Student Bar Association passes bills to create auditing policy, repeal Equal Access Official

The Student Bar Association Senate unanimously approved two pieces of legislation Tuesday to create an auditing policy and abolish a position created at the group’s April meeting.

The two approved resolutions give the senate the authority to draft and approve a policy to audit law school student organizations on campus and eliminate the body’s Equal Access Official. Senators at the meeting also approved the confirmations of 17 law students to a variety of roles in the organization, including chief judge of the Student Bar Association Supreme Court and several members of SBA committees.

Creating an audit policy
SBA Sen. Danielle Rodriguez, who gave the report of the SBA’s audit committee, said in the meeting that the bill allows the senate to create a policy for auditing organizations on campus. She said the SBA constitution allows for the senate to conduct audits but does not lay out specific terms for their implementation.

“We have a finance policy, but we don’t have an audit policy,” Rodriguez said. “It’s important that we have an audit policy, no matter what it is, so we will have some guidelines to follow.”

She said audit committee members will work with other senators in a “collaborative process” to create the specifics of the policy. She said she does not have a “set plan” for the length of time it will take to flesh out the policy.

“Once that’s written, we will present it to the senate for approval,” she said.

Rodriguez declined to answer any questions about the bill following the meeting until committee members determine the specifics of the audit policy.

Abolishing the Equal Access Official
SBA Sen. Daniel Pope presented a resolution to remove a position on the SBA responsible for connecting law students with resources to report discrimination and bias. He said the position’s responsibilities were “very limited,” and the holder of the office is not allowed to ask students about their specific complaints – the official can only direct affected students to available resources.

“The position has no power and serves very little purpose,” Pope said.

Senators approved a bill to create an Equal Access Official at a meeting in April several months after the SBA’s then-president was accused of making an anti-Semitic remark.

Pope said members of the SBA’s student life committee have discussed including links to these resources on the weekly SBA newsletter, which he said would reach more students than a single official.

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