SA proposes money for voter registration
December 1, 2007
p. The Student Assembly senate passed the Campus Composting Act II, the Interest Rollover Act and the Williamsburg Civic Engagement Act during Tuesday’s meeting.
p. The Campus Composting Act II, sponsored by Sen. Caroline Mullis ’09, proposes the purchase of a compost tumbler to be placed behind the Commons. All dining establishments will add their waste to the compost tumbler, and the compost will be used by Facilities Management.
p. The “II” in the act’s title is necessary due to the fact that a compost tumbler was purchased last year but was stolen from the front yard of Lodge 16 over the summer. SA President Zach Pilchen ’09 was responsible for assembling the tumbler, which was only partially finished at the time of its theft.
p. “Apparently it was stolen by a student who no longer goes here to make crystal meth,” Pilchen said. “It’s hard to predict that sort of thing with our honor system.”
p. Student Environmental Action Coalition assured the senate that it will assemble the tumbler as soon as it arrives; the bill passed 12-2-3.
p. “I’m concerned when we spend money twice on the same project,” Sen. Walter McClean ’09 said. “It’s a waste of students’ money.”
p. The Interest Rollover Act, sponsored by McClean, proposes that the SA’s funds in the consolidated reserve receive an additional 5 percent annually, which is how much interest the entire consolidated reserve accumulates. The bill passed unanimously.
p. The Williamsburg Civic Engagement Act, sponsored by Senate Chairman Matt Beato ’09 establishes a Williamsburg civic engagement fund that will receive a $15,000 earmark from the off-campus account. The money will be used to reimburse students for their work registering voters, with a reward of $10 for each voter registration form processed. The SA has already registered 700 students.
p. “What we’re trying to do is involve students who haven’t been involved,” Sen. Devan Barber ’08 said. “This is the most important thing we’re doing.”
p. Mullis expressed concern about a bill involving so much money not going through the finance committee.
p. “To spend $15,000 to only register 1,500 people doesn’t seem that worthwhile,” Sen. Ray Ciabattoni ’09 said.
p. During the lengthy debate, the legality of the bill was questioned and Pilchen swore on the honor code that he had been in contact with the Williamsburg legislature, which affirmed that the bill is completely within the law. Many senators wished to send the bill through the finance committee, but the motion to do so failed three times. The motion for the bill to be called to question also failed once before passing 11-3-1.
p. “If we register 1,500 voters, we are good to go to do what we want in this city,” Beato said. “No winning candidate has ever gotten more than 1,200 votes.”
p. Beato later corrected himself in a statement to The Flat Hat, in which he said that former Councilmember George Genakos received 1,234 votes in 1996.