The Student Assembly at the College of William and Mary implemented the recently passed Administration, College and Town Act for the first time Tuesday as guest speakers were invited to lead 10-minute discussions at the beginning of the meeting.
Each week, the SA will host different speakers from the City of Williamsburg, the College’s administration and student organizations.
Josh Karp ’11 and Michael Douglas ’11 of Students for a Better Williamsburg, a political action committee founded in June of 2008, were the first speakers.
“We had just come off of about four months of … helping Matt Beato ’09 lose [the election for city council],” Karp said.
He explained that SBW was designed to keep the campaign’s momentum going until the next city council election in 2010.
“Throughout next semester we’re going to be incredibly active getting people out to vote,” Karp said. “All we need is the energy of [the SA] and a few other people.”
Karp hopes to get 2,500 students registered in order that, with the expected 30 percent voter turn out, 900 students would vote to the polls in the 2010 city council election.
The SA also passed a bill to provide transportation for students to the Newport News Williamsburg International Airport before Thanksgiving break.
“This would be a great shift for the airport ride system we have going each year,” Sen. Ben Brown ’11 said.
The system was previously based on student-driven vans.
“The problem with vans in the past is that we rely on volunteers. We didn’t have any volunteers [last time,]” Brown said.
The Necessary Airport Shuttle Funding Act allocates up to $2,000 from the SA’s consolidated reserve to pay for Williamsburg Area Transport shuttles to drive students to the airport.
“[The past volunteer system] has not worked,” Sen. Betty Jeanne Manning ’12 said. “It has been so last minute. I think this is a really good solution.”
The bill passed unanimously. Brown said the SA’s executive branch hopes this system will by institutionalized in the future.
The Exam Taxi Service Act III was also passed during Tuesday’s meeting. This bill provides $2,600 to fund taxis for students who are out late during the final exams period.
“I think this is going to work well with Houser’s bill … to keep [Earl Gregg Swem] Library open 24 hours,” Sen. Brittany Fallon ’11 said. “People are going to be studying even later.”
The Keep Swem Open During Finals Act aims to keep Swem open all night before every test day during finals.
“They actually did figure out a way to get this done so that we won’t even have to pay for Swem staff,” Sen. Erik Houser ’10 said.
The bill will be discussed during the Dec. 2 meeting after the costs of extra security staff and housekeeping hours are determined.
A bill to reimburse students the $15 fee required to become certified to drive College vans was also discussed Tuesday.
“This is a necessary service that students need and rely on,” Sen. Jill Olszewski ’12 said.
The Van Training Subsidy Act would make the training free, and would refund those who paid for training earlier in the semester.
Though some senators hoped to pass the bill before the training that will be held this Saturday, the majority voted to move it back to the Senate Committee on Finance and Budget to be discussed at a later date.
The Meeting Brevity Act, which would limit speakers to two minutes of speaking per bill, was also discussed, though it did not pass.
“I just think it makes a lot of sense. It basically just sets the baseline from infinity to two,” Sen. Jim Dunleavey ’10 said.
Other senators felt the bill would accomplish little.
“In the end, we really didn’t think it would affect anything,” Brown said.