Student Bar Association condemns LeBlanc’s “racially insensitive” comments

The Student Bar Association voted to condemn comments made by University President Thomas LeBlanc that students and faculty have called “racially insensitive.”

The joint resolution passed unanimously Tuesday to denounce LeBlanc’s comparison between a hypothetical majority of students supporting closing the Regulatory Studies Center and a majority wanting to “shoot all the black people here.” Members of the SBA said they hope the incident can lead to a “teaching moment,” adding that officials must be held to a “higher standard.”

SBA Sen. Andrew Wise, who read the report of the senate’s academic policy committee, said the bill calls for “open conversations” on race at GW and the expansion of resources and support for low-income, first-generation and disabled graduate or undergraduate students. He said the next law school dean should be someone who “values and promotes diversity.”

SBA Sen. John Hindley proposed an amendment to the bill to send the resolution to LeBlanc, which the body approved.

Wise also presented a bill that the senate passed unanimously to expand the law school’s recording and absence policies to accommodate students who are pregnant or whose significant others are pregnant.

“What we’re trying to do is make sure to include them in this exemption so they can actually get class recordings,” he said.

SBA Sen. Ben Smith presented a resolution to approve five questions to be submitted to the judiciary determining the legal status of a bill passed last year changing the title of attorney general to chief compliance officer and providing the senate the power to confirm the official.

The senate unanimously passed the resolution, which will be submitted to the judiciary to determine the name change 30 days within receiving the resolution.

“This bill was passed to change the name to compliance officer that also gives the senate oversight in terms of operation and whatever else in the same way that other vice presidents do on that level,” SBA Sen. Courtney Dickson said.

Smith presented a series of constitutional amendments clarifying when elected officials transition into their position. The senate moved to table the entire joint resolution by a vote of 13 to seven until the next meeting after the election committee has been consulted.

“I will raise again my same issue that this was discovered before winter break and that these solutions could have been discussed at any point in time, and I still feel like this is a very rushed process,” Dickson said.

The senate also approved more than $3,000 from their ad hoc fund to several student organizations. Ad Hoc 23, which would have allocated more than $5,000 to the law school’s Border Immersion Program, was amended after roughly an hour and 20 minute closed session to reflect a final sum of slightly more than $1,000 for lodging and other program costs.

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.