Senate focuses on representation concerns within Spring Concert Committee during Oct. 30 meeting

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Election results from the class of 2020 special election Friday, Nov. 2 are now on hold. SARAH SMITH / THE FLAT HAT

During the Oct. 30 meeting of the College of William and Mary’s Student Assembly Senate, debate occurred over whether to add an additional two or more senators to the Spring Concert Act Committee. The initial draft of the bill included the two sponsors, Senate Chair Ellie Thomas ’20 and Sen. Anthony Joseph ’21, with the intention to elect one additional senator.

Every year, SA and AMP create a joint committee to coordinate the spring concert. Last year’s headlining act was DNCE, a funk, dance-rock band featuring vocalist Joe Jonas. The senate allocated $50,000 for last year’s event, but because the concert was not included in SA’s annual budget this year, $85,000 was allocated in the bill.

According to the text of the bill, this increase in funds was in hopes of attracting a high profile artist. One concern in the past is that Charter Day Weekend often is at the same time as the Grammy Awards. Additionally, this bill states that in celebration of 100 years of coeducation, artist selection will be tailored to the theme of the year.

Class of 2019 President Sikander Zakriya ’19 expressed concern over the minimal representation of elected SA members on the concert committee. According to Zakriya, since SA was putting forth much of the budget for the concert, SA should have additional representation on the committee.

“To be frank, most of the people on the AMP music committee have niche music tastes … we bring a broader taste in music to the committee,” Zakriya said. “That was the main thing [in committee discussion], to make an amendment to increase the amount of people we put on the committee.”

Thomas argued that the additional member of the committee should come from SA’s executive branch. She also said that she was concerned that adding too many representatives to the committee would slow down the process of choosing an artist.

“… It would be helpful to have someone from exec on this, so there is representation from someone on cabinet on this [committee],” Thomas said. “Another person from senate could slow down this process. It’s important to have more voices, but it’s hard to find meeting times that will match up for everyone.”

After deliberation, the senate decided to pass an amendment that called for the election of two senators and the appointment of one executive branch member to the committee tasked with selecting the artist. After the amendment was accepted, the senate voted by roll call to pass The Spring Concert Act. Only Class of 2020 President Dave DeMarco ’21 voted against the bill.

The next item of business was then electing the two senators that would serve along with Thomas and Joseph on the committee to select the artist. Sen. Brian Meyer ’17 M.Ed. ’19 and Sen. Kyle Vasquez ’21 were elected to the committee.

Vasquez cited his role as vice president of the Acapella Council, a member of choir, and his status as a music minor as qualifications for working on the committee. Meyer said that he should be chosen so that he could represent the interests of the graduate student community when picking an artist.

An artist has not yet been selected for the spring concert and the committee has yet to meet to discuss who will perform. SA President Brendan Boylan ’19 and SA Vice President Samir Tawalare ’19 have also yet to appoint a cabinet member to the committee.

Other matters discussed at the meeting included the election of a new secretary following the resignation of the current secretary, Sen. Sarah MacPhee ’20. The senate voted unanimously to elect Sen. Margaret Lister ’21 to fill her position.

A special election will take place Friday, Nov. 2 to elect three new senators to replace Sen. Abhi Chadha ’20, Sen. Clare DaBaldo ’20 and Sen. Sarah MacPhee ’20 who recently announced their resignations.

Also at this week’s meeting:

• Class of 2020 President Dave DeMarco ’21 introduced The Resignation Clarification Act, which states that a senator cannot study abroad if the time abroad would conflict with his or her time in office.
• DeMarco also introduced The Special Election Revision Act, which would clarify the standards for using appointments or special elections to fill vacant senate positions.
• DeMarco also introduced The Constitutional Review Committee Act, which will be effective on Jan. 1, 2019 if passed, and would make the committee which provides recommendations about changes to the SA’s constitution more representative.
• The senate voted to table the Which (Wich) student is Studying for Finals Act intended to provide food for students in the Earl Gregg Swem Library during finals week and it will be discussed at next week’s meeting.
• Alpha Phi Omega, a service fraternity that provides free transportation to students every night through Campus Escort, requested funding for a new golf cart to improve the safety and efficiency of the service. Sen. Helen Tariku ’21 introduced this bill.