Tuesday, Sept. 28, the College of William and Mary’s Student Assembly passed two bills and heard from SA President Meghana Boojala ’22, who discussed conversations with the BOV around divesting from fossil fuels.
Boojala informed the Senate that the Board of Visitors gave feedback on SA’s Divest from Fossil Fuels Act, which asks the BOV to divest from all of the College’s investments with organizations supporting hostile climate policies, and to commit to transparency regarding the College’s investments. Boojala mentioned that the BOV was interested to learn more about the divesting but that they had additional clarification questions to make sure SA aligned with student preferences. Boojala said that they would obtain further research answer the BOV’s questions.
Senators unanimously passed the Plan Committees Funding Act, sponsored by Sen. Taylor Fox ’24, which allocates $3,000 from SA Reserves to fund research, training workshops and travel to conferences for the five student committees that exist under The Plan, SA’s initiative for combating racial injustice. During discussion, senators agreed to add the Student Community Policing Advisory Board to the committees covered under the bill, which also includes the Reparations Committee, the Academic Diversity Project, the Students’ Rights Initiative and the Committee for Contextualization of Campus Landmarks & Iconography.
The senate also unanimously passed the SA Hoco Reception Act, which takes $175 from SA’s off-campus account to fund the purchase of pastries and coffee for the upcoming SA homecoming alumni reception.
Earlier in the meeting, Sen. Shaunna Scott ’23 reintroduced a version of the Reggie Williams Act, which was first introduced at the Sept. 9 senate meeting. The act requests that $1,000 be allocated from SA Reserves, in order to fund the lodging costs for Reggie Williams, a civil rights activist and former professional football player, when he visits campus Thursday, Oct. 7. This $1,000 funding would go toward a larger proposed honorarium of $10,000, provided by several other departments and groups on campus.
Sen. Zach Outzen J.D. ’22 introduced the Counterspeech Working Group Act, which proposes the creation of ad-hoc student committee that will assemble a report establishing how SA can support marginalized students as they attempt to counteract impacts of hate speech on campus. This group would be made up of six to twelve students, including at least one SA representative, and would provide the report to SA by the final day of the 329th session.
The bill also reaffirms that LGBTQIA+ students are unconditionally welcome at the College, and that any attempts to assert otherwise by speakers affiliated with hate groups or others with anti-LGBTQIA+ views, are “antithetical” to SA’s values.
Also at this week’s meeting:
- Deputy Secretaries of Outreach Abby Varricchio ’23 and Mikayla Fulcher ’23 – delivered a presentation on the communication capabilities and procedures of the Outreach Department.
- Senate Secretary Sen. Cody Armstrong ’22 delivered a presentation on attendance expectations for senators, including that senators are generally expected to attend weekly senate meetings in-person, with exceptions for graduate school senators and students who are sick or awaiting COVID test results.