Student Bar Association Senate simplifies legislative processes

Media Credit: Rachel Schwartz | Assistant Photo Editor

SBA Sen. John Tuley proposed an amendment to guarantee that submissions to the Finance Committee are still sent to the vice president of finance prior to senate meetings for the sake of clear communication.

The Student Bar Association Senate Tuesday unanimously approved a bill internally clarifying and simplifying the rules regulating the process of submitting, preparing and presenting legislation to the senate.

The Clarifying Legislative Procedural Rules Act drops the requirement for executive officers who are otherwise unaffiliated with the senate to be included in email communications relating to legislation in order to avoid burdening certain officers with extra work. SBA Sen. Evan Barber said he hopes the act will reduce the amount of unnecessary information executive officers receive from senators.

SBA Sen. John Tuley proposed an amendment to guarantee that submissions to the Finance Committee are still sent to the vice president of finance prior to senate meetings for the sake of clear communication.

“With our finances having been and maybe still kind of being in disarray, I think it’s probably better administratively to require him to know about that,” he said.

The SBA Senate unanimously approved $335 to be disbursed from the ad hoc fund to the GW Jewish Law Students Association to cover the cost of hosting Shabbat dinner and GW JLSA President Baila Haim’s hotel stay the night after the dinner so she did not have to commute from Silver Spring. Tuley said the JLSA already requested funding for Shabbat dinners during the SBA’s initial budget allotments, but the price of Kosher food has since increased, necessitating extra funding.

The majority of the budget, $190, covered housing for Haim and her family in a hotel from Friday to Saturday because Haim is shomer Shabbat and observes the practice that prohibits some Jewish people from driving between Friday at sundown and Saturday at sundown. She and her family stayed in a hotel overnight to ensure she would be able to attend Shabbat dinner without having to travel home to Silver Spring afterwards.

“I’m the president, and it was imperative for me to be there,” Haim said. “We’re just asking for a little bit of extra money to offset that cost.”

The SBA Senate also unanimously approved the distribution of $872 to cover the cost for second-year law student Hannah Scionti to attend the Tulane Women in Sports Law Symposium in New Orleans in late January. Scionti said Tulane Law School is a top school for sports law, and she hopes the symposium will give her the opportunity to network with professionals in the field of sports law.

“Last year’s conference saw more than 30 law schools represented, so I think it would be awesome to have GW Law represented,” Scionti said.

SBA President Nicole Karem said she met with a GW administrator regarding on-campus graduate student housing but found there is “no plan for the foreseeable future” to reinstate on-campus graduate student housing. SBA Sen. Cody Ingraham said he has written three resolutions over the last year throughout the SBA and the Student Association attempting to reinstate graduate student housing, to no avail.

The University converted the Aston, which used to house graduate students, into housing for undergraduate upperclassmen in 2019. SA Senators once again called for on-campus housing for graduate students this summer after officials announced plans to sell the Aston.

“It was a great benefit, and we’re trying to talk the University into caring about grad students again,” Ingraham said.

The next SBA Senate meeting will be held Jan. 9, 2023 at 9:15 p.m. in the Law Learning Center.

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