Editors’ Note: We opened up this newspaper to the candidates running for SBA positions to tell you about themselves and support their candidacies. Their appearance in the paper does not constitute an endoresement of any candidate. The views expressed in these reflections are the views of the individual authors and are not necessarily the views of the Law Weekly’s Executive or Editorial Board. The candidates appear by position and alphabetically within each position. Each candidate’s name appears next to her or his name, year, and the position for which she or he is running.
Steven Glendon (email@example.com), 2018
President and Third-Year Senator (running for both offices)
I am a long-standing member of the SBA and believe that my experience will make me a good choice for President. I intend to maintain an open and honest relationship with the student body by communicating SBA activities in a timely manner and making myself available for questions and concerns. I also intend to move forward inter-school collaboration which was started by our current president, focusing on Darden and the Medical School. I will remain open to suggestions from the student body and look forward to implementing new initiatives to engender a positive student experience at the Law School.
Laura Gregory (firstname.lastname@example.org), 2018
My name is Laura Gregory, and I am delighted to announce my candidacy for Vice President of the Student Bar Association. The Vice President is primarily responsible for managing all of the SBA’s committees, such as Programming, Health and Wellness, and Barristers’ Ball. Additionally, the Vice President coordinates with the new elections council for all elected SBA positions and assists student groups in renewing their registration with the SBA and accomplishing their organization goals.
As Vice President, I would like to foster a stronger relationship between SBA and student organizations to help increase their funding and funding options for initiatives to support the UVa law school experience for every student.
SBA is more than just its elected officials. The appointed SBA committees, who do the majority of SBA events, should have greater representation and attendance in weekly SBA senate meetings and greater communication with the student body. However, the committees will not have additional requirements just thrown at them. I plan to truly fullfil the role of Vice President to support the committees by having more active involvement in the planning of SBA events.
To accomplish my goal for stronger relationships between SBA, its committees, and student organizations, it is essential to move the meeting outside of the Fox Seminar room in the library to a larger space that can truly be a student forum.
This past year I had the privilege of serving as the SBA Secretary. As Secretary, my primary goal was to increase transparency and communication between the SBA and the student body. I started a new initiative – a weekly table outside Scott Commons called “Say Hey, SBA” – to give students the opportunity to speak directly with their SBA members about current SBA projects and events. We also set up a response form for students to submit suggestions for the law school, such as the implementation of gender-neutral bathrooms.
Additionally, I served as the President of the First Year Council during my 1L year. As FYC President, I worked to integrate the 1L class into the UVa Law community by coordinating events such as Foxfield, the Halloween Carnival, and weekly SBA socials.
Working within the SBA has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my time at UVa Law. I am excited about the opportunity to continue serving on the Executive Board and would be honored to have your vote for Vice President.
Hannah Fraher (email@example.com), 2019
Through my experience starting a business, working as a bookkeeper for several million-dollar companies, and serving as a member of student government at the largest university in the country (with a budget of over fourteen million dollars) I gained valuable experience in creating and managing budgets which will serve me well as your SBA treasurer.
As your treasurer, I commit to creating a fair and balanced budget that will provide equal opportunities for all members of the student body to partake in the activities they choose. As a member of the greater SBA, I vow to create a transparent and inclusive environment where everyone will have the opportunity to have their voice heard and feel included in the student culture of the law school.
I look forward to the opportunity to serve the student body and welcome the chance to get to know each and every one of you.
Current involvement includes: Federalist Society 1L Committee, First Year Council Vice President (schedules all bar reviews, 3@3, and other 1L class activities), Jefferson Literary and Debating Society, and J.B. Moore Society of International Law.
