Tuesday, April 12, the College of William & Mary’s 329th session held its last meeting, where it passed the 2022-2023 Budget and failed to pass legislation that would ban a non-verbal agreement mechanism that has gained favor throughout the session.
SA receives its funding through the $98 Student Activities Fee which every full time enrolled undergraduate and graduate student pays. With an expected undergraduate enrollment of 6,446 and an expected graduate enrollment of 1,353 for the 2022-2023 academic year, SA passed a $764,302 budget.
The funding is distributed to student government, contracted organizations, administrative costs and to the Organization Budget Allocation Process (OBAC) which is distributed to Registered Student Organizations.
Due to the meeting being the session’s last, the newly introduced bills, namely the Re-Extending Free STI Testing Act and the Closing of the 329th Session Act were moved into the old business category to be voted on at the meeting.
SA passed the Outdoor Furniture Act, sponsored by Sen. Taylor Fox ’24, which allocates $5,400 from SA reserves to fund Adirondack lawn chairs to be placed around campus, namely the Green and Gold Village, the Sorority Court field, the DuPont Courtyard and Yates field.
SA also passed the Impeachment Reform Addendum Act, sponsored by Sen. Sean Nguyen ’25. The bill gives the Senate an opportunity to prevent senators convicted in a Senate trial from running for elected office again through a three-fourths vote.
The bill was weakened from its original form after it received pushback concerning its severity during its introduction the previous week, with changes including increasing the vote threshold from a simple majority, narrowing the scope to convictions that are not attendance related and limiting the prevented positions that can be held from all SA cabinet positions to just elected ones.
When Nguyen cited what he was told about a recent embezzlement case in which a senator resigned and could be applicable as a use-case for the bill’s mechanism, Chair of the Senate Owen Williams ’23 responded by clarifying the situation.
“I just want to point out that the embezzlement was over 15 years ago and it was a small sum of money…cigarettes at Wawa on a credit card,” Williams said.
SA did not pass the Who’s There Act, sponsored by Sen. Cody Armstrong ’22, which would have made a tradition resurrected at the beginning of the session of knocking on the table in agreement to another senator’s speech deemed to be inappropriate during Senate meetings in the Code. Senators jokingly knocked when the failed vote was announced.
SA passed the Re-Extending Free STI Testing Act, sponsored by Class President Mia Tilman ’24, Class President Yannie Chang ’25, Sen. Gloriana Cubero Fernandez ’24 and Sen. Regina Chaillo 25. The bill re-allocates $5,000 that were previously allocated for unused flu shots. The funding goes towards approximately 250 HIV, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and Syphilis tests along with the costs of associated office visits to diagnosing those diseases for students not on the W&M health plan.
Before the bill’s passing, Tilman emphasized the significant use of the STI tests.
“We initially funded $13,000ish [sic] for STI funding at the start of the session that has now ran out as of, I think, a week or so on Friday,” Tilman said. “Now that the funding is out, I would like to see that replenished for the remaining month and a half of the semester that we have students on campus.”
Students will be able to find the free tests in the Student Health Center.
Finally, SA passed the Closing of the 329th Session Act, sponsored by Williams.
“This is just sort of a formality that we need to do every year to reclassify and review our past, past and pending business before we move sessions,” Williams said.
Also at this week’s meeting:
- Among the many shout-outs given at the end of the meeting, Nguyen shouted-out Attorney General Rory Fedorochko ’25. “Rory is so knowledgeable about Student Assembly to a point where it’s actually frightening,” Nguyen said and thanked him for his role as a mentor this semester.