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Suffolk University Law School SBA Executive Newsletter

Issue 14: Fall Semester Review, 2014

SBA NEWS
Message from Tom

Contents

Suffolk Law Students,

Message from SBA
1
President Tom Davis

It is my hope that you finished the fall semester
strongly, enjoyed winter break, and enter the
spring semester both on the right foot and eager
to give 2015 your best.
Ever since Monica and I were elected by you and
given the privilege of representing our
impressive community, we have led the SBA to
the best of our abilities. Beginning in the
summer, for the first time that I am aware of, we
worked with each and every SBA member to
extensively plan as a team how the SBA and its
many resources could be best used to benefit the
Suffolk Law community. After hundreds of
meetings, I was able to come to an agreement
with each and every SBA committee in regard to
not only how much funding each would receive,
but also specifically what each committee would
be responsible for. Given that we are operating
this year with less funding than any SBA in the
past 10 years and that we still have a full
semester ahead of us, I am proud to report that
the SBA this year has been the most productive
on record.

Fall Semester Wrap-up
2 - 13
Contact List & Preamble
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report, if you have any ideas
as to how the SBA could better
serve you this semester, please
do let us know as we work for
you and only for you.
- Tom Davis
President
Student Bar Association

Thanks to the hard work of Team SBA, I proudly
share with you some of our many highlights of
this past semester. After reading our semester
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Suffolk University Law School SBA Executive Newsletter

Issue 14: Fall Semester Review, 2014

SBA Fall Semester: By The Numbers

281

“Likes” on Facebook

$88,000

225%
Increase funding for
Academic Affairs

Executive Budget

450

Number of Students at
Fall Ball

500%
Increase funding for
Student Concerns

10
Liaisons

87

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Committees

Twitter followers

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Newsletters

4,133

49
Clubs

200%
Increase funding for
Sustainability

Total newsletter views

94

Facebook posts

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175%
Increase funding for
Diversity
Facebook: Suffolk Law SBA

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Section
Representatives

Twitter: @SULS_sba

Suffolk University Law School SBA Executive Newsletter

Issue 14: Fall Semester Review, 2014

Fall Semester Wrap-up
I. New SBA Website (www.suffolklawSBA.com)
♦ Before this year, there was no single location to find all SBA related documents
and information. Thanks to the impressive efforts of our Tech Team – Raj
Bhardwaj, Jeremy Koufakis, and Christine Lee – Suffolk Law students now have a
centralized SBA database at www.suffolklawSBA.com. Key functions include:
♦ Master calendar
o Includes all SBA events
o Synched to Google Calendar and Google Maps
o Any student may upload an event
♦ Documents
o BOG agendas, minutes, and legislation
o SBA constitution, bylaws and other documents

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Highest traffic day
on the website

o Printable treasury forms, i.e., check requests
♦ Media
o Video or audio recordings of BOG meetings
o Video or audio recordings of Town Halls
o Archived newsletters with the most up-to-date issue featured on the front page
o SBA Facebook page linked to home page
o SBA Twitter live-stream on front page
♦ Contact Information
o Students Organizations
o SBA Executive Committees
o Section Representatives
♦ Message Board
o Community for students to ask questions and communicate

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Suffolk University Law School SBA Executive Newsletter

Issue 14: Fall Semester Review, 2014

II. First Ever Weekly SBA Newsletter
♦ To further increase student awareness, each Monday
Tom and 4A Section Rep Jess Barton published a
weekly newsletter on the new SBA website
(www.suffolklawSBA.com). In addition to
highlighting for the student body what the SBA has

4,133
Total newsletter views

been up to during the week, SBA News includes a
Student Spotlight and Alumni Spotlight each week as well as a monthly SBA
Committee of the Month Spotlight. Furthermore, every newsletter is archived
on the website and can be accessed at any time. These archived newsletters
contain information such as the SBA executive and club budgets, which are
updated after each BOG meeting. Next semester look for the newsletter to be
printed and made available to students at the soon to be launched weekly SBA
breakfast and afternoon coffee. SBA News stats include:
o 14 total newsletters published on the website every Monday
o Weekly message
o SBA executive announcements and happenings
o Events that will take place during the week
o Recap of events that took place the prior week
o SBA budget information
o Tip of the week
o Student Spotlight
o Alumni spotlight
o SBA Committee of the month

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Suffolk University Law School SBA Executive Newsletter

III.

