The Student Bar Association Senate unanimously approved $3,800.80 to send the GW Law Softball Club to the University of Virginia Law Softball Invitational in Charlottesville from March 31 to April 2 at their meeting Tuesday.
The SBA’s funds will cover the tournament’s $1,900 registration fee and about half of the team’s 15-room hotel cost. SBA Sen. John Tuley, the finance committee chair, said GW Law Softball Club originally requested close to $6,000, which would have been the SBA’s most expensive approved bill this year, but he compromised with the softball club to only cover one of the two nights in the hotel, which lowered the request by $2,000.
“We took into consideration that this is a lot of money to spend on one organization if we funded them in whole for lodging,” Tuley said. “The total amount would have come out to about $6000, which is like a sixth of the total ad hoc budget, so we compromised on 50 percent.”
Ellis McKennie, a GW Law Softball Club co-president, said the tournament invited 40 to 50 law school teams, and GW will bring two teams, about 30 people, and the club will house about two people per room in their 15 booked rooms. He said the tournament lasts the whole weekend and features various games and events before crowning a tournament champion on Sunday.
The senate also unanimously voted to allocate $421 to the Middle Eastern and North African Student Law Association to host a general body meeting and a career panel. The SBA chartered the MENASLA again in February after the organization was dormant.
The SBA unanimously approved the allocation of $240 to the Jewish Law Student Association to host a series of lunch-and-learns in March and April, which will discuss different aspects of being Jewish while practicing law. Baila Haim, the JSLA president, said in a statement provided to the senate that JSLA originally requested $500 from the SBA to cover the cost of food at the three lunch and learns, but a private donor paid about half of the costs, reducing the request to $240.
Haim said the first lunch-and-learn will feature an individual who is both an attorney and rabbi and will discuss maintaining a strong Jewish identity while practicing law, the second event will host recent graduates who will discuss being young attorneys in D.C. and the third will include lawyers from Brandeis University who will recount their antisemitic experiences while practicing the law.
“I, personally, on behalf of the Jewish Law students at GW Law, wanted to express my appreciation and gratitude to every SBA member,” Haim said in the statement. “Because of you all, JSLA has been able to rebuild our community on campus.”
Tuley said after these requests, the SBA’s ad hoc fund, which provides last-minute funding for law student organizations, has $16,319 remaining.
The senate unanimously passed the Single Transmission and Recording Authorization Mechanism Act to mandate in the bylaws that the SBA livestream all its meetings so all law students can view and attend SBA meetings. SBA Sen. Delaney Gatine, who sponsored the bill, said the SBA currently hosts all its meetings on Zoom and that the goal of the bill is to codify the existing practice into the bylaws.
SBA Sen. Leila Diallo said she has not received an update from officials regarding on-campus period product dispensers, which officials agreed to implement last month under a year-old D.C. law that mandates officials place period product dispensers in female and gender-neutral bathrooms. GW was in violation of the law in late February, according to an analysis of bathrooms on the Foggy Bottom and Mount Vernon campuses by The Hatchet.
She said the law school will continue to use baskets to hold period products.
“We’ll apply pressure for as long as we can,” Diallo said.
The next SBA Senate meeting will be held on March 21 at 9:15 p.m. in the Law Learning Center.
This article appeared in the March 9, 2023 issue of the Hatchet.