The Student Assembly opened the year with controversy as former SA Vice President Zach Pilchen ’09 announced his resignation.
Pilchen’s resignation came after he confessed Monday to misusing SA funds.
After Pilchen left, senators questioned SA President Valerie Hopkins ’09 about her plans to replace Pilchen within the next 14 academic days, and how she plans to accept an application from any student. The senate then moved on to regularly scheduled business.
Walter McClean ’09 discussed the current voter registration drive, which is intended to maximize student participation in the upcoming presidential election. According to McClean, 400 students have been registered to vote in Williamsburg thus far this fall. Approximately 1,400 students registered to vote last year, and it is unknown how many of them remain at the College of William and Mary.
Five bills were introduced at the meeting.
McClean introduced the Comprehensive Financial Information Act in response to Pilchen’s resignation. He told the senate that the bill, “was just written up a few hours ago … to ensure that there is a comprehensive investigation into everything that happened.”
The bill orders the release of all financial statements from the past two years to the public within fifteen academic days of passage. The reaction to the bill was positive, and was voted on at the meeting — an unusual break in typical procedure — so as to begin the process as soon as possible. It passed unanimously.
The First Aid Kit Act, sponsored by Sen. Matt Pinsker ’09, allocates slightly more than $1,900 to place 73 first aid kits in hall kitchens around campus. Responsibility for maintaining and restocking the kits will be left to hall councils.
The Limos on Election Days Act, also sponsored by Pinsker, allocates $2,500 for future general elections to provide limousine service for student voters. Limo service would not be provided in the event of special elections.
The Automatic External Defibrillator Act, sponsored by Sen. Ben Brown ’11, sets aside $19,500 for the installation of 15 new automatic external defibrillators on campus. AEDs are currently available on only half of the campus, according to Brown, who pointed out that none of them are located on Old Campus.
The Amethyst Act, co-sponsored by Sens. Brown, Ross Gillingham ’10 and Steven Nelson ’10, would re-open the debate about the current drinking age restrictions.
McClean, Sen. Matt Beato ’09, Class of 2011 President Jazmine Piña and Class of 2009 President Kevin Dua all received nominations to the SA Elections Commission, which will be overseeing the upcoming freshmen elections. All of the nominees were approved.
Hopkins’ chief of staff, David Husband ’09, raised the issue that all of the appointees are already members of SA. Dua responded by encouraging broader participation.
“Anyone who is interested in doing it should apply,” he said.
The SA Department of Finance presented its annual report to the senate, detailing the SA funds available for the year. The student reserve fund currently contains $233,101.36. The activities and events fund was left with $30,000 at the end of the previous year, and the off-campus account, the account from which Pilchen used funds, contains $16,737.
McClean adjourned the meeting on an optimistic note.