Issue 14: Fall Semester Review, 2014

Facebook & Twitter

♦ To further increase communication, Tom created an SBA Facebook page,
Facebook group, and Twitter account so as to

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communicate within and without our community
in a streamlined and professional capacity.
o Facebook: Suffolk Law SBA

Largest Facebook post reach

o Twitter: @SULS_sba
o Keep the Suffolk Law community up to date on SBA events
o Tips for students on academic success and resources
o Consistent communication with the student body

IV.

Student Engagement & Interaction

♦ Thus far, this year’s SBA is on par to engage students in more ways than the
previous three years combined. Examples of how we have increased student
engagement include:
o Weekly office hours with Tom and Chief Justice Nick Smalley
o 1L Mentorship Program was brought back after its absence last year.
Launched before the semester began, our Student Concerns Committee
paired 1Ls with upperclassmen who could assist with any and all
questions or concerns. Through this program, more than 100 1Ls were
afforded the opportunity to reduce stress and increase performance.
o Our Student Concerns team of Sandra Bauer-Evans, Kristina Foreman,
and Leah Brady also hosted two Town Hall Meetings, one of which was
paneled by Deans and faculty and the other by Tom and Monica. These
meetings opened the floor for students to ask questions directly and get
immediate answers. Both were recorded and posted to the SBA website.
o Our Tech Team held a Website Training for clubs and committees to
introduce our new website and its many functions.
o Tom was able to ensure a Suffolk Law student voice in the official
search committee for our next Dean by working with the University
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Suffolk University Law School SBA Executive Newsletter

Issue 14: Fall Semester Review, 2014

Provost. Tom and Monica opened the application to all eligible students
and appointed 1L evening student Silas Cooper to serve in this
important role.
o For the first time in years, Tom made sure that the SBA Scholarship was
publicized to the entire student body so as to give more students the
opportunity to apply.
o Message board on website
o Organized by Director Megan Weber, our Academic Affairs team held
three events for students during the Fall
2014 semester.
§ In early October, we provided Panera
coffee, orange juice, bagels, and
pastries as a "Welcome Back" for the

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Number of Students at
Fall Ball

day students and then a variety of sandwiches were provided for
evening students.
§ In November, we provided food from Domino's when we held a
Q&A for 1Ls to come and talk to upper classmen about any
questions regarding internships, study abroad programs, clinics,
and more.
§ Finally, in December, we had two shifts of coffee and donuts
provided for day and evening students as exam fuel.
o COP liaison Colette Heefner worked with students to create an
Environmental Law Club. The Council of Presidents (COP) met on
December 2, 2014 and approved creation of the club by a majority vote of
27/32. The Board of Governors (BOG) which will review the decision of
the COP at the Student Bar Association (SBA) meeting on January 25,
2015. A 3/4th's vote from the BOG will confirm or deny the vote of the
COP. Both potential organizations will speak at the SBA meeting to
present their mission and take questions about their operation.

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Suffolk University Law School SBA Executive Newsletter

Issue 14: Fall Semester Review, 2014

V. Alumni Engagement
♦ One of the greatest assets at the disposal of Suffolk Law students is our alumni
base. In an attempt to increase awareness of the importance of reaching out
to our alumni base, this semester we highlighted 14 of our alumni through
weekly Q&A’s, which also offer important insights to current law students. In
addition, we significantly increased student participation at Alumni
Weekend. Moreover, our Alumni Affairs team of Eunice Aikins-Afful, Erin
Knight, and Melissa Gaied is currently working with the Office of Alumni
Engagement to create the first-ever large scale SBA alumni event.
o Alumni spotlight in the newsletter
o Alumni weekend
o Planning of key alumni event for spring semester

VI.

Community Engagement

♦ Undoubtedly, we as law students have a moral obligation to lend a helping
hand to the communities surrounding us in need. Highlights of us doing our
part include:
o In August, Tom donated the children’s shoes from the Spring 2014
Community Day to Cradles and Crayons.
o In October, Sustainability Liaison Patrick Archambault organized a
Sustainability Conference, where local politicians and professors came
together to discuss the legal challenges to bringing the nation toward
sustainable practices.
o In October, External Affairs Director Christine DiBiase organized a
Breast Cancer Awareness campaign, where she collected donations for
the National Breast Cancer Foundation in order to raise awareness of
and fight against breast cancer.
o In November, Christine organized a Canned Food Drive Competition,
where she collected canned foods from all sections, which were then
donated to the Greater Boston Food Bank to help provide meals for
families during the holiday season. The 1L evening students, Section 4A,
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Suffolk University Law School SBA Executive Newsletter

Issue 14: Fall Semester Review, 2014

won the competition.
o In December, Tom and Jess cleaned out the SBA suite and Colette
donated four large boxes of clothing that had built up over the years.

