Monday, April 07, 2008

Columbia ACS Board Elections - Candidate Statements

President

Adam Mintz
Kate Sauser

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Adam Mintz
At its core, ACS ensures there is a strong progressive voice on campus that informs and inspires the Columbia Community about issues of law and public policy that we must confront. I would like to be President of ACS to ensure ACS continues to serve its important role in the Columbia Community. Not only does ACS ensure important policy issues are discussed by hosting a wide range of speakers, it also assists in the development of important advocacy skills through the Constance Baker Motley Moot Court Competition. While I want to continue both of these programs, my goal for next year is to institute two changes in what ACS does. First, given the important role ACS has in promoting progressive policies, I want to have a speaker series that focuses on how lawyers can shape policy and the what types of jobs law students should look for in that effort. Second, while I think the Moot Court competition was very successful this year, students did not have the benefit of the legal practice workshop before they wrote their briefs and made their oral arguments. I would like to provide additional oral argument and brief writing training by bringing local attorneys or professors to offer 2-4 training sessions in the fall. Also, given the complexity of constitutional arguments and the fact that constitutional law is taught in the spring, I would also like to dedicate one of those sessions to explain how constitutional arguments differ from other legal arguments.

With these goals in mind, I feel I have the talents and experience to be an effective president. This year, I served as a 1L board representative to ACS where I planned events, worked with the ACS national organization, and helped in the group’s decision process. I also participated in the moot court competition. These experiences allowed me to learn about the organization and understand the time and planning necessary to ensure the organization is run effectively. Moreover, as an undergraduate, I was President of the Democratic organization on campus and effectively performed many of the same functions the President of ACS does. Those included planning meetings and events, working with other groups on campus, and communicating with the national organization. I feel I have the dedication, experience and organization necessary to be an effective president and I hope you will give me the opportunity to serve as the President of ACS next year.

Kate Sauser
I believe I would make a good president of ACS for several reasons. First, I served on the Board this year as a 1L Representative. While serving on the Board, I helped plan several events. I planned the Constitutional Law Mixer, which over 50 people attended, in conjunction with the Federalist Society. I also planned for Doug Kendall to come speak on campus. I hosted two ACS parties at my apartment, as well as the CLS/NYU ACS Mixer. I have helped plan and write questions for Quizzo. If elected President, I will continue ACS’s tradition of reaching out to other student organizations and co-hosting events. I believe the skills I’ve gained and contacts I’ve made as 1L Board Rep this year will be very useful in leading ACS, and I hope to have that opportunity.

Vice-President

Megan Crowley
Adam Mintz
Mina Nasseri
Kate Sauser

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Megan Crowley
I am running for ACS Vice-President because I think that ACS offers wonderful opportunities to Columbia Law students and I want to help continue providing these events and services, while increasing student involvement in the organization. I am particularly interested in running for Vice President because I want to focus on getting more students involved with both the Columbia and National Chapters of ACS. I believe that my enthusiasm for the organization and ability to generate enthusiasm among other students would be useful assets in this position. There are great resources available to students through ACS and communicating that to members is crucial to building a stronger organization and generating excitement around the issues addressed. I have great interest in these issues addressed by ACS and am eager to work hard to make Columbia’s ACS chapter an even more vibrant organization at school.

Adam Mintz
While my preference is to serve as President next year, I feel the experience and skills necessary to be an effective President would also allow me to be an effective Vice President. Please read my candidate statement for President.

Mina Nasseri
I am running for Vice President of ACS because I love this organization. Being involved with ACS--both the organization and the moot court program--has been one of my most valuable experiences as a 1L. As Vice President, I would continue ACS's tradition of arranging guest speakers to visit, organizing membership drives, and planning fun-filled activities (such as Quizzo and parties). I would also like to start some new programs, such as distributing study packages during finals and putting together a database of outlines/exams for ACS members to use. All in all, I wish to continue my involvement in ACS and believe I could best do that as Vice President.

