SA introduces Second Annual Sankofa Legacy Festival Act and discusses new initiative ideas, Media Council

Sen. Sean Nguyen '25 gives a presentation to Student Assembly about the Media Council budget at the SA meeting. // DANIEL KALISH

Tuesday, Oct. 18, the Student Assembly of the College of William & Mary introduced one bill and heard a presentation on the Media Council from Sen. Sean Nguyen ’25. 

Initiative Ideas 

Due to the relatively light agenda, Chair of the Senate Eugene Lee ’23 allocated time during the meeting for senators to discuss initiative ideas.

Sen. Mia Tilman ’24 suggested a Taylor Swift night for students to relax while enjoying the artist’s music. 

“We would purchase a Taylor Swift music license, we could deck out Tidewater…I think it would be a lot of fun, especially around finals when everyone’s stressed,” Tilman said. “…Tell me if you’re stressed about finals singing “All Too Well” ten minute version, would that not heal you? It would for me.”. 

Sen. Spencer Krivo ’26 shared concerns from Class of 2026 senators about a lack of speed bumps in specific areas on campus, using the triangular patch next to the Botetourt Complex where a friend had fallen victim to a hit and run as an example. 

New Business

Sen. Shaunna Scott ’24 introduced the Second Annual Sankofa Legacy Festival Act that allocates $4,350 for the second iteration of the Sankofa Gala. The allocation includes funds for a live band performance for the event that will be held at the Sunken Garden in late November or early December. 

“In case you don’t know what it is, it’s an event to celebrate Black members of the William & Mary community, it showcases the Sankofa bird which symbolizes looking at the past in order to move forward to the future,” Scott said. 

While the Culture Pageant Act, also sponsored by Scott, was introduced last week, it stayed in New Business this week and was not voted on as senate committees did not meet to discuss it over the weekend due to Fall Break.

Special Business 

Nguyen gave a presentation to SA about the Media Council which is the funding and supervisory body for all member W&M student publications including organizations such as the Flat Hat, WCWM and the Botetourt Squat. 

“SA, largely respecting the First Amendment rights of William & Mary students, provides funding for the Media Council, and so they act as a purely autonomous body in which we give them allocated funds and they act in how they choose to distribute those funds,” Nguyen said. 

Nguyen announced that SA had allocated $135,000 to the Media Council for Fiscal Year 2023, down from $164,529 in Fiscal Year 2022. The Media Council also used up $55,000 in its reserves in FY 2022, leaving them empty this year. Undergraduate student organizations were allocated $96,150 last year but only spent $71,882.23. 

Also at this week’s meeting:

  • SA President John Cho ’23 reminded SA about the City Council Public Forum occurring in the Commonwealth Auditorium in the Sadler Center on Wednesday, Oct. 19. At another point in the meeting, Lee encouraged senators to attend.


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