Student Bar Association Senate funds Diwali celebration

Media Credit: Kimberly Courtney | Photographer

SBA Sen. John Schmidt said he voted for the bill because it was a “good use” of SBA funds as it showed support for the organization.

The Student Bar Association Senate unanimously approved funding to reimburse the costs of a Diwali dinner for 32 South Asian students.

The SBA Senate unanimously approved $1555.24 in ad hoc funding for the South Asian Law Students Association, reimbursing them for a celebratory Diwali dinner. SBA Sen. John Schmidt said he voted for the bill because it was a “good use” of SBA funds as it showed support for the organization.

“I support the growth of this organization and signal our support of it by giving funding to this event that they hosted,” Schmidt said.

Jagriti Khurana, the president of the South Asian Law Students Association, said the organization only received about 25 percent of the amount it requested during the SBA’s original budget allocations, so she made the request due to an increase in participation in the organization.

The SBA unanimously approved an authorization to give $250 to second-year law student Aashini Choksi in order to fund her travel to New York for the City University of New York School of Law’s lecture on the climate crisis, climate refugees and how to address the issues. Choksi is a member of the Journal of Environment and Energy Law.

“I think it would be a really good way for me to learn more about this area and really connect with people who are dedicating their legal research to this specific topic, especially because it’s so new and there’s not a lot of ground covered on it,” Choksi said.

The SBA Senate has $25,062 remaining of its initial $30,000 ad hoc budget, which exists to provide funding requested by individuals and organizations within the Law School after the standard, per-semester budgeting process ends.

The SBA also unanimously approved the Model UN Techniques Act, which will authorize the use of friendly amendments and unmoderated caucusing in the parliamentary procedure of the SBA, drawing directly from Model UN parliamentary procedure. SBA Sen. Amanda Grace, who co-sponsored the bill, said they proposed this act to provide the Senate with more flexibility.

“This bill is really just to serve to try to expedite and codify some things that we currently do that are kind of unspoken rules that we follow, which really shouldn’t happen, because it really would be us diverting a bit too much from what our bylaws stipulate,” Grace said.

Executive Vice President Garrett May swore in two new second-year senators, Vedansh Vashisht and Hadil Helmy, along with two new associate SBA Supreme Court judges who were confirmed in the SBA Senate’s last meeting in late October. Executive Chief of Staff Sydney Blitman said 70 of the roughly 90 students in the second-year class voted in the election.

The SBA Senate also unanimously approved a joint resolution commemorating Professor Dmitry Karshtedt, who died on Oct. 30. The resolution describes Professor Karshted’s contributions to the GW law community and offers condolences to his family, friends, colleagues, and students.

“Professor Karshtedt is the standard for members of this profession,” the resolution reads. “His humor, humility and dedication to this community will be sorely missed.”

SBA Sen. Bree Vculek, who co-sponsored the resolution, said the circumstances were “devastating,” but she hoped the resolution could share condolences.

“I think that the least that we can do on behalf of the George Washington University Law School student body to commemorate the positive impact of Professor Karshted is to honor him through something like this joint resolution,” she said.

The next SBA Senate meeting will be held on Nov. 29, 2022 at 9:15 p.m.

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