-

UNCASG Wins Student Tax Repeal!

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Jun 29, 2010 in Student Government

Hey everybody! :D

Earlier today the North Carolina General Assembly gave preliminary approval to the state budget for the 2010-11 fiscal year — and included among the provisions is a repeal of the 8% student tax that I’ve mentioned in several entries here at law:/dev/null.

With the repeal soon to be final (a 2nd vote happens tomorrow), I wrote up a Facebook note with a chart in it. If you’re on Facebook, feel free to check out the original entry here. You should be able to access it even if we’re not Facebook friends… and if in the process you get the sudden urge to become an FB friend, you’re more than welcome to do so ;)

The note appears below in its entirety:

[Note: by default I’m tagging the ASG President and senior leadership, the NCSU SBOs, and a few extra people on the side. If you don’t want to be tagged in future editions of T Greg’s Tomes, just shoot me a Facebook message :) -TGD]

====================
Past Editions of T Greg’s Tomes:

====================

T Greg’s Tomes: UNCASG saves students $8.6M+ (a 4,019% return on investment!)

Folks who regularly read T Greg’s Tomes know I don’t exactly get along with student media, particularly the perpetual (and perpetually sophomoric) foolishness-disguised-as-punditry that emanates from the conservative-leaning Editorial Board at the UNCCH Daily Tar Heel (see Exhibit A and Exhibit B and Exhibit C and Exhibit D and Exhibit E and Exhibit F and Exhibit G).

I’m eagerly awaiting whatever backwards spin will get applied to this story now that UNCASG has saved students millions of dollars for the 2nd year in a row…

Earlier today the NC General Assembly gave preliminary approval to the 2010-11 state budget, which includes a repeal of the 8% student tax that was adopted in August 2009 (see line 32 on page 47 of the budget bill) — a repeal the delegates and officers of UNCASG spent most of our last session successfully getting enacted through in-person lobbying, phone calls, emails, and a Tuition Petition signed by over 22,000+ students.

Now even if we just count in-state undergraduates (since anything more complex wouldn’t fit into the graphic below), our work saved University students over $8,642,722.64. Compared to the $1/student fee that funds UNCASG’s budget, that’s a 4,019% return on students’ investment — meaning UNCASG could do absolutely nothing at all for the next 40 years, and students would still be better off financially than they would have been without the group’s work.

Or, put another way, the $1 fee could have been implemented on the very day UNCASG was created on September 22, 1972 and students would still be saving money.

I took the liberty of putting together the table below for everyone’s information and usage, compiling the tuition increase rates from the General Assembly, the Board of Governors alternative rates, and the FTE UG resident enrollment at each institution.

UNCASG wins $8.6M+ in savings

And remember the savings are actually more than this, because 100% of the tuition being paid will now go back to the universities where it belongs instead of going to the state’s General Fund.

For folks who question why I’ve dedicated the past 4 years to UNCASG and the NCSU Student Senate, this is why: in just the past 2 years alone — last year we helped repeal a similar student tax slated for 2009-10 — Student Government leaders have saved UNC system students over $25,730,590.64.

Overall, not a bad deal for the $2 apiece we each paid in. Remember that next time someone complains about your student leaders — and seriously think about becoming one of those leaders yourself ;)

And since I’m a big fan of data and tables, I also made another table showing those added-up savings over the past 2 years as a result of UNCASG’s work. Here are the results:

Savings over 2 years: $25.7M+

Now this isn’t a total victory of course. The authorization for an additional $750/student tuition increase I mentioned to y’all was included in the final budget bill, and odds are roughly 100% that every University in the system will jump on the chance to hike tuition under that authorization. So I don’t expect any UNCCH students, for example, to be grateful for paying $950 instead of $990.

But there are precious few total victories in life, and if that $40 (or $259.60 @ ECU) enables someone to stay in school who otherwise might have to drop out, I’ll consider it a success.

