Hi California Western,
For many law students across the country, 2020 has been anything but smooth. From the spread of COVID-19, to the ongoing fight for racial justice, and now the passing of our beloved Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, we are living in challenging, uncertain times. The SBA recognizes these are trying times and is dedicated to improving your law school experience while navigating difficult circumstances. Here are a few updates.This Summer trimester, the SBA met with the administration and raised concerns regarding the tuition increase, discussed challenges with the virtual learning platform, and encouraged transparency in dealing with student concerns. The SBA and the administration agreed to meet more regularly to ensure student concerns are heard and addressed on a timely basis. With that being said, we welcome you to voice your concerns with your elected class representatives and/or to utilize the new “Anonymous Concerns” function on the SBA website. (https://cwslsba.org/).
Further, we used our platform to promote invaluable resources available to students such as the Emergency Relief Fund, Library Now, and free licensed therapist counseling sessions. In addition, as our summer philanthropy, we donated $1,000 to the California Fire Foundation on behalf of all students to help firefighters combat the natural disasters impacting many families across the state.
To kick off the Fall trimester, the SBA team has been putting in 110% effort to help students ease into the virtual learning environment and to create new “norms” aimed towards establishing a sense of community. In the first month of this trimester, we hosted several events to help accomplish this goal.
We hosted a successful Student Organization Fair where we gave student organizations on campus an opportunity to connect with CWSL students. (https://cwsl.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/ Viewer.aspx?id=61a70cb1-0013-42a9-adeb-ac31002e21ef). In addition, we hosted a summer grade release event called “Trivia Night: Netflix Quarantine Edition.” During our first Fall General Meeting, we shared recent achievements, provided information on upcoming events, and discussed new ideas and concerns affecting the student body. In collaboration with the SDCBA’s New Lawyers Division, we hosted a panel of attorneys who provided tips on “How to network your way into big law.” Finally, we collaborated with the American Constitution and Federalist Society to host this year’s Constitution Day event.
In the upcoming weeks, the SBA plans on hosting Lunch & Learn events featuring a CWSL professor who will discuss relevant topics not usually covered in class. We will start “Coffee with the SBA” sessions, where we hope you will join us to talk about anything from fun life events to ideas on how we can improve your law school experience. In late October, we plan on hosting a “Halloween Netflix Watch Party.”
Lastly, with Mental Health Awareness week being around the corner, we hope to collaborate with the administration and host events to help relieve stress. Stay tuned for more information. The SBA recognizes there is a strong need on campus for personal support and is excited to start a Mental Health Wellness Committee. We are brainstorming ideas on how we can better serve mental health needs amongst students and seek to make mental health resources more accessible at CWSL. If you are interested in getting involved, please let us know. We would be happy to have you!
We are in the process of revamping our SBA website. We intend to make the website more user-friendly and are adding tools to help us stay connected. For instance, the website will be designed to serve as a central hub for student organization updates and information, will include a “classified” page allowing students to easily sell their casebooks, and will continue to feature the Commentary website. If you have not checked out their website, you should now: (https://cwslcommentary.com/).
On a final note, we want to remind you that the SBA is here for YOU, and we are always looking for better ways to serve you. However, without your input or feedback, we are not able to do so to the fullest of our ability. We encourage you to get to know your 1L, 2L and 3L representatives, or to attend the SBA general meetings so you can share your thoughts and ideas with us. We wish you success on your upcoming midterms and look forward to seeing all that we can achieve together in the final third of 2020!
Claudia Salinas (SBA President) and Valeria Loayza Palomino (Chair of the SBA Board)