When it comes to ASG, there are some questions that I have gotten used to asking. Why do they spend so much money on travel? Why do they feel the need to give themselves such lavish stipends? Why don’t they do anything? But one question I thought I’d never ask is “What are you doing in China?”
If you look in the above picture, you’ll notice that Atul Bhula, President of ASG, and various members of the UNC Board of Governors (with their wives) are situated right in front of Chairman Mao’s portrait in Tiananmen Square. Aside from the the rather palpable irony of this picture, just what are they doing there? While I’m glad that Atul was able to find time to run to China after doing absolutely nothing about historic tuition increases next year, why is he in China? And who paid for him to be there? Did ASG foot the bill for this little venture abroad, or did someone else? It’s also curious that Atul made no mention of this little vacation while he was running around lauding all the great work that ASG does. After all, it would have taken a fair amount of time to put this trip together. With visa regulations in the PRC being what they are, it’s not like one can just hop on a plane to China on a whim.
So, the next time ASG talks about how great it is, keep this little episode in mind. They somehow can’t find the time to fix the organization so that it actually has some influence in tuition proposals, but their president manages to find the time to run off to China to pal around with members of the Board of Governors.