Student Bar Association senators accepted a new pool of elected senators into the body, filling all positions on the SBA for the first time in recent history.
The body passed six pieces of legislation Tuesday, confirming Deja Williams as an associate judge to the SBA Supreme Court, creating two law student organizations and distributing finances to existing student groups. Senators also questioned SBA President Jackie Fisher on her decision to suspend the class of 2021 gift campaign – funds given to the University by third-year law students – until further notice.
“I do not take this suspension lightly,” Fisher said. “I care about my fellow students, past, present, and yes, future. What we leave behind is important but what I see in this University right now is not greatness. What I see right now is flagrant disregard for the students to the benefit of the institutions.”
Fisher said she and fellow constituents have advocated for “reasonable” requests to help law students for many months, but the suspension of GW Law’s IT program, denial of access to library resources and lack of response from administrators toward law students about remote learning resources drove her to suspend the class campaign.
Anete Golaszewski, the director of elections, announced a general report for the fall 2020 elections – which took place last week – and reported the election included no campaign violations and all vacant seats are now occupied.
Student Association Sen. Sebastian Weinmann, Law-G, said instead of completely suspending the campaign, the body should ask students to give small-dollar amounts, like $1 or $5, to a student organization of their choice. He said asking students to give just $1 to a “noble” cause would send a more positive message than suspending the campaign altogether.
“Through the suspension of the campaign, we are preventing students who can and want to participate in that campaign,” he said. “It really is, through all philanthropy, it’s the act itself that is much more important than the amount itself.”
Senators also passed legislation to create the Class Action Mass Tort student organization for students from multiple areas of law to come together to go through plaintiff litigation and defense studies.
Kevin Golshani, a third-year law student and co-creator of the club, said the group is the “ultimate” crossroad between public interest work and public action. He said the club will offer new ways of thinking as a lawyer and job opportunities for students and allow public interest students to take charge of possible civil rights actions.
“The beauty of this student organization is that it brings everyone together,” he said. “‘Why? Because we need people on our board, and we need people to be active from all expertise and all areas of the law.”
The body also passed legislation creating a chapter of the GW Parity Project – a nationwide organization that has roughly 12 chapters around various law schools. Leaders of the organization said the chapter aims to break down barriers in the current law system so the system is fair for everyone including people of color, women, low-wage workers, immigrants and LGBTQ individuals.
SBA senators also approved a $500 request to the GW Law Run club to purchase 500 face masks to be used in a club fundraiser. The body also allocated about $150 to the Latino Law Student Association to purchase a pro-Zoom account license.