Record: Has anything changed in the past year for you as far as how you would approach student government?
Hannah Dawson: I don’t think my general approach has changed. One of the things that I have learned from my experience as a 2L Rep is just how important it is to get out there and reach out to the constituencies that are going to be affected. Law school is incredibly busy, so as much as people may care about a particular issue, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they have time in their schedule to make it out to a Wednesday night Student Government meeting. One of my goals is to figure out how to be as accessible as possible to people and to meet them where they are.
Record: I know we talked about mental health last year. Have you been involved in any mental health initiatives in the past year?
HD: There are a couple things that I’d like to highlight. The first is transparency on the part of the administration. I would like to give a huge shout out to the entire Health and Wellness committee, which I’m a part of. We have gotten commitment from the administration to release the mental health survey data in aggregate form by the end of this year, so that’s something that we’re really excited about and that we’re hoping can guide our steps moving forward. It’s something that the administration has been really hesitant on. The second thing is to have mental health first aid training available to students, particularly to make sure that in the different affinity groups and various organizations on campus, that someone from any organization who would like to participate is able to get mental health first aid training so that they know how to address a mental health situation if they come across one. There are accredited training programs, and the other thing I’d like to try to implement next year is to have HUHS also come do a brief segment to educate them about what the process is for getting access to mental health services on campus and what the different resources are. I’d really like to see the 1L section leaders sign on as well to get that training and possibly even the Climenkos if they can swing it.
Record: Nick Pellow talked a lot about printing when I spoke to him. What’s your take?
HD: Printing is really important to law students, so if people have concerns about printing, I’m happy to reach out and try to address them. I know that in years past, Student Government has made huge changes to make sure that the printers are working more often than they had been in the past. To some extent, that has been successful. I’ve had the streaky printing problem too. I fully support Nick, and to the extent that I can lobby the administration to do something about this, I’m really excited to help do that.
Record: Are you in support of the comfort dog sessions?
HD: I think we’ve got the perfect number of comfort dogs right now. I do think we need to keep pushing the administration on the things that are more systemic.
Record: Anything else?
HD: The implementation of HLS Talks as a forum for people to talk about themselves as people gets at an essential tension at HLS between forming a meaningful community of people who care about each other and attempting to form a professional network of future lawyers who can be helpful in a career. I think those two things have been set up as a binary, but I actually think that you create a stronger network and a stronger community if you can combine the two together. I’d like to work on initiatives like HLS Talks that will make HLS feel more like a community and less like a professional network.
Nicholas James Pellow
Record: I understand that you are running because you want to change some things about the printing system here.
Nicholas James Pellow: Yes, the printing.
Record: Could you elaborate a bit about that?
NJP: Sure. So, right now, Harvard Law students can’t print in WCC without having crazy black streaks all over their papers. LRW open memo season’s coming up, I’m not sure what the 1Ls are going to do, but there’s very few options open to them right now in order to get clean printer paper out. Furthermore, we’ve already heard from Student Government that we’re going to get staplers by the printers. This was a campaign platform adopted by the current administration last year, and it hasn’t come to fruition. We haven’t seen it. Furthermore, we don’t have a recycling bin in the library as we’re walking out. I’m not sure what the other students do, but I find myself carrying bundles of paper and bringing them all the way to WCC so I can recycle them. So it’s the little things that aren’t getting done. I understand the current Student Government co-presidents have some very expansive platforms, very far-reaching, very exciting stuff. But every local government has to be able to fill the potholes. And right now we’re not filling the potholes with the printing situation. So as 3L Representative, what I want to do is just focus our attention on the details that students are going to experience every day, and that starts with printing.
Record: Is there any particular reason you decided to solve that problem by running for Student Government yourself?
NJP: It seems like Student Government elections are that one time where we all think and reflect on what is getting done and what’s not getting done. Most of this is an election campaign to build up momentum around this issue. We could have reached out to IT and gotten the printers fixed, but is that a long-term solution? Are they going to get fixed next year, or in five years? Where’s the space in the budget? By implementing this through Student Government, you can make it a long-term solution.
Record: Have you had any negative experiences with printing yourself?
NJP: Yes! All the time! Who hasn’t? I was sitting in a mock trial tournament this weekend. Our closing argument led by my co-counsel, he was about to get up to deliver his closing argument, and he looks down at his paper, and it’s covered in black streaks. Now, luckily, he was an amazing closer. He didn’t need the paper. But I looked around and everybody on our team didn’t have a single clean sheet of paper to read from for their mock trial performance. It’s chaos.
Record: Do you have any ideas about how to implement some of your changes to the printing system?
NJP: A small line item in the budget for staplers as a one-time thing, and then staples as a recurring thing. I think what will be slightly more challenging is reaching out to IT, finding out how much it costs to replace the part of the printer that’s smearing everybody’s pages, and finding out how to put it into somebody’s budget. We’re not reaching for the moon here. It’s printing. Somebody’s gotta be able to figure it out.
Record: Are there any other commitments on campus that are important to you?
NJP: Mock trial is a really enduring commitment to me, and outside of that, I think I’m pretty much dedicated to the student body at large.
Record: Is there anything on campus that you’d like to change that you see as beyond your control?
NJP: There’s always attention that needs to be given to the 1L curriculum. It’s a very tense time, it’s a very important time for students’ careers. Constant attention to that is always important, and it seems like the school does a pretty good job of pulling it in the right direction, but there’s always some voices after 1L that think, there’s gotta be a better way to do this.
Record: Do you think there should be more, fewer, or about the same number of dogs on campus?
NJP: Always more. I’m allergic to most breeds of dogs, so I appreciate curly hair.
Record: Anything else?
NJP: Support Printer Reform 2019.
Latest posts by Kate Thoreson (see all)
- Princess Daisy Akita ’20 and Daniel Egel-Weiss ’20: Candidates for Student Government Co-President - March 11, 2019
- Hannah Dawson ’20 and Nicholas James Pellow ’20: Candidates for 3L Representative - March 11, 2019
- Your Opinions Still Matter Even If People Won’t Change Their Minds - November 8, 2018