Student Assembly responds to GA legislation

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February 3, 2009

12:33 AM

A bill responding to recent efforts in the Virginia General Assembly to raise the required percentage of
in-state students at state public universities will come before the College of William and Mary Student Assembly senate later today.

The bill charges its Virginian sponsors to write letters to their delegates in opposition to the GA legislation. Among the bills before the General Assembly, one, sponsored by Del. David B. Albo (R-Fairfax), seeks to raise the percentage of in-state students to 80 percent, is of particular concern to SA Sen. Matt Beato ’09.

Beato had the opportunity to observe the progress of that bill as part of his work in Richmond this semester. According to Beato, the bill passed through the House Education Subcommittee on Higher Education roughly along party lines.

Defenders of the College’s interests were few.

“One person from William and Mary spoke for the College, saying that this [legislation] would be detrimental,” Beato said.

The bill was subsequently referred to the House Committee on Appropriations.

Beato, who originally conceived of the SA response, says that twelve other senators have agreed to sponsor his bill. He believes that the GA legislation is dangerous, and is especially critical of Albo’s insistence that “normal people” should have access to top Virginian universities.

“William and Mary shouldn’t be regular; it should be special,” Beato said. “That’s really my issue.”

Beato is optimistic that the bill will be defeated in the General Assembly, but believes that the SA effort is important nonetheless. He hopes that it will help to convey the College’s concerns.

“I want people to understand our position,” Beato said.

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