The College of William and Mary’s Student Assembly voted to provide free STI testing for students for the 2010-2011 academic year at its meeting Tuesday.
The Student Health Act II passed by unanimous consent. The act draws $15,000 from the Consolidated Reserve to pay for all student testing of HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, Human Papilloma Virus, herpes and genital warts at the Student Health Center.
“This is something that gives a real, important and potentially life-saving service to all the students of William and Mary,” Sen. Ryan Ruzic J.D. ’11 said.
The cost of an individual STI test varies, with tests for chlamydia and gonorrhea costing $18 each. The most expensive tests, HIV and HPV tests, cost $25 and $50, respectively.
“No student should avoid a test that can make them and those close to them safer because it costs too much money,” Ruzic said.
The SA also unanimously passed the Van Training Reimbursement Act II.
Beginning in the fall of 2009, students were charged a $10 fee to attend the Saturday class required for certification to drive school vans.
This bill allocates up to $2,160 to pay for the now $15 vehicle training fee, so that all students can take the required class for free.
“Van training is a service that should absolutely be free to students,” bill sponsor Sen. Curt Mills ’13 said. “Students who are van-trained are extremely useful to the College as a whole.”
Students who have already paid for van training for the 2010-2011 year will be reimbursed by the Office of Student Activities.
The Counseling Center Assurance Act passed by a vote of 10-2 with three abstentions.
The bill withdraws the $57,000 appropriation that was set aside last spring by the SA for the Counseling Center to hire a new counselor for this academic year.
The Counseling Center was given a deadline of Aug. 24, 2010 by which to hire a new counselor in order to make use of the $57,000. No counselor was hired over the summer.
“It is a misuse of funds to hire a counselor [this semester] to work for only half of the year when the funds had been allocated for a counselor for the full year,” Chair of the Senate Finance Committee Sen. Noah Kim ’13 said. “Those funds that could be used to benefit students are sitting unused.”
Secretary of Health and Safety Jessee Vasold ’11 said the SA should be wary of giving the wrong impression to the administration by withdrawing funds.
“There were multiple factors for why the Counseling Center couldn’t hire someone over the summer,” he said. “We should continue this conversation with them without sending the message that there’s not going to be any money in the future.”
The bill eventually passed, with an amendment that the money be returned to the Consolidated Reserve unless the counseling position is filled by Oct. 5, or unless the Counseling Center provides the SA with a plan and a deadline by the specified date.
The SA also approved two executive nominations for cabinet positions and five nominations for the Elections Commission.
Zann Isacson ’13 will be the new Secretary of Student Rights and J.B. Akbar ’11 the Secretary of Diversity Initiatives.
Jill Olszewski ’12 was approved as the new chair of the Elections Commission, and Michael Douglass ’11, David Murphy ’12, Betty Jeanne Manning ’12 and Curt Mills ’13 were approved as commissioners on the board.