Frances Fuqua (firstname.lastname@example.org), 2019
Treasurer and Second-Year Senator
My name is Frances Fuqua, I am a 1L, and I am asking for your support to be the next SBA Treasurer. I have substantial experience that makes me the perfect candidate for this position. In undergrad, I was treasurer of a number of student groups, most notably managing a $5,000 budget for a student peer education group, a $100,000 budget for my sorority, and a $760,000 budget for the programing arm of the university’s student government. I also have substantial fundraising experience, heading up a $25,000 fundraising effort for St. Louis public schools, and managing all the fundraising for my sorority, which totaled 30% of our overall budget. Lastly, I am familiar with how SBA functions; having the opportunity and honor to serve as the FYC president this year. All of this experience, taken together, makes me the most qualified candidate for this position. As treasurer, I will work to increase our fundraising budget from 2% of the total SBA funds to at least 10% in order to lower the costs of attending school events, such as Barrister’s Ball. I will also continue to be as transparent as possible about where your student activity fee is going and work with the administration to keep the budget process as much in the student’s hands as possible. I love UVa and I want to help make our time here as enjoyable as it can be. I know how important it is that you feel SBA is being responsible with your money, and I promise to do my absolute best to serve the students of UVa and uphold that promise of responsibility and integrity as treasurer, and I hope I have your vote.
Muskan Mumtaz (email@example.com), 2019
Secretary and Second-Year Senator
My name is Muskan, I am a 1L, and I am asking for your support to serve as your secretary. My platform “More with Muskan” is about giving you more: more visibility, more connectivity, and more transparency. As a double-Hoo, I am committed to self-governance, which does not always make its way to the law school. Furthermore, as a current FYC, I am familiar with how SBA functions and have spoken extensively with current members regarding the functions of the SBA secretary. In other words: I know what I’m getting into. Finally, as a Muslim refugee, I am committed increased inclusivity on North Grounds and hope being on the SBA Executive Committee will give me the platform to support affinity groups at the law school.
If I am elected to serve as your secretary, I would dedicate myself to bringing you more visibility of student events. The current bi-weekly email system is a great start, but we can do more. The formatting of these emails can be improved so that you can more easily identify lunch and event opportunities on your mobile phone.
Second, I am committed to bringing more connectivity with main grounds. A part of your tuition goes to the student activities fund on main grounds, and I want to better integrate our events listings with those of the undergraduate community. UVa attracts incredible speakers every week, and I will include the most notable events in a separate “main-grounds” segment of the bi-weekly email.
Third, I am committed to increasing transparency on SBA. Serving as secretary goes beyond sending emails and updating the calendar—I would argue that the most important aspect of this position is serving as your representative on SBA. There are currently two centralized ways of voicing your concerns to SBA: (1) through weekly “Say-hey-SBA” events, and (2) through an online google-sheet. These issues are then brought up in SBA meetings, and unfortunately, the responses and solutions are often buried in the meeting minutes’ document. One way to better publicize the SBA responses to student suggestions is by posting them on the website, which brings me to my fourth point: we need a better website.
Currently, when your organization hosts an event and wants to publicize it online, you need to submit it to both to the administration for it to go on the official UVa calendar and then again to the secretary for it to be featured in the bi-weekly emails. This often leads to events being posted in one or the other. If elected, I will immediately begin working with the administration to streamline this process into a consolidated system.
As the year progresses, we will continue to craft new solutions for the issues our student body face. If I am elected to serve as your secretary, I promise I will do my best to not only execute the plans I’ve outlined here but also expand the SBA’s student-engagement efforts, so that your voice is heard in your student government.
Toccara Nelson (firstname.lastname@example.org), 2019
My name is Toccara Nelson, and I am running for Secretary for the Student Bar Association here at UVa Law. I aim to continue the great work that Laura Gregory has done with keeping students informed about the various initiatives going on at the law school. I am a proponent of transparency and openness of communication between those part of student government and the students, and I look to uphold these values if elected Secretary. I plan to promote such transparency by further developing current initiatives like “Say Hey SBA” to be a forum for members of the SBA to listen to student experiences and to spotlight different organizations and events at the law school. I will brainstorm additional ways to keep students aware of all that UVa Law has to offer without overwhelming students with too much information, and to also elicit crucial feedback from students about their concerns with the law school. Promoting awareness and communication between the SBA and the student body may involve meeting with individual student organizations or just having one on one conversations with students about their concerns with the law school. Whatever it takes to promote more open lines of communication between the SBA and students, I will put in the effort to do it.
At the end of the day those on SBA serve you, the students. And if elected as Secretary of SBA, I’ll do just that.
Charles Baker (Ctb3hx@virginia.edu), 2018
Facilitate better relations from Student Affairs and where applicable work towards greater law school autonomy from main ground's student government.
