Spring 2010 Elections

Please see bios of the candidates for the Spring 2010 Elections. These are in a first emailed, first posted order and are provided for the benefit of voters unable to see posters and flyers on campus. 

 President: Jeffrey Boucher       Vice President: Ben Joslin

Treasurer: Stef Wagner           Secretary: Josh Witherspoon

Rep at Large: Josh Melgaard    ABA Rep: Sean Pratt

3L Reps: Zach Gaeta, Bryan Pierce, Katie Jarvi, Brandt Erwin (Alt.)

2L Reps: Mirella Ceja-Orozco, Dennya "Nina" Huynh, Mark Mckenna

 Ashley Cooper (Alt.)

Weekend Reps: Kathryn Uline, Ryan Spears

Judicial Council: Russ Kort, Spencer Butts, Kyle Peterson-Scott

Mirella Ceja-Orozco: 2L Rep

posted Feb 11, 2010, 9:51 PM by Membership Committee   [ updated Feb 11, 2010, 9:52 PM by Web Master ]

My name is Mirella Ceja-Orozco, and it would be an honor to be voted your 2L Student Representative. I was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. I graduated from UC Davis in 2008 with degrees in Political Science and Native American Studies, and from UC Berkeley in 2009 with Paralegal CertificationI am the first person in my family to seek higher education, and the first person in my family to receive a 4-year degree. This, in part, epitomizes my commitment to overcome any obstacle and my continued passion to become the change I wish to see within my community and my school.

Coming from a diverse cultural background, I am eager to foster a diversity of experiences and viewpoints within the SBA. As a student representative, I intend to be the desperately needed liaison between my classmates and the university. I want to be the person my classmates can feel comfortable expressing their concerns to big or small. I want there to be more transparency for students to know what is happening on and around campus without the burden of having to hunt for it. Information will become more readily available so that everyone knows what is happening at any time of their choosing. So make the right choice by voting for a representative who represents!

Thank you so much.

Jeff Boucher: President

posted Feb 11, 2010, 6:53 PM by Membership Committee   [ updated Feb 11, 2010, 6:54 PM by Web Master ]

I am a 2L and I have been involved in the SBA throughout law school, as a 1L rep and as Vice President of the SBA.  My experience has exposed me to everything that goes on in the SBA during the course of a year and has made me aware of the long term issues facing the SBA.  I have worked as a representative of the students to clarify the operation of the SBA by improving lines of communication and improving the SBA’s governing documents.  Next year I plan to run an efficient operation, work to improve the communication of SBA information to student orgs and ensure that the operation of the bookstore works to the benefit of the student bodies.  I hope to get your vote and hope to work with you over the next year.  If you have any questions, shoot me an E-mail at vice-president@hamlinesba.com of stop me in the hallways anytime.

Sean Pratt: ABA Rep

posted Feb 11, 2010, 5:49 PM by Membership Committee   [ updated Feb 11, 2010, 5:50 PM by Web Master ]

My name is Sean Pratt. I currently am a 2L Representative on the SBA, and I am running for ABA Rep for 2010-2011. My experience on the Board of Governors of the SBA has taught me how important community activism and student government are to furthering the positive standing of Hamline University School of Law in the Twin Cities legal community. I have been continually impressed with how supportive Hamline alumni are to those of us who are following in their footsteps, and so I feel it would be my duty as ABA rep to further those connections in the Twin Cities legal community and bring as much back to the student body as I possibly can while I am still a student myself. 

One of my first goals as ABA rep is to aid Student Orgs in securing outside funding through the ABA to further their causes. As a member of the Ways and Means Committee this past year, I saw how significant “belt tightening” of the SBA budget offered to Student Orgs was required to meet our budgetary goals. Considering that the loss of the SBA Bookstore will likely lead to more “belt tightening,” Student Orgs will need to turn to alternative sources for their funding. I will lobby the ABA for this funding if I am ABA rep for 2010-2011. And since the ABA offers many other resources to law students, such as scholarships and other assistance, this will only be the beginning of what I hope to achieve. I hope that as ABA rep for 2010-2011, my efforts will help support our thriving Hamline University School of Law community, as well as help demonstrate to the Twin Cities legal community that future Hamline graduates will continue to be strong assets to their practices and respectable opponents in the court room.

Julie Shefchik: Treasurer

posted Feb 11, 2010, 5:47 PM by Membership Committee   [ updated Feb 11, 2010, 5:48 PM by Web Master ]

I am a 2L running for SBA Treasurer, and I have a lot of experience to bring to the table.


My current experience:

+ Stonewall Alliance co-chair and treasurer;

+ National Lawyers Guild treasurer;

+ SBA parliamentarian; and


Undergraduate and past experience:

+ Student government representative during budgeting and fund solicitation process;

+ Representative for student clubs during funding disbursement process; and

+ a history of work experience in accounting and budgeting for student groups.



My candidacy statement:


 I would like to oversee the Ways and Means process to make it fairer for new student groups to get established, as well as recognize other groups for quality community involvement.


