Candidates and Statements
For the past semester, I've had the chance to work as your 1L Senator. During that time, I've been able to accomplish my biggest goal for the semester in providing tampons and pads in all our bathrooms. While there's still more work to do, the work we've done so far has given necessary products to students who need them. Now, I want to continue that work as your Student Bar Association President.
What changes do I want to make?
1. Outline Bank: I propose that the Student Bar Association should create an outline bank where students can contribute outlines for general use. One of the scariest experiences in your 1L year is building an outline from scratch. While many students get outlines from peer mentors or upper-level students, there shouldn't be a relationship prerequisite for access to these materials.
2. AAP Bank: Next, I believe that AAP materials should be placed into a bank for student access. While I understand that AAP leaders rely on hypotheticals for students to attend their sessions, I think there is a solution to give students access to the materials. Rather than putting AAP materials into a bank during the semester, I propose that AAP leaders upload the materials they've used during their sessions after the last session of AAP for the course. Then, students can access valuable hypotheticals while they're studying for finals. This way AAP leaders can maintain students' incentive to attend AAP sessions, while students still receive the material.
3. Affinity Groups: Our affinity groups were placed into a tiny room with one table and 5 chairs. It is unacceptable. We must provide a space that is big enough to house our affinity groups. Students of color need their own space on campus.
4. Printing: The removal of free printing has been the biggest complaint I've heard since we've returned to school. It is unfair that DU changed our printing policy without more notice. As your president, it's my goal to increase the amount of money we receive each semester and decrease the cost of printing for students. Currently, it costs .10 to print a single-sided page for the first $39 we have. Any single-sided pages printed after that costs .15. There is no reason for this increase. We need to ensure DU is putting our interests first.
- Amanda Malson: I desire to serve as the president of the Student Bar Association primarily because I have had the opportunity over the course of the last 18 months to view the delicate balance between student advocacy and institutional norms. Given my background in education and leadership, I can act as a liaison between students and administration, seeking to find middle ground on issues such as grading transparency, communication regarding SCOL initiatives and goals, and student engagement. I also plan to help bridge the gap between part-time and full-time student programming so that all students feel they have a nook of the DU Law world that suits and serves them. I desire to increase the SBA connection to school administration and further an already excellent culture of serving student organizations through equitable allocation of funding and resources.
- LJ Horan: Every student at the Sturm College of Law contributes to the budget of the Student Bar Association (SBA) through fees charged to their student account. This budget affects all student organizations at the law school. I believe it is important this money is spent as efficiently as possible to ensure all students can enjoy the benefits of their contribution. A large portion of this money reaches students by way of the various student organizations on campus. These organizations provide meaningful opportunities for networking, professional development, and in my experience, overall improvement of the quality of student life. Efficient use of SBA funds is essential to both maximizing the benefits of Denver Law student organizations and meeting the future goals of the Student Bar Association. I am interested in serving the SBA as Treasurer in order to directly contribute to the overall quality of student life at the Sturm College of Law. During my term as Treasurer, I look forward to ensuring the SBA is spending and distributing funds fairly, efficiently, and transparently. The best way to achieve these goals is by allowing member input into financial decisions affecting student life, and by regularly reporting the financial activities of the Association to the student body at large.
- Chris Rybarczyk: Hi y’all. My name is Chris Rybarczyk and I’m running for treasurer of the SBA for my 2L year. You won’t see any flyers of me posted for my campaign. I thought it was at least somewhat ironic that while campaigning to be treasurer, we can choose to spend up to $50 on any campaign items. For me, I thought, why would I waste $50 on printing out posters of my face to plaster up around the building only to dispose of them in a week’s time? I immediately knew I would be better off using that $50 for something more useful. I don’t know if I’m the best candidate for treasurer, but I do know that I love math and budgeting because I’m a huge nerd. I decided to run for treasurer because I wanted to make sure all of the organizations had an unbiased party reviewing their requests. Student organizations have a plethora of activities planned and I’d like to make sure funds are allocated appropriately. I thought it’d be nice for me to get out of my normal bubble and try to run. Naturally I appreciate any votes. Whomever you choose, I think what’s most important is that you vote. Cheers!
- Edward Bowden:
I am running for treasurer to improve SBAs finances, make it easier for students and organizations to utilize SBAs resources, and to continue to advocate for the student body.
I am currently a 1L in the part time program and have been working with the Public Defender’s office for the last six years. I have been the senator for my class to SBA for the last year, working on the finance committee to overhaul and streamline the budgeting process. I have four years of experience as treasurer for student organizations in under-grad and a strong grasp of finances from my work with the Economic Crimes Unit of Colorado.
I take that experience into SBA where I will manage our funds and utilize them to better the student experience. That means making it easier for student organizations to grow, host events, and foster their group’s interests. That means improving SBA led events to make the money you pay to this school go further. That means addressing concerns like chairs that have not been replaced in a decade, more programing for part-time and full time students, and more resources during finals.
