Three student senators resign for Spring 2024, citing commitments

Former Sens. Jiexi Lin '26, Quinn Girasek MS and Ashlynn Parker '26. PEERAWUT RUANGSAWASDI AND DANIEL KALISH // THE FLAT HAT

Tuesday, Jan. 16, Chair of the Senate of the College of William and Mary’s Student Assembly Senate Justin Bailey ’24 announced the resignations of Virginia Institute of Marine Science former Sen. Quinn Girasek M.S. and former Sen. Ashlynn Parker ’26 in an email to the Senate, citing upcoming academic commitments as the reason for their departures.

The resignations follow that of former Sen. Jiexi Lin ’26, who had resigned from her position for the Spring 2024 semester following her acceptance of an internship in Washington, D.C.

“We thank them both for all of their hard work, dedication, and contributions to Student Assembly and wish them all the best in their future endeavors,” Bailey wrote in the email.

Girasek, the first representative from VIMS, joined the Senate in September 2023. She, along with Parker and Lin, are a part of 14 out of 27 senators who did not cast a ‘No’ vote during the entire Fall 2023 semester. 

Among her final pieces of legislation, Parker, in a joint effort with Class President Zoe Wang ’26, sponsored The Sexual Violence Tertiary Prevention Act. The bill, supported by SA Secretary of Health and Safety Terra Sloane ’25 and Director of The Haven Liz Cascone, allocated $800 for promotional materials for Project Callisto.

“Callisto Vault was developed as a direct response to the fact that over 90% of college sexual assaults are committed by serial perpetrators, who offend an average 6 times before they graduate,” Parker wrote in an email to The Flat Hat, providing a description of the project that she received from Callisto. “It is a suite of tools designed to help survivors navigate barriers and define their own pathways toward healing and justice. Within Callisto Vault, survivors can access two tools: the Matching System and Incident Log.”

Her final bill, The Subsidizing Bike Rentals Act, provided $2,500 to subsidize the costs of 25 semester-long bike rentals at the Student Health Center. 

Lin sponsored one bill in the 331st session of the Senate — The T-Shirt Purchasing Act Part II, which she sponsored with Sen. Spencer Krivo ’26. The bill spent $3,650 for the purchasing of 280 homecoming shirts.

2023 Homecoming T-Shirt design. COURTESY PHOTO / STUDENT ASSEMBLY

She was also listed as a co-sponsor for The Art and Hatsuye Ball Act, which provided $17,860 to support the costs of the Art and Hatsuye Ball that will be held in the Alan B. Miller Hall on Saturday, Mar. 23.

Girasek did not sponsor any bills.

Wang will appoint replacements for the vacancies Parker and Lin created. She announced that she was accepting applications for Lin’s replacement on Sunday, Dec. 21, 2023.

“My personal pitch to be a Senator is that you can truly make a difference on campus,” Wang wrote in a follow-up email sent to Class of 2026 students on Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2024. “It has been so incredibly fulfilling to serve as your Class President, and I’m sure my fellow 2026 Senators can say the same. By being a Senator, you have the power to allocate significant amounts of money through sponsoring bills to host campus-wide events, purchase items that would enhance student experiences, and use your position as a way to amplify the voices of your peers to school administrators.”

She also highlighted that a student does not need to be a certain major to apply.

“You don’t have to be a certain major or have experience in student government – no matter your background, if you are interested in making a difference on campus (and you don’t have to know what that difference would be),” Wang added. “I would highly encourage you to apply!”

According to the Student Assembly Constitution, the Graduate Council will name Girasek’s successor. Girasek declined a request for comment. Unlike undergraduate vacancies, the VIMS vacancy does not have to be filled in 14 days.

Parker said she hopes to still be involved in SA.

“I am sad to step down as a Class of 2026 Senator,” Parker wrote in an email to The Flat Hat. “Unfortunately, my class schedule conflicted with Senate meetings, and I felt as though I would not be able to give my full attention to the role and best serve the student body. I still intend to stay involved in Student Assembly and monitor the progress of bills I have passed and was working on. I look forward to serving the Class of 2026 in the future.”

Girasek declined a request for comment, while Lin did not respond to one by the time of publication.


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