Meeting Minutes, 2/19/14


In Attendance:
Lisa Lana, Andrew London, Alison Sher, David Dorfman, Paul Suitter, Jean Park, Michael Brandon,  Mengqi Zhang, Barom Yang, Thomas Boyd,  Lakeisha Williams, Mustafa, Abdul-Jabbar, Alejandro Montt

Issues Discussed:

  • Vote on Proposed Constitutional Language Regarding Formation and Funding of Student Orgs


  • Andrew: Discussion of Section 8 &9 – edited because a couple sections didn’t work well in practice.

i.      Framework of section 8 is similar to old constitution we just added probationary student organizations.  Were not trying to change and overhaul the process just wanted the process reflected in the language of the constitution

ii.      Section 9 was completely blank before so we filled it in.  Funding will now be more transparent and public upon approval by the SRB.

iii.      Everyone received this by email – today’s version has two minor changes based on meeting with student group orgs.  We proposed that every group have Pres. VP & Director of even because of DOS had too many different people were talking to DOS so information was lost.  Changed this that a Pres or Treasurer have to sign off on using of funds before it can be spent.

  • Lisa: This is to stream line it so that treasurer knows what money is in the fund for the org at all time instead of people being able to just go and get reimbursed
  • Andrew: I am sending out know a quick sheet that highlights the above changes.  Dahoud, Valeria and I drafted this so we can talk about our thoughts behind this.  We have gone back and forth on this a lot. We have gone through the student org approval process twice now and so this reflects what has worked well
  • Lisa: Transparency issue was a big one.  We feel strongly about that so that policy is more in line with what our values are at the SRB.  This could be a some pushback from groups who don’t want their funding amount made public
  • Andrew: Part of original constitution was a tiered system of student groups, but this was never implemented

i.      Once you are an approved group you can apply for funds.  What the current constitution and changes reflect is that it will be easier for groups to get started, they will get a base amount of funds, and once they have two semesters proving that there is vitality to what they are doing they can apply to be a full student org and get a larger amount of funding

ii.      On the opposite end, if there is a student org that disappears there is a new procedure to evaluate student groups on a yearly basis.  If a group has a lull, this group will be removed from the student group pool until someone wants to reactivate it.  If a group isn’t active after several semesters there is now a way to dissolve those groups.

  • Tom: two questions: when it refers to Pres and VP is this the SRB? Yes it is. What is prospective?
  • Andrew: this means before you have applied for anything, it is a way to describe groups before they are recognized.
  • Tom: what does it mean to demonstrate an organizational structure?
  • Andrew: way we think of it is Pres, VP at least 10 members and some activity.  This is the minimum and if the SRB wants to pass bylaws to create more of a structure then we can do that.
  • Lisa: this could vary amongst organizations and it depends on what the orgs will be so we didn’t want to be too specific
  • Andrew: There is also a continued statement of existence, this can be short, but it will be something that each group demonstrates their members.

Student Funding Board

  • Lisa: Funding part was what was fully filled into the new constitution

i.      A lot is building on what has been current practice plus changes based on what we have seen

  • Andrew: In past – director of student orgs has been chair of SFB (Student financial board). We wanted to formalize to make clear who should be on the SFB  and make it clear to DOS who they should choose – one member from previous year should be on the board so there is some continuity and someone who has institutional understanding.

i.      Voting will pass with 5-2 so have over majority and eliminates 1 person from blocking it

ii.      SRB’s involvement is because we represent the student body and we want to facilitate transparency.

iii.      Big difference is SFB is selected much earlier int eh year and connect each student with a member of the SFB in an advisory role.  In past- no one knew what SFB was looking for and there was no collaboration.  Want groups to be able to ask if we have an event this year how will this affect funding next year

  • Lisa: this helps with some of the ambiguity Andrew was talking about.  There are so many different factors that determine if someone gets funding so it is better this way if they have an understanding as to what goes into a group’s funding
  • Andrew: Provisional orgs would be flat funded, which is how new orgs are funded anyways, and then the rest would get a pro rata share of the rest of the funding.
  • Lisa: Any questions about the funding?
  • Mustafa: Other 1Ls have expressed difficulty in figuring out how to get info about this process of being a new org.
  • Lisa: this is on the DOS website and we are reworking the website now.  There will be a quicklink now to this info as well.  Application is there.
  • Andrew: we had 12 new applications this year
  • Lisa: It hasn’t been on our website in the past but it will be in the future
  • David: this is voting up or down?
  • Andrew: we can vote on minor amendments now
  • Lisa: this also has to be voted on by the student body, but we are open to changes
  • David: What do you think about expanding the number of actors that need to ratify dissolving a probationary organization.  Right now it just says DSO, Pres and VP.  What about submitting that to the whole SRB
  • Andrew: I don’t have a problem for dissolution cause that would be rare, but I wouldn’t want to change that for creation because it is such a large time process.
  • Lisa: just want to clarify where this is –
  • David: it is section 4 para 3 –
  • Lisa: I think this is a good idea
  • David: I think it should be 75% of SRB votes for this because we are taking away an org
  • Lisa: what should the vote be, it should be more than half. 2/3rds?
  • General consensus is 2/3rds vote for the board
  • Lisa: We will change that for full dissolution for an organization.
  • Lisa: Any other suggestions?
  • Mustafa: To tom’s point, do we want to define VP, Pres as this pertains to Pres of SRB. Just so it is clear that this pertains to SRB.  We can just put a definition of terms in this
  • Lisa: that is a good suggestion since this is being sent out with just these sections.  In other parts of the constitution it defines these terms.
  • Lisa: we can put this in the email for this because the terms are already defined in the other sections of the constitution
  • David: section 9  para 3 – no current pres, vp will serve on SFB  – the fear is we don’t want someone favoring their org, but on the other hand maybe we want someone who has experience with funds on the SFB.  Maybe we can force them to recuse themselves from their organization
  • Lisa: I feel strongly about current members not being on the SFB, I feel less strongly about former but I would still have issues about someone favoring their org.  I am not sure how recusal would work
  • Jean: Section 9 “everyone gets a member of the SFB to get guidance on. ” how many student orgs are there?
  • Lisa: that is the problem we don’t know how many are active.
  • Andrew: I can find who got funding last year, last year 58 would be funded
  • Jean: Questions is if each SFB would have 7 + people to give guidance to ,would that be too much?
  • Lisa/Andrew: likely this wont be too much b/c the groups may not want that much guidance.  We don’t anticipate this being extensive advice so that it is too much of a burden