VII.

Social

♦ Our Social team this year received roughly 60% less funding than last year.
However, despite having significantly fewer dollars to spend, Directors Daniel
De La Torre and Lindy Nash found ways to be more effective than ever.
Through innovation and teamwork, our student body had numerous
opportunities to have a good time, including:
o Welcome Back to Boston event
o 1L Orientation Mixer
o Committee Mixer
o Fall Ball at the W
o Halloween Bash
o Holiday Mixer with the SULS grad school (first joint event with the
graduate school)

IIX.

Fiscal Responsibility & Accountability

♦ One of the main reasons that Monica and Tom ran for Vice President and
President, respectively, was to make sure that student body money is allocated
and spent in ways that benefit as many students as possible in meaningful
ways. Consequently, we were pleased to have been able to significantly
increase funding to the below committees:
o Student Concerns = 500%
o Academic Affairs = 225%
o Sustainability = 200%
o Diversity and Inclusion = 175%
♦ Furthermore, Tom established a policy that the Executive Council cannot use
any SBA money on its meeting. Hundreds of hours of work and meetings
later, not a penny of student body money has been spent by the Executive
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Suffolk University Law School SBA Executive Newsletter

Issue 14: Fall Semester Review, 2014

Council.
♦ Moreover, Tom is currently working to audit the SBA accounting system to
make sure that student body money is being spent according to current SBA
operating guidelines.
♦ Finally, Appropriations director Gerald Glover is working with his associate
directors Micah Shalom-Kesselman and Jolethia Rogers on legislation to
ensure that SBA money is reimbursed in line with the reason it was
appropriated. Currently, there are no such rules in place.

IX.

Diversity & Inclusion

♦ This year, we invested 175% more funding into our D & I team of Joshua
Gonzalez, Sahara Defensor and Adebola Aderinto, which has allowed the
committee to make great strides in establishing themselves within the law
school community. Highlights include:
o Hosted the Diversity Meet & Greet, a welcome from the D & I
committee as well as the Dean of the Law School during orientation for
first-year students.
o Co-sponsored the Progress to Success Kick-Off Meeting. The purpose
of the program is to assist law students from underrepresented
backgrounds by providing them with mentors to help successfully
navigate the first-year of law school.
o Hosted a Diversity Meet & Greet with the Affinity Organization
Presidents. This was an introduction to the leaders of the affinity groups
and how the D & I Committee can be of support.
o Language Well-Intended People Should Reconsider. This event was
planned by the D & I Committee to engage the law school community on
how everyday language intended to provide support can actually strain
relationships.
o Movie Screening & Discussion of the movie "Dear White People"
o Co-Sponsored an event with the greater law school administration
regarding how campus-alerts can be more inclusive and be more
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Suffolk University Law School SBA Executive Newsletter

Issue 14: Fall Semester Review, 2014

mindful of underrepresented identities.
o Submitted the description and mission of the D & I Committee to be
placed in the SBA Constitution.

X.

Health & Wellness

♦ To help improve the health, academic performance, and networking
opportunities of Suffolk Law students, Tom created the Suffolk Law Running
Project. Benefits include:
o Free periodized training program ending with 5k road race
o Weekly group runs open to law students, faculty, and alumni
o Nutrition planning
♦ In addition, Tom is working with the American Bar Association and Harvard
Law to organize a Mental Health Symposium, the vision of which is to
educate students on the mental health options available to them as they go
through the stresses of law school. Our goal is to equip students with a
toolbox of data, resources, conversation starters, and reflections and thoughts.

XII.

