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The Student Bar Association (SBA) is the student government of the School of Law. It functions as the medium for the expression and advocacy of students’ views and the protection of their interests, and acts as liaison between the student body, the faculty, and the administration of the school. The Executive Board of the SBA consists of a President, Academic VP, VP for the Evening Students, VP for the Day Students, Treasurer, Secretary and Associate VP for the Evening Students. The governing body of the SBA is the House of Representatives. Each officer is elected in a general student election of the school to serve a one year term. The House of Representatives is made up of delegates from each section of the first, second, third, and fourth year classes. They are elected by their respective classmates to serve one year terms.
All matriculated students of the School of Law are automatically members of the SBA and eligible to serve on its Committees. These Committees, which are either provided for in the SBA Constitution or established by the Executive Board, deal with numerous aspects of and bear responsibility for the general operation of student affairs. Their obligations include representing student concerns to the faculty and the administration, sponsoring a variety of educational, social and cultural events, and serving as the central administration for the SBA funded student organizations and National Legal Fraternities.
What does the SBA do for students?
|Represents student concerns and interests at Faculty-Student Relations Committee Meetings and Faculty Council Meetings;|
|Provides funding and support to approximately 28 chartered Student Organizations;|
|Posts key info about the School of Law on the SBA’s Website: www.sjulaw.com;|
|Sells School of Law Apparel-profits go directly to Public Interest Fellowship Program;|
|Public Interest Fellowship Program provides stipends to students engaged in summer legal work which benefits the poor, marginalized & underrepresented of society;|
|Maintains past exams on file in the SBA office and on-line at www.sjulaw.com;|
|Maintains course outlines in the SBA Office and on-line www.sjulaw.com;|
|Coffee & Donuts during the Exam Period (now courtesy of the Administration);|
|Works with the Alumni Association & Alumni Board of Directors to promote alumni sponsorship and involvement with student activities;|
|Sponsors social events and programs for the benefit of the entire student body;|
|Coordinates SNAP Mentor Program for new students;|
|Sells Red Storm Season Basketball Tickets (law school section);|
Past SBA’s have been instrumental in the following:
|Raising the academic grading Curve from approximately a B- (2.67) to a B (2.87);|
|Moving exams for the Fall Semester to prior to the holiday recess (from January);|
|Making Introduction to Law and the Legal Profession a Pass/Fail course;|
|Changing the grading in Legal Research and Writing to anonymous grading;|
|Assisting the Administration in interviewing prospective faculty members;|
|Addressing systemic problems with Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning System;|
|Improving the timelines for the reporting of grades after exam periods;|
|Retooled the Student Resume Center in Career Services;|
Current SBA Proposals:
|Revamped Faculty Advisor Program (gives new students the opportunity to be assigned a faculty member who teaches and/or researches in an area of law the student is generally interested in) (in progress);|
|ATM Machine for the Ground Floor of the Law School (has been committed to);|
|Placement of TV style monitors throughout the School of Law to continuously display scheduled activities, events and programs (to be implemented in Fall 2001);|
|Elimination of “pay to print” system in the Library’s Computer Lab;|
|Renovation of Student Organizations Area (conference room, functional office, voice/data access, etc…);|
|Continue to work with the Office of Admissions to create a more diverse law school;|
|Improve the effectiveness and resources of the Office of Career Services;|
|Prohibit undergraduate students from the Solarium and Law Library (has been committed to);|
|Improve the service of the Bursar and Financial Aid Offices;|
|Loan Forgiveness Program (“LRAP”) for grads involved in Public Interest careers;|
|Dedicated parking area for law students and School of Law;|
|Renovated classrooms that fully support laptop usage and multi-media technologies;|
|Provide regular feedback to ARAMARK – especially improved coffee and service;|
|Seek Congressional sponsorship of legislation to raise the amount of funds available via theFederal Stafford Loan Program;|
|Keep future tuition increases at or below the rate of inflation.|
2002-2003 Student Bar Association Executive Board:
|John Mark, President|
|Nicole Walsh, Academic Vice President|
|Ken Kushner, Evening Vice President|
|Richard Newman, Day Vice President|
|Melissa Fiore, Secretary|
|Jennifer Brewer, Treasurer|
|Ross Schiller, Associate Evening Vice President|
|Professor John E. Davidian, Faculty Advisor|
This Committee is co-chaired by the Academic Vice President and a co- chair selected by the Executive Board, who attend meetings of the Faculty’s Curriculum Committee. It is the duty of the Academic Affairs Committee to represent the views of all students in all issues relating to academic affairs.