+ I would nominate a diverse committee whose range of interests and experiences would help with the decision making process as well as valuing quality of discussion over rushing through the budgeting process.


+ I will  hold informational sessions to explain the budgeting process and to work with the Rep-At-Large to help student groups get the best possible funding their events and programming.


+ I am committed to working with student groups to help them succeed, and to helping the SBA manage its funds in a fiscally responsible and transparent manner.


+ I am dedicated and loyal and I will work hard to get the job done right.

Josh Witherspoon: Secretary

posted Feb 11, 2010, 5:44 PM by Membership Committee   [ updated Feb 11, 2010, 5:45 PM by Web Master ]

“As is proverbially relevant, ‘The Ends Justify the Means…’ But GOD has shown me that with Him there is no end…only beginning... My insatiability is the crux of my resolve…Yet again, I begin…

              My name is Josh Witherspoon and I hope to be your SBA SecretaryAt this stage in each of our law careers, it is not implausible to believe that some might be solely interested in their own future doing those things will favorably affect them in the future. What’s wrong with that? Nothing, I sayBut I also feel that the Student Bar Association is not only representative of the Student Body, but is the Student Body. I believe that no one can represent the Student Body, yet be interested solely in oneself at the same time.

              To me, representing the Student Body through the SBA is a privilege...None of you is without prestige, none of you is without tenacity, and none of you is without capability. You are already leaders amongst leaders and admired by those around you. Therefore, don’t presume to be your leader nor do I desire it. But I do ask that you allow me to be the engine through which your needs are met. Feel free to hold me accountable.

              Ask me what I’ve done in the last semester for you, personally. If I couldn’t answer this question, as your representative, I wouldn’t dare stand before you asking for your trust nowI stated in my first election with you that “I’m not afraid to tell you ‘I don’t know’, but I am afraid to tell you I can’t know”. My commitment to you has not changed... Words only go so far, allow me to continue showing you action. Blame it on my insatiability, but I refuse to allow us to stray from our ongoing path to excellence. Only, together, can we achieve this goal. Log on and vote today...You are the Student Bar Association…what YOU think matters most…


Justin Bravi: Rep-At-Large

posted Feb 11, 2010, 5:41 PM by Membership Committee   [ updated Feb 11, 2010, 5:42 PM by Web Master ]

Why am I running for SBA office?

I am running for SBA Rep. at Large because I believe and enjoy serving others. In short, I am a believer and student of public service. Over the past several years I have actively sought out positions and activities that allow me to give back to the community. I served for two years in AmeriCorps leading a team providing disaster relief to the victims of hurricane Katrina and later building homes with Austin Habitat for Humanity. More recently, I have participated and advocated for the students of Hamline University School of Law as a 2L Class Rep., as well as, a MJF Board Member. Further, I have served as the Children Right’s Association Treasurer for the past two years and have been working at the Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis – Senior Law Project, ensuring that the rights of our senior citizens are protected. 

What do I hope to accomplish if elected?

Essentially, I am a people person. I enjoy collaborating with others and building sustaining relationships. I am also a very practical person so I understand that building these relationships and increasing communication between student organizations, the SBA Board of Governors and the school administration does not happen by itself. It is my goal, if elected, to help facilitate more communication between these groups within Hamline’s legal community. Specifically, I will help provide a forum so that student organizations understand how to obtain funding from the SBA Board of Governors and know what events are going on within the School of Law.

Stef 'Adkins' Wagner: Treasurer

posted Feb 11, 2010, 5:08 AM by Membership Committee   [ updated Feb 11, 2010, 5:09 AM by Web Master ]

I am running for re-election as the SBA Treasurer. Please vote for me Feb 11 - Feb 14 on the TWEN page for the SBA.

My qualifications:
- Served as SBA Treasurer during the 2009-2010 school year.
- Chair of the SBA Ways & Means Committee as Treasurer during the 2009-2010 school year.
- served as SBA 1L Representative during th 2008-2009 school year.

My candidacy statement:
- I am committed to serving the students of HUSL and our student groups by working with them and helping with financial needs.
- I am committed to providing fast response time to questions about funding and reimbursement to students.
- I plan on appointing a diverse group of students to the Ways & Means Committee in order to get a variety of views for the SBA Budget, to ensure that student groups are equitably funded, and and to be smart about funding social, cultural, and other important events for the student body.
- I hope to increase the funds to the conference fund and continue to provide students with a way to fund the expansion of their education by providing reimbursement for educational conferences.
- I will continue to keep the finances transparent to the student body by maintaining bank records on TWEN so that every student knows how each penny is being spent. It is my job to be accountable to you.
- I will continue to spend smart on social events like Barrister's Ball and the Graduation Boat Cruise. While these events are important to students, we need to be financially responsible and spend only what is necessary. As I did this past year, I will work closely with the Social Committee Chair to find ways to cut spending and be smart with our money.