Kate Sauser
I feel that my serving on the board this year would be very helpful in acting as Vice President of ACS. I have tabled several times to boost ACS membership, which is one of the main responsibilities of the VP. Also, I would organize social events to serve as membership drives. My organizational skills would help me to update the membership database and keep it in order. Also, my extensive involvement with admitted students at Admitted Student Weekends, as well as my participation in other student groups like Law Revue and Columbia Law Women’s Association, has put me in a good position to develop relationships with next year’s 1L class.

Events Chair

Megan Crowley
Max Dubin
Mina Nasseri
Kate Sauser

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Megan Crowley
I am running for ACS Events Chair because I want to continue bringing excellent events and opportunities to Columbia law students, as have been offered by ACS in the past. Having an organization that allows students to engage with contemporary issues and offers a forum for discussion and debate is a fundamental component of a vibrant law school culture. I am eager to contribute to that effort and think that ACS is the ideal organization through which to do so. I am an organized and hard-working person and think that events chair would be a great position for me to utilize my energy and interest towards making ACS a central forum for engagement and dialogue at the law school.

Max Dubin
I am running for events chair because I've enjoyed all the ACS events that I've been to and I have a lot of event planning experience. At the law school, I was on the Senate social committee, working on events like Iron Chef and Barristers. Before law school, I was president of the Penn Inter Fraternity Council, and have experience overseeing and organizing many projects at once. I also was one the ACS moot court and planning committee, and have a sense of how events are typically handled in this organization. I expect the fall semester will be dominated by the election, and we should capitalize on the excitement in out events, pulling out important issues from the race and inviting speakers or having our own debates. I also have experience from working at NPR's Justice Talking, a legal and social issues debate show, and I have worked in finding and inviting experts to come participate. Beyond continuing to have a full schedule of speakers and social events, I want to find more events that highlight ACS lawyers in the real world, and find the many different paths they have taken. Thank you. Max Dubin

Mina Nasseri
I would like to be the Events Chair of ACS so that I could be involved in planning and organizing ACS activities. I think I would do a good job planning the event logistically (filling out the necessary forms, contacting the necessary people, getting food, etc.) as well as promoting the event through posters and emails. One idea I have for the position is to put a calendar on the ACS bulletin board in JG to display all the activities we have planned. Also, I would like to designate one day (Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday) as "Lunch with ACS" day - where people would automatically know that we have a guest speaker and lunch at the same time and same place every week.

Kate Sauser
As mentioned in my statement for President, I helped plan several events this year, and I believe this experience will be helpful in serving as Events Chair. I have flyered and obtained room reservations for several events this year, including the ConLaw Mixer, Doug Kendall, the Wu’Tierney factor and Guantanamo. Also, my experience with the 1L Planning Committee makes me confident that I can oversee the planning of ACS events while successfully delegating work and making sure everything runs smoothly. I also attended almost all the lunch events last year, and as Events Chair, would encourage all board members who are able to do so as well.

Finance Chair

Max Dubin

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Max Dubin
I am applying for finance chair primarily to get involved in our ACS chapter. I have experience in running club finances in college. I'll keep organized and promptly maintained books. My philosophy for the position is to try to fund every good idea but to have as much planning as possible to keep costs as tight as possible. I have also been on Senate this year, and have a good sense of how to maximize the funding we get. I will be fair and respectful of the rules, but also with clear planning and explanation, try to get as many of our events funded as possible. Beyond this administrative position, I also hope to get plan and execute events, and describes some of my hopes in my other applications. Thank you. Max Dubin

Media Chair

Zeke Hill
Kate Sauser

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Zeke Hill

With your support, I would like to serve as the next ACS Media Chair. This year, I worked on the ACS blog as an assistant to the current Media Chair, including writing BlogThis! emails and blogging ACS events. My experience in this capacity, in addition to attending ACS events, serving on the 1L committee and prior work blogging and developing web content for political and nonprofit organizations, has provided me with a sense of how the blog and the ACS website generally can best serve the organization. Furthermore, I believe that I have all the requisite technical skills and can type at speeds approaching 50 wpm (with 95% accuracy). Aside from its informational and organizational aspects, the blog is a great tool for engaging ACS members in timely issues relevant to ACS' mission. With this in mind, I would continue the current blog practices and also examine how we can expand the blog's use by (and utility to) ACS and ACS members.