Chairs: Eylan Schulman and Nicole Walsh
It is the duty of the Alumni Relations Committee to maintain communications with the Assistant Dean for Alumni Relations in an effort to increase affiliations with the alumni, to provide for any student representation at alumni functions, and to be responsible for the organizations and operation of student-alumni activities sponsored by the SBA.
Chair: Matthew O’Donnell
Communications & Technology
The goal of the Communications & Technology Committee is to facilitate communications within the School of Law and to ensure that St. John’s becomes and remains a national leader among law schools in the area of information technology.
Chair: Rich Santalesa
Faculty-Student Relations Committee
This committee is standing committee of the Faculty Council. Membership on the Committee is comprised of faculty members and three students members who are nominated by the SBA President and approved by the SBA House of Representatives. The SBA President is a non-voting member of the Committee. It is the responsibility of the Committee to be address issues that are of mutual concern and interest to the Faculty and Student Body. The Committee should seek to foster a genuine spirit of collegiality in the School of Law.
2002-2003 Student Members:TBA
It is the duty of the Formal Committee to be responsible for the organization and operation of the Annual Formal of St John’s University School of Law.
Chair: Catherine Scroope
The Graduation Committee annually compiles a list of potential speakers for the commencement ceremonies and extends the formal invitations to those individuals who best represent the ideals of the graduating class. The Committee also coordinates any other activities geared specifically toward the graduating class.
Chair: Michael J. Pastor
It is the duty of the Organizations Committee to act as liaison between the SBA and SBA clubs in administering SBA policies related to the scheduling and funding of SBA clubs and activities.
Chair: Greg Borawski
The Public Interest Committee plans and organizes events to raise money for the Public Interest Fellowship that annually provides awards to students who demonstrate a commitment to community service.
Chairs: Rachel Paras-Gibbons, Gina Martinez, and Dea Weisman
It is the duty of the Public Relations Committee to publicize the various events and programs sponsored by student organizations and to highlight the accomplishments of the Student body.
Chair: Dana Beisman
Rules & Ethics
It is the duty of the Rules & Ethics Committee to ensure the maintenance of the rules governing the meetings and activities of the SBA and the members of its governing bodies, to investigate and report on any alleged violations of these rules, and to be responsible for the operation of all elections pursuant to the guidelines established in Article IX of the SBA Constitution.
Chairs: Roberto Martens and Jennifer Sobrino
It is the duty of the Social Committee to be responsible for the organization and operation of all social events sponsored and designated as Social Committee activities by the SBA. These events include, but are not limited to, the Annual Fall Fest/SNAP reception, Halloween Party, Holiday Dinner, St Patrick’s Day Party, Annual Spring Fling, and the Annual Law Revue Talent Show.
Chair: Jeffrey Glassman
A chair of the Student Life Committee attends any meetings of the Faculty Council’s Law Library Committee. It is the duty of the Student Life Committee to represent the views of all students as to the maintenance and improvement of services provided by the school and the SBA, to investigate and report on any complaint concerning such activities, and work towards the maintenance and improvement of such services.
Chair: Brian Smetano
American Bar Association (ABA) Representative
It is the duty of the ABA Representative to act as liaison between the students and the American Bar Association Law Student Division (ABALSD), and to work with the ABA and SBA President in an effort to organize ABA activities and programs for students.
Activities of the ABNLSD include a Client Counseling and Negotiation Competition each fall. The winners of the St. John’s competition represent the Law School in the Regional Competition. In 1995, Race Judicata was begun to raise money for the newly founded Public Interest Fellowship Fund. The ABALSD also conducts community outreach activities throughout the year. All students are invited to participate in these outreach events.
2002-2003 ABA Delegate: Devin Ryan
2002-2003 ABA Law Student Division Liaison for Science & Technology: Rich Santalesa
New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) Representative
It is the duty of the NYSBA Representative to act as liaison between the students and the New York State Bar Association, and to work with the NYSBA in an effort to organize NYSBA activities and programs for students.
2002-2003 SBA Representative: John Mark