GW Law students elect Nicole Karem as next SBA president

GW Law students elected Student Bar Association Sen. Nicole Karem, a second-year law student, as the next president of the SBA, the SBA Senate announced at its meeting Tuesday.

Law students also elected SBA Sen. Garrett May as the executive vice president for the 2022-23 academic year. Karem received 460 of the 597 total votes, and May received 535 of the 597. About 31 percent voted in this year’s election, out of the eligible 1,919 law students.

Second-year law student Preston Eagan came in second place for the SBA presidency with 81 votes, and first-year law student Kyle Atwood came in second place for the executive vice president position with 27 votes.

The senate allocated $4,700 to Law Revue, GW’s musical and comedy show, for its upcoming Law School Bands Show. The show, a 40-year-old tradition, is a musical and sketch comedy created and produced by law students.

Keaton Shapiro, the president of Law Revue, petitioned the finance committee at the meeting to increase their allocation to $9,443, citing that the COVID-19 pandemic kept them from holding their open mic fundraising events in person over the past two years. Shapiro said increased funding was necessary to secure a new venue and proper lighting for the event.

“Because of COVID, we couldn’t fundraise last year, couldn’t really fundraise this year,” she said. “So we’re just a little bit lower in funding than we typically are. Our timeline has been so complicated that things have gotten more expensive as time has pushed on.”

Sen. Cyrus Dutton, a third-year law student and member of the finance committee, said the Law Revue should request funding from other organizations within the University, like the Student Association, instead of the SBA. Senators failed to pass an amendment increasing the organization’s funding, with eight senators voting for it and 10 voting against, maintaining the original allocation of $4,700.

The senate passed an amended version of the Student Org Bylaw Reorganization Act, which would stop requiring new student organizations in the law school to appear before the senate as part of their foundation process after the bill was vetoed by SBA President Jordan Michel. The amendments, which corrected nominal errors, passed unanimously.

Karem, who most introduced the bill at a senate meeting last month, said often potential new student senators do not have questions for organizations that often come to SBA meetings as part of the chartering process. She said forcing student organizations to present before the senate takes time away from their studies and the student organization they are presenting for.

“It’s just not a fair requirement for the students’ time,” Karem said. “They put a lot of time and energy into these constitutions.”

Michel vetoed the bill because of the nominal errors and because he believed the bill was submitted after the deadline before the senate would vote on it. Karem said the bill was submitted on time in accordance with the SBA bylaws.

The senate unanimously approved an ad hoc request to authorize $3,190 in funding to the law school’s softball team to cover the cost of the UVA Law Softball Invitational Trip, which was previously canceled during the past two years because of the pandemic.

Senators also unanimously approved allocating $1,790 for a soccer team representing the law school in a spring local league, which plays games every Saturday.

The senate also passed a joint resolution “applauding” the law school’s administration for the Strategic Planning Report released last month that outlined the future of the law school and how to strengthen academic programs. The resolution urges law school administrators to include evening students in “working groups” when discussing strategic planning for the law school.

The next senate meeting will be held Tuesday in the Law Learning Center at 9:15 p.m.

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