SBA elections corner — Vote 3/15/19!

UPDATE: The election winners were announced on Friday, March 15. Madeline Baker was elected SBA President; Nick Ahadzadeh as SBA Vice President; Elizabeth Dimaano and Tri Luu as 3L Reps; Harrison Bodourian, Dominic DeMarco, Valeria Loayza, and Stephanie Acheampong as 2L Reps; Dimple Chauhan as ABA Representative; and Tandis Taghavi and Parsa Nozzari as Commentary Editors-in-Chief. Students interested in filling a vacant position, such as SBA Treasurer, Administrator, or SDCBA or FBA Representative, can apply to be appointed to a position for 2019-2020. More details to come.

Vote for next year’s Student Bar Association (SBA) members on Friday, March 15 via an email sent out by SBA! Voting is open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Please note that The Commentary,  a program of SBA, does not endorse any particular candidates. All candidates were given an equal opportunity to submit materials to The Commentary.


Leeza Birko

As SBA president, my goal is to work with the student body to make our law school experience a better one. My goals are to support CWSL student organizations to succeed no matter their size, advocate diversity among the CWSL student body and staff, and build bridges with students to make changes that will better our law school experience.

I have been lucky enough to be a 2L Representative on the SBA board, which has taught me that change can start with one person, but only succeeds with many. Help me help you to make the changes we want to see.

Madeline Baker

I began my journey in SBA as a 1L, when I was elected 1L Rep for Section 3. Though nervous and overwhelmed as an entering law student, I soon branched out of my comfort zone to step up to my role as a student leader. I joined the Barrister’s Ball Committee and enjoyed participating in the budget process. As a 1L, I found a sense of community in SBA. As a collegiate athlete, I was used to being surrounded by teammates and learning how to work with one another even when differences came between us. Working closely with my SBA colleagues provided a welcoming feeling to me.

My second year, I continued participating as a student leader as both SBA 2L Rep and President of Phi Alpha Delta. Additionally, I served on the Barrister’s Ball Committee for the second year in a row. I found coaching others and implementing ideas in each role incredibly rewarding. Each position I have served in has helped develop not only the school and organization as a whole, but also myself as a student leader.

Throughout my time at California Western, I have been inspired by the incredible efforts put forth by both SBA presidents and vice presidents. Personally, I enjoy meeting others and collaborating on various ideas. Though most of my experience in SBA has been as a student representative, I think allowing the student body to have a voice is one of the most important roles as a leader. Furthermore, serving as Phi Alpha Delta’s President for the 2018-2019 school year allowed me to continue developing personal strengths and become fully confident in my leadership skills.

Continuing my future involvement in SBA, it is important to me to continue developing relationships with both the Board of Representatives and with the student organizations. Having experienced the process in which student organizations are allocated money for trimester use, I want to continue ensuring the process is fair and allows organizations to grow. Additionally, the current SBA has been working on obtaining other coffee options for the library as well as developing food options for students on campus. I would like to see those committees continue their hard work. Furthermore, as someone involved in student organizations other than SBA, one thing I feel strongly about is working on changing the reimbursement process for student leaders. Students currently pay out of pocket for organization expenses such as lunch, events, and gifts for speakers, and sometimes do not receive reimbursement through the school for months. I am committed to finding a more efficient way to ensure students are reimbursed as quickly as possible.

I would like to continue my leadership role as SBA President for the 2019-2020 school year. With a tight-knit student body on such a small campus, I believe SBA has the power to connect students and make a difference in both the school community and San Diego. I have seen so much done through just the student voices in the short time I have been at California Western: including bringing weekly food trucks for lunch, renovating entire floors for student use, throwing Barristers’ Ball, and bringing different food and coffee options to campus. I am so inspired to continue growing and developing SBA throughout my remaining time at California Western.

Vice President

Nick Ahadzadeh

Ever since I started law school, I made it a point to network as much as possible. I am currently in my second trimester of my first year, and I have already met so many incredible people. In Fall 2018, I was elected the 1L Representative for section 3. I gained a lot of insight into the inner-workings of the SBA, and I was able to create some great relationships with both the executives of SBA and club leaders throughout the school. Being in this position not only illuminated how many things the SBA does for the student body, but also how many more things the SBA can and will do for them. I am honored to run for Vice President and continue the excellence that the previous nominees accomplished.

Even though I’m only a baby law student in my first year, I have already participated in many things. I am currently 1L Rep for the board of representatives, I am a staff editor on The Commentary, I work at a Legal Aid Clinic at the Hall of Justice in downtown, I am a research clerk for a private practice, I am on several committees (including the CWSL apparel committee), I am a LexisNexis Ambassador, a Distinguished Advocate award winner, and I am currently running for Vice President of the SBA.

Before I came to school, I owned my own media production business. While I don’t have a lot of experience with videography or photography, I do have substantial experience in planning events and even more experience in getting things done. I want an amazing Barrister’s Ball 2020, I want CWSL apparel, and I want to use my connections to put all of us in a better position for success – all while maintaining the great things that my predecessors have accomplished. For these reasons, I submit my candidacy for Vice President of the SBA.

2L Representative

Stephanie Acheampong

Hello, my name is Stephanie Acheampong and I’m running to be your 2L representative. I was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada and attended Pepperdine University for undergrad, where I received bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and International Studies. I am interested in pursuing a career in either International Human Rights Law or International Business Law.

