Past Student Elections (Fall 2018)

*UPDATE: The application for elected positions has now closed. Candidate Statements are published below:

The Fall 2018 Student Elections will be held on Wednesday, September 26th through Thursday, September 27th. Open positions include

-One 1L representative for each section

-One 2L transfer representative

-Two LLM representatives

-Four 3L Class Marshals

-Two LLM Class Marshals

If you’re interested in running for a position, or would like to learn more about it, please contact us at studentgov@mail.law.harvard.edu

Student Body Elections

HLS Student Government: Fall 2018

Candidates

1L Representatives (1 position per section)

Section 1: Micah Burbanks-Ivey

Section 2:  Noelle Graham, Carla Luna

Section 3: Josh Martin, Keir Negron

Section 4: Megan Jones

Section 5: Sydney Hood

Section 6: William Wright

Section 7: Anna Hevia, Nima Shamtoub

Transfer Representative (1 position)

David Shea

LLM Representatives (2 positions)

Magdalena Auge

Ekaterina Dorokhova

Juan Diego Mujica Filippi

Gonzalo Robles

Hiba Thobani

Kristian Torp Jensen

SJD Representative (1 position)

Sannoy Das

3L Class Marshals (4 positions)

Panna J Balla

Michael Drell

Elizabeth Fillman

Zachary Fisch

Pete McDonald

Samuel Garcia

Elisabeth Mabus

LLM Class Marshals (2 positions)

Gabriela Bonfim de Almeida Braga

Fabiola Madrigal

Federico Ferdinandi

Ruta Mrazauskaite

Rez Gardi

 

Candidate Statements

1L Section Representatives

Section 1

Micah Burbanks-Ivey

I believe student representatives share the intrinsic values at the heart of public representation: a commitment of service as an active advocate and conduit of information between constituents and the government that binds them. Accountability and responsiveness are critical to this key principle of excellence in service. I intend to run as a 1L section one representative because I possess a deep-seated commitment to excellence in service and have utilized the passion for advocacy throughout my career. Throughout my professional and academic career, I have served as an advocate for marginalized communities, veterans and working families, ranging from advocating for responsible gun legislation, fighting for timely and affordable Veteran healthcare access and lobbying for fully funded social safety net programs. I intend to apply the valuable skills and experience I have learned in my years of service to the role of student advocate.

Section 2

Carla Luna

Dear Harvard Law School Community,
My name is Carla Luna and I would like to be the 1L section 2 representative because I believe in the value of shared community and community change that is driven from the bottom-up. As students at Harvard Law School, I believe we are in a unique position to affect change. However, between the workload and the enormous task of what seems like relearning the entire English language, our focus can become myopic.
As your 1L rep, I want to be part of a class of socially conscious lawyers that will make ripples outside the law school. Within our section, I have already, informally, taken on positions of leadership. I want to continue to represent our section in a formal capacity by collaborating with student government representatives to foster greater transparency and accountability from the school community.
As your 1L rep, I would make it a priority to create more opportunities for engagement with students and faculty outside the law school. I would also like to facilitate the law school transition by increasing the number of skill-building workshops. These workshops would be complementary to the Legal Research and Writing curriculum. However, instead of a focus on writing, these workshops would address topics like creating an outline, briefing, note-taking, and forming study groups.
As 1L rep, I vow to represent YOUR interests and advocate for the policies and programs that will advance your personal and academic success.

 

Noelle Graham

I may not have all the answers as to what makes for a perfect student experience. Maybe it means apple picking with your section, singing karaoke at two in the morning, or debating whether a fish is a tangible object. No matter what your answer, it is inevitable that someone else sitting next to you will have a different opinion. That is part of what makes law school such a treasurable experience (at least that’s what I’ve been told, I’ve only actually been here for three weeks). But regardless of our differing opinions on Snail Darters and Red Groupers, we can all agree that the next three years will likely be the most memorable, painful, and incredible time of our lives. I want to be a Student Government Representative to make sure that these years lean more towards incredible than painful. And I want to do so by listening to what others have to say and observing what could be better. I will always speak on behalf of my section, but never in place of my section.