Ashley Finger (email@example.com), 2018
I have been serving as a class senator since 1L year which means that not only am I familiar with the workings of SBA, but also that I have ongoing projects I wish to continue. Additionally, I have established the working relationships with the administration necessary to continue to accomplish my goals. In particular, I intend to continue to improve the efficacy of the Building Services and Environmental Concerns Committee, addressing issues such as waste management and holding educational events related to topics such as responsible consumerism. Additionally, I plan to continue to work closely with VELF to ensure efficient and effective pursuit of environmental goals at the law school.
Ricardo Fraga (firstname.lastname@example.org), 2018
It has been my pleasure to serve as the SBA’s 2L Senator over the course of the past year, and I look forward, if elected, to continue my service as a 3L Senator. During my term, I had the honor of working on initiatives involving improved dining options, greater environmental awareness around grounds, a more enjoyable library experience, increased SBA transparency, and greater access to the law school’s administration.
Should I be reelected as a 3L Senator I look forward to building upon these many initiatives and focusing on how the SBA can work more closely with the student body to continue improving our collective experience as students. I believe that there should be greater avenues of communication between the SBA and the many organizations of our law school, and in order to achieve this, I look forward to proposing a bimonthly lunch where student leaders can meet with the SBA and provide us with feedback as well as with suggestions about how we can further improve the student experience.
The SBA is also tasked with providing venues where students can meet with one another in a more casual setting. Understanding the importance of networking both with law students as well as with other graduate students at the university, I will continue to work on an interscholastic competition that will bring the graduate schools together for a weekend of fun and community building.
Lastly, I want to be YOUR representative. I have ideas that I’m excited to propose to the SBA, but I realize that I’m representing the 3L class as a whole and as such there will always be an open line of communication between the class and I. Please feel free to contact me with any questions, concerns, or ideas you may have; I’ll always have an open door policy and I look forward, if elected, to serving your interests.
Thank you for your consideration. Wahoowa!
Lola "Lollie" Akere (Saa3cq@virginia.edu), 2019
Second-Year Senator and Student Council Representative
I am committed to the University of Virginia School of Law. In my short time here I have been elected the 1L Representative for Virginia Law Women. I am a proud member of the Black Law Students Association, Women of Color, LAMBDA Law Alliance, Lone Star Lawyers, and the Fed Sox Softball Team. I generally try to speak to everyone I meet, and I pride myself on my ability to make friends with not only my classmates but everyone who is welcomed to the law school. I am quite close with a number of faculty members, and strive to make meaningful and impactful connections daily.
As the Student Council Representative, I would use my roles in various organizations to gain a realistic perspective that consisted of the genuine opinions of law students concerning issues pertinent to our community. I would be able to represent the Law School in matters that require a personal perspective, diligence, and attention to detail. I try to be someone that considers all angles before making a decision. I do feel that my role in the Nelson Mandela International Negotiation Competition will give me an advantage when advocating on behalf of the law school. I pride myself in how much I genuinely care about The University of Virginia School of Law. I know I am capable of representing the Law School Well on the Student Council.
I intend to run on a platform that embodies kindness, inclusivity, and genuine care for every member of our community. Although collegiality is one of the pillars of UVa Law, I worry our values may not transcend our small society, and I would love to serve as a liaison between the Law School and the rest of the campus. I do feel there is value in the opinions and views cultivated here that all of grounds could benefit from. I envision a future where we are working closer with the undergrad and other graduate schools on issues we both care about. I think exposure to other types of thinkers would add to the diversity, and aid UVa lawyers in being even more of the personality types the world so desperately needs. As Student Council Representative I would pledge to abide by the Law School values, while aiming to strengthen our role in the greater UVa community.
I intend to seriously listen and to prioritize the needs of my classmates. I have felt nothing but love and inclusion since the day I stepped on the Law School’s campus, and I want to make sure everyone else also feels that way. As a member of various affinity groups, it has been unfortunate to hear the consistent trends of people feeling lonely. Although they may be surrounded by so many people who care about them, some people are still feel left out. That feeling is uncomfortable and is not welcome at UVa Law. I would like to work toward eradicating it.
