SA ends year with one close vote

The final Student Assembly meeting of the year began with President Valerie Hopkins ’09 and Vice President Zach Pilchen ’09 declaring their mutual decision to veto two bills that were passed last week.

The bills were the Serving Williamsburg Act, sponsored by Senator Walter McClean ’09, and the DVD Act, sponsored by Sen. Caroline Mullis ’09. After much discussion, the senate voted to uphold the veto.

“We vetoed the DVD Act because although we felt like it was a wonderful idea, there wasn’t much substance to the bill,” Hopkins said. As for the Serving Williamsburg Act, “the way that it was written now, it would be impossible to do in the current finance code.”

She added that the bill was a good idea but will require changes to the finance code.

Mullis nominated Yael Gilboa ’11 as the new chair of the finance and budget committee. She received a unanimous positive recommendation.

Five bills were discussed at the meeting. The first was the 2008 U.S. Senate Debate at William and Mary Act, sponsored by Sens. Ross Gillingham ’10 and Joe Luppino-Esposito ’08.

The bill was designed to allocate funds for the College to host a debate for Virginia Senate candidates, in an effortt to enhance the College’s reputation as a leader in American political discourse. The SA would need to appropriate $10,000 to cover costs incurred from hosting such a debate. The bill passed 14-0-1.

The Steer Clear Funding Act, sponsored by Sen. Sarah Rojas ’10 and Gillingham, was revised by the finance and budget committee. Mullis reported that it received a unanimous positive recommendation by the committee.

The bill states that the SA will appropriate $4,446 from the Student Activities Consolidated Reserve Account to Steer Clear for wages and the purchase of a new cell phone, along with $896 from the Off-Campus Account for cell phone fees. The SA charged Rojas and Gillingham with ensuring that the act is carried out and serving as the SA ambassadors to the program.

The third bill was the 4-16 Anniversary Act, sponsored by Gillingham. Mullis also reported the positive recommendation for the bill on behalf of the Finance and Budget Committee.

The bill allocates $300 from the Consolidated Reserve Fund to the Virginia Tech Foundation to provide the cost of purchasing and planting one tree out of 32 planted near the Virginia Tech Massacre memorial site in Blacksburg, Va. The bill passed 13-0-1.

The fourth bill was the Police Behavior Act, sponsored by Sen. Steve Nelson ’10. The bill calls for the creation and distribution of fliers depicting pictures, names and badge numbers of Campus Police officers.

Further, it calls for investigations each semester of police misconduct followed. In the closest vote of the night, 7-6-1, the bill did not pass, falling short of a two-thirds majority.

The last bill was the Elections for Grown Ups Act, sponsored by Luppino-Esposito. McClean reported that the executive committee had given the bill a negative recommendation and stated that there was too much to discuss before it could be voted on.

Luppino-Esposito said it is a “bill to make the SA elections a little bit less of a joke.” He asked the SA to amend the elections code with his changes. The bill was voted to go back to the committee, as they said it contained too many changes made by one individual and would require considerable time and consideration.


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