Section 3

Josh Martin

I am running because I believe that it is valuable to be a servant to my peers. The people of section 3 are freaking awesome and I view this as a way to get to know you all better, to work with you and ultimately help get your views expressed if they will make this place they call law school a little more bearable. I have lots of student government experience: I served on Michigan’s Student Government Assembly as a representative my Junior year and I was the Chief Policy Strategist the next year, a student government with a 1 million dollar annual budget serving over 42,000 students. Would love to continue my involvement here at HLS.

Keir Negron

I believe I have the correct experience and attitude for this position. I have experience listening to and connecting every voice in a group and with that experience I will make sure our section’s voice is heard at student government meetings. If elected, I will make sure that the issues my section cares about are brought up, discussed, and solved.

Section 4

Megan Jones

Hello! I write to run to be Section 4’s Student Government representative. I am organized, dedicated, vocal, and passionate. I am well-equipped to advocate for others, to lead with empathy, and to continue to foster the community of compassion we’ve already built. I have been overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of spirit so central to our section’s ethos. I would be honored to be a champion for our section and to find ways to strengthen our already-strong sense of fellowship. Before coming to HLS, I taught 3rd Grade in a classroom that served both special-education and general-education students. Teaching children (and, in particular, teaching children who learn differently and are differently-abled) shaped me into the leader I am now and helped me develop critical skills: in communication, in mediation, in relationship-building, and in commanding a room with confidence. Teaching transformed me into a better collaborator and a more compassionate leader. I firmly believe that those skills make me an excellent candidate for your representative. I am a good listener but, beyond that, I’m a great speaker. I am confident that I can take your concerns, your fears, your requests and wants and swiftly find effective solutions. I am here to listen. But more importantly, I’m here to take action: to ensure you feel safe and happy on campus and to advocate for a more equitable and accessible HLS.  Please say hello! I love meeting others and want to hear from you!

Section 5

Sydney Hood

I have a lot of respect and affection for my section and would be very proud to serve as their delegate to Student Government! One of my favorite things about HLS is the plethora of well-formed, well-founded ideas amongst the student body; I would be very proud to represent, and would take very seriously the responsibilities there involved, the ideas included among the members of Section Five!

Section 6

William Wright

At West Point and then as an Army Officer for the past five years, I have enjoyed being able to represent my group’s interests and play an active role in pursuing policies that contribute to their welfare. I would like to be able to play a similar role for my 1L section. I am passionate about the success of the section as a whole, and I care deeply about the individuals that it consists of. I know that we are setting off into an incredible stage of life, and I would like to help ensure that it is as fulfilling as possible for all of us. I believe that my background, quality of character, and strong commitment to the well-being of the section make me an ideal candidate, and I would be honored to be chosen as the section’s student government representative.

Section 7

Anna Hevia

My name is Anna Hevia, and I am asking for your support to represent Section 7 in the HLS Student Government. I grew up in Seattle and Spain, and spent six years working for the federal government in Washington, DC. My experience has shown me the importance of open and frequent communication. As your Section 7 Representative, I’ll be more than happy to listen to any thoughts or concerns you may have. If elected, I will strive to uphold and promote the quintessential Section 7 values of friendship, dedication, loyalty and fun, and advocate for our interests in front of the rest of the student body and the administration. Thank you for considering me to represent you in Student Government.

Nima Shamtoub

Hi everyone, Nima here. First, I wanted to thank the class for nominating me to run for the position of Section 7 Rep for student government. I appreciate your advocacy and am happy to run for the position with the support of members of Section 7. The goal of HLS Student Government is to defend the welfare of, advocate policy changes for, and promote shared student governance for the student body. As your representative, I pledge myself to these commitments, and would opt towards a section wide inclusive approach to these endeavors. I will meet with our class as frequently as our students would like to learn about the interests of our section and what we want from our student government. Also, I am always open to having more confidential and personal conversations to hear individual preferences and perspective. I will make active efforts to have those notions heard and I know that I will be able to relay those messages effectively to the rest of student government. I would be able to invest as much time as necessary to ensure that the administration hears us and that all students “have a seat at the table” for important school decisions. Thank you again for your nomination, it really means a lot.

Transfer Representative

David Shea

The Transfer Class this year that comprises Section 8 is a wonderfully talented and interesting group of people with diverse backgrounds. They, and the inaugural section 8 last year, have provided an incredibly important social and support network for incoming transfers. One of the biggest fears in entering a new school, especially one as large as Harvard, is to get “lost in the woodwork” as a new transfer student without a foot hold in the community. Section 8 provides this foothold and I want to give back to it as a group in ensuring we have proper representation within the larger student body.

