2017 Student Government Elections: 2L Rep Candidates

Interview with Leilani Doktor

The Record: Why are you running for 2L Rep?

Leilani Doktor: I believe that I give a diverse perspective to student government that is necessary just to be fully representative of our 2L class.

Record: What distinguishes you from the other candidates?

LD: I think that my unique background and public interest focus contribute to my ability to be a good representative. I was very active in student government throughout undergraduate and high school, so I’m very experienced in terms of governance regarding student bodies and creating policies that work for students. As a 1L rep, I’ve been able to make small changes, like getting refills on the free coffee downstairs in the morning and regularly meeting with the dining hall to get new dining options, including the poké bowls in the boxes that you’ve seen added to the Hark menu.

Record: What would you like to do if you are elected as 2L Rep?

LD:, I have a couple more small institutional changes, including getting quarter machines in the laundry rooms and getting staplers at all the printers. IT has decided they’re going to add another printer. Most people think that right next to the COOP is a good location, but I’m not sure if it’ll be feasible with IT, so if we couldn’t get it next to the COOP, I was thinking on the second floor right above the COOP.

Record: Is there anything that you would like to change about the law school community or Harvard Law in general that you would say is beyond your control?

LD: I think there’s a lot of things that are beyond my control in the sense that I’m just one person within this community, but what I can do as a representative and as an active part of this community is do my best to help build it into a community and make sure that as Harvard students, we feel like we are part of a community and included and heard, and I think that that’s what’s so important about Student Government, is being heard. So often, people think being hard of government is you know, talking to administrators, it’s working on policies, but ultimately, being a representative and being the 2L Representative is about voicing the 2L class’s concerns and voice and opinions, and that’s a job I take really seriously.

Record: Is there a student organization on campus other than Student Government that you would say accurately represents who you are as a person, and why that one?

LD: Absolutely. I believe NALSA accurately represents me as a person. NALSA is the Native American Law Students Association. I plan to be very active in it next year as a co-President. As an indigenous woman, indigenous issues are incredibly important to me, and although I kind of split the categories in terms of affinities groups because there is no clear-cut category for Pacific Islanders, NALSA really speaks to my dedication to the minority of the minorities, the people who are generally overlooked, the ones who have a deep connection to the earth and the environment, and really care deeply about it and continue to rely on it, and often are marginalized, but have an incredible perspective that needs to be heard and needs to be recognized. So that’s an organization that I’m really involved in, I think it speaks to my identity, and I’m really excited to bring that perspective to the rest of the student body.

Record: Do you think there needs to be more dogs at Harvard Law School, fewer dogs, or about the same?

LD: I love dogs. Remi the cat is very cute and I fully support Remi, but I would love to have a dog companion. That would be really adorable if there was a ginger dog, or maybe a black dog that went with Remi around this law school. I think Mopsy [a service dog belonging to Jameyanne Fuller ‘19] needs friends.

Interview with Kaitlyn Beck

The Record: Why are you running for 2L Rep?

Kaitlyn Beck: I had a good experience in Student Government this year. I learned a lot about how the law school operates, and I could use that knowledge to better help the student body next year.

 Record: What distinguishes you from the other candidates?

KB: I would say one positive distinction is that I have served on Student Government and I know some of them have not. I think another distinction is that this is something that I’m very passionate about and have been considering doing for a long time. My service to Student Government shows that this is something that I am very much qualified for and interested in.

Record: What would you like to do if you won?

KB: I would love for our administration to be more transparent about information. They’ve been very accommodating about little requests, like new refrigerators or printers, but when we ask “how does the system work?” or “who’s in what class and what grades are being gotten?” they won’t give us information. One thing we’d want to do is make sure that we are keeping the administration accountable for giving the information to the student.

The other big thing is that we’ve had a lot of issues this year relating to mental health and student awareness of the resources available to them. That’s something that everyone running for Student Government this year has on their minds, and it’s certainly on my mind as well.

Record: What student organization other than Student Government would you say most accurately represents you as an individual, and why that one?

KB: Mock Trial. I really love the courtroom setting, working with a team and preparing a project for several weeks, and I do love the competition aspect of it.

Record: Is there anything that you would like to change about the law school community or the law school in general that you would say is beyond your control?

KB: If I had my way, people wouldn’t be so insulated into little groups. I think it’s very easy to join your political affinity group, get all of your outlines and answers from them, and make that your social group, and I would make it much more of a general community rather than little pockets.

Record: Do you think there needs to be more dogs, fewer dogs, or about the same number of dogs on campus?

KB: Always more dogs! But only if they’re cute.

Interview with Sam Garcia

The Record: Why are you running for 2L Representative?

Sam Garcia: I think it’s an important position. There are a few things I want to get done for sure, and if you can tell by my candidate statement, I really don’t care about things outside of them. Mental health is at the top of the list. As far as broad platform points go, I’m not really a fan of those. I don’t really want to promise you things that I don’t think I can do, so I’m telling you what I think I can do, and whether that’s “find my missing sock” or “get a stapler next to a copier,” that’s what I think I can do.

Record: What distinguishes you from the other candidates?

SG: I would say one thing that distinguishes me from them is that they’re much better writers than me. Their statements are seamless, almost bulletproof, and mine just has so many holes. I’m sure Leilani’s an excellent surfer, so Instagram tells me. I am not. Kaitlyn, she’s going to mock trial. I’ve never been to trial except for a speeding ticket once, so I think that’s a big difference. I’m a huge Detroit Lions fan. I don’t think they quite are. I really think the voters should take into account that I once painted my face to go watch the Lions play as a true testament to my loyalty. If people remember that 0 and 16 season, I was there, still a Lions fan. That’s the same attitude I bring to everything.

Record: What student organization other than Student Government would you say represents who you are as an individual, and why that one?

SG: I’d say a mix of La Alianza and Texas Club. I love being from Texas. It’s the greatest state in the Union for a fact. What I love about being from Texas is that I get to troll other people that are not from Texas. Texas is actually just a great place. This is my first time living outside of it, so it was cool to go back to a club that was so specific to a group of people that would have common experiences that I did.

Record: What is one thing that you would like to change about the HLS community that you would say is beyond your control?

SG: Just being totally honest, when people say, “I want to make the school more diverse,” that’s really not up to us as much as it is the administration. I would get a Latino professor tenured. I think there’s a guy that’s in a great position for it. I think his name rhymes with “Trespo.” Get some more women on the faculty.

Record: Do you think there needs to be more dogs, fewer dogs, or about the same number of dogs on campus?

SG: More. Absolutely more. It’s just a direct effect, more dogs, more happiness. I’ve been described as a dog multiple times. Once, I was characterized as a golden retriever puppy, which was the best day of my life. That’s the dream right there.


2017 Student Government Candidate interviews

President & Vice President candidates Adrian Perkins and Amanda Lee

President & Vice President candidates Joe Sullivan and Jin Kim

President & Vice President candidates Anika Kahn and Tyra Walker

Director of Student Organizations

3L Representatives

Kate Thoreson is a 2L. She is the deputy editor-in-chief of The Harvard Law Record.

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