The Student Bar Association Senate swore in 12 new senators after they were elected late last month, filling first-year and transfer seats at its meeting Tuesday.
Krista Baca, a second-year law student and the SBA’s director of elections, said more than 30 students voted for the senators in an election to fill first-year seats late last month. She said the elections committee removed one candidate from the ballot for violating voter intimidation and harassment rules.
The newly sworn-in senators include first-year law students Jaden Taylor, Kendall Archer, Kyle Coopersmith, Victoria Combs, Shayan Ahmad and Shallum Atkinson, second-year student Preston Eagan and third-year Bree Vculek. Third-year Jagriti Khurana and second-year Laura Roman were sworn in as transfer senators, and master of law students Saborn Chindy and Anael Kengne were sworn in as non-JD student senators who represent all law students aside from those pursuing a Juris Doctor degree.
Senators also passed the Presidential Succession Act to amend the SBA’s bylaws to establish a line of succession if the SBA president or executive vice president was incapacitated or removed from office. Under the succession plan, the EVP could fill the president’s role, followed by the chief of staff, the vice president of finance, followed by the rest of the executive cabinet.
SBA President Jordan Michel announced that Student Enrichment Services – a branch of the SBA serving minority, disadvantaged and underrepresented students – will resume undergraduate mentoring programs, where law students help guide undergraduate mentees through the law application process.
He said the SBA’s annual Halloween event, “Lawlloween,” will relocate to the Planet Word Museum, a larger venue than spaces used in previous years, like the Howard Theater.
SBA Sen. Sarah Blitman, a second year law student and the chair of the student life committee, said the tickets for “Lawlloween” are unaffordable for some of her constituents, priced between $35 and $40. Blitman urged Michel to release the budget for the event and said she requested the event’s budget multiple times.
“Every time I asked, I was met with a brick wall,” Blitman said. “Just because it has always been that way, it doesn’t mean it should stay that way. This event is two weeks away, and there are students that can’t go because they cannot afford the tickets.”
Michel said the event’s price is the same as previous years, even though costs, like venue charges, increased because of the pandemic. He said a committee’s assessment of everyone’s financial concerns could take weeks – an “unviable” solution after the SBA announced the price two weeks before the event.
Michel said he plans to host a town hall discussion to address campus safety concerns after a female staff member was assaulted last week in the G Street Parking Garage – the same building as the Law Learning Center where the senate holds its meetings. He said staff members will tour the parking garage with students this semester to gauge if officials should take further safety measures, like stationing more GW Police Department officers, to address students’ safety.
The senate will reconvene Oct. 26 in the Law Learning Center.
Lauren Sforza contributed reporting.