SA approves purchase of ‘Onion’

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October 3, 2008

1:26 AM

Newly elected freshmen officers were sworn in at Tuesday night’s Student Assembly meeting after what elections commission chairwoman Jennifer Souers ’10 described as “by far the smoothest election we’ve ever had.”

Souers said that no fines were incurred during the course of the election and that the only notable issue was a class-three violation by one of the candidates that resulted in his removal from the ballot. After reciting the oath, the new senators joined in the proceedings.

Several new secretaries were confirmed unanimously by the senate. Brian Alphin ’10 and Matt Schofield ’12 were each appointed as representatives to Richmond, and Jill Olszewski ’12 was appointed as representative to Williamsburg.

Finance committee chairwoman Sen. Caroline Mullis ’09 presented the results of the comprehensive financial investigation. The investigation covered all charges made to the SA off-campus account from January 2007 to August 2008. Charges were classified in the report as appropriate, unaccounted for or inappropriate.

“We don’t have a reason to believe that [unaccounted for charges] aren’t legitimate,” Mullis said, noting that all charges in that category were made in places where SA supplies could conceivably be purchased, such as Staples and Wal-Mart.

The report concluded with a series of recommendations to prevent future abuses of SA funds. Any financial reforms will be affected by new legislation that will be considered within the next 15 academic days.

SA President Valerie Hopkins ’09 expressed her disapproval of the media coverage of the financial investigation, commending the finance committee for its work despite being “bombarded by media on campus and off campus.”

The College’s audit office is conducting an audit of the account during the same time period.

The senate debated both the Onion Pilot Program Act, sponsored by Sen. Ben Brown ’11, and the Post Office Opening Later Act, sponsored by Sens. Walter McClean ’09 and Matt Beato ’09.

The Onion Pilot Program Act allocates $760 to provide copies of the weekly satirical newspaper The Onion to students for free. The SA will re-evaluate the program after eight weeks based on its success during the trial period. The senate passed the Onion Pilot Program Act by unanimous consent.

The Post Office Opening Later Act advocates a reform of the current Saturday hours of the College’s post office, which is currently open from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturdays. The bill would change the hours to 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., thus coinciding with a period of greater student activity in the Sadler Center. The post office apparently welcomes this change, as they had planned to shorten their hours of operation due to budget cuts. The bill was passed unanimously, and the post office will switch to its new hours this weekend.

Mullis presented two new bills for future consideration. The Flu Vaccine Funding Act would grant $1,000 to the Student Health Center to provide $10 discounts for the first 100 students who receive vaccines, and The DVD Act would allocate $1,000 to fund the purchase of popular DVDs that could be checked out from Swem Library.

Mullis introduced the same bill last semester, but Hopkins vetoed it. Mullis disagreed with the decision, arguing that the addition of new DVDs to the library’s collection would be very popular among the student body and that the allocation of SA funds for that purpose would be worthwhile, as the library “is constantly underfunded.”

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