Issues Raised

♦ Through our various student engagement mechanisms, the student body has

raised a wide variety of issues. Here is a list of key issues that we have either
addressed or are working with the administration and law school
community to solve:
o Last year many in the graduating class were upset about not being

allowed to wear Tam Hats at graduation. Thus, Tom worked with Dean
Ferrari over the summer to ensure that this year’s graduating class has
the option of wearing Tam Hats at graduation. Beginning in February,
Dean Cove will e-mail the graduating class with instructions about how
to purchase Tam Hats directly from the vendor for roughly $20.
o When campaigning for SBA President and Vice President, a central
complaint by the student body was that the SBA does not do enough to
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Suffolk University Law School SBA Executive Newsletter

Issue 14: Fall Semester Review, 2014

include evening students into its events. Consequently, Tom worked
hard with all SBA committees to ensure that each and every SBA event
was accessible to evening students. If we held an event for day students,
we have invested proportionate resources into holding an event for
evening students. Furthermore, for any student who could not make an
event, we recorded the event wherever possible.
o Countless students have made clear on the record that they want the

American flag, which previously hanged from the forth floor, put back.
At the first SBA Town Hall, a reason was not given for its removal. We
continue to work with the deans to find a solution.
o The current exam policy states that students may move the time of one

exam if you have three exams within 53 hours. However, the deans have
instituted a policy that take-home exams do not count as an exam. Since
many students have raised this issue on the record, we are currently
researching alternate policy proposals to bring to the deans in the hopes
of allowing take-home exams to count as exams in the future.
o Sodexo costs are unreasonably expensive. As such, our organizations

spend too much money with too little return. We are in the process of
researching alternatives to the school’s mandate that we use Sodexo for
student body events.
o Last year the faculty allowed the graduating class to continue with the

same graduation honors it entered with. We are working with the
administration to allow the same outcome this year.
o Currently, many evening students are incapable of taking necessary

classes. For example, at our second Town Hall an evening student let us
know that there is no option for evening students who work full-time to
take the university’s only IP Survey Class, which is a course that all
employers require. We are in the process of working with the
administration to identify ways to ensure no evening student is
inherently precluded from taking necessary courses to get ahead.
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Suffolk University Law School SBA Executive Newsletter

Issue 14: Fall Semester Review, 2014

XIII. Moving Forward
♦ Below is a list of what Tom and Monica have in store for the SBA in our final
semester. If you have any thoughts or ideas in regard to how we can better
serve the student body, please do share them with us.
o Bi-weekly breakfasts (for day students) and afternoon snacks (for
evening students): various SBA directors will host with coffee and
donuts and the newsletter and schedule of events for that week will be
available.
o Boston Area Law School Ice Skating Mixer: on February 5th beginning
at 8:30pm, Christine DiBiase has brought together the SBA’s of Suffolk,
Harvard, Northeastern, BC, and New England to break the ice at the first
of its kind ice skating mixer. Joining us will also be the BBA, Lexis, and
Kaplan.
o SBA Summit: on March 1st (tentative schedule), Tom will bring together
student body leaders from all Massachusetts law schools to discuss key
issues facing our law students and ways in which we can join forces to
take action.
o Diversity Week: Beginning in the fall semester, Tom tasked the
Diversity and Inclusion Committee with the goal of organizing an entire
week devoted to increasing diversity and inclusion at Suffolk Law. This
first of its kind week of advocacy and action will take place during the
week of February 23rd.
o Veterans Initiative
o SBA Audit
o Alumni Networking Event
o Legislation to improve SBA reimbursement policy
o 1L Cup
o Town Halls (2)
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Suffolk University Law School SBA Executive Newsletter

Issue 14: Fall Semester Review, 2014

o Barristers Ball
o Ski Trip
o Grad Week
o Bar Exam event
o Professors and Pastries
o Community Service initiative
o Staff Appreciation Day
o App
o SBA Video
o Book Exchange
o Class Gift
o BBA Event
o Yoga sessions
o Elections for the next SBA President and Vice President

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Suffolk University Law School SBA Executive Newsletter

Issue 14: Fall Semester Review, 2014

Contact Information
Name
Tom davis
Monica Bellevue
Neil Lindquist
Callie grossman
Kelley Sweetser

Position

Email

President
Vice President
Chief of Staff
Chief of Operations
Treasurer

trdavis@suffolk.edu
mkbellevue@suffolk.edu
nlindquist@suffolk.edu
cgrossman@suffolk.edu
ksweetser@suffolk.edu

For a full contact list of all SBA Directors please visit our website at
suffolklawsba.com

Vice President Monica Bellevue and
President Tom Davis

SBA Constitution Preamble
“We the Students of Suffolk University Law School, in order to support and
encourage academic excellence and professional development; to preserve the
right of students to acquire a quality legal education in a just and reasonable
environment; to provide a means of communication between students and the
Law School; and to maintain a connection with alumni, do herby establish this
Constitution for the Student Bar Association of Suffolk University Law School.”

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