  • Andrew: voting to dissolve a provision group- anyone have concerns over this?
  • David: I have less of an issue here over who is voting
  • Lisa: lets do both if it is provisional or dissolving they SRB will have to be approved
  • Toms: are there dates for these requirements?
  • Lisa: That would be in their application
  • David: did anyone define meaningful activity
  • Lisa: That would vary based on the group’s bylaws
  • Lakeisha: will the groups get notification that we are voting to dissolve them?
  • Lisa/Andrew: That would be in the bylaws.  This is really intended for groups doing nothing – they have no leadership appointed etc.


  • Voting:

i.      In favor for amendment to proposed language to full vote of SRB for dissolving

  1. All in attendance + Dahoud

ii.      In favor of proposed Constitution

  1. All in attendance
  • Lisa: we will do a student body vote for constitution amendments and we will work with DOS to get this done.
  • Lisa: student funding board will try and follow these procedures so we need to put together board – first meeting in April.  This will require 3 nights to meet.  I will put out a call for applications to this.
  • Andrew: it is kind of tedious but it is a really valued things.  DOS brings good food.

Update on Message Me


  • Lisa: did not get a satisfactory answer. Dean Cosgrove did bring this to the wider community and they got a response that this wasn’t feasible.
    • Time to move forward with an open letter.  Right now it is an opt in system and we want every student to get these.
    • Went to Harvard Grad Council meeting and advocacy group has agreed to take it on.  One school said they require students to opt in when they register for classes. But 1Ls don’t have to register
  • Paul: we do have to update our contact info in Helios
  • Lisa: they have everyone’s email – a Harvard issued one so this could be used
  • Lakeisha: when you accept offer of admission you sign a form so could use that information
  • Paul: could they reach out to other schools
  • Lisa: it is Harvard’s University Policy

Update on Exam Feedback


  • Lisa: initiative on feedback on exams and how people are doing on exams.  Brought up with Dean Cosgrove and Prof. Hanson.  He thinks this is a great idea but he is one who is the problem b/c he doesn’t mark up exams.
    • Might make more sense for mark ups for a more doctrinal class
    • Short answer is there is a living well in the law committee and they have discussed this and are willing to look at this.  They think it might be an uphill battle and it might not be quiet as simple as saying we are not creating more work
    • Dean of Faculty will come to our meeting with DOS to talk about this, but it could be awhile

SRB Elections


  • Andrew: we need an elections committee and we will have elections, we need to pick a date.
  • Lisa: has to be done before exams, need committee to put together bylaws for election period
  • Andrew/Lisa: if you want to run for anything you can’t run for anything.
  • Lisa: committee will be 3 SRB members and 2 nonofficers

Website Bios


  • Lisa: one of the final things we need are picture and fun fact

Faculty Lunches

  • Lisa: faculty lunches are this week – they filled up with in minutes, we tried a lottery system but DOS couldn’t make it happen. Any feedback on this?
  • Paul: couple people we excited that they were happening
  • Ali: when is the next set?
  • Lisa: March 10 1-4 so we need professors to do it.  Please go out and ask professors. Spreadsheet is in your email. Afton is updating the spreadsheet as she gets emails

HLS Gear


  • Lisa: this Friday is the last day to buy HLS gear.  It is a good price and quality
  • Jean: I have a question about pickup
  • Lisa: they will ship ours here and SRB will be tabling once we know when they arrive to pass them out.  DOS has agreed to handle the stragglers.
  • Jean: yea it wasn’t changed
  • Lisa: I will follow up on that
  1. Other advocacy issues?


  • Ben: Is there another hot water dispensers?
  • Paul: there is one in the student org center in Langdell.
  • Jean: There is hot water in the Clinic
  • David: speaking of the Hark – I have been dealing with them.  Trying to schedule with the Hark now.  Also, working on Hemingway hours.
  • Paul: can we put wireless into Hemingway as well?
  • Andrew: best way to move the administration is face to face interaction and trying to find out who are the people at the top.
  • David: I spoke with DOS’s contact at Hemingway.  I am going to try and meet with him.
  • Lakeisha: there was a student very passionate about grapes.  They no longer sell them
  • Andrew: but they do sell white chocolate macadamia nut cranberry cookies
  • Lisa: David also touch base with Jeff McNaught about the Hark
  • Jean: anything we can do about food theft in dorms? It is really bad and it just seems to rotate who is stealing.
  • Paul: we talk about this at every RA meeting
  • Lisa: let me look into that.


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