My leadership experience includes roles such as student body secretary, where I was tasked with planning school wide events and activities, as well as maintaining internal records for the organization. I also served as an orientation leader and freshman mentor, where I was tasked with welcoming in new students and helping them become comfortable with campus life throughout their first year of college. In addition to these leadership roles, I have also taken up many minor roles in various organizations, both within a school setting and outside of a school setting.

I want to be your 2L representative because I am a dedicated servant who wants to ensure that your voice is heard and your practical, constructive ideas are implemented. I also want to ensure that this community is mindful and inclusive of everyone’s diverse reality and experience.

Harrison Bodourian

My name is Harrison Bodourian. You have probably heard me stumble over my words while being cold-called. I grew up in Orange County; however, I only recently saw an episode of the Real Housewives of Orange County. I received my bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of California Los Angeles. I decided the smog in LA was way too much to handle and moved to sunny (actually more rainy than sunny) San Diego. I have a dog named Lexy, I am not sure what that says about me as a 2L Representative, but everyone likes dogs, so I will just throw that in there.   

I am running to be one of your 2L Representatives! I have an incessant need to talk to everyone and anyone to distract me from the impending doom of finals—so I am sure I will always be available to talk to you about the problems you want me to fix. You will always be able to reach out to me on campus since I pretty much live in the library (seriously don’t tell security — they may find my secret bed inside one of the book shelves). I surround myself with amazing people here at California Western, so if I do not know the answer to your questions, I will find someone who does and get back to you. As your 2L Representative I promise not to bite my nails in Professor Sax’s class nor wear a backwards hat in Professor Cooper’s class. Furthermore, I will represent all your needs by attending all SBA meetings, participating in budget hearing meetings, and bringing your issues to the Administration. I wish you all good luck on your oral arguments this week and hope you will vote for me this Friday!

Valeria Loayza

Hi, my name is Valeria Loayza and I am running for 2L Representative. A little bit about myself: I went to UC Santa Barbara for undergrad (Go Gauchos!) and I double majored in English and Political Science. I am interested in pursuing a career in immigration and human rights law. In high school, I was a member of the Associated Student Body for two years.

I want to join SBA because I’d love the opportunity to be involved in the decision-making process at California Western. I will be a representative that the student body can voice their concerns to, that will inform students about upcoming events and job opportunities, and that students can depend on to advocate for the changes they would like to see implemented on campus. Additionally, I have come up with a couple new ways we can improve our campus. For instance, I’d like to see more water filling stations on campus and I’d like to be a part of making other practical additions to the school. I am excited to have the opportunity to be a member of the SBA and hope to enrich the student experience at California Western. I appreciate your time and thank you for your consideration!

American Bar Association Representative

Dimple Chauhan

My name is Dimple Chauhan and I am extremely interested in becoming the next ABA Representative. As a 2L, I have constantly been involved in bar organizations in order to build my network. Being the first in my family to pursue a professional degree, I did not know any attorneys when starting law school, and I strove to change that immediately during my 1L year. I have been an active member in student organizations such as APALSA and Women’s Law Caucus and was able to learn from the older members about what it takes to be successful in the legal community. This led me to becoming APALSA President and creating many new initiatives, such as expanding our mentorship program, hosting a large scale Judicial Panel with four local superior court and federal court judges, and expanding academic support for the 1L class.

I also have been extremely involved in local bar organizations such as the San Diego County Bar Association (SDCBA) , Pan Asian Lawyers of San Diego (PALSD) , South Asian Bar Association (SABA) , and Lawyer’s Club. I attend several networking events each month and am dedicated to professional development. Furthermore, I recently became a Student Representative for PALSD.

I believe that I would be the best candidate for ABA Representative because of my commitment to empowering students to get involved in the local legal community and find their mentors. I want to host more networking events and workshops between ABA members and the CWSL student body.  Additionally since I am already a student representative for a bar organization, I know the commitment and initiative it takes to be successful at the position. I will be a strong advocate to increase student participation within the ABA. I look forward to hopefully serving as the ABA Representative in my 3L year! It’s simple, vote for Dimple!

Arthur Zverev

My name is Arthur Zverev and I am running to be the next American Bar Association (ABA) Representative. By electing me, you would be electing somebody with experience in student-run organizations as well as somebody with a collaborative workstyle. Before coming to law school, I served on a state-wide systemwide committee which dealt with academic grievances, grade appeals, and student complaints. I have also previously served as a legislative research fellow for Congress and was a policy advisor on a gubernatorial campaign.

As the ABA Representative, I hope to promote membership in the American Bar Association, act as an excellent representative of the SBA at all ABA meetings I attend, and be a resource for students who want to know more about the American Bar Association. I hope to increase student awareness about the ABA and the abundant benefits that membership offers. Because we are all going to someday become members of a state bar, connecting with the ABA sooner rather than later offers students tangible benefits, such as networking opportunities through ABA sponsored events.

By electing me as the ABA representative, you would be electing somebody who wants the SBA, and the student body, to succeed. If selected, I plan to represent you as best as I can and will work to promote the changes and programs you want. I believe my previous experiences and responsibilities make me a good fit for the position and, if elected, I will bring a strong foundation of ethics and academic integrity to the team. Thank you for your consideration.

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