Especially when a budget of $215K saved students over $25.7M ;)

Have a great night y’all! :)

Tags: , , , , , ,

 
-

If Nan approves, it must be good

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Apr 23, 2010 in Student Government

Good evening everybody! :D

Unfortunately I don’t have time to put together a real entry tonight — CrimLaw exam is at 9am tomorrow morning, followed by a UNCASG meeting that will last the rest of the day, before a brief break to change into a tuxedo then head to our end-of-year banquet. Basically I’m in a mix of studying law and panicking to make sure everything goes off perfectly smooth tomorrow afternoon+night and basically looking like :crack:  until it’s over.

Nan's $.02 on the media :)

So given my lack of original content, I figured I’d leave y’all with some light reading.  The UNCCH Daily Tar Heel ran a surprisingly complimentary story on my upcoming retirement as President.  How surprising was it, you may ask?

It was so surprising that my grandmother even offered some commentary on my Facebook profile.

It must be good if even Nan approves — especially because she hates the fact I spend so much of my time in Student Government stuff when I could be focusing on my grades and making $$ :beatup:

But it means she read this article, and since she knows about some of the other ones she must have read those too, which makes me happy that she cares what I’m doing even if she doesn’t approve of it :)

Speaking of the article, here’s a quick chart I put together of everywhere I’ve been over the last 2 years.  115+ trips, comes out to around 5ish campus a month, every month, for 24 months straight :surprised:

Taking Dr. Seuss's "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" literally :D

Have a good night y’all! And if you’ve got any spare prayers to offer up, send some of them my way for this CrimLaw exam! :)

Tags: , , ,

 
-

More vindication! :)

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

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 ; []

Tags: , , ,

 
4

Vindication

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Feb 18, 2010 in Student Government

It’s been a good day :)

Things started off well when I made it to Legal Research & Persuasion on time. A minor success to be sure, but with our new schedule this semester I miss 2 days’ worth of LRP every time there’s a UNC Board of Governors meeting — so this is the first lab I’ve been to since the semester started :beatup:

It got even better when we got grades back for the quiz I mentioned yesterday. The grade itself wasn’t a surprise (BlueBook/citation stuff is one of the things I did professionally back when I was a paralegal) but it means I don’t have to go to class tomorrow. And since Professor Ks cancelled that class too, it also means I get to sleep in extra late since those are the only 2 classes we have on Friday mornings :D

But the main joy came from reading the student newspaper at my alma mater.

Some quick background:  I briefly mentioned last month that the statewide UNC Association of Student Governments had already gathered 15,000+ student signatures on a tuition petition calling on state legislators to scrap a mandated tuition increase (with $$ raised going to the state’s General Fund) and replace it with a smaller tuition increase set by the Board of Governors (with $$ raised staying on each respective campus).

Back when we were prepping the campaign, back before the first signature was signed, we got a lot of hostile carping from a lot of different folks — and as the guy in charge, most of it was directed at me.

One well-connected person told me to “hold off.” Another more tersely insisted “your plan is not going to be helpful” (though he was kind enough to preface it with “with all due respect”).  And then there was N.C. State’s Technician, which was kind enough to editorialize here that the Tuition Petition was a “futile gesture designed to improve the image of student leaders”… yet another condemnatory editorial in a span stretching back to the start of my 1st term :roll:

But then by the time last week’s BOG meeting started, the number of signatures had grown from 0 to over 20,000 — over 90% of our 21,500 goal, with 3 weeks left to go.

It was a point I made sure to mention in a speech from the podium, flanked by over a dozen Student Body Presidents and other student leaders from over half the institutions in the University system, with thick stacks of signed petitions in their hands :angel:

After the meeting, the very same gentleman who just a month earlier said the petition campaign wouldn’t be helpful came up and thanked us for doing it, noting how helpful it would be when budget deliberations take place this summer.

Then today, as I’m in the FishBowl reading for Torts, I discover the Technician wrote a fresh editorial… now citing what they call the “great” work UNCASG is doing with the petition.

I almost fell out of the chair :beatup:

Now I’m not the obnoxious type to demand someone say point-blank they were wrong, but I’m more than willing to infer it from their subsequent words/actions ;)

So yeah, it’s been a good day :D We’ll see how tomorrow turns out :)

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Copyright © 2019 law:/dev/null All rights reserved. Theme by Laptop Geek.
Find TDot on Twitter or on Google+.