The College of William and Mary Student Assembly began its new session in Blow Hall Thursday.
The issues discussed included the election of a new SA chair and secretary, the solidification of several previously passed bills, the extension Keep Swem Open During Finals Act, and the Declare War on U.Va. bill.
The first order of business was to elect Sen. Matt Paganussi ’14 as secretary, succeeding Curt Mills ’13, and Sen. Noah Kim ’13 as SA chair, succeeding Stef Felitto ’12.
“[The position of SA chair] is more than an administrative role,” Sen. Doug Haynes ’12 said. “You have to also facilitate the senate’s purpose; you have to be the voice of the student body.”
A main topic of discussion during the meeting was the decision to allow the bill to keep Earl Gregg Swem Library open all day during finals and to pay for blue books for tests to apply to this semester’s final exams.
The bill, which had been previously passed, only covered next year’s final exams.
“We’re still kind of in a tough situation with our budget,” Kim said.
The senators debated whether or not the SA would have enough money in the fall to pay for both the Keep Swem Open During Finals Act and the STI testing bill. The Student Health Act III, which would pay for students to receive free STI testing next year, passed recently.
“Here’s the issue with our reserve,” Kim said. “We allocated $15,000 for STI testing. Now that kicks in after our rollover. The way we set up STI testing was to kick in after that rollover occurs. The problem is that we have no way to really know how much will be in that rollover.”
The SA allocated $3,648 to keep Swem open and cover the cost of blue books, and $15,000 to cover the cost of STI testing for the 2011-2012 academic year.
“We’re in kind of a difficult situation,” Kim said. “We technically have enough money, but we promised money that we don’t have to STI testing, and we don’t know how much money we will have.”
Many of the senators came to the conclusion that the SA would have enough money to cover both bills by the time rollover funds are added in the fall.
“I think it’s terrible that we have to make this decision, and we should have been a lot more careful about the things we spent money on previously so that we wouldn’t be in this situation and not have the money to fund the most popular thing that we do,” Sen. Grace Colby ’13 said.
The decision to extend the Keep Swem Open During Finals Act to include this semester’s finals passed 15-1.
The SA ended the session by voting on a bill which would unofficially declare war on the University of Virginia. Presented by Sen. Shep Walker ’11, the bill was stripped of, according to Walker, “clauses that actually did anything.” The SA voted for the bill to skip the committee process. The bill then failed, with a seven to seven vote, and four abstaining.