The Student Assembly is seeking to reimburse the class of 2012 after a member of the Undergraduate Council misplaced funds raised from the Homecoming T-shirt sales in the Sadler Center.
A total of $1,920 from the T-shirt sales was lost over the week prior to Homecoming due to an error by an unnamed member of the Undergraduate Council. The sales serve as a major fundraiser for the class of 2012.
“The money they were raising was going to fund events for the senior class to create class unity and encourage donations to the senior class gift, which is essential for future development efforts,” SA Senate Finance Committee Chairman Grace Colby ’13 said in an email.
According to reports from SA members, members of the Undergraduate Council worked shifts selling the shirts in the Sadler Center in the week leading up to Homecoming. The money was kept in an envelope and returned to the front desk after each shift. After one shift, a student realized that the envelope was missing.
“They were really trying to look for it,” Senate Chairman Noah Kim ’13 said. “It was an all-hands-on-deck effort to find the money. They scoured the Sadler Center. They kept looking, but in the meantime, they came to me and told me about the problem. They were really trying to figure out a way to address it.”
Students contacted the William and Mary Police to report the missing money. According to Chief Don Challis, campus police are still actively investigating the incident.
“The person who lost the money was just put into a bad situation,” Senator Dallen McNerney ’14 said. “The problem was that it was Sadler. It’s a place that anybody can walk into and is really busy most of the time.”
The money has yet to be found, and the student responsible has not faced any formal disciplinary action.
“It is a pity that the irresponsibility of one person set the senior class back so far at a critical moment for their fundraising efforts,” Colby said.
On Nov. 1, members of the Senate approved the Senior Class Reimbursement Act, which allocated $1,920 from the Student Activities Reserve to fund the class of 2012’s various activities.
The Student Activities Reserve is a collective fund from all campus organizations. Each organization proposes a budget that the SA approves and for which it allocates money. At the end of the year, excess funds from the organizations are returned to the Student Activities Reserve for future use.
“Students aren’t being charged extra to cover this expense,” Kim said. “This reimbursement really was a necessary thing that needed to happen. We’d do it for any club.”
Members of the Senate compared the Senior Class Reimbursement Act to the Senior Bailout Bill of last year, in which members of the senior class asked for additional funding.
“Last year, the senior class bailout was due to a lack of planning by the senior class beforehand and multiple turnovers,” McNerney said. “This year, it was distinctly different. The senior class was clearly trying to get money. It was just a bad situation.”
The SA plans to implant some organizational changes to the management of funds.
“Undergraduate Council discussed it and other ways to improve the organization and we’re looking into ways to improve the SA’s functioning as a whole,” Kim said. “Specifically with the T-shirts, the problem was that there needs to be more solid communication. There are certain measures we’re planning on taking next year to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Although the investigation continues, the SA hopes to move forward from the incident.
“I’m really happy to see that out of this really messy incident, the SA really came together to address it in a timely manner and, in my opinion, the right way,” Kim said.