The Student Assembly held its last meeting of the year Tuesday, the focus of which was electing nominees to leadership positions for the 2011-2012 school year. Among the acts debated and voted on was a controversial one concerning free STI testing, one of the SA’s most important programs, according to senators.
The meeting began with the election of predetermined nominees to leadership positions. Sen. Noah Kim ’13 was elected as the new Senate Chair, Sen. Ryan Buckland ’13 was elected as the new secretary of Health and Safety, Sen. Caitlin Patterson ’12 was elected as the new secretary of Finance, Sen. Adam Stokes ’12 was elected as the new secretary of Student Life, Sen. Anna Mahalak ’12 was elected as the new undersecretary Representative to the Board of Visitors and Sen. Carlos Quintela ’12 was elected as the new secretary of Outreach. After minimal debate, all of these nominees were elected by unanimous consent.
“Kaveh and I plan to decide on all executive secretaries and undersecretaries before the end of finals, pending senate approval in the Fall,” SA Vice President Molly Bulman ’12 said in an email. “We will also work on the Declaration of Legislative Interests which will contain student stances on local and state issues to be given to government officials and lobbyists groups in the Fall.”
After the elections, the SA switched focus to the new acts that were brought to the table. Acts that were previously agreed upon and were passed unanimously included the 2011 Closing of Session Act, the Final Exams Programs Act, Kim’s Condom Dispenser Act and Sen. Dallen McNerney’s ’14 Fiscal Responsibility Act.
The next topic brought up for debate was the Academic Adjustment Act introduced by Mike Young ’11, which passed unanimously.
“[The Academic Adjustment Act] basically simplifies the process by which the Student Assembly interacts with the Faculty Assembly because the current process is just messy,” SA President Kaveh Sadeghian ’12 said.
The last act discussed was the Save SA from Debt Act, introduced by Kim. This act fell under heated debate. It proposed that the SA allocate $15 thousand dollars to pay for STI testing, and another $2,000 dollars if that $15 thousand limit is reached.
“I believe this act is necessary, so that we don’t exhaust all our reserve funds on STI testing,” Kim said. “In the rare event that the $15 thousand limit is reached, we will have $2,000 extra to keep the program going, while we reconvene to decide what to do next.”
Many members of the senate were opposed to this because it limited the amount of money that the SA would spend on testing under the old STI testing act, an act supported by 82 percent of students.
“Students clearly support the old STI testing act, and I cannot support Senate Chair Kim’s act which is, in essence, killing the old act by placing a limit on the amount we are willing to spend on testing,” Sen. Zach Marcus ’12 said.
In the end, the act was not passed.