I joined SBA to advocate for students, ensure our voices are heard and our needs met. As treasurer I will further work to make SBA and its resources work for the student body.
Day Division Vice President:
- Leonela Urrutia:
I want to be your SBA Vice President because this past semester I have learned that community and support are two of the most important things to succeed in law school. Together we worked towards creating community and supporting one another. That effort should continue into the next school year! This can be achieved by creating safe spaces for students of diverse backgrounds, ensuring that administrators are understanding the needs of students, and by making sure that SBA is supporting student organizations.
In addition, it’s important to ensure that students have sufficient resources to work effectively. For example, printing. There needs to be some type of median between providing everyone with free printing and limiting printing privileges. Possibly by lowering printing cost and providing a higher credit. Whatever the solution maybe, this is something that needs to be work on and is important to the efficiency of students.
Finally, it’s time for DU to modernize some spaces. For example, potentially upgrading lounging furniture or even creating new study spaces. Whether it’s done in the next year or not, it’s important to have the conversation of modernizing our learning environment.
I hope that you support me to be your new VP! Also, please feel free to reach out to any SBA member and express your concerns or tells what change you want to see. Thank you! I greatly appreciate your support!
Part-Time Vice President:
- Tatum Perez:
Students in the Part Time Professional Division at Denver Law have a unique range of life experiences and extracurricular commitments and process the rigors of law school in nuanced ways. These cohorts are comprised of working professionals, leaders in their respective industries, parents, and advocates who have recently also assumed the role of student. Members of these cohorts have to stand astride these dual worlds, positioning them in a way that often requires support and resources of a different variety than would be expected from a more “traditional” student. Although, academics are certainly not secondary to these other commitments, the process of finding balance adds an additional challenge to an already strenuous experience.
As a member of the inaugural cohort of this program, I have worked to understand the needs and expectations of all program members and have listened to the unique challenges they face. From more culturally sophisticated and family friendly extracurricular events, to a greater range of programming opportunities on weekends, and access to university resources, there are gaps in the model that, through working collaboratively with the faculty and administration, together we can change and improve. As the Part Time Division Vice President, it will be my duty and privilege to continue the conversation with students, faculty, and administrators to hear concerns on all sides, make improvements where necessary, and strengthen the program in ways that make all those involved proud of its growth.
I am incredibly proud of this program and of the quality of students the administration has curated to form these cohorts. I am genuinely thankful every day for the opportunity to be a part of it, and to learn from the knowledge and experiences of the great minds sitting next to me in the classroom as well as those in the front. I will continue to advocate for this program and its students with both loyalty and integrity and look forward to the possibility of serving in this capacity. Thank you for your consideration of my application materials.
- Connor Shantz:
The Student Bar Association is a unique organization at Sturm. I believe it’s true function is two-fold, to facilitate an atmosphere of comradery in education, and to alleviate student issues. Our education here is too important to let administrative concerns sidetrack or hamper us.
As your representative, I will be approachable, honest, and quick to address student issues. In addition, I hope to push the SBA to facilitate more of a family feel, amongst students and in the school generally.
Those of you who know me personally, know I am often soft-spoken. But actions speak louder than words. When I was your 1L representative, I saw our Fall ‘19 SBA ‘cans for cold-calls’ food drive barely generate half of the previous year’s donation in weigh. That wasn’t good enough.
In response, I quickly put together a second food drive and rallied additional donations. Combined our two food drive efforts exceeded the previous year’s donation. I don’t tell this story to puff out my chest, I tell it because it reflects what my candidacy is all about. Doing what is necessary to make sure our student body continues to take steps forward.
We all came here to Sturm to take steps forward. Professionally, personally, or otherwise. Don’t we deserve a student government focused on the same thing?
Don’t take a chance. Vote for Shantz.
- Marisa DeForest: As a member of the Student Bar Association, I would like to focus on inclusion, communication between the administration and the student body, and enhancing the everyday lives of students through focused initiatives. As law students, we spend much of our time enveloped in our studies while on campus. I would like to find ways to make life on campus more enjoyable, inclusive, and convenient for students. I will work to accomplish this by actively listening to my fellow students and communicate their concerns and ideas to with the administration. I would like to find ways to improve mental health initiatives such as opportunities to become active, increasing availability and prominence of information concerning resources available to students, and an open line of communication with the administration concerning success or potential improvements for various initiatives. In terms of inclusivity, I hope to encourage and initiate conversations around improvements the school can make concerning inclusivity initiatives. Overall, I am excited for the opportunity to enhance the lives of my fellow students through active representation.
This election period has already passed. It ran from 8:00 am on Monday, February 24, 2020 to 12:00 pm on Wednesday, February 26, 2020.