SA confirms Review Board nominations, passes Graduate School Amendment

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EMMA FORD AND KIMBERLY LORES / THE FLAT HAT

At the College of William and Mary’s Student Assembly meeting April 16, senators confirmed Review Board nominations made by President Kelsey Vita ’20 and Vice President Ellie Thomas ’20.

The Senate reconfirmed Henry Blackburn ’20 as the Chair of the Review Board, and reconfirmed returning members Anna Boustany ’21 and Jack Craver ’21.

Additionally, the Senate confirmed new Review Board members Elisabeth Holmes ’20, Braeden Salazar ’21 and Camille Zeraat ’22. Katie Rys ’22, who was unable to attend the April 16 meeting, will have her confirmation hearing April 23.

This year, Review Board aimed to incorporate a more diverse group of students. Blackburn noted that an effort was made to recruit students of varying academic disciplines, as well as to boost gender parity on the board.

“There was definitely a push to make sure the Board was a lot more diverse,” Blackburn said.  “As we saw last year, six out of seven of us were men, and six and a half of us were white, so we really wanted to make sure we were tackling that side of it as well.”

During public comment, Elizabeth Snyder ’21, a representative of VOX: Planned Parenthood Generation Action, spoke to the Senate about the organization’s planned counter-protests of the Center for Bioethical Reform’s demonstration in front of Earl Gregg Swem Library Wednesday, April 17 and Thursday, April 18.

She condemned the aggressive tactics employed with the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform and reiterated her desire for all students to feel safe during the controversial protests.

“We have posters, we’re going to have Planned Parenthood and NARAL lit to give out to have as a fact-checking source, and we’re going to list out alternate entrances into Andrews and Swem, hopefully, just in case students don’t want to go into that area,” Snyder said. “We’re working on a buddy system just in case we don’t get those entrances secured.”

During the protest, a table will be set up informing students about free speech policy on campus. Mental health resources will be available during the protests as well.

Also at this week’s meeting:

  • Four new benches have been installed on campus, one next to the Sir Christopher Wren Building, two in the Crim Dell Meadow and one outside of Swem Library.
  • Senators approved the Closing of the Session Act, which allocates bills from the previous session to current senators.
  • SA also passed the Graduate Council Amendment, which calls for the creation of a governing body within each graduate school that will elect or appoint two members to the Graduate Council, which will be capable of passing legislation pertinent to internal graduate school matters.