Tuesday, Dec. 7, the College of William and Mary’s 329th Student Assembly held its final meeting of the Fall 2021 semester. SA President Meghana Boojala ’22 give her State of the College Address and the Senate passed five bills.
The State of the College Address
Boojala’s address highlighted important SA projects during the current session, the November Board of Visitors Meeting and DEI and divestment efforts.
“At the end of the day, everything we do is for improving the student experience,” Boojala said. “The state of the Student Assembly is strong. The scale of our projects have been larger than ever before, and we’re accomplishing them strategically and smartly. And the state of the college is transitioning from a period of crisis to a future that builds off the lessons we learned during the pandemic. Regardless, the people of SA and the college are strong.”
Boojala’s speech was met with applause, and many SA members knocked on the tables in support when she mentioned the recently-passed Feeding Students in Isolation Act.
The Fourth Annual Sankofa Gala Act, sponsored by Sen. Taylor Fox ’24 and Sen. Shaunna Scott ’23, passed unanimously. The bill reallocates $9,000 currently allocated for the Royal Ball (formerly the King & Queen Ball) and an additional $550 in SA Reserves to go towards the annual Sankofa Gala. The reallocation comes after SA and Secretary of Student Life Kirsten Knisely ’22 discussed the feasibility of sponsoring the Royal Ball and determined that they will not be reviving the event in April 2022, thus leaving the $9,000 allocated for it unused.
“I think maybe some Finance [committee] members including myself might have struggled a little bit with the high cost,” Sen. Mia Tilman ’24 said. “But given that it’s just a reallocation, for the most part, I think it’s a lot more reasonable given that it’s already part of our budget.”
SA unanimously passed The Warm Welcome Back Act, sponsored by Fox. The bill charges SA with hosting and organizing an event providing drinks and snacks for students on the first day of Spring 2022 semester classes.
The Diverting from Single-Use Plastics Act, sponsored by Tilman, was passed unanimously following discussion on concerns about blanket funding. The act would fund any additional costs incurred by student organizations having to buy sustainable alternatives after a state-wide ban on universities purchasing single-use plastics.
“This was a really unique circumstance about a change coming down from the state level and about colleges not being able to spend money on single-use plastics anymore,” Senate Chair Owen Williams ’23 said. “And that came in the middle of a budget cycle, and so my concerns are completely alleviated.”
SA also passed The Period Act Part III, sponsored by Tilman. The Period Act Part III will fund free menstrual products for students. Dispensers in Swem, Sadler and the McLeod Tyler Wellness Center will be replenished for the remainder of the 2021-2022 academic year.
SA skipped through debate to unanimously pass The Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Bill, sponsored by Scott. The Center for Student Diversity will host the Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Program at the start of each spring semester to bring attention to Dr. King’s work.
Also at this week’s meeting:
- Tilman announced that Sen. Eugene Lee ’23 was elected as the new Finance Chair, replacing Tilman. Tilman is leaving the position as she will be replacing Class President Vicka Heidt ’24 as Class of 2024 President and cannot hold both positions simultaneously.
- Several SA members gave commendations to Heidt, who will be transferring to Georgetown in the Spring 2022 semester.
Correction: a previous version of this article incorrectly stated Tilman’s class year as 2022, when it is in fact 2024.