Tuesday, Mar. 16, the College of William and Mary’s Student Assembly unanimously passed two bills and introduced three news bills for review by committees before their next meeting.
One of the new bills introduced by SA, the Quarterly Budget System Act, plans to reconstruct SA’s financial system by switching from an annual to a quarterly process, replacing the Executive Appropriations Committee with a Finance Appropriations Committee. The new Finance Appropriations Committee will consist of the Finance Committee and independently appointed students under the Department of Finance.
The bill, sponsored by Senate Chair Meghana Boojala ’22, has the goal of streamlining and reworking SA’s current financial system. Boojala explained that the responsibility for reassessing the guidelines for SA’s finances will fall on the shoulders of next year’s Senate and Executive.
Sen. Peter Hayden M.B.A. ’21 introduced the Subsidized Crutches Act, which is also sponsored by Sen. Patrick Salsburg ’21, Sen. Victoria Morales ’22 and Sen. Mia Tilman ’24. The act would allocate funds from the SA reserves in order to subsidize the cost of crutches for students receiving care at the Student Health Center. The bill would also charge Student Health Center staff with collecting data on the use of these crutches. Specific numbers regarding the amount of crutches to be purchased will be included in the bill before it heads to committee.
Later in the meeting, senators unanimously passed the Black Lives Matter Megaphone Funding Act, sponsored by Tilman. The act allocates $225 from SA reserves to purchase four megaphones to be used at the monthly student-led Black Lives Matter protests in Merchants Square. The act also stipulates that the megaphones may be used by other student organizations in the future, if deemed appropriate by SA.
Senators also participated in a discussion about the recently renamed Community Values Pledge Act (formerly the Proper Conduct Pledge Act), sponsored by Hayden. The act proposed the creation of a conduct pledge, similar to the pledge to uphold the honor code, which all new students would recite. Committee chairs used this time to express their committees’ concerns with the legislation, such as clarifying the kinds of reporting methods that students could use to report violations of the pledge. The act will return to committees for further discussion this weekend before being voted on by the Senate.
Also at this week’s meeting:
- Senators unanimously passed the Physically Remote, Socially Together Act, which recognizes the unique experiences of remote students and encourages leaders of student organizations to publicize virtual events in which remote students can participate.
- Hayden and Sen. Helen Tariku ’21 introduced the Cypher Award Reform Act, which allocates $600 for the purchasing of pins for all Cypher Award recipients beginning in 2021.