LL.M. Representatives

Hiba Thobani

What is most important to me is doing something that matters. The LL.M. class at Harvard Law School is an amazing, diverse group of individuals, and every day I am in awe of the talent, experience and views of my peers. To be in a position where I could engage with and represent them would be a privilege. In short, contributing to the collective experience of my class, rather than just obtaining my degree, matters.

Over the span of the last four years, I have worked multiple concurrent jobs, all the while searching for a way to use my skills in a way that have the most impact. I have practiced corporate litigation, run a legal aid clinic, taught first year law students, worked in university administration, conducted research and community training with local NGOs and drafted legislation – a unique spectrum of work which has culminated in me understanding, perhaps more than most, the challenges of working with a diverse group of people. But it has also increased my appreciation of and respect for each person’s individuality. As a result, I have had ample opportunity to hone the skills to be able to work with people as individuals as well as in groups with sensitivity and diligence. I have now come to this LL.M. program keen to learn from and with my class and know that, if given the opportunity to represent them formally, I would do so with sincerity and earnestness.

Magdalena Auge

The privilege of being student rep carries with it a host of duties and responsibilities. Three deserve special mention: (1) mediating between students and Faculty, fearlessly defending the interests of our class (2) openness, respect and tolerance; and (3) a willingness to get to know each and every member of the cohort. I believe I have the qualities to honor these duties.

Firstly, mediating between the student body and Faculty requires a delicate balance between diplomacy and an unwavering commitment to defend our interests. I will strive officiously to ensure that you are heard, whatever your concerns are – be it academic, professional or personal.
Secondly, I firmly believe that diversity should be respected. All 188 of us have come to HLS with different experiences – in law and in life. Whilst I believe that a culture of tolerance is important, I want to go even further: I want to create a ‘culture of celebration’, a space in which our differences are not only tolerated but also celebrated.

Finally, I want to get to know you all. When I return to Paraguay, I want to know that I have 187 new friends from 68 different countries around the world. I want to know that, in fifty years, I could be in most places around the world and have a friend to call on. And, most importantly, I want all of you to be confident that should you ever find yourself on Paraguayan soil, you will have a friend to count on. 

Ekaterina Dorokhova

I would like to be a Student Government representative to be able to influence the decisions that are important for my fellow LL.M. students and to ensure that their voices are heard.

It is important that LL.M.s are provided with an opportunity to suggest, develop and implement solutions and decisions that will enhance their experience this year. To that end, I would be keen to collaborate with students on any issues they may want to raise and serve as a conduit between them and the university’s administration and as liaison in bringing any issues to the administration and/or the Student Government.

I am truly looking forward to bringing real change and implementing decisions that will create a more vibrant experience for the LL.M.s.!

Kristian Torp Jensen

I run because I want to help improve the “Harvard experience”; For the LLM-class of 2019, but also for the class of 2020, the class of 2021 and so on.

While I do believe that the class representative can – and should – work to further the social and academic environment of the present class, I also believe that our potential to effect change is greatest if we look to future classes as well.

More often than not, ideas for improvement are born from experience; an experience that parts of a process did not work at all, or an idea to improve on a specific aspect of a specific experience that was otherwise great. Because many parts of our LLM-experience do not repeat (and because changing the parts that do repeat takes time), many of the most meaningful initiatives we as a class can take will be to better the program for future students.

The way we do this is by pooling our experiences and ideas – and should I be elected, it would therefore be upon the promise that I will hear, pass on, and push for ideas from anyone and everyone in the LLM-group to ensure (or at least attempt to ensure) that any serious proposal will receive an equally serious consideration from the HLS administration.

Juan Diego Mujica Filippi

I want to be an LL.M. Student Government representative as I would enjoy using my organizing skills and sense of empathy in service of my class. I truly believe I could foster the development of friendships within the LL.M. Class of 2019 as well as help the individual voices across the class to be heard both by our peers and by the Law School administration.
In the past, I’ve served as Student Representative in Universidad de Lima’s University Assembly, which was both a challenging and satisfying experience, as I was able to be a diplomatic link between students and the university. That experience also allowed me to organize events that appealed to my fellow students and permitted general participation.
My goal as an LL.M. Student Government representative is to enhance the sense of unity of our class for our year at Harvard and especially for the future. The time to get to know each other is now, so we need to take advantage of that in social and academic settings, as well as being constantly challenged and motivated with the academic experience we are living.