As a Senator, I feel I would be able to directly contribute to events and decisions in an innovative and inclusive way. I feel my unique perspective as someone who comes from multiple historically marginalized groups makes me the perfect candidate to consider those who may not always be in the majority. I also feel my friendships with people of all backgrounds helps me to balance the wants and needs of both parties in a unique way. I would use my roles in the various organizations to gain a realistic perspective that consisted of the genuine opinions of law students concerning issues pertinent to our community. I would be able to represent our class in matters that require a personal perspective, diligence, and attention to detail. I do feel that my role in the Nelson Mandela International Negotiation Competition will give me an advantage when advocating on behalf of our class. I pride myself in how much I genuinely care about The University of Virginia School of Law. I know I am capable of representing the Class of 2019 well as a 2L Senator.
Aparna Datta (email@example.com), 2019
Hi friends! It's me, Aparna! [Pronounced Uh-par-nuh just in case you're wondering. :)] I hope all is well! I just wanted to say that I've had a blast serving as a First-Year Council representative and senator this year, and I really hope I have the chance to serve y'all as a 2L senator too! For this upcoming term, I'd really like to focus on helping SBA's efforts in promoting diversity and inclusion on grounds. I’ve had a lot of experience with planning fun and educational (fun-ducational!) multi-cultural events, and I hope that my experience can be a positive addition to SBA’s work in fostering and maintaining an open and inclusive environment for all. We are so lucky to be at such an amazing law school, and I hope I can play a small part in contributing to the awesomeness that is UVA law. Thanks for such a great first year! #ClassOf2019 #BestClass #AmIRite? #Yes
Robbie Pomeroy (firstname.lastname@example.org), 2019
Hi everyone! My name is Robbie Pomeroy and I am so excited to be running to represent our class as your 2L senator. I came to UVa Law because I loved the community. Since arriving, I have already taken steps to further our community and will continue to do so as your 2L senator. As co-chair for Admitted Students Open House, I am working with the Admissions Office to showcase our community for the incoming class of 2020. As a member of the First Year Council, I have focused on making opportunities for members of my section to connect with each other and other 1Ls. I will take my event planning skills from these two positions and apply them to our school as a whole to continue to bring exciting and innovative events that bring us together. Using my experiences in affinity groups such as Lambda and the Latin American Law Association, I make a commitment to diversity and inclusivity and growing our sense of acceptance and solidarity at the law school. Being a senator is what you make of it- having the drive to take initiative and run with an idea is important to success, and through my time here at UVa, I hope I’ve shown that I am already committed to improving our community in any capacity I can. As an undergraduate student at UF, I was committed to university growth through the ambassador and orientation organizations. It was such an important part of my life there, and I cannot wait to apply my skills from those experiences to our community. Go Hoos!
Julia Wahl (email@example.com), 2019
I look forward to helping facilitate and continue the success of the Virginia Student Bar Association. I hope to do so through three key means: transparency, honesty, and communication. I plan on using my position as a liaison to the administration to increase understanding with the student body to change dissatisfaction to action. Beyond internal communicative responsibilities I also hope to facilitate contact and interaction with other post-graduate divisions of UVa–specifically to work toward an annual university-wide event that incorporates both professional networking and social interaction of post-graduate students. On that note, I also hope to bring more programming (and free food!) opportunities to law students so we can utilize our building for more than just academic pursuits!
Lindsay Fisher (firstname.lastname@example.org), 2019
Honor Committee Representative
As we all did, I chose UVa Law for many reasons. An important one of those reasons is its commitment to the Honor Code and to a Community of Trust. The ideals of honor and integrity are not only vital to a thriving community here at UVa, but they are also values and standards that we as lawyers will be held to as we enter the practice of law.
Immediately upon arriving at UVa I sought out ways to learn more about the system and to work within it to further that Community of Trust. My goal is to build upon that knowledge and experience through representing the Law School as an Honor Representative through the Student Bar Association.
As an Honor Committee Representative on SBA, I hope to be a voice of collaboration between Main Grounds and North Grounds, encouraging cooperation and finding opportunities for collaboration. Relating more specifically to Honor, I look forward to continuing to work towards an expansion of the Informed Retraction.
