Student Assembly restarts in the fall semester with new senator, three new bills

Chair of the Review Board Clay Coleman '23 shakes hands with Sen. Trinity Bea M.Ed after swearing Bea in to office.

Tuesday, September 6, the 330th session of the Student Assembly of the College of William and Mary restarted for the fall semester by confirming a Cabinet position, introducing three new bills and swearing-in a new Senator,.

Cabinet Confirmation

In a unanimous vote, Mateo Huerta ’25 was confirmed as a member of the Independent Elections Commission. 

“I do believe the elections are very sacred,” Huerta said during his hearing before the vote. 

“SA after freshman year can feel daunting to join,” he added, emphasizing that there are Senate and Cabinet positions still open to upperclassmen. 

In response to a question by Maheen Saeed ’23 about what he would have improved about the electoral process or his previous campaign for class of 2025 president, Huerta brought to the forefront the importance of having unique ideas to differentiate yourself from other candidates. 

SA Retreat 

Chair of the Senate Eugene Lee ’23 expressed concern over the number of senators who attended the SA Retreat on Sept. 3. 

“It was disappointing to see that there were only 7 senators and over 40 members of the executive branch [attending],” Lee said. “…When it came time to have meetings with the different departments and senators, that came to be a bit lacking at times because there were not enough senators.” 

The retreat is held annually in order for Senators and Cabinet members to participate in workshops and events to prepare for the academic year. 

New Business

Lee introduced The Making OBAC More Efficient Act. The bill makes changes to language in the code to “reduce the number of people needed to make quorum” for OBAC meetings as there was difficulty reaching quorum over the summer. OBAC, the Organization Budget Allocation Process, distributes funding to student organizations every quarter. Lee emphasized that especially large requests needed to be responded to quickly and the current quorum rules prevent swift decision making. 

Sen. Daniel Bess ’24 introduced The Tribe Spirit Act, which allocates up to $2,500 from SA Reserves to be used for the purchasing of t-shirts that will be sold at Homecoming and Family Weekend. Director of Student Leadership Development Anne Arseneau ’89 MA.Ed ’92 said that the price of the shirts will likely be around $12.

Class of 2024 President Mia Tilman ’24 introduced The Subsidizing Sexual Health Resources Act. The act allocates up to $3,375 from SA reserves to continue previous subsidies of emergency contraception and pregnancy tests given by the Student Health Center. Specifically, the bill covers the cost of 75 pregnancy tests and subsidizes 200 emergency contraception (Levonorgestrel, or Plan B) doses, bringing down their cost to students from $20 to $5. 

Tilman noted the high use of such subsidies in the last year, with 93% of Plan B allocated funds being used in the last four months of the 2021-22 academic year. 

Swearing-In of New Senator 

Chair of the Review Board Clay Coleman ’23 swore-in Sen. Trinity Bea M.Ed towards the end of the meeting. Bea serves as the representative for the School of Education.

Also at this week’s meeting: 

  • Sen. Sean Nguyen ’25, Chair of the Finance Committee, announced that the committee had reduced the over $100,000 of requests for Quarter 1 funding to around $25,000 distributed funds to Registered Student Organizations through the OBAC process. 

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