Kate Sauser
My undergraduate degree in Journalism and background in media relations makes me confident in my ability to do the job of Media Chair. I have worked on several publications and been an editor of two magazines in the past. I have a blog and some experience with webpage management. As Media Chair, I would solicit blog content from specific students, student leaders, and professors to make the ACS blog a useful and exciting resource for Columbia ACS members and CLS students in general.

External Relations Chair

Max Dubin
Kate Sauser
Adam Sparks

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Max Dubin

I am applying for external relations chair to get more involved in ACS. I see the position as trying to get the most out of ACS nationals, both in money but also in guidance towards finding great speakers or ACS lawyers who have taken non-traditional paths in their careers. This is particularly important, since ACS should encourage conversation on political and legal issues, but also get a sense of how lawyer are pursuing these interests. This also suggests that the position should also try to help the events chair as much as possible. I have a lot of experience and excitement for the events we can have next year, which I discussed in my events chair application and won't make you read again. Beyond connecting with the national organization and lawyers, I think the position should try to work on connections with other ACS chapters. Quizzo is always successful, and it would be easy to challenge other ACS chapters to competitions as well. Thank you. Max Dubin


Kate Sauser
As one of the attendees and hosts of the NYU/CLS ACS Mixer this year, I feel I am well-prepared to assume the job of External Relations Chair, as coordinating with other schools’ ACS chapters is one of the main responsibilities of this position. I also saw the ACS mentorship program in action, and I would welcome the opportunity to make sure that any ACS member who wants a member gets one and that the mentors stay active with their mentees, perhaps by holding mentor/mentee social events throughout the year.


Adam Sparks

I’m running for External Relations Chair because ACS cannot fulfill its mission of “chang[ing] the terms of public debate” without vigorous interaction with peer organizations and practitioners outside of the school. I have a deep appreciation for the roles mentorship and cross-school collaboration should play in the development of this public debate. My work at Columbia Law with the Senate and the Law Revue have proven my ability to capitalize on this belief and to reach out successfully to students and practitioners elsewhere. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, sweet tea runs through this man’s veins; external relations can only improve with that kind of DNA.

3L Representative

Jake Honigman
Laird Nelson
Adam Sparks

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Jake Honigman
Serving as President of ACS this past year has been one of the highlights of my law school experience, and I hope to stay involved next year. I plan on being as hands-off as possible, while providing whatever guidance I can to the new board whenever they solicit (or seem like they need) it. I'm proud of the frequency and quality of the programming this year, but think we could have had more discussions related to judicial philosophy, and hope that next year--especially as the general presidential election campaign unfolds--we will focus on that area a little more. I ask you humbly for your vote, and hope to help ACS in whatever way I can for the rest of my time at CLS. Thank you.


Laird Nelson

As the current Vice President, I’m hoping to continue my involvement with our chapter next year in the position of 3L Representative. This year I’ve had a great experience on the board, communicating with speakers and planning events, coordinating with ACS National, reaching out to 1Ls and others to grow our membership, serving as an editor for the ACS moot court, and generally working with my fellow board members to ensure the chapter runs as well as it can. If elected to be 3L Rep, I look forward to helping the new board and sharing my experiences with them, so that we can make next year even more successful. I’ve had the chance to learn a lot about how both our chapter and the larger ACS organization function, and by staying on the board I’d be able to provide some continuity, especially in our contacts with National and membership development, to keep things running smoothly. ACS has a great presence here at Columbia, promoting progressive ideas and debate, and I hope to stay involved in that next year!

Adam Sparks
As what one might call a “4L,” I would bring unprecedented grizzled wisdom to the ACS Board. Having been what one might call a plebian, pawn, or line grunt for three years, I can contribute the perception of the ordinary ACS-er – the common progressive, if you will. I have a lot of experience running events and programs at Columbia Law (see, e.g., Student Senate Treasury, Law Revue Show), and I’d like to help take ACS to even greater heights. In conclusion, please pick me. Don’t make me cry.

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