Mark McKenna: 2L Class Rep

posted Feb 11, 2010, 4:56 AM by Membership Committee   [ updated Feb 11, 2010, 6:26 AM by Web Master ]

I am currently a 1L at Hamline University.  I have grown up and have spent my life in and around the Twin Cities.  I have spent much of my time and energy recently working on issues of housing rights.  I enjoy spending my increasingly precious free time watching movies; I try and watch at least one movie I have never seen a week.  I have had some experience running and managing various student clubs that I have been a member of while an undergrad.  I also had the opportunity to work in a team focused environment while volunteering on political campaigns in both 2006 and 2008.  I am running for the SBA because as I think I bring a unique perspective as a non-traditional student, and I think that I can be of service to students and the Hamline community.

If elected, my main focus is to improve coordination and communication.  I think that Hamline University School of Law needs, through the SBA, to have a stronger connection to Hamline University student government, campus administration, and the other graduate degree programs.  We are both part of the same community, yet we seem to not work together on many issues.  I believe that greater cooperation and coordination would allow for the more efficient use of resources and has amazing possibilities for coordinated programs and events.  In addition, I want to work to make sure that every student is as informed about what is going on.  I think that much of the acrimony and discord that has arisen lately is the product of rumors and a breakdown of communication.  I think that I can foster improved communication both informally and through the use of social media.

If anyone has any questions, feel free to contact me at mmckenna02@hamlineuniversity.edu

Ben Joslin: Vice President

posted Feb 11, 2010, 4:55 AM by Membership Committee   [ updated Feb 11, 2010, 4:55 AM by Web Master ]

 I have spent the last 30 years gaining valuable experience that will
help inform my decisions as your SBA VP. First, I have a broad
academic background that includes classes in science, government,
Italian theater, and education. This background gives me several
different lenses to look at any situation – from the factual and
scientific analysis, to the more aesthetic and open review. Second, I
was a 1L class representative. This experience taught me how the SBA
functions, and what the concerns are for our school. Third, I have
served on several work and community service committees while I was
employed for the last 8 years. From these experiences I learned how to
craft organization bills and procedures, how to negotiate between two
opposing groups, and how to make a difference in the community.
Finally, from my childhood experiences of growing up in a large
family, to my current experiences of teaching high school students, I
have fine-tuned my skills as a communicator and as a compassionate
friend. As you can see, my life experiences will be a benefit to you
and to the SBA.
       I have several reasons to run for SBA VP, and I have several goals
for this upcoming year. First, I can help the SBA more clearly
communicate with the students and administration. Jeff Boucher and I
have a plan to provide a current and reliable calendar that all
students can access to easily find the upcoming law school and
university events. We also plan on continuing the open and friendly
dialogue with the administration, while at the same time more
abundantly distributing any information to the student body. Second, I
can help the SBA maintain a budget and fairly distribute funds to our
several student groups. Jeff Boucher and I have a plan to help our
student groups write budgets and then clearly communicate their
financial needs to the SBA. Finally, I can help the SBA develop a more
job-focused theme. Jeff Boucher and I have a plan to work closely with
the CSO to better publicize the law school, to better announce job
opportunities, and to better our networking capabilities. As you can
see, these goals will benefit every student, and will hopefully make
your life as a law student less stressful and more successful.

Josh Melgaard: Rep-At-Large Candidate

posted Feb 11, 2010, 4:53 AM by Membership Committee   [ updated Feb 11, 2010, 5:07 AM by Web Master ]

Serving on the 2009-10 SBA Ways & Means Committee has led me to believe, that to best represent student orgs of all sizes, the Rep at Large must now be more active than ever with assisting student orgs and advocating for those orgs in need, especially in the budget process. The process seemed fair in the sense of majority-rule, but, in the end, many smaller student orgs were overscrutinized and underfunded. (Yes, I was usually voting in the minority on this committee.)

Last fall's student org budget distributed over 40% of its allocations to just three student organizations, while the remaining 23 organizations were left to share the remainder! In any event, this was an unacceptable outcome. As Rep at Large, I look forward to working with your treasurer to help all orgs access this process, I would work for necessary by-law changes, and I would work with individual groups to ensure their budget requests are not only process equally but are also actually funded fairly. As VP of CriLSA and Secretary for the Law Democrats, I was actively involved in shaping two substantial student org budgets, and I worked to help those organizations receive reasonably fair budget allocations. Every org deserves well-coordinated assistance with this process!

Be sure to vote this Thursday through Sunday, and encourage your HUSL friends to vote and to support me for Rep at Large. This race can be won only with your help! See http://www.facebook.com/group.php?v=info&ref=mf&gid=291106797539 more info.

Josh Melgaard
Candidate for 2010-11 SBA Rep at Large
SBA 2L Class Rep
SBA Ways & Means Committee
SBA Application Review Committee (for SBA Committee Chair selection)
SBA Ad Hoc Constitutional Review Committee
Vice President, Criminal Law Student Association (CriLSA)
... and much more low key, behind-the-scenes work with multi-org collaboration

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