Preparing for the Year Ahead

Last month, the Executive Board of the 46th Session of ASG completed their first training session along with UNC System Student Body Presidents. Students from across North Carolina collaborated to address issues on our campuses and helped create a shared vision for the upcoming school year.

Student Body Presidents with UNC System President Margaret Spellings

During our training session, we met with President Margaret Spellings to learn about her role and share what it’s like on each of our respective campuses. Through interactions like these, students witness the UNC System’s commitment to student input. Across the system, you can see that our greatest strength is in the strong relationships between students and administrators. Each Student Body President has a voting seat on their campus’ Board of Trustees and President Spellings has already created a strong relationship with ASG President Tyler Hardin. We hope to expand upon students’ ability to advocate and represent by pushing for an ex-officio voting seat on the Board of Governors for the ASG President this year.

I have some big plans for the Campus Outreach Committee this upcoming school year. Firstly, I hope to expand upon the organization-wide programs that were held last year. Each of last year's Campus Liaisons worked to address pressing issues on campuses such as voter registration and mental health awareness. I also hope to help execute some of the key points on the Hardin-Jackson Platform such as inviting government officials to our monthly ASG meetings and hosting town halls for students to address issues at a systemic level. Above all, I want to create an empowered team of students who feel as if they too can contribute to the UNC System and make an impactful change in their positions of leadership and advocacy.

There are already moves to build upon the previous sessions of ASG. I personally have reached out to the previous VP of Campus Outreach for advice and guidance on how to succeed in my role. I have also connected with administrators at various universities to discuss their perspective on ASG and higher education as a whole. The transition of power between sessions was a smooth, productive one which has allowed us to gain political and organizational traction for the year ahead.

For me, politics and governance is a hobby. It is one that I thoroughly enjoy and I put my genuine time and energy in it not for the advancement of any personal career, but because I truly love the students of North Carolina and believe they deserve the very best education. This summer, I have been balancing my duties as VP of Campus Outreach with a full-time internship with GE Hitachi in Wilmington, NC where I’m designing nuclear power plants. In my free time, I’ve been reading up on every book and guide I can find on leadership, innovation, and collaboration so I can be an effective leader as the Chair of the Campus Outreach Committee.

In this modern, divisive political climate filled with fake news, empty promises, and unsatisfying results, we need honest advocacy more than ever. That’s why the Hardin-Jackson Executive Board have been working hard this summer to prepare for the upcoming year. We are, simply put, students serving students and we will continue to advocate for our peers with integrity as representatives of ASG.

Written by Meredith Biechele; Senior Mechanical Engineering Major at North Carolina State University. Biechele is the Vice President of Campus Outreach for the 46th Session of the UNC Association of Student Governments, NC State Chancellor's Aide, Mental Health Ambassador, University Honors Program Advisory Board Member and plans to pursue a full time job related to systems engineering or additive manufacturing upon graduation. Her long-term aspirations include finding a way to balance her technical skills in engineering with her passion for leadership and government.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The University of North Carolina or The University of North Carolina Association of Student Governments.

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