The Student Assembly Senate fully funded two activities and events requests and introduced two new bills during its meeting Tuesday evening.
Prior to roll call at the meeting’s beginning, the senate moved into closed session.
The senate first heard the appeal of an activities and events request for Tribe Tank, an event based on the television show Shark Tank that would allow students to pitch ideas for inventions to judges. The finance committee, which oversees all activities and events requests, originally funded $500 for the event because organizers reached out to the SA first.
“We originally only funded 500 of it because I could see some legwork from the organization that wants to have it,” Sen. Eboni Brown ’17 chair of the senate finance committee said. “We like to see them try to get funding from other sources instead of getting 100 percent of their funding from us. That’s something we talked about within finance guidelines this year.”
Tribe Tank then reached out to the Mason School of Business, which will fund the reception expense and provide grants to two chosen teams. With the financial help of the Mason School of Business, the event still requires $250 to cover leftover expenses.
Chairman of the Senate Dan Ackerman ’16 recommended funding another $500 for Tribe Tank because the organization does not have its own funds and will not be charging for the event.
The senate approved full funding for Tribe Tank.
The second activities and events request the senate heard was for A Conversation Continued, an event to be held by the on-campus organization Free the Children, which was created last semester. FTC President Chi Chola ’18 said the event would feature mental health activist and comedian Kevin Breel, whose TED talk about his personal struggle with depression has more than two million views. Chola originally requested $4,900 but amended the request to $3,000.
Senators expressed their support for funding the event.
“This is an event that you’re going to hear me say something that I don’t normally say,” Sen. Danny O’Dea ’18 said. “For how expensive it is per head, I am 100 percent behind this event. I think this is a conversation that needs to be held at this school, needs to be continued at this school. I think this is something that we’ve been pushing as a Student Assembly.”
The senate approved fully funding the request by acclimation.
Chola is also working on a series of PSA videos about mental health in collaboration with class of 2017 President Katherine Ambrose.
Additionally, O’Dea introduced the Transport Transportation Act. The bill proposes moving the position of secretary of transportation back to an undersecretary position in the student life department of the executive branch. According to O’Dea, the change from undersecretary position to secretary position occurred several years ago but is not longer necessary due to the work of prior secretaries of transportation.
Ackerman assigned the bill to outreach, policy, public affairs and student life committees.
Ambrose introduced the unofficial Tribe Turkey Drive Event Act, which plans to partner the SA with other campus organizations and Sodexo, USA to create Thanksgiving turkey gift baskets for families in need in the Williamsburg area. A partnership with Sodexo would allow students to donate meal swipes, whose funds Sodexo would provide to the SA. Ambrose has not yet confirmed Sodexo’s involvement with the event, but the company has approved other meal swipe donation programs in the past. The SA would create the baskets and deliver them to families whose names were provided to them by Campus Kitchens, but are not serviced weekly by Campus Kitchens.
Ambrose said she is reaching out to a variety of campus organizations for partnerships for the turkey drive.
“Tribe Fellowship would also like to do something with canned food,” Ambrose said. “They also have a lot of manpower, because they’re a really big organization on campus. But it doesn’t just have to be a Christian kind of focus, we could do all different kinds of campus ministries and try to make it as big as possible.”
The bill was assigned to the finance, student life, outreach, policy and public affairs committees.
Class of 2016 President Mark Bland ’16 announced at the end of the meeting that the votes for Homecoming Court have been counted and the winners have been decided.