Senators discuss revisions to Student Assembly code, gear up for freshmen elections

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September 25, 2017

10:20 PM

As elections for the class of 2021 approach, the College of William and Mary’s Student Assembly Senate is gearing up for the semester by reviewing the SA code and expanding on previous initiatives, such as subsidizing academic materials for students.

Following amendments to SA elections made after former SA President Eboni Brown ’17 was elected, for each election held by SA, there should be four information sessions scheduled within a six-day span to allow for all interested candidates to attend an information session and register to campaign. However, the class of 2021’s information sessions were initially scheduled for Sept. 21, Sept. 23 and Sept. 24, which violated the Elections Commission Act.

During the start of this past Tuesday’s meeting, SA President Elijah Levine ’18 addressed this code violation, which was brought up by Class of 2019 President Jonah Yesowitz ’19 prior to the meeting.

He acknowledged that the information sessions were in violation of the code and rescheduled them.

The way we are going to fix this is by pushing the election date back to Oct. 9 and adding an information session on Sept. 25,” Levine said. “This still infracts on the regulation that we have to have four information sessions within a six-day span, it’s a five-day span, but according to … code, we have the obligation of holding a successful election. I don’t think it’s a successful election if those people cannot be integrated into the senate until late October or perhaps November, the price to pay being having meetings in a five-day span instead of a six-day span. … The spirit of the code is to ensure the success of the election and of the study body as a whole and that is ensured by giving them one more senate meeting to acclimate to things.”

“The way we are going to fix this is by pushing the election date back to Oct. 9 and adding an information session on Sept. 25,” Levine said. “This still infracts on the regulation that we have to have four information sessions within a six-day span, it’s a five-day span, but according to … code, we have the obligation of holding a successful election. I don’t think it’s a successful election if those people cannot be integrated into the senate until late October or perhaps November, the price to pay being having meetings in a five-day span instead of a six-day span. … The spirit of the code is to ensure the success of the election and of the study body as a whole and that is ensured by giving them one more senate meeting to acclimate to things.”

Yesowitz said that he thought Levine and SA Vice President Annelise Yackow ’18’s solution was beneficial, but he wanted to know if it would be possible to schedule an interest meeting prior to the one scheduled for Sept. 21 to create a six-day span. Levine said that adding meetings to the front end of the period would make them less attended, which would not make it worthwhile.

Yackow said that because the fall elections are only for the new students, they are smaller than the spring elections, where all senate representatives as well as the SA president and vice president are up for election.

This is our smaller election,” Yackow said. “We wouldn’t feel comfortable doing this for the other one.”

“This is our smaller election,” Yackow said. “We wouldn’t feel comfortable doing this for the other one.”

Sen. Sikander Zakriya ’19 said that because the Elections Commission Act has not been followed consistently since it was implemented, the senate should consider changing the code to amend the time period requirements for information sessions. Chair of the Senate Alaina Shreves ’18 said that while it is not being followed this semester, it was followed during the spring 2017 SA elections.

Following along with the new semester’s code review, Sen. Brendan Boylan ’19 introduced and sponsored the Code Revision Committee Act, which was passed by a vote of unanimous consent.

This bill established an ad hoc standing committee, which will allow senators to continue formally working through the code so that, throughout the semester, they can introduce legislation targeted at revising the code and modernizing it.

Boylan also introduced the Official Transcript Subsidization Act in an attempt to expand SA’s efforts for subsidization, which would allocate $7 per copy for students to access their official transcripts, and would initially be capped at 1,500 copies. SA currently also allocates funds to subsidize blue books for final exams.

“We are looking into mechanisms we could put into place. We are talking about doing surveys,” Boylan said. “We want to make sure it would be prioritizing juniors and seniors, since those are the individuals it would most benefit because they are applying to internships, jobs and grad school. We are establishing it on a first come, first serve basis.”

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About Author

Sarah Smith

News Editor Sarah Smith '19 is an international relations and gender, sexuality, and women's studies major from Ashburn, VA. She formerly served as Associate News Editor.