Student Assembly approves Honor Council reform act

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April 23, 2010

4:54 AM

The Necessary Honor Council Reform Act, sponsored by Sen. Steven Nelson ’10 and Sen. Zach Marcus ’12, was passed by unanimous consent when the newly elected senate of the College of William and Mary’s Student Assembly held its first meeting Tuesday evening.

The bill amends the student finance code, removing funding for Undergraduate Honor Council activities until fundamental internal reforms have been made.

In addition, it creates a standing reform committee made up of senators, council members and administrators, and requests that College President Taylor Reveley begin reviewing Honor Council decisions for irregularities.

Several members of the Honor Council were present at the meeting.

“As a member of the council, I think there are a lot of issues with taking away funding that are problematic,” honor council Chief Justice John Pothen ’11 said. “But I do like the opportunity to have a dialogue about this.”

The bill was originally entitled The Prevent Future Victimization by the Honor Council Act, but was modified to include more neutral language.

“Naming the bill ‘The Necessary Honor Council Reform Act’ is not only more reflective of the actual content of the bill, but I hope [it] also demonstrates to the Honor Council our desire to work in conjunction with it to establish much-needed reform, rather than in opposition,” Sen. Noah Kim ’13 said.

Sen. Ryan Ruzic J.D. ’11 expressed approval of the bill’s intentions.

“This is the only thing the SA can do that affects the Honor Council,” he said. “We can’t change their laws, but we can withhold funding. If that’s what it comes to for them to reform, we should do it.”

The SA also passed The Funding of Lips Zine Act by unanimous consent.

Lips, a biannual publication whose stated goal is to provide an honest discourse about sex from the female perspective, was $145 short of necessary funding for its next issue.

Lips raises money through events like the Valentine’s Aphrodisiac Buffet and Drag Show Auction.

The magazine also receives funding from the women’s studies department, the SA and the Independent Feminist Fund, but was still short of its goal. The bill would provide Lips with the extra funds.

The SA also passed the Swem Final Exams Reauthorization Act, a bill that provides funds for Earl Gregg Swem Library to stay open 24 hours a day during finals, by unanimous consent.

Under this bill, the SA will pay $3,448 for the additional security and cleaning operations needed to keep Swem open all night.

“Swem will be open starting at 11 a.m. on Sunday the 2nd until 6 p.m. on Friday the 7th,” Sen. Erik Houser ’10, the bill’s sponsor, said in an e-mail. “Saturday the 8th will be normal hours of 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Swem will then reopen at 11 a.m. on Sunday the 9th and not close until 5 p.m. on Wednesday the 12th, the last day of exams.”

The Student Health Insurance Investigation Bill was introduced at Tuesday’s meeting. The bill claims that students are dissatisfied with the health insurance provided by the College, and it seeks to find a plan that would provide better coverage.

The bill must pass through the Student Life Committee before it is brought to the floor for a vote.

The senate also elected Sen. Stef Felitto ’12 chairman of the senate and Sen. Curt Mills ’13 as secretary. Both ran uncontested.

The SA senate meets weekly on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. in Alan B. Miller Hall 1027.

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