So, you remember how about two months ago, during the referendum on ASG, everyone on the pro-side was arguing something to the effect of, “Just give us some time and, we’ll fix everything.” Turns out that wasn’t really true. Since that referendum, the organization has failed to achieve quorum for two of its meetings and just this past weekend decided to increase the stipends for all of its officers by 10%. Now, it’s completely understandable why such a massive increase is necessary. After the organization’s abysmal job representing student interests to the Board of Governors this year and the subsequent double-digit tuition hikes, it’s completely understandable why the officers feel they need a raise. They’re going to need that extra cash to help offset the costs of higher tuition next year. ASG President Atul Bhula claimed that such a ridiculous increase was necessary because he’s lost money “doing ASG.” While we’re all still trying to figure what exactly he was doing last year besides attempting to bully constituent organizations into compliance, it’s worth noting that we’ve all lost money doing ASG, four dollars to be exact. Given its failure to have any effect on this year’s tuition hikes, given its failure to connect with and understand students’ needs, and given its failure to achieve anything meaningful over the last several years, why does ASG think it deserves a raise? This, more than anything else, demonstrates the level of corruption that pervades the organization.
And the organization appears to have lost any interest in perusing its series of “reforms.” As one of his parting acts of office, Bhula urged the assembled delegates to kill both of the bills currently pending before the organization that would make (very modest) reforms to how ASG operates. Any hope that the organization might be able to reform itself so that it actually serves students rather than its officers is now effectively dead. We ought to end our relationship with this organization rather than continuing to put up with its abuses.
I think UNC SBP Will Leimenstoll said it best, “I don’t know how I can go back in good conscience to Chapel Hill and tell people who barely voted to stay in this organization that we’re going to increase stipends and decrease student advocacy.”