Fall 2008 Election Candidates
Mahalia Cole, 1L Section 1
My name is Mahalia Cole and I would like to be the SBA 1L Representative for Section 1. My reasons for running for this position include my ability to effectively listen to the desires and needs of others and to relay them to the appropriate authority. I believe that I can apply this ability to Section 1 and be the person that each member turns to when there is a law school related need. A representative is more than someone who relays information; they have to be able to effectively take action to insure that the needs of their constituents are met. I believe that I have the ability to understand my section’s needs and address them in a manner that is in the best interest of our section as a whole. I would like to be the voice that speaks to the SBA in order to insure that our opinions are heard and that action is taken to fulfill our desires. Our time here at NYU should be filled with opportunities that are pleasing and with your help I can be the one to make it happen.
I have experience serving in leadership roles in which I had to act as a representative for others and work with others to fulfill the needs of my organization. I have served in the capacity of president and treasurer for various organizations and both of those positions required me to voice concerns, relating to my organization, to the Student Government Association or College Council. I have more than five years of experience and I have gained much insight into effective communication skills and the art of working well with others toward a common goal.
If elected, I will work diligently to make the 1L year a memorable experience, not only for the challenges faced in Professor Miller’s Civil Procedure class, but also for the enjoyable moments that we can have outside of the classroom. Please take the time to vote on Wednesday, October 15, 2008 and Thursday, October 16, 2008 for a voice for the people.
Sarah Adam, 1L Section 2
Hello, