SA approves auditing act

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April 30, 2010

5:08 AM

_Edited 11:21 a.m._

The College of William and Mary Student Assembly Senate passed the Student Money Protection Act by a vote of 16-0-1 at its meeting Tuesday.

The bill is a response to the recent discovery by student auditors that money from the Consolidated Student Publications Reserve Fund was used to pay the salaries of two graduate assistants in the past three years. Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs Mark Constantine is allegedly responsible for the misuse of funds.

The Student Money Protection Act requests that the College conduct a full review of all student activities accounts, and that the Office of Student Activities relinquishes all financial management powers until the review is complete. The bill also officially censures Constantine for illegitimate use of student money.

According to Ruzic, Constantine claimed past SA presidents had told him this was a valid use of funds.

“Constantine has not provided any documentation of this or provided names of past presidents who spoke to him,” Ruzic said.

The bill was only briefly discussed on the floor before it was brought to a vote. All spoke in favor of the bill.
Although Constantine was present at the meeting, he left before the bill came to the floor.

“My intention is to get together with the SA leadership to clear up any issues that surround this topic,” Constantine said in an e-mail to The Flat Hat.

The SA also passed the Student Mental Health Act by unanimous consent.

The bill, sponsored by Ruzic and Sen. Curt Mills ’13, appropriates $57,000 to the College’s Counseling Center to hire an additional full-time counselor.

The sponsors cited delays for counseling appointments of up to one month, and an 18 percent increase in the need for individual service needs in the last two years as grounds for a new counselor.

The sponsors of the bill said they expect that the College administration will relieve the Senate and pay for a permanent counselor by the end of next year.

The Purchase of Student Activities Vans Act also passed by a vote of 13-3-1.

New state regulations made the College’s 15-passenger vans illegal in the state of Virginia. The bill allocates $42,794 for the purchase of two legal 12-passenger vans.

Chairman Stef Felitto ’12, sponsor of the bill, said the vans would be sent to the Office of Student Activities to be used for student clubs’s overnight trips.

The Senate passed the Preliminary Gender Neutral Housing Act, which works to provide mixed-sex Ludwell four-person apartments as a student housing option.

Also passed were the Tribe Choices Act, which requires the Office of Student Activities to submit its budgetary reports to the SA Department of Finance in writing, and the Proportional Financial Representation Act, which obligates the senate chair to appoint a fair proportion of undergraduate and graduate senators to the Finance and Budget Committee.

The Senate approved six of SA president Chrissy Scott’s ’11 nominees to Executive Secretary positions.

Emily Gottschalk-Marconi ’12 will be the new secretary of public affairs, Ben Brown ’11 the new secretary of finance, Jessee Vasold ’11 the secretary of health and safety and Molly Bulman ’12 the secretary of student life. Katie Ballard MPP ’11 and J.T. Cobb ’13 were approved as undersecretaries to the public affairs department.

_Edit added MPP ’11 to Katie Ballard’s class_

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