SRB Election 2014-2015 – Candidates

SRB Elections are coming up April 13-17 and the Election Committee is proud to announce the candidates for SRB for 2014-2015. 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. The candidates for the following positions are:
President/Vice President: Ali Sher/David Smith; David Dorfman/Mustafa Abdul-Jabbar

Director of Student Organizations: Kyle Strickland

3L Representatives (4 spots): N/A

2L Representatives (4 spots): Thomas Boyd; Tyler Vigen

Check out their candidate statements below!

Good luck to all of the candidates!

Best,
Rebecca Gauthier on behalf of the Election Committee

Ali Sher and David Smith (President and Vice President)

HLS Community:

Hi, my name is Ali Sher (2L) and I am running for President of the SRB.  This past year, I joined a number of organizations on campus and I served as Transfer Representative and Secretary of the SRB.   As secretary, I had the pleasure of working closely with SRB’s current President and VP.  That experience, coupled with my past involvement in many extracurriculars, gave me an understanding of the commitment required to run a successful organization.   This year, I helped plan many of the activities the SRB facilitated from the Thanksgiving Dinner, to Halfway through Harvard and the upcoming Patriots day celebration.    I am confident that my work ethic, passion and dedication to this organization make me the person you can trust to lead SRB.

My running mate is David Smith (1L).  David came into HLS and was selected by his peers to be the 1L Representative from section 7. David is passionate about making the Harvard experience more responsive to the interests of the student body. He believes, like I do, that at the greatest law school in the country, there should be a culture that facilitates change, responsive to the vision and ingenuity of the students.  With a background filled with taking on roles of service through leadership, in both college and extracurriculars, I think David will make an ideal candidate for Vice President.

Our Vision for Next Year:

This year we saw the SRB expand its role in the HLS community and we want to continue this growth.  Our goals are twofold; we want to expand SRB’s advocacy efforts and to continue SRB’s role in building a fun and strong HLS community.

Advocacy:

  • Consistent solicitation of student input to improve campus life and ensure that our advocacy efforts reflect student concerns;
  • Greater publication of meeting times so students have a forum to voice concerns;
  • Push for online course reviews and updating the website to make it more user friendly;
  • Continue pushing for greater diversity in the HLS faculty.

Building Community:

In keeping with SRB’s mission to promote community across the law school, it is our hope to act as an umbrella organization for the student orgs on campus. In addition, we hope to:

  • Support incoming 1L’s through professor-run panels covering topics like how to take notes, brief a case, and outline;
  • Facilitate student organizations working together by helping to co-sponsor events focused around advocacy;
  • Develop community service initiatives, like an HLS sponsored water station during Marathon Monday;
  • Update SRB mass emails to more effectively communicate with the student body;
  • Continue expanding many of the events planned this year like: section reunions, Halfway through Harvard, student-faculty lunches, and the annual Thanksgiving dinner.

As you can tell, we believe our organization’s goal is to support the student body and we want to continue doing so next year.

We hope to receive your vote for President and Vice President.

Ali Sher & David Smith

David Dorfman and Mustafa Abdul-Jabbar (President and Vice President)

President: David Dorfman, Current SRB Director of Student Affairs and 2L Representative
Vice President: Mustafa Abdul-Jabbar, Current 1L Representative and Harvard Graduate Council
Representative
We’re running for President and Vice President because we have a vision for a new SRB. It is our
belief that the HLS community needs leadership that will do more than just listen. Instead, we deserve
leaders who will also take action.
David has served on the SRB for two years now, this year as Director of Student Affairs and a 2L
Representative and last year as a 1L Representative. Mustafa, a current 1L Representative and Harvard
Graduate Council member, holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership and has a long track record of
fighting for student causes. Together, we’re proud of the work we’ve done in establishing the SRB as
an effective advocacy organization. But the time has come for the SRB to step up its game. There’s
been enough talk. Unless the SRB begins to achieve real results, what’s the point of having a student
government in the first place?

We see the SRB as having two distinct roles: getting results and building community.

