More vindication! :)

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Apr 20, 2010 in Student Government | Subscribe

Those of you who are long-time readers here at law:/dev/null may recall this mid-February entry on tuition, where I highlighted the tremendous response the UNC Association of Student Governments had gotten with its statewide tuition petition campaign to repeal a 8% tuition increase mandated by the North Carolina General Assembly…

…and gently pointed out that at least two parties (a certain administrator at UNC General Administration and the student newspaper at my alma mater) ended up eating their respective words of opposition, uttered back when UNCASG’s efforts with the petition first began ;)

More vindication came today while I was sitting in CivPro trying to pay attention.

Quick prefatory note:  the tuition petition campaign was just one piece of a multi-faceted plan of attack for the Association.1 Starting literally the day after the General Assembly adopted the budget — you can read an email from me to campus Presidents in UNCASG’s archives — we began preparing for the 2010 legislative session that starts next month.  Since August there have been numerous meetings between our folks and policymakers in Raleigh. Numerous meetings with policymakers in their home districts. Numerous phone calls. Numerous emails.

Oh and did I mentioned there were signatures from 22,000+ students? :angel:

The entire effort has occurred largely out of the public spotlight (which is just as well since the Daily Tar Heel’s Editorial Board would probably just complain anyway), but needless to say it’s been a tightly-focused, methodical, and consistent effort on the part of student leaders to get this student tax repealed.

And then this morning the Governor of North Carolina decided to say thanks by including UNCASG’s request in her budget proposal for the upcoming fiscal year! :eek:

This marks the first public endorsement of our proposal by a high-ranking elected official since we started pushing the idea back in August 2009! :D

Now it’s true both chambers of the state legislature have already started work on the budget, so this is just one link in the chain. But it means (i) we’ve been promoting the right ideas all along and (ii) we’re successfully persuading the people who count.

Equally important: it also means the Governor’s lobbyists, the University system’s lobbyists, and the students’ lobbyists (me+UNCASG) will all be pushing for the exact same thing when legislators come back to town in May.2)

Now if only I could be right this often in Contracts:beatup:

  1. I used to work as a lobbyist back in the day. One of the cardinal rules of lobbying is to never fire all of your ammo at once. []
  2. Another rule of lobbying: build coalitions. You can’t beat somebody with nobody ; []

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