, included discussions on Saturday morning with UNC President Thomas Ross and UNCP Chancellor Kyle R. Carter. Ross appeared via video conference in a UNCP studio.

They discussed proposed tuition and student fee increases. President Ross will make a recommendation to the UNC Board of Governors within a week, and ASG members will weigh in on the decision.

UNCP has played an important role in ASG this year. R.J. Quizon, a UNCP graduate student and two-time Student Government Association president, is vice president of ASG.

“We’re hoping that President Ross gives us a number today,” Quizon said before the meeting. “If he does, we will give our recommendation.”

Quizon and other members of ASG did not get their wish Saturday and will wait until the UNCP president delivers campus-by-campus recommendations to the Board of Governors.  However, Ross said he would make a two-year tuition and fee recommendation that will average nearly 10 percent in year one and an increase of less than four percent the second year.

Ross talked and answered questions for more than an hour. He laid out the numbers and his projections and asked ASG members to consider the balance he is trying to strike between budget cuts and maintaining the high academic quality of the 16-member UNC system.

Chancellor Carter sits with the UNCP delegation before addressing the business meeting. Pictured are UNCP SGA President Brian McCormick and student representative Owen Thomas.

Chancellor Carter sits with the UNCP delegation before addressing the business meeting. Pictured are UNCP SGA President Brian McCormick and student representative Owen Thomas.

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“We will still be, if not the most inexpensive university system in the United States, close to it,” he said of the latest round of UNC tuition increases.

ASG will respond on Saturday, January 28, according to The Daily Tar Heel, which covered the meeting along with The Pine Needle, UNCP’s student newspaper, and TV News 14, Time Warner’s cable news outlet.

During the meeting, ASG President Atul Bhula said: “My general sense is that whatever President Ross proposes, they’re (the Board of Governors) going to pass it, but they want to hear the student perspective.”

Quizon was not disappointed with UNCP’s performance as host. “This has gone really, really well,” Quizon said. “We will have dinner at the Chancellor’s Residence this evening.”

UNCP rolled out the red carpet, and much of the credit went to Chancellor Carter and his wife, Sarah. “We are real pleased that you brought this meeting to our campus,” Dr. Carter told the gathering. “Along with enjoying our hospitality, I hope you will also enjoy each other’s company.”

UNC President Thomas Ross addresses the ASG in a UNCP’s studio.

UNC President Thomas Ross addresses the ASG in a UNCP’s studio.

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Credit also goes to Brian McCormick, UNCP’s SGA president, who worked to bring the meeting to campus. “In a training session last summer for new student government presidents, I introduced the idea,” he said. “They voted to come to Pembroke.”

McCormick thought the meeting was “phenomenal.” Bhula told him it was one of the most productive ASG meetings of the year and an important one, he said. “We will review the tuition increase data for each school and justifications for our president to make a recommendation,” McCormick said.

UNCP’s SGA president thanked Chancellor Carter and his wife for their hospitality. “Most chancellors give greetings and that’s it,” McCormick said. “This was something special. It was a lot of fun, too.”

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