This Week in Richmond

Posted: February 11, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

This weekly column, written by Thomas Hennessey, chief of staff to President Alan Merten, is published to keep the university community informed on the legislative situation in Richmond and how those developments directly affect George Mason.

As the House and Senate rush to complete the legislation presented by their members, more committees are finding that additional, unscheduled meetings are required to adequately consider all pending legislation. On a positive note, legislation that will no longer be considered during this session is one that would have required all schools to increase tuition for in-state, full-time undergraduate students who exceed by more than two semesters the time required to finish a four- or five-year degree program. Also, legislation that would have required that schools and colleges use only the “low bid” for food service as the criteria for selection has been withdrawn. Legislation that continues through both the House and the Senate provides for a faculty member to join the Board of Visitors. It is also encouraging to note that legislation exempting institutions of higher education from many bureaucratic construction and procurement procedures is still being considered.

George Mason students are planning to visit the General Assembly tomorrow. Visits to most members of the Northern Virginia delegation are now scheduled. These visits, particularly from students who are also constituents, make a big impression on delegates and senators. Student Government President Sarah Godlewski and Student Government Vice President Katie Hall were featured in a Feb. 8 Washington Post article on the new student advocacy group, Virginia21.

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