The Student Assembly Senate discussed homelessness in Williamsburg and upcoming initiatives in their meeting Tuesday, Jan. 29.
Madame Chair Kendall Lorenzen ’15 proposed beginning a clothing drive for the area’s homeless. She asked the Senate if they would support incorporating this philanthropic initiative with the pre-established “What Can the SA Do for You” tabling at the Sadler Center.
“We’re going to be tabling anyway,” Lorenzen said.
The Senate discussed possibly receiving donations as well, but ultimately decided to keep the drive to clothing only. Debate also centered on how to improve the poverty situation in the area and future initiatives and goals that may aid the community. The city of Williamsburg does not have a homeless shelter and many who work in the area at low-income jobs commute from the Newport News area.
“I do believe that the Student Assembly can provide great financial and moral support,” Senator Yohance Whitaker ’16 said.
Lorenzen made a presentation to inform the Senate of the intricacies of the approval of next year’s budget. The Executive Appropriations Committee, a group of students suggested by Secretary of Finance Brett Prestia ‘14 last semester and not affiliated with the SA, is currently conducting deliberations hearings to discuss the budget proposals they received at the beginning of this semester.
Due to the resignation of Drew Chlan ’13 as SA representative to the Board of Visitors, the Senate confirmed Elections Committee Chair T.J. O’Sullivan ’13 as his replacement for the last two BOV meetings with the current administration.
“I have nothing but kind words to say about him,” Senator Colin Danly ’15 said. “His work with the Elections Committee was exemplary and I think that will transfer over to the BOV.”
According to SA President Curt Mills ’13, Chlan’s resignation was for personal reasons. Senator Drew Wilke ’15 updated the Senate on the state of the Indecent Disclosure Resolution Act which furthered the efforts of the SA to work with the administration on possibly altering the Arrest Disclosure Policy established this past summer.
“Unfortunately, [according to Ben Migdol ’13], the administration is not budging much on this policy,” Wilke said.
The Senate approved the Swem Snacks 2 Act which will continue last semester’s initiative. In order to save funds in the SA Reserve, Wilke opted to hold the event every other Sunday rather than every Sunday.
“I know that fiscally we’re more constrained right now,” Wilke said. “That being said, it’s a service we did last semester that I think we should continue to do this semester. … It’s great for tabling.”
Lorenzen tabled discussion of the Student Health Act to decide how to fund free STI testing on campus. Lorenzen is contacting other oganizations who may aid in the financial subsidization of the program. She also announced that the SA is continuing to celebrate free STI testing week, which began on Monday and ends today. This was made possible due to the remaining money in the STI testing fund.
Lastly, the Senate also introduced the proposed Publications Council Contract. The Publications Council creates and manages the budgets of the 29 student publications on campus including The Flat Hat, WCWM and the Botetourt Squat. The Council’s contract is renewed every three years with a set amount allocated each year. The current contract is requesting $170,000 to run these 29 publications and will be discussed at the Senate Finance Committee meeting Sunday at 1:00 in the SA House on Jamestown Road.