For those of you that couldn't be there yesterday, I present to you a significant portion of my campaign speech. I would say please vote for me - but it does not seem right - so please vote, period.
Now, the situation in 2012 is not the same as the situation in 2009 or 2010, but it is still far from an ideal situation. As President of SBA, my goal is to boost student morale at BLS. My 1L year was one of the worst years of my life, and I felt that there was no one on my side – with the exception of a few of my classmates from Section 16.
BLSPI has the right idea. I have participated in their Mentor/Mentee program, which Sary Udashkin and Cristina Lee have run beautifully, and I helped my 1L mentee to get his summer internship at New York City Transit Authority, the same place I worked last summer. This, I believe, is the new model for the job search. It does not have to be so hard as everyone makes it out to be. There are not many jobs out there—but they are out there.
I am running short of time so I would like to list a few initiatives that I would plan to put into action for the school year of 2012-2013:
#1: Napping Room in the 1M Student Lounge of the Library: students commuting from the Bronx or Far Rockaway may spend up to 12 hours a day at the school, and it would be reasonable and kind to set-aside this room as the napping room, so that students may take a 15-30 minute “power nap” in peace and quiet. Right now, this is an “unofficial” napping room (along with the contemplation room next door), but I would like it to become the “official” napping room.
#2: Benefits for those that lose their scholarship. This will be less an issue for 1Ls next year, but for 2Ls and 3Ls next year, we still stand a chance of losing more scholarship money. For those students that lose scholarship money, the school should implement certain benefits to help students perform better, and raise their grades to “get back” their scholarship for next year. Moreover, students that have absolutely no chance of getting back into the top 40 or top 50% should have the availability of a “settlement” with the school for reasonable improvement in grades that leads to a reward.
#3: Equality of grading from Clinics. If you take the Military Law Clinic or the Children’s Law clinic, you can get 5 credits of an A- grade with relatively little effort. If you take the 3 credit health law practicum, you may put in an extreme amount of effort, and only get a “high pass” grade. The professors in these clinics are not opposed to giving students the benefit of “meaningful” grades – but it is a compliance issue, and it is something that should be looked into, because it is unfair that some students can profit from this arrangement, and others effectively lose out on a potential GPA boost.
#4: $50 in printing instead of 25. All law schools I toured said, “You’ll never run out of your printing credit.” This is not the case at BLS. It is a small thing, but a significant one, I think, and students will appreciate it.
#5: A push to reclaim the $5,000 Summer Public Service Grant, and maybe even a push to reclaim the semester – internship grants which were a fact of life several years ago.
I have exceeded my time but I would also like to say one more thing: I will make myself available to any student, any time, and I would pledge, swear, and promise to address your concerns, no matter how ridiculous they might be. I would be honored to have this position, and feel that I will be the best person to represent the concerns of BLS students as we move into a new era with Nicholas Allard as our Dean. Thank you.