SA approves new cabinet, passes HPV Vaccine Promotion Act and Divest from Fossil Fuels Revival Bill

EMMA FORD AND KIM LORES / THE FLAT HAT

Tuesday, May 4, the College of William and Mary’s 329th Student Assembly approved nominations for SA President Meghana Boojala ’22’s cabinet. Additionally, senators passed two bills: the HPV Vaccine Promotion Act and the Divest from Fossil Fuels Revival Bill. 

Senators confirmed the nominations of Rory Fedorochko ’22 as Attorney General, Victor Adejayan ’23 as Secretary of Diversity Initiatives, Lauren Miller ’22 as Secretary of College Policy & Student Rights, Mary Kardos ’22 Secretary of Academic Affairs, Kirsten Knisely ’22 as Secretary of Student Life, Bryce Earley as Secretary of Public Affairs, Marley Fishburn ’24 as Chair of Independent Elections Commission and Suleiman Tahir ’22 Secretary of Finance. 

Fedorochko, who previously served as Class of 2022 senator during the 328th Senate session, stated that his experience working with the SA Code and Constitution has prepared him for the role of Attorney General. He expressed that he viewed the Attorney General’s role to include enforcing the SA Code and reminding senators of its provisions, while also pointing out areas in the Code and Constitution that may need revision or amending. 

Adejayan discussed his motto of “inclusion before initiatives” when approaching the Office of Diversity Initiatives within SA, emphasizing that minority groups should feel safe on campus. Adejayan added that he hoped to promote a community of learning where members need to face and grow from their ignorance.

During her nomination hearing for the Secretary of College Policy & Student Rights position, Miller referenced her experience working on the SA Student Rights Initiative project. She told the senate that she hoped to create a brochure detailing student rights and participate in administering the Community Values Pledge

Kardos, who served as an undersecretary of Academic Affairs during the 328th Student Assembly, emphasized that she wanted to include student feedback and ideas during her time leading Academic Affairs. She expressed openness to ideas about monitoring data about course offerings and registration.

Before introducing Knisely as the nominee for Secretary of Student Life, SA President Meghana Boojala ’22 stated that the Student Life department would be undergoing significant changes this year, with the addition of four undersecretaries and student liaisons with different campus organizations. Knisely expressed excitement about working with these new members of her department, and focused heavily on the transitions that would need to be made in the fall. She relayed that she would be open to new initiatives that increased in-person student bonding and community after a few semesters of mostly remote social activities. 

Earley, who previously served as an undersecretary of Public Affairs, conveyed that she wanted to focus on projects that would increase student community engagement in the Williamsburg area, including public service opportunities. 

During her hearing for the Chair of the Independent Elections Commission position, Fishburn stressed that she had experience working in elections roles, including as a director on the College’s Voter Engagement Action Committee. She stated that her commission would ensure unbiased and fair elections, and would ensure that all students receive notice of elections information sessions.

Tahir discussed the new quarterly budget within SA and how he felt that the change would promote better planning between SA and recognized student organizations. In particular, he noted that the change would reduce uncertainty within the budget process and would improve the efficiency of allocating budgets based on short-term need, rather than RSOs forecasting need over an entire year.

Later in the meeting, senators unanimously passed the HPV Vaccine Promotion Act, sponsored by Sen. Mia Tilman ’24. The act allocates $357 from the SA Reserves to purchase stickers, buttons and pamphlets that promote the HPV vaccine to students. These stickers and buttons will be worn by Orientation Aides, Wellness Ambassadors, Student Health Center staff and others during new student orientation and the first three weeks of the fall semester. 

The Senate also passed the Divest from Fossil Fuels Revival Bill, which proposes that the William & Mary Investment Fund reinvest its funds from fossil fuels into “companies with proven support of BIPOC communities, green funds, and organizations focused on solving the climate crisis.” 

During discussion, the senators passed an amendment to remove language that requested that these reinvestments be made in the next five years, in an attempt to encourage the Board of Visitors Investment Subcommittee to act on the matter as quickly as possible. 

 

Also at this week’s meeting:

  • Sen. Eugene Lee ’23 and Sen. Alexandra Wallach J.D. ’23 were confirmed as the Media Council Liaisons for the 329th Senate.

 

 

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