Six months after Harvard Law School’s Student Government president Matthew P. Gelfand graduated and one month after the release of his rewritten student government constitution, the Law School has finally voted for new leaders of its renamed Student Representative Board.
Lisa M. Lana and Andrew M. London, both second-year students, ran unopposed for president and vice president of the SRB, respectively.
Lana, who has never been involved with student government before, said she is looking forward to advocating for students and learning more about how the administration works.
“I thought of this as an exciting point in the progression of the organization to get involved and be part of recreating it as a really positive organization that has a good, solid presence on campus,” she said.
All other SRB representatives have been elected except for four positions that remain vacant: a first-year representative for one of seven 1L sections; an SJD representative; one second-year representative; and one third-year representative. Lana said she is conducting outreach to fill these spots and is particularly concerned about the 1L section and SJD vacancies, as those are currently bodies of students that are “completely unrepresented at this point.”
She posited that the timing of elections this year are why fewer students applied for positions, as many students are already involved with a lot of activities on campus.
First-year SRB representative David Dorfman, who also serves as the co-chair of his section, said that the vacancies reflect the changes going on with the SRB.
“We’re building anew from the ground up,” he said. “People are uncertain of the role SRB is going to play, and I think once people realize what a positive force we’ll be, people will become more involved with the organization.”
Nevertheless, both Dorfman and Lana said they have a lot of confidence in the new SRB board. Lana said they have already started to address issues that were mentioned during the campaign, including the reinstitution of Pub Nights starting with a kick off event in a few weeks and eliminating the gap in service hours with the Hark Box and the Pub Servery.
One issue that remains after Gelfand’s tenure is that his new constitution does not specify how the SRB will allocate funding to student organizations. Lana said that the Rep Board has scheduled a meeting with their Director of Student Organizations and the Dean of Students to discuss what that process will be. She added that the budget for student organizations each year is determined the previous year, so organizations currently operating on campus have not been affected.
“We do have a little bit of a buffer,” she said.
“We’re also getting started later in the year than the organization has in the past, which I think is difficult in some ways but can also be an advantage,” Lana added.
—Staff writer Juliet R. Bailin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.