Hopkins’ speech highlights otherwise uneventful meeting

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February 13, 2009

1:00 AM

Student Assembly President Valerie Hopkins’s ’09 “State of your Student Assembly” address served as the lone highlight in a Tuesday SA senate meeting marked by inactivity.

Both pieces of legislation brought before the senate, the Accessibility and Outreach Act and the Preventing the Finance Code from Expiring Act, were returned to committee — the latter partly due to the absence of its sponsor, Sen. Caroline Mullis ’09.

In her address, Hopkins recounted the various successes of the SA thus far this year. In particular, Hopkins commended the SA for its work on Election Day, saying “no doubt students were drawn [to the polls] by the added bonus of a free ride, stickers and hot cider on a rainy day,” helping to produce “our near-perfect [voter] turnout.”

Hopkins also touched upon advancements in student relations with the Board of Visitors saying that “transparency, truly, has been the theme of the year.”

Students have observed “closed” sessions of the BOV, and are now consulted in questions of College policy.
Several specific SA bills were also alluded to including the Automatic External Defribrillator Act, sponsored by Sen. Ben Brown ’11, which facilitated the purchase and placement of new AEDs throughout campus.

Hopkins also mentioned Mullis’s efforts to increase the availability of flu shots.

Hopkins acknowledged that the year had not been entirely free from incident, noting the marked deterioration in town and gown relations following a peak of good relations last October.

Finances have also proved a constant issue for the College due to recent budget cuts. Hopkins stressed the need for “contacting every member of the General Assembly beseeching them not to cut funding from higher education, and not to meddle with the makeup of our student body.”

However, Hopkins’s message was upbeat and expressed optimism for the future of the SA, saying that “it is our cooperation that has defined this year and what I hope will continue to define the SA in years to come.”

The SA also considered a funding request from the Tribe Rides Car Club. Jeff Mason ’09 spoke on behalf of the club, which intends to hold a College-wide go-cart “Grand Prix,” open to all students for $40 per person.

Mason noted that the request was unprecedented, saying that “this is the first time we have ever submitted anything to special events funding.” The senate granted the club’s request for $150.

Two pieces of legislation were also introduced for future consideration.

The Know What You Are Voting for Act would provide for the distribution of pamphlets to every CSU box explaining the honor council referendum to ensure that the student body is adequately informed about the consequences of a vote for or against the referendum.

Another act introduced was The Professional Investigator Act. The act calls for hiring a private investigator to look into the recent situation at 711 Richmond Rd., where the city filed a lawsuit against students for allegedly violating the controversial three-person rule.

The meeting was video recorded by the senate to be played on WMTV and YouTube.

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