In my role as SBA Honor Representative, I would also encourage more law students to engage with Honor. I have found the process of training and subsequently serving as an Honor Support Officer to be incredibly challenging and rewarding. The position is also an excellent training ground for future lawyers, as Support Officers have the opportunity to conduct interviews, investigations, as well as provide advice and counsel to either accused students or the Community. I would encourage incoming first years to apply to serve as Support Officers and to serve the Community during their time here.
Similarly, I look forward to implementing the recommendations of the independent Honor Audit Commission. The Honor Audit Commission is currently studying the Honor system holistically and will provide recommendations on how the system can improve moving forward.
I have served as an Honor Support Officer for the last semester-and-a-half and have seen cases from a variety of perspectives. I spent a significant portion of my first semester of law school training for this role and have already found it to be an enriching experience. I have served as counsel for the Community and have provided advice to students regarding the Honor system. I also currently serve as an Honor Representative for Section F, working to foster a dialogue about Honor among my section. During my undergraduate studies, I served on my school’s University Judicial Committee, a body that is similar to both UJC and Honor.
Owen Gallogly (email@example.com), 2019
Honor Committee Representative
I have been involved with the Honor System since 2009 when I was an undergraduate. Over my four years as an undergraduate I served in numerous roles within the Honor Committee, including as a Senior Counsel, investigator, advocate for both accused students and the University Community, and a Pre-Trial Coordinator. In my fourth year I drafted the legislation that would become the Informed Retraction, one of the most significant changes to the Honor System in the past 50 years, which allows students who have been reported to the Honor Committee to admit guilt and face a one-year suspension in lieu of trial. Since returning to Law School I have continued serving as a Pre-Trial Coordinator and counsel.
My primary goal if elected is to build a closer relationship between the Honor Committee and System and students and faculty at the School of Law. As an undergraduate, the Honor System was an important facet of my educational experience and one that I believe helped cultivate a strong community. Unfortunately due to a variety of reasons, including simple physical distance from the Central Grounds of the University, the Honor System seems less prevalent in everyday life at the Law School and other graduate schools. I hope to work with both the other Honor Committee representatives from graduate schools, the SBA leadership, and law faculty to address this disconnect.
William Nagy (firstname.lastname@example.org), 2019
Honor Committee Representative
I will help facilitate the operation of the honor system, ensure equitable application of its principles, and serve as an approachable point of reference for students at the School of Law. A student-run, effectual honor system provides a tool for creating a more trusting environment, reflected in both the conduct of students and the trust and latitude of the staff and faculty. The Honor Code plays a large part in making UVa Law the unique and amazing place we love. I will dedicate my tenure as Honor Representative to keeping this tradition strong.
My qualifications include serving as an elected representative for the Honor system at West Point, where I helped educate my peers about the code, served as a reference contact for questions regarding possible violations, conducted investigations, and as a voting panel member during honor hearings. I also served as an honor representative for my 1L section.
Peter Bautz (email@example.com), 2018
Running For University Judiciary Committee Representative
I am seeking re-election to continue serving you as a law school representative to the University Judiciary Committee (UJC). Over the past year, I have served as one of the two law school reps on the UJC. In that position, I was elected to serve on the Executive Committee of the UJC as the Vice Chair for Trials. This experience is important because it is vital that we keep graduate students on the Executive Committee next year. Undergraduates tend to be disproportionately represented on the Executive Committee, including having no graduate students on the Executive Committee last year. As someone with experience on the Executive Committee, I stand the best chance of keeping a law student on the Executive Committee, possibly as the Chair of the UJC.
If elected, I would work to add a dedicated graduate position to the UJC Executive Committee to ensure graduate students have a guaranteed voice in that body–a voice that is important to give undergraduates the perspective of graduate students both as accused students and as members of the University community. As the graduate members of the UJC are mostly law students, it is important that we at the Law School lead the charge on this issue. With my experience as a member of the Executive Committee this past year, I believe that I would be best suited to filling this important role. I hope you will vote for me, so I can continue serving you as your UJC Representative!
Brandon Newman (firstname.lastname@example.org), 2018
University Judiciary Committee Representative
This past year, the law school students, as well as other grad students in UJC, have done a great job making sure there is more grad-student representation in UJC. I will continue to make sure grad students (especially law students) are fairly represented in UJC.