College of William and Mary Provost Michael R. Halleran met with the Student Assembly Tuesday to discuss the new strategic plan for the College.
“The question that we want to define and build on is what does it mean to be a liberal arts university in the 21st century,” he said. “To be a liberal arts university is somewhat of a challenge because you are trying to have the best of both worlds and to do that in a public university environment is rare.”
SA members questioned Halleran about the impact of state budget cuts on the College. Allocations to higher education have declined by 32 percent in the last 18 months.
The possibility of a tuition hike as well as a change in the in-state to out-of-state ratio also dominated the conversation.
While Halleran does not foresee a shift in the student demographic ratio, he said that tuition is expected to rise in the coming years.
“Increased tuition seems to be necessary if you want to retain the quality of the experience,” he said. “That is where there has to be a difference, but you have to balance that with affordability.”
Halleran’s meeting with the SA is part of a year-long conversation he hopes to have with students, faculty and alumni concerning the state of the College.
Other administrators, including College President Taylor Reveley, are expected to attend SA meetings throughout the year in an ongoing effort to improve communication with the student body.
The SA passed one bill, the Swem Snack Act sponsored by Sen. Ben Brown ’11, which allocates up to $150 for the purchase of a microwave for Mews Café. The microwave will be installed and maintained by Dining Services.
“There is student interest in a microwave so hopefully we can get something that is both reasonable yet a quality item that we can put in Swem,” Sen. Stef Felitto ’12 said.
A few bills were amended as well, including the Homecoming Act proposed by Sen. Jill Olszewski ’12. The act called for the distribution of 5,000 “Welcome Home” buttons to be distributed to alumni during Homecoming weekend.
After reviewing the proposal, SA President Sarah Rojas ’10 decided to cut the proposed number of buttons in half, thereby reducing costs from $1,000 to $500.
“Now we know where each button is going and that each one will actually be used,” Rojas said. “They won’t just be sitting around, so we won’t have wasteful spending.”
Sen. Imad Matini ’11 introduced the Continued Seasonal Influenza Prevention Act due to the overwhelming positive response to the partly-SA sponsored flu shot day on Sept. 9.
During the first wave of vaccinations, the Student Health Center could only provide 300 of the 810 students who were immunized with free shots from the SA.
The additional bill looks to ensure more students are vaccinated free of charge.
“There are still plenty of students who did not get flu shots so I have been in contact with the Office of
Student Health and they are asking if we could help them out with another drive on Oct. 28,” Matini said.
“What is good about this goal is that it is going to include grad students as well.”
The new act grants $3,500 to subsidize 175 vaccinations that will be administered at the Sadler Center and Law School Complex.
In administrative matters, Michael Young ’11 was confirmed as Secretary of Student Rights