SRB Elections 2013-2014: Candidate Statements

Dear HLS Students:

SRB Elections are coming up on April 9-13! Per the HLS SRB Constitution, your student representatives need to get at least 5% of you to vote for them even if they are running unopposed, so please don’t forget to vote! The candidates for the following positions are:

President/Vice President: Lisa Lana/Andrew London

Director of Student Organizations: Dahoud Askar

3L Representatives (4 spots): Amanda Mindlin

2L Representatives (4 spots): David Dorfman; Paul Suitter

Check out their candidate statements below!

Lisa Lana and Andrew London

Friends and Classmates,

In October, we asked you to trust us to advocate for you as President and Vice President of the new Student Representative Board. With your support, we took on the challenge of managing a newly minted organization. We continue to appreciate the opportunity, and we are running for re-election to finish what we started.

Our initial platform was based on two overarching themes: (1) law school can and should be fun, and (2) the HLS community deserves leadership that is transparent, supportive, and ready to advocate for the student body. We remain committed to this vision.

At the time, we offered three specific proposals; five months later we can proudly say that we’ve either accomplished or made significant progress toward each of these:

  •   $500 per year for your section during 2L and 3L. We secured funding for these section reunions.
  •   Connections between graduate schools and degree programs. We brought back the “Halfway Through Harvard” party and involved LLMs in this event for the first time, and we ensured that HLS was represented in the Harvard Graduate School Council after a significant absence.
  •   Improve the flow of information to students. We sent weekly email updates and advocated with the administration for more efficient communication. We are currently overseeing a review of all materials distributed to incoming 1Ls with plans to streamline this process.

    In addition to establishing the SRB as a respected advocacy organization and following-through with our goals, we have also:

  •   Increased afternoon hours and food options in the pub servery;
  •   Extended the coffee bar hours on Friday afternoons;
  •   Reinvigorated the student-faculty lunch series;
  •   Obtained laptop locks for use in the library;
  •   Responded directly to issues you brought to our attention, including timeliness of the taxi service, ineffective microwaves, complications with reserving rooms, availability of printers, and post-graduation health insurance;
  •   Released our spending information to the student body.

    We remain dedicated to making law school fun, and providing you with the responsive and transparent leadership you deserve. In that spirit, our goals for next year will be guided largely by responses to the recent student survey, and your individual feedback. However, some advocacy initiatives we would like to continue working on include:

     Lengthening the add-drop period;
     Improving the course evaluation system;
     Serving as a liaison and promoting collaboration between student groups;  Advocating for a women’s event at 1L Orientation;
     Advocating for a higher percentage of women and minority faculty;

 Better integrating public interest opportunities into the HLS culture.

We are running again because we care deeply about student life at HLS and have worked tirelessly to build the experience and relationships necessary to become the most effective advocates for your concerns. Above all, we are committed to ensuring that HLS is not an impersonal, nonresponsive institution, but rather a vibrant community of extraordinary people.

We need your vote – Help Us Finish What We Started, Lisa Lana and Andrew London

Dahoud Askar

J.D. Candidate 2015

Director of Student Organizations

The Student Representative Board can facilitate meaningful discussion between the student body and the administration, it can do a lot of important work and I want to be a part of that. I believe that the student organizations can be helpful in identifying specific issues at Harvard that require attention. They represent a phenomenally diverse student body and it would be a pleasure and a privilege to work with them.

I am a first year student and I’ve been especially lucky in this first year. I’ve had the opportunity to meet so many amazing people this year and it has truly been a humbling experience. It would be an honor to serve as your Director of Student Organizations.

Thank You,

Dahoud Askar

Amanda Mindlin

Hi almost 3Ls! My name is Amanda Mindlin, and I really enjoyed being your 2L Rep and Event Coordinator last year.  I think the group that comprised SRB last year did a fantastic job of reforming the organization and we learned a lot in the process. I hope you allow us to continue! As for what I accomplished personally, I believe I managed to squeeze as many drink tickets as possible out of our budget at all of our events, and invented new “holidays” like Halfway Through Harvard. I also tried my hardest to bring my friends’ and classmates’ concerns and complaints to the table at SRB meetings.

Thank you for your consideration and I hope to have your vote!

Amanda Mindlin

David Dorfman

FADE IN

INT. CRIMSON NEWSROOM – DAY

An eager young reporter reads straight into the camera.

NEWSCASTER

In other news, David Dorfman, wanted for stealing

Dean Minow’s salad, was captured today outside

of Austin. Previously convicted of attempting to

organize section reunions during 2L year, assaulting

 Helios during the registration process, and abetting

 an attempt to facilitate intra-Harvard events, David

is being held at Wasserstein Correctional Complex.

INT. COURTROOM – DAY

A traumatized law student, DAVID DORFMAN, weeps from the stand.

PROSECUTOR

Why ‘d you do it? You had so much promise.

DAVID

I was hungry!

PROSECUTOR

That’s your excuse? Why didn’t you go to the Hark?

DAVID

(sobbing)

It was a Friday afternoon. The Hark wasn’t open!

The courtroom lets out a collective gasp. The jury nods in sympathy.

FOREMAN

In light of these mitigating circumstances, we think

serving another year as an SRB representative is the

appropriate sentence.

Do you agree with the jury’s verdict? If you do, I’d appreciate your support. As Section Four’s SRB Rep this past year, I’ve worked hard to make sure our voices were heard by the administration. If you agree that 1) 1L sections should receive additional funding to host reunions during 2L year, 2) the course registration process is needlessly complicated, 3) HLS is too insular, and 4) the time is now for Hark reform, then get out there and Dorf the Vote!  Thanks!

Paul Suitter

Hello,

My name is Paul Suitter. I am currently a 1L in Section 6, and excited to run for a 2L position on next year’s Student Representative Board. I’ve really enjoyed serving the SRB this year, working with students across 1L sections and graduation years on issues that are important to our fellow students. With the experience gained this year, I’m ready to jump in and hit the ground running on a number of issues this fall. I love talking to my classmates, and I’m always happy to bring their concerns to the table at SRB meetings.

Some specific things that I intend to do next year:

1.)  Assure access to Tivli is brought back to campus.

2.)  Increase communication between the SRB and student body, both in terms of what the SRB does, but also in relaying information from the administration to the study body.

3.)  Expand and improve upon programs available to 2Ls sponsored by the SRB such as “Halfway through Harvard” events and section reunions.

4.)  Work on small—but concrete—issues that can really improve student life. (For example: getting enough microwaves in the Hark that are powerful enough to cook a meal quickly.)

5.)  Work to establish a community-wide social event or competition in the spring.

6.)  Continue and expand professor lunches started by the SRB this year.

7.)  Relay any concerns of classmates as they come up.

Thank you, and I hope to have your vote for the SRB in the fall.

-Paul

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