SBA Senate votes to bolster student outreach through tabling efforts

Media Credit: Krishna Rajpara | Photographer

SBA Sen. Jacob Linker sponsored the Senate Outreach Act, which senators passed unanimously at Tuesday night’s meeting.

The Student Bar Association Senate voted to start tabling around GW Law buildings to ramp up student outreach efforts at its meeting Tuesday.

Senators passed the Senate Outreach Act to require at least one senator to run an outreach table biweekly at lounges in law school buildings, where they can answer questions about the SBA, hear concerns and connect with the student body. SBA Sen. Jacob Linker, a third-year law student who sponsored the act, said senators will host a table on weeks when the senate doesn’t meet to accommodate senators’ schedules.

Linker said the SBA should follow the example of other student organizations that run tabling events throughout the year on campus to increase engagement with the student body because senators are responsible to represent and understand law students as elected leaders.

“If you want people to come to SBA, their student government has to be present to them,” he said. “Members of Congress have local offices. They don’t demand you just schlep all the way to Washington.”

Senators also voted to request that law professors provide “relevant, helpful practice exams” to help students prepare for tests. Linker, who introduced the bill, said practice exams should be based on recent and relevant work instead of outdated practice exams from previous years.

“Even if you find some random other professor’s exam, the professors give you different tests, write different styles and formats, time breakdowns and whatnot, and it’s just very helpful as students to have these,” he said.

The senate passed two other acts to modify the bylaws to streamline the SBA’s internal operations relating to legislation submission and committee appointments. Senators voted to move up the deadline for submitting senate legislation from three to seven days before the meeting, and they altered the senate’s committee appointment process with new provisions that allow committee members to record interviews and prohibit members from reconsidering nominees whom the senate previously rejected.

Senators unanimously approved an ad hoc request of nearly $6,400 for the Equal Justice Foundation’s Spring Auction – an annual fundraising event that raises money for students participating in unpaid summer public interest work.

SBA Sen. Sydney Blitman, a second-year law student, said the University typically funds the event, but officials asked the SBA to fund the event this spring. She said the SBA agreed to fund this event only if the University said it would start funding the auction again in 2023.

Blitman said the University’s decision to turn to the SBA for funding support was “inappropriately placed” because it takes money away from the reserved funds the SBA set aside for the Student Assistance Fund – a law school fund that provides grants of about $500 to students with “sudden” financial need.

Senators unanimously passed legislation to remove the chief of staff reports, which provide updates on the executive branch, to simplify and shorten senate meetings.

The senate also unanimously approved an application from the Entertainment and Sports Law Association to publish a blog in the GW Law School Blog and Journal to cover how law shapes entertainment and professional sports, which the GW Law School Blog and Journals do not currently cover, according to the legislation.

The next SBA Senate meeting will be held on March 15 at 9:15 p.m. in the Law Learning Center.

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