SBA debuts Student Group Restructuring Initiative

By Blake Weinard, Lifestyle Editor

After the resignation of two 3L Senators, the Student Bar Association (SBA) had to make decisions as to how to fill those vacancies. To avoid the possibly lengthy and tedious process of a Special Election, the SBA voted in favor of an Executive Committee Appointment at their Jan. 14 meeting.

President Carre appointed Carlson Swafford to the 3L Senator position, and the Senate unanimously approved the appointment at their Jan. 28 meeting. The second 3L Senator position will hopefully be filled at the first meeting in February.

The first meeting of the semester debuted the Student Group Restructuring Initiative. This Initiative aims to update the list of Funds Eligible Student Groups and Recognized Student Groups. The SBA by-laws and the Student Handbook require that Student Groups wishing to be recognized by the SBA must provide them with certain information.

Student Groups must provide by-laws and a mission statement to the SBA Secretary, present their group to the SBA, and receive a majority vote by the Senate to become a Recognized Student Group.

A Recognized Student Group that has existed for 16 weeks may become a Funds Eligible Student Group. The group must also present to the Senate and receive a majority vote to become a Funds Eligible Student Group. To maintain funds eligibility, a student group has to provide a current list of officers, a hardcopy and an electronic copy of their by-laws, and a list of members who have attended the waste diversion training program at the beginning of every Fall Semester.

As of the Jan. 28 meeting, 11 groups are not in compliance with the waste diversion program and twenty-three are not in compliance with the by-laws and officers list requirements. The student groups have until the end of the January to comply.

If the groups do not come into compliance, the Senate will vote to determine if the groups can remain funds eligible or not. If the Senate votes to deny a group funds eligibility, the group can reapply in Fall Semester.

The goal of the Student Group Restructuring Initiative is to consolidate the number of student groups to reduce the number of events these groups put on each semester. The faculty and staff are concerned that the number of events on campus is distracting students from their academic work.

Dean Jefferson spoke at the Jan. 14 meeting to convey the seriousness of this issue. Dean Jefferson spoke about how the pressure of putting on and attending these numerous events has become a priority over school. She made it clear that nothing should distract students from what they came to Vermont Law School to accomplish.

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