Ultra Vires


Why You Should Consider Running for the SLS

A chance to create a vision for the post-pandemic law school

“Me? Run for SLS? Nope.” That’s what I remember thinking when I saw the Chief Returning Officer’s (CRO) email announcing that Fall 2019 nominations were open. I ignored it. Surely there were more qualified people. Surely there were students who had participated in student government during their undergrad. Surely the election was solely a popularity contest. Nonetheless, by week three, it was clear that there were changes needed at the law school, and with fewer than 24 hours remaining, I threw my hat into the ring for what turned out to be the most contested 1L election in the last seven years. Despite having been a quieter 1L, I was elected by putting forward ideas that resonated with students. I was lucky to stand for election alongside so many students who were also passionate about improving our law school. These students have gone on to contribute to our community both on the Students’ Law Society (SLS) and through many other leadership roles.

As your outgoing SLS President, I want to encourage you to think about what you want to see in the law school. Many of us hope that next year will be a chance to rebuild the vibrant law school community ecosystem of events, gatherings, and support that pandemic restrictions have affected. There remain many policies and practices of the law school that need revisiting, changing, or removing. Creating a vision for the post-pandemic law school will be a challenging but rewarding task that will fall to next year’s SLS.

SLS advocacy and planning this year yielded policy changes regarding recorded lectures, open book examinations, and accommodations; funding for the Upper Year Welcome Back; and hosting snack giveaways under extremely restrictive pandemic requirements. These are just some of the things we were able to achieve, but the point of this pitch is to encourage you to consider throwing your name into the ring. Whether it’s planning events and funding clubs on the Social and Finance Committee, pushing the Faculty to change its policies on the Student Life and Academic Committee, or working to coordinate the work of these two bodies on the Executive Committee, if you want to serve our community, the SLS offers many opportunities.

In 2019, I was so impressed by the quality and passion of my fellow candidates, I didn’t expect to win. I certainly didn’t expect to be President this year. What I have learned after working with dozens of students on the SLS over the past three years is that you don’t need to have student government experience, be an SLS-incumbent, or be the most popular student in order to run for the SLS and be a successful Year Representative or Executive member. What you do need are ideas for improving our community, a desire to share those ideas, and a willingness to work towards realizing them. 

Stay tuned for the CRO’s formal announcement opening nominations tomorrow and please consider throwing your hat into the ring in the 2022 SLS Spring General Election to help make our community better.

Editor’s Note: Willem Crispin-Frei is the 2021-2022 President of the Students’ Law Society.

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