Preparation for the College of William and Mary’s Student Assembly general election was the primary focus of Tuesday’s SA meeting.
The SA passed the 2010 General Election Referenda Act, which placed four referenda on the election ballot by unanimous consent.
The bill allowed students to vote on several issues, including whether or not they supported SA funding of free testing for Sexually Transmitted Infections and annual flu shots, both of which passed. Meanwhile, the votes on whether to continue distribution of The New York Times and the Virginia Gazette on campus failed.
The Honor Council Referendum Act also passed, adding two additional initiatives to the ballot.
The bill allowed students to voice their opinion on the efficacy and value of the undergraduate Honor Council. The bill originally provided that students could vote in Wednesday’s election on whether or not they supported the abolition of the Honor Council.
“The referendum is an opportunity for students to register their displeasure with how the council conducts itself, and will hopefully prompt comprehensive reform,” Sen. Steven Nelson ’10 said.
The bill led to a lengthy debate. Senators discussed the importance of the students’s right to determine if an honor council is necessary to uphold the College’s Honor Code, and whether the SA is entitled to ask this of students.
It was ultimately decided that the General Election ballot should also include a question on the level of confidence students have in the performance and value of both the SA and the Honor Council.
“Both the Honor Council and the Student Assembly are elected by the student body,” Sen. Jill Olszewski ’12 said. “While their duties may differ, students have no less of a right to voice their opinion on one than they do the other.”
The SA also passed the Bus Shelter Improvement Act by unanimous consent.
The bill allocates $2,954 to purchase permanent fixtures for seven bus shelters around campus, including the installation of maps and bus timetable information.
Sen. Erik Houser ’10 said that there is currently no such information available to students at bus stops, which could can be inconvenient and confusing.
The fixtures were recommended by the Student Environmental Action Coalition as sustainable and weatherproof, and are expected to last for approximately 25 years, although the information contained within will be updated periodically.
The Statement of Support for Ending the Cover Sheet Act was also passed by unanimous consent.
Currently, each time a student uses a College computer to print a document, he or she receives an additional printed page with his or her student ID number on it. This bill, sponsored by SEAC, expresses the SA’s disapproval of this cover sheet with the expectation that the administration will remove it.
The SA plans to discuss the Medical Amnesty Info Cards Bill in the coming weeks. The bill is designed to ensure students know their rights by providing them with information cards about safe drinking practices and medical amnesty policies.