SBA Senate votes for reduced access to social events – The GW Hatchet

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Media credit: Auden Yurman | Staff photographer

SBA Sen. Sydney Blitman, a second-year law student, said the dean of GW Law’s student office will assess applicants’ demonstrated financial need.

The Student Bar Association Senate voted to create a program that allows needy students to have discounted entry to ticketed SBA social events at its Tuesday meeting.

Senators passed the SBA Inclusion Act to work with GW Law’s Office of the Dean of Students to distribute free and discounted tickets to all SBA-sponsored events for students with financial need , including access to the Halloween party and the annual Lawyers’ Ball, an official event open to all law school. SBA Sen. Sydney Blitman, a second-year law student, said students will apply for these discounted tickets and the dean’s office will assess their demonstrated financial need to determine who will receive a ticket.

“The executive doesn’t exist, the Senate doesn’t exist, the SBA doesn’t exist to make a profit,” Blitman said at the meeting. “We serve the student body. We are allocated a certain amount of money, and I don’t know what you guys think about it, but we should be spending every penny we can on the students that we can and in any way we can.

The bill states that students should not have to deal with the “extreme” disparity in socioeconomic status which acts as a “barrier” to their GW experience and access to events.

Senators voted to approve the Town Hall Act, which would schedule at least one town hall for the Senate to hold in the first four weeks of the 2022 spring semester. SBA Senator Rurik Baurmin, a third-year law student, said town hall will allow students to connect with officials and participate in democracy to help the SBA defend its constituents.

“There is something to be said for giving all students, regardless of their perspective, the opportunity to respectfully share their stories and suggestions in front of the audience of the real decision-makers at this law school,” said Baurmin.

Senators also approved the Legislation Presentation Act to set a deadline for senators to submit legislation to the Senate and for the president to sign or veto a bill. Once the Senate has adopted the legislation, the Secretary of the Senate will present the legislation to the Speaker of the Senate, who will then sign it and present it to the President, in accordance with this resolution.

The Senate passed the Senate Meeting Agendas Act, which would create a default format for future Senate meeting agendas, which Senators can now change after previously lacking such a format.

SBA Sen. Pavan Patmalla, a third-year law student, said before the meeting adjourned that he was frustrated with GW’s handling of student safety. Student concerns about campus safety have escalated over the past month since a staff member was seriously injured in an assault on the G Street garage in October.

SBA President Jordan Michel said he held a town hall last month to discuss campus security in the wake of the assault. The Senate passed a resolution at its last meeting urging the University to take action to ensure the safety of students on campus.

Patmalla said he plans to meet with GWPD chief James Tate on Thursday to discuss how the university can better address threats to campus security and protect its students. He said stalkers had been reported following students around the law school, but officials had done little to respond to the incidents.

“Students shouldn’t be harassed in the dining hall,” Patamalla said. “We have seen stalkers come back. This is unacceptable.


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