Dear Students, Staff, and Faculty,
Today marks our final day serving as your Student Body Co-Presidents as we pass the torch to next year’s leadership. The opportunity to represent this remarkable community has been an immense honor and one that we will forever feel lucky to have had. We set out a year ago hoping to leave our school better than we found it. Admittedly, the year that followed was far from what any of us had imagined. Despite this, our hope remains that HLS will emerge from this difficult chapter stronger and more resilient than before. We hope that struggles with mental health – something that is too often encountered and too seldom discussed at HLS – will be embraced institutionally and socially with renewed vigor. We hope that our community, appreciating how difficult it is to go through a year of classes apart, will come together like never before once we can gather in person again. And we hope that we will each be able to draw strength from the knowledge that we completed a portion of HLS, a difficult task during the best of times, under the most trying of circumstances.
Finally, let us all be inspired by the examples of those who responded to the challenge of this year by seeking to serve those around them. The students who took on the role of organization leaders, journal editors, student advisors, and any other community leadership during this time did a great deal to build community at a time when it was sorely needed. The students who remained engaged in shaping HLS by collaborating and communicating student concerns to the administration were instrumental in pushing the school to adjust to the pandemic according to students’ needs. The faculty and staff who also went the extra mile to keep HLS functioning through this crisis do not ask for our gratitude, but they deserve it. And we owe the many members of HLS Student Government, who carried forward the voices of their constituents and fought to make HLS a better place for all of us, our thanks and appreciation.
Indeed, we are proud of the legacy that this year’s Student Government is leaving behind. This year, we expanded student access to planning sessions held by the Curriculum Committee and drafted a constitutional amendment to extend the terms of LLM Representatives on the HLS Student Government. We worked to strengthen social connections through events like “Harvard Paw School” and “Fitness Buddy Matching with HKS.” We are proud to have fostered conversations with the administration on developing a more lenient class recording policy, hiring more Latinx professors, and continuing the efforts to improve our Legal Research and Writing Program (LRW).
It was a privilege to contribute to the unending mission of improving the HLS student experience. Although we are sad that we must soon depart from this special place, we also cannot wait to see the wonderful things in store for HLS as our community transitions into a brighter and more promising chapter.
Farewell, and best of luck to you all.
Noelle Graham and Billy Wright
Student Body Co-Presidents