1. Getting Results
The SRB shouldn’t limit itself to exclusively pressing for minor changes (like whether to amend our
organization’s own Constitution). We need to think bigger and press for cross-registration reform,
increased administration transparency, and easier access to completed exams. With regards to exams,
how is it that a learning institution such as HLS does not automatically provide students with copies of
their graded work, especially when the technology to do this is so readily available?
Needless to say, we also stand for a Hark that is open on Friday afternoons and a repainted Pub. And
of course, we will always listen to your suggestions and fight to make them realities as well!

2. Building Community
The SRB should aggressively expand its roster of events. The SRB has a $15,000 budget, only a
fraction of which is currently used. If there’s one thing we all can agree on, it’s that free drinks and
food are a good thing, and we’re prepared to provide that. Likewise, many have complained about the
limited capacity of the Professor Lunch program, and we want to substantially expand this initiative.
We will also continue the SRB’s tradition of connecting students and administrators. To this point, we
propose a weekly SRB office hours during which any student can come to us and voice their concerns,
as well as expanded polling on major issues.
———————————————————————————————————————
Working together, we have the passion and experience to achieve these ends. Over his two years of
service on the SRB, David has led the Hark Reform Committee, helped organize communitystrengthening
events, and learned to navigate the complicated politics of the DOS and the administration. Mustafa has been an equally dedicated advocate for reform, and has spearheaded the SRB’s efforts to increase HLS engagement with other Harvard schools. The SRB can do even more, and we’re ready for results. Lights. Camera. Action

Kyle Strickland (Director of Student Organizations)
My name is Kyle Strickland and I’m currently a 1L in Section 2. I’m excited to run for Director of Student Organizations because I believe that student organizations play a critical role in fostering a vibrant community here at HLS.

Currently, many student organizations face challenges when it comes to promoting outreach to increase their membership, gaining access to funding, or building prosperous relations with other organizations. As the Director of Student Organizations, it will be my goal to work with the administration in order to connect all student organizations with the resources necessary to develop and succeed. I will also seek to streamline the process for co-sponsoring and co-organizing events in order to increase the amount of collaborative efforts between organizations across campus.
As your director, I will work to ensure that the SRB plays a fundamental role in cultivating stronger relationships with student organizations by providing support for collaborative events, outreach efforts, marketing, and increasing turnout at your organization’s events. By streamlining the way that student organizations interact with one another, we can do our part in building a strong community and improving the student experience here at HLS. I hope I can earn your vote as Director of Student Organizations!

Thank you,
Kyle Strickland

Thomas Boyd (2L Rep)

Hey Harvard,

I am currently serving on the SRB and would love the opportunity to continue serving and advocating for the HLS population as a 2L representative.

I’ve enjoyed getting to know the Harvard Law community, and this year I worked with the financial services committee to approve the final version of next year’s base loan package, took part in amending the SRB constitution, and continually raised the concerns of my section at meetings. Some of these concerns were things the administration was happy to provide once they knew students wanted it, such as keeping third floor study rooms open later. However, some are issues that require a more protracted negotiation such as keeping facilities open at earlier or later hours. I hope to remain involved in these discussions, making sure that the administration meets the needs of its students. We have a great community here, and I’d like to be part of making it even better.

Thanks for your support,
Tom

Tyler Vigen (2L Rep)

My name is Tyler Vigen, and I am running for a 2L representative position on next year’s Student Representative Board. This year’s SRB displayed dedication and commitment to their work, and I am excited at the prospect of continuing to improve campus life for students through the next school year.

I have enjoyed the time I have spent at Harvard so far and appreciate the relationships I have been able to form. However, I am always looking for ways to improve the experience. As one example, I would like to see a more straightforward course selection and registration process that makes it easier to quickly learn about the courses and professors you might register for, and how those fit into your schedule. I have worked on my own to this end – I am the founder of http://hlsdope.org – but many of the functions of this site would be better suited to HELIOS or the course catalog. Perhaps in the future they can be.

It is my hope that in serving on the SRB, I would be able to continue to work to bridge the gap between HLS students and the administration. Thank you for your consideration.

Tyler Vigen

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