Gonzalo Robles

By getting to know many of you, I know for a fact that one of HLS’ most enriching resource is its LL.M. cohort. As LL.M.s, we bring with ourselves a wide array of life experiences – these experiences need to be heard and shared. I am convinced that improved and continued interactions among each other, between us and the rest of the student body, as well as the HLS faculty will make the HLS experience even better. To this end, I would like to work on designing more interaction spaces and exposure opportunities.

The truth is that none of us can make change happen by ourselves. If elected, I would like to work alongside all of you to make the most out of our short stay at HLS. During our last month, we have had great experiences, but we have also faced administrative hurdles: limited seat availability in courses, a complicated registration and cross-registration processes, the intricacies of several of the academic requirements (such as finding an advisor for our papers), among others. These issues, and many others, will continue to present themselves during our time at HLS. All of them, whatever their nature, need to be addressed and resolved–something I would look forward to doing.

We are a diverse class with an assortment of interests. If elected, I plan to be open to ideas, comments, and concerns – that’s the only way in which we will be able to advocate for our interests (as diverse as they currently are).

S.J.D. Representative

Sannoy Das

Happy to represent the SJDs on the student government.

3L Class Marshal

Panna J Balla

I’d love to be Class Marshal so that I can help:

  1. ensure that our class speaker is representative of our entire community and values – on a day that we have all worked towards our entire lives, I for one would love to listen to someone who brings us all together instead of divides us;
  2. use proceeds from events and parties throughout the year to organize a send-off trip to remember; and
  3. throw the best Barrister’s this school has ever seen!

* My background is in hospitality management and I promise you guys I got this 🙂

Michael Drell

People are the best part of HLS. The staff, the professors, and especially you – my fellow students – have shaped an incredible experience in Cambridge. I came to HLS knowing it presented me with an incomparable opportunity to meet some of the most intelligent, generous, and motivated people of our generation, but I am still humbled by the experience, passion, and kindness of every student here. The opportunity to give back to you by serving as a Class Marshal would truly be an honor.

My background has prepared me with the skills needed to fulfill the duties of a Class Marshal and to effectively represent the diversity that makes our class so strong. During undergrad, I spent several years in student government. I also worked in fundraising and event planning and management with UCLA Athletics, putting on elegant, celebratory events while minimizing costs and raising funds to support student-athletes. I was also captain of the UCLA Cheer Squad, a role requiring extensive organization in addition to While at HLS, I have served on the boards of both APALSA and Lambda and currently serve on the board of Parody.
As a Class Marshal, my goal would be to make the size of HLS feel even more like an advantage by bringing the best part of Harvard, the people, together in celebration of our last year.

Thank you for your consideration of my candidacy!

Elizabeth Fillman

I want to be Class Marshal because I want to help the class of 2019 have the best year yet. As President of HL Central and the former Social Committee Chair of WLA, I have experience with event planning and will throw the Barrister’s Ball that this class deserves. I also want to choose a commencement speaker that we can all be excited about. If elected, I will solicit feedback and ideas from the 3L class in order to make sure the speaker fits the bill.

Zachary Fisch

Remember all of the controversy about last year’s Class Day speaker? That was no fun. Some people were upset. No one should be upset on Class Day.

But I know who’d make a completely unobjectionable Class Day speaker: Reese Witherspoon. Everyone loves Reese Witherspoon. She’s America’s sweetheart. Will she do it? I have absolutely no idea. Harvard won’t let me reach out to anyone yet. But I *do* know that she is filming Legally Blonde 3 (coming to theaters Valentine’s Day 2020!), so maybe she’ll want to generate some buzz by coming to Elle Woods’ old stomping grounds. Plus, she’s a gender equity advocate, so she will have something to teach us all. I can’t promise we’ll get her, but I promise I’ll try my very best.

But enough about Reese — I should tell you all a bit about me, too. Those who know me know I’m resourceful and persistent, so I will make sure we get a great Class Day speaker and flawless Barrister’s Ball no matter what. As a founding member of the illustrious Section 5 Social Committee, I know all about building community at HLS. And my experience planning both the end-of-semester and end-of-year parties during 1L have given me the right experience to plan a great Barrister’s Ball. My social committee tenure and my time as chair of the Harvard Votes Challenge have given me the experience planning events through DOS that will make the Class Marshal job second nature to me.

This is our last year of school ever. Let’s make it a great one.

Samuel Garcia

Hi, my name is Sam Garcia and I like to party…and also I like to plan them. I have helped plan and host events all throughout law school, and it’d be an honor to bring together the Class of 2019 for a number of fun celebrations as we head towards graduation. Also I promise to select a graduation speaker that the class will be happy with. If I am elected, there will be a party immediately afterward at the Kong. If I am not elected, there will still be a party immediately afterward at the Kong. @DeanManning, you’re invited to the party too. I’d like to use the remainder of my words to discuss the Detroit Lions Week 1 performance. It was horrifying. At one point it seemed like Matt Stafford hurt his MCL and I was seconds away from starting a GoFundMe to give him my MCL. There is still hope. I <3 Matt Stafford.

Elisabeth Mabus

Finding a community has been my favorite part of HLS. I want to make sure our last year is filled with moments to connect and reconnect with classmates. I also have some thoughts about the floppy hats.

Pete McDonald

I hope to work to bring a dynamic and engaging speaker to campus and to help organize a much-deserved end-of-year event that we’ll all be proud of.

LL.M. Class Marshals

Gabriela Bonfim de Almeida Braga

To bring the class together, facilitate communication and promote epic send-off parties.

Federico Ferdinandi

I would be honored to lead my inspiring LL.M. class into Commencement.\

Rez Gardi

When I started law school, a refugee and the first in my family to attend university, I felt like I didn’t belong. It took me a long time to finally find my place and believe that I deserved to be there.

I joined the law school society and made it my mission to ensure no one felt the way I did. I want to do the same here as LL.M Class Marshal. My main goal is to foster a sense of community and belonging for all of us. Most importantly, I want to ensure we all have FUN!

We’ve all come from different parts of the globe, different backgrounds, cultures and experiences, and we’re all trying to find our place in a foreign new world. Whether you were the class president, a quiet achiever, jock, popular kid, prom queen, class comedian, the loud party starter, or a creative hipster, I want to serve you and your needs.

We’re all here to get the absolute most from our classes and professors, but we have just as much to gain from each other and the lasting friendships we have already begun to make. In serving you as Marshal I want to help you achieve that.

I’m dedicated to organizing a range of events so that you can all participate regardless of whether you enjoy partying, sports events, quiet gatherings, cultural outings, watching movies, food tasting, or just a hike on the weekend. I want there to be something for everyone to enjoy and I want everyone to have the opportunity to make life-long memories.

I commit to ensuring no-one is left out and that we all have the best year!

Fabiola Madrigal

I want to run for Class Marshal to ensure that everyone in the LL.M. program has amazing memories, in what promises to be the best year of our lives. Most importantly, I am running for Class Marshal to ensure that the people you meet at Harvard will become longtime friends and meaningful connections.

Being Class Marshal is an opportunity to represent the LL.M. class of 2019, while at the same time planning fun social events and surprises. It is also the perfect chance to ensure that faculty, the LL.M. class and the JD Class have more opportunities to get to know each other and network with one another. Life is all about the connections that you make, and as much as lawyers like doing things by themselves, a little teamwork is always part of the equation. The people you meet during law school will become your friends, future colleagues, future counterparts, etc. Running for Class Marshal is the perfect opportunity to ensure that people get to know each other better and create strong bonds and lifetime memories.

Ruta Mrazauskaite

Nothing very shocking – like many of us, I believe that creating a sense of a close knit community is what makes our LLM year so special (aside from the fact that we are all allowed to read and discuss really interesting things for whole 9 months!). I want to contribute to making sure it happens and that by the end of the academic year we can look around and see not only amazing future lawyers, but also present friends. I have no magic plan, other than reaching out to our classmates as much as I can and listening to what they feel is needed to create opportunities for socializing and making sure our events at HLS represent who we are. My goal would be to ensure that everyone is well informed about the different opportunities to engage in social events and everyone feels very welcome!