Meeting Minutes – 1/10/13

Dean Cosgrove Introduction and Comments

  • Dean Cosgrove expressed her support for SRB and her belief in the ability of the organization of our group to affect students’ quality of life.
  • Asked to be kept in the loop regarding rumors or concerns in the student body.
  • Wants to hear about student complaints; make sure it is on DOS radar.
  • Happy to use powers of persuasion to improve the student experience or act
  • Will at least explain why a concern can’t be remedied.
  • For concerns, email or
    • Meg handles events and funding, while Dean Cosgrove handles more of the concerns about student life.
    • Question regarding whether J-Term programming should be busier or less busy than the regular semester. DOS is open to comment on this issue.
    • Come by DOS office and get candy!


Faculty Lunches – Ben

  • Will plan a meeting with DOS to begin the lunches again.


Halfway Through Harvard Program

  • For 2Ls or LLMs to celebrate their halfway point.
  • Try not use too much budget – possibly a ticketed event
  • Tradition for SRB to take on.
  • Ideas
    • Half-price drinks, half of a cake, half balloons.
    • Slideshow of 2Ls – need to solicit pictures from 2Ls and LLMs.
    • Trivia about classmates
    • Question about whether there will be a similar celebration for leaving 3Ls or LLMs (in addition to graduation)
      • Jennifer noted that class marshals might be in charge of planning this with the graduation ball.
      • No objections to restarting Halfway Through Harvard or including LLMs in the celebration.
      • Possible date: Friday, Feb. 1 evening. (prefer for it to not be during J-Term)



Potential Future Programming

  • Financial issues:
    • Ended up under-budget at the last pub night
    • Future pub nights would be fun and cost-effective.
    • Did not get HL Central grant, but encouraged to reapply with more detail. Civic-mindedness/public interest encouraged.
    • Six Flags trip. If buses were provided, people could buy their own admission.
    • Field day: feats of minimal athletic prowess and food (“State Fair comes to Harvard,” Chili cook-off, pie-eating contest)
      • Possibly open the fair to local kids.
      • Partner with one of the mentoring programs at HLS? Or Boys and Girls Club/Big Brothers and Big Sisters?
      • Invite staff/faculty families?
      • Liability issues of having children on campus: needs to be discussed with the administration
      • Amanda will email administration to begin discussing.


Harvard Graduate School Council – Andrew

  • HLS has been asked to submit representatives, and has solicited applications from the student body.
  • Andrew has gone through the applications (6 total) and asked for an up-or-down vote.
  • Unanimous vote in favor of the following grad school council reps:
    • Angela Antony
    • Elizabeth
    • Nila Devanath
    • Andrew (for SRB representation on the council)


Meeting with Dean Minow and communication issues  – Lisa

  • Communication with students (specifically with incoming students)
    • Concern that information is not clearly communicated to incoming students
    • Task force to work with director of communications
    • Create a handout that goes to incoming students: where to look to find information (where events are published, etc.)
    • More traffic on the blog?
      • Put links or editorials on the Record?
      • Create an SRB Twitter?
      • Social media push: Blog publicized on Facebook?
      • Create a task force for communication to students.
        • Events
        • Where to go for student life things: how to reserve a room, etc.
        • Where the various halls and rooms are (since 1Ls are mostly restricted to WCC). Difficult to find Langdell South with published map, for example.
        • Suggestions box on blog, but also solicit sections and friends for concerns.
        • Look at what 1Ls get initially to avoid overwhelming amounts of information.
        • DOS does podcasts of what you need to be worried about, when for Transfers.
        • LLMs get a packet of information to look at but is hesitant to add to it.
        • Approved: creation of a small committee in conjunction of DOS to review pamphlets, etc. given to 1Ls.
          • Ben and 1L reps to review.
          • Email system complaints: no spam folder.



Hiring Decisions – Lisa

  • No student reps to be on the hiring committee.
  • Student concerns regarding gaps in faculty welcome, but often it is an issue of student awareness of professors’ specialties.


Public Interest at HLS

  • 2L group: Student Justice Union (~25 members): public interest-focused group interested in changing lack of public interest focus in curriculum. Ben will attend their meetings.
    • Coalition of leaders from different student groups.
    • Create more communication between student groups.
    • SRB can possibly collaborate with them? Will determine if our goals align.
    • Cultural change: pushing more of a public interest focus?
    • DOS: administration’s approach to this is the Law and Social Change program (outside of OPIA)
      • Can we strengthen this program?
      • Complaints about PSW:
        • Curriculum seems to be getting ready for a firm.
        • Prosecutor, government agency problems already exist: not firm work.
        • Possibly add an activist litigation problem?
        • People drawn into private sector work for reasons outside of the law school’s control: EIP hires before public interest. School can’t change the safety/security dynamic.
        • Aware of ongoing conversation and tension regarding institutional support being stronger for firms than public interest. Don’t want to discount those who want to work for firms, but think about how the institutional support for public interest could be addressed.
        • OPIA helps you get a job, but doesn’t necessarily tell you what the better public interest jobs are or what kind of grades are needed to get the jobs.
          • OPIA can make a list of jobs and requirements
          • Lisa will have a meeting with OPIA


Support for 1Ls

  • “Don’t freak out about grades” email? Would that be helpful or just cheesy?
    • Perhaps send a link to the Record so people can choose to read it or not.
    • Some claim that OCS is increasing stress about grades: suggested that 1L should be getting majority H’s for certain jobs.
    • Secretive curve stresses people out.
    • Certainty to know when grades are coming out might lessen stress.
    • Include general information about the grading system in the 1L information packet.



Cafeteria Complaints

  • Sandwich making area takes too long – 30 minutes. Make own sandwich or greater selection of pre-made sandwiches?
  • Only food that is quick is chicken tenders or soup –not healthiest.


Elective concerns

  • Some 1Ls got both of their first choices or both of their lowest choices; is there a way to balance this?


Meeting Attendance:

Emily Cusick, 1L – Section 1

Ben, 2L, Director of Academic Affairs

Jennifer, LLM, Treasurer

Elizabeth, Transfer Rep

Paul, Section 6

Charlotte, LLM

Amanda Mindlin, 2L, Social Director

Andrew London, Vice-President

Jason Sherman, 3L

David Dorfman, Section 4

Dina Guenther, Section 2

Tara, Section 7, Secretary

Lisa Lana, President

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