In one of the most productive (at least in terms of passing bills) Student Assembly meetings I have ever witnessed, the senate passed bills ranging from creating a student outreach department to paying for student taxi services.
The Student Outreach Department Act, passed unanimously, amends the SA code to create an outreach department that would have a variety of responsibilities from the merely interacting with students to maintaining the SA website. For the past two years there has been a move to replace all internal affairs organizations with student outreach organizations to show that the SA isn’t just a bunch of self involved demagogues, but actually interested in student opinion. I don’t see this as any more than a strictly aesthetic adjustment.
The Summer Shuttle Service Act, also passed unanimously, allocates $2,000 from the consolidated reserve to fund a shuttle service that will compensate the absence of the green and gold bus routes over the summer. Students will be able to arrange rides online and over the phone and if the $2,000 runs out over the summer the service will be ended. Thankfully this is not a cosmetic adjustment; it allows students to go to Bloom over the summer without having to brave the heat or the tourists.
Similarly, the Exam Taxi Service Act II, passed unanimously, allocates $1,300 from the consolidated reserve to fund a taxi service from May 2 to May 13 that will be in operation between 2 a.m. and 7 a.m. and will transport students anywhere within a five mile radius of campus. Once again, this is money to help students get around during a stressful time. It is good.
In terms of the not-so-good, the SA Instruction Act, passed 19-1-0, allocates $1,200 from the consolidated reserve to print 2,300 “Student Assembly’s little instructions for life at W and M” fliers to be given out to new students in the fall. I saw the prototype of this flier and not a single item has the potential to ever help anyone. Predictably, “ignore the actions of your student government” was not included.
The Response to Accusations of Terrorism Act, passed 14-5-1, requests that Chief of William and Mary Donald Challis release all communications between WM police and the Virginia Fusion Center, which recently “deemed the College as an anarchist breeding ground”:http://www.flathatnews.com/content/70992/anti-government-groups-college-labeled-threat/. The center is a branch of the Department of Homeland Security and it is suspected that they will refuse to disclose this information on the grounds of endangering homeland security. Many senators were perturbed at the College being labeled as a breeding ground for extremism, but as an anarchist I can only hope that this designation will promote radical enrollment and discourage more anemic moderates from attending the College.
There were two more bills passed, but just more procedural mumbo jumbo. Sleep soundly knowing that the bills from this session will be carried over to the next and that former Senate Chairman Walter McClean ’09 was thanked for his efforts in the senate.
Goodnight everybody! Good luck with finals and hopefully this time next year me and my fellow anarchists will have laid our bodies on the gears of student government and ground it to a halt.