SRB minutes – April 10, 2013
Lisa opens the meeting with a review.
Facilities have agreed to opening the upstairs seminar room.
We are giving naming rights to the DOS Candy Bowl and a honorary spot at the next
We have money to one more pub night and a BBQ. The BBQ would take up the rest
of the budget. DOS agreed to do more massage chairs without our funding.
Spring BBQ – Friday, April 26
- Vote on spending the remainder on one pub night and a BBQ. BBQ to be scheduled on the last day of class. Passed Unanimously.
- Use rest of budget to have field day activities
- Where to hold the BBQ. Either on the second floor or Jarvis field.
- Jen: Discussing that RA was expensive for the LLM BBQ.
- Lisa: Depending on how much we buy we will have money for food and alcohol. We are skeptical if RA will give us a good deal. Other option is a food truck. Each food truck is $2,500. Or RedBones or someone else could cater.
- Have on field so that we can do field day activities
- LLMs: Rain Day back-up: reserve Fireside Lounge
- Vote to have spring bbq on field: unanimous
- Number of people: assume 500
- Beach Balls
- Balloons from Halfway Through Harvard party?
- Earth Day: April 22 – have something in conjunction?
- Make event compostable?
- Email Amanda with specific ideas
Patriot’s Day: Andrew
- Monday, April 15
- HLS is the only Boston law school that does not have this day off (celebrating battles of Lexington and Concord)
- Many students come to HLS and leave HLS without a connection to MA
- Going downtown on Patriot’s Day is a great experience and allows students to engage in a local tradition
- Boston Marathon in the morning, Red Sox play at 11am
- 11:30-1:30, free beer and MA food, photo booth
- Hot dog cart, Fenway frank, beer, cookies
- Raffle giveaway
- Volunteers for SRB to pass out food? Meet in lounge before 11:30am (10:30 for set-up)
- Lisa, Andrew, Valerie, Jennifer, Tara, Afton
Divest Harvard: Ben
- Referendum to Student Body
- Undergrads have voted 73% to divest Harvard from top 200 fossil fuel companies.
- Take investments in fossil fuel companies out over a set period of time (i.e., 5 years). Financial cost to university: approximately 0.5% of annual earnings.
- Estimated total: $ 30-100 million
- Running out of time to cut back on emissions
- Use the university as a platform to raise our voices and pressure the government to act on climate change
- Propose another survey to act on this question. Requires majority vote to send survey, could see what results are.
- Unbiased literature that SRB could distribute with this question?
- Andrew: could publish a short statement by a proponent and one by an opponent.
- Jennifer: was any material put out to undergraduates? Ben: no material put out to college, straight up-or-down vote.
- Andrew: might be pushed by a vocal, organized minority, but will opposition be able to organize? Give the other side the opportunity to organize and formulate a response. Advocating a greener HLS is in our purview, but asking for a referendum requires a greater commitment to neutrality.
- Emily: graduate school council may be better situated to run this referendum.
- Ben: individual graduate schools’ student governments are more organized and better able to administer the referendum.
- Next steps:
- Ben will track down the language of the undergrad referendum
- Ben and Emily will put together Pro-Con paragraphs explaining the initiative
- Andrew: SRB constitution requires petition supporting referendum
- Ben: can administer by calling a “survey” instead of “referendum” to avoid §3(c) requirements of 150 signatures on a petition
- David Husband: if student body petitions with signatures, referendum as administered will be exactly as petitioned (no explanatory language or Pro-Con paragraphs)
- Ben: easier to get 150 signatures and do a simple up-or-down vote
- Tara: Pro-Con explanatory language will be a more accurate reflection of the student body’s opinions
- Lisa: SRB Constitution does not prevent providing additional information with the referendum
- Email to student body: Pro-Con paragraphs, link to survey as it appears on the petition.
- Andrew: stronger to provide pro-con language before getting student vote, and still likely to get overwhelming approval.
- Ben: if we can get signatures this week, hold the vote April 22?
- Lisa: will hold emergency SRB vote next week re: referendum
- Disapproval of Ben soliciting signatures given his position? No disapproval from members.
Lisa: Open Letter to Dean Minow re: female faculty (Andrew, Lisa, and Ben have been working on this)
- One question in student survey was about advocacy issues to the administration; issue of female faculty was marked a lot
- Shatter the Ceiling initiative/ Wall Street Journal article over the weekend accusing HLS of letting in substandard female applicants
- Don’t want SRB letter to seem responsive to negative press
- Valerie: Crimson reporter has contacted her re: women leaders in student orgs and opportunities for leadership at HLS
- Related to Shatter: don’t want to hamper or push for it.
- Andrew: elected as an individual, can make comments on the issue under your own name
- Lisa: do not use SRB name or data, but can comment about how we have surveyed this information and are looking at the results.
- Lisa: read the letter [see below]
- David Husband: timing concerns. It will be seen as an endorsement as Shatter’s agenda (an affinity group’s particular goal). Will be linked by WSJ writer.
- Lisa: want this to be a collaborative effort between groups, may take a couple of weeks to be approved. (WLA, racial and ethnic groups).
- David Husband: expand the message to include intellectual diversity?
- Lisa: all in favor of a letter to the administration at all right now?
- David Dorfman: not sure if he opposes, but timing is bad: either all the force is masked by Shatter, or you are against it. Actually, supports the letter, but thinks that timing is bad.
- Lisa: timing might be good at the end of the year to get momentum for fall.
- David Husband: including intellectual diversity will help distinguish us from WLA/Shatter.
- Valerie: timing is probably fine because by the time we get signatures (two weeks?) and language changes the WSJ article will have blown over.
- Lisa: prefer to wait until the fall?
- David Dorfman, Emily Cusick, Ben Apple, David Husband think waiting is better
- Andrew/Ben: effects will not be immediate
- Lisa: signaling ready to have a conversation, starting a dialogue about this issue generally
- Lisa: survey support
- Hiring women/minority faculty got highest level of support
- More faculty with practice experience second level
- More intellectual diversity came in third.
- Afton: more of a voice in hiring decisions?
- Amanda: want more women on faculty specifically.
- Most vocal have been women and minority, but intellectual diversity conference was last week; subject of national attention.
- Lisa: propose including intellectual diversity, or making “diversity” generally.
- Afton: gender and minority diversity add intellectual diversity
- David Husband: conservative white men and women are underrepresented, as are minorities
- Student voice on hiring?
- David Dorfman: diversity = awesome. Discussion going to be consumed by publicity.
- Lisa: table issue and include specific survey results in new language and include
- Lisa: table until fall and include specific language incorporating survey results in the letter
- Amanda, Lisa, Andrew, Emily, David Husband, Ben Apple, David Dorfman, Jennifer support waiting until the fall.
- Valerie, Afton, Charlotte, Tara support pushing letter now
- Charlotte: Trapenhagen Distinguished Fellows all men this year; perhaps we can address this issue.
Section Reunions: Jennifer Chen
- 2L Section 5 has not sought budget, but all others have.
Student Funding Board: Valerie
- Most organizations got funding cuts
- Less funding because some organizations became SPOs and took their budgets with them, so there was less money available for student organizations overall.
- SRB does not handle student funding; direct complaints to SFB or DOS
- Difficult to compare organizations in the goal of achieving transparency in funding
- Will submit a Constitutional amendment in the fall
- Will have conversations with various student organizations regarding how to make the process better and more open.
Closing – Lisa
- Last meeting
- We are well on our way to becoming a fully legitimate organization.
- Request for suggestions and ideas for the board for next year.
Elections – Lisa
- There will be another election for unfilled positions in the fall