Written by The Flat Hat|
September 2, 2008
**Tucker 213, 7:06 p.m.:** College of William and Mary Student Assembly Vice President Zach Pilchen ’09 resigned at tonight’s SA senate meeting after confessing yesterday to using almost $140 of SA funds for personal purchases, including Wawa, movies and cigarettes.
“I am resigning my position as vice president of the SA effective immediately,” he told a packed room of senators, executive branch members and students.
Pilchen then turned the meeting over to Senate Chairman Walter McClean ’09 and left the room.
“I really respect him for deciding to resign,” SA President Valerie Hopkins ’09 told the senate.
Hopkins then announced she would create a committee to determine who will be her appointment for the now-vacant vice presidential position. According to the SA constitution, Hopkins has 14 academic days to appoint a new vice president. The choice must be approved by a three-fourths majority of the senate.
Sen. Matt Beato ’09 then announced to the senate that he is not interested in the position.
Hopkins also ordered a cessation of all executive SA spending until further notice.
Pilchen came forward yesterday after Hopkins and several other senators and members of the executive branch found a discrepancy in the SA’s off-campus accounts, to which Pilchen inadvertantly still had access. Normally access is restricted to the current SA president and secretary of finance.
**UPDATE, 7:35 p.m.:** McClean introduced for consideration a bill ordering the senate finance committee to investigate the SA’s off-campus account, from which Pilchen withdrew funds. The bill calls for the investigation to conclude within three weeks after passage. It also will seek out ways to secure the account and safeguard against future abuse.
Beato moved to approve the bill immediately as a show of faith from the SA. Sen. Caroline Mullis ’09 seconded the motion and opened the bill to public discussion.
One student in attendance recommended including a non-SA member in the investigation committee.
**Update, 7:42 p.m.:** Sen. Steven Nelson ’10, the news editor of conservative campus newspaper The Virginia Informer, was the only senator to object to Pilchen’s resignation at the meeting. He said that he feels there is “no breach of public trust” and that there is no reason the SA needs to apologize to the student body for Pilchen’s actions.
Mullis motioned to pass the bill by unanimous consent. It passed; Nelson did not vote against it.
__Check back with FlatHatNews.com for more updates on this developing story.__
fn1. __This sentence has been corrected. Hopkins placed a moratorium on executive spending only, which was not reflected in the original sentence.__