Student Government Weekly Announcements –10/8/2011

1)  Thanksgiving Dinner — Nominate Charities by Monday (10/10)

Every year, the HLS Student Government organizes a Charity Thanksgiving Dinner in Ropes Gray.  In 2010, over $6,000 was donated to aid flood relief in Pakistan through the International Rescue Committee, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.  In 2009, over $7,000 was donated to send care packages to service members in Iraq and Afghanistan through an organization called Any Soldier.  This year, we’re reaching out to you to nominate charities for the Thanksgiving Dinner.  The process will be as follows.
  • Students Nominate Charities by Monday (10/10) — Please nominate a charity by submitting a description (up to 1 page) by 11:59pm on Monday to
  • Student Government Narrows the List — The Student Government will vote on the nominated charities to determine 5 finalists.
  • Students Vote on Wednesday (10/12) — The student body will then vote on the 5 finalists to determine this year’s charity.

2)  Seeking Committee Members — Submit Applications for Committees by Wednesday (10/12)

The Student Government oversees the allocation of students to ten different committees.  
  • Administrative Board — Makes decisions about student disciplinary issues and exceptions to faculty and administrative rules.  Seeking one 1L.
  • Academic Task Force — Addresses issues with MyPlan, course registration, course evals, etc., and drafts concrete proposals for the Registrar’s office.
  • Student Funding Board — Allocates money to all student organizations and reviews adherence by student organizations to Student Funding Board rules during the year.
  • Harvard Graduate Council — Harvard-wide group of representatives from 12 graduate schools; creates campus-wide events and votes on policies.
  • Clinical and Pro Bono Committee — Contributes ideas and suggestions regarding curriculum development, new projects, etc., and assists with programming.
  • IT Committee — Works with faculty and administration to address tech-related issues, such as e-mail systems and websites.
  • Financial Services Committee — Advises the Financial Services Office about financial aid, LIPP, and SPIF.
  • Wellness Advisory Committee — Assists with “Living Well in the Law” initiatives to promote wellness on campus.
  • Library Outreach Team — Advises the Library on student needs, like making laptop chargers available for check-out.
  • Art Committee — Works with faculty and administration to make decisions about rotating art exhibits in the new WCC building.
Click here for more information and the application.  You can apply to more than one committee.  Please submit your application to no later than NOON on Wednesday, 10/12.  The Student Government will review the applications and make selections by Friday, 10/14.

3)  Halloween Dance — Save the Date: Saturday, 10/29

Student Government will be organizing the Halloween Dance this year.  More info is to come, but save the date!

  • When — Saturday, 10/29
  • Where — Sheraton Commander, Cambridge

4)  Student Government Meeting Highlights  — What We Discussed at Our 1st Meeting

One of our goals this year is to better communicate what goes on during our Student Government meetings.  See below for highlights from our meeting.

  • Student Organization Governance Bylaws
    • The Student Government voted to approve new bylaws governing the process and criteria by which Student Government manages the creation, maintenance, and dissolution of student organizations.
    • The new Bylaws are posted here.
    • Alex Horstmann, the Director of Student Organizations, will be reaching out to existing student organizations to communicate any impact the new bylaws will have on existing student organizations.


5)  DOS Meeting Highlights  — What We Discussed with the Dean of Students Office (DOS)

  • Problems with the Evening Taxi Service
    • Some students contacted Student Government about issues with the Evening Taxi Service.  Specifically:
      • students had to wait for the taxi to come to Lewis from Boston, which is where the taxi company is based; and
      • the dispatcher at the cab company did not know where Lewis is located and wasn’t familiar with the taxi voucher program.
    • DOS told us that the taxi company was selected because:
      • past experiences with Cambridge taxi companies have not been great; and
      • other Harvard grad schools (i.e. the Med School) reported satisfaction with the company.
    • DOS will contact the cab company to request that they educate their dispatchers and drivers about the Evening Taxi Service and the location of Lewis.  
  • Broken TVs in Hemenway
    • A student contacted Student Government about machines with nonfunctioning or malfunctioning TVs (e.g., they wouldn’t turn on; the sound is distorted; the volume cannot be changed).
    • We brought this up with DOS, and DOS told us that the Harvard Athletic Department has focused its budget on the big screens in Hemenway, because maintaining the individual TVs is very expensive.
    • DOS will bring this issue up with the Harvard Athletic Department, and we will let you know what we hear back.
  • Broken Coffee Machines
    • A student contacted Student Government about issues with the Flavia coffee machine in Lewis and on the 4th floor of Langdell Library.  The student suggested replacing the machines with machines that are better adapted to serve a high volume of students.
    • DOS is going to bring this issue up with Restaurant Associates, and we will let you know what we hear back.

6)  Representatives  —  Announcing 2L and Transfer Representatives

Due to an irreconcilable scheduling conflict between Student Government meetings and his classes this fall, Dave Joch has stepped down from his position as 2L Representative.  Pursuant to our Constitution, we have appointed Jonny Satz (who was recently elected the Transfer Representative) as 2L Representative and Andrew Roach (who was the runner-up in the Transfer Representative Election) as the Transfer Representative.

7)  The Hark —  Send Us Your Feedback

Last week, a student told us that the Hark often runs out of soy milk, which is frustrating for students who are vegan or allergic to dairy.  We contacted Restaurant Associates and are waiting to hear back from them.  In the meanwhile, please feel free to send us your feedback about the Hark.

8)  Student Government Office Hours —  Tuesday (10/11), 12pm – 1pm in the Hark

If you have any ideas or concerns, we’d love to hear from you!  Come talk to us during our office hours.
  • When — Tuesday (10/11) from 12pm – 1pm
  • Where — In the Hark
  • How to Find Us — We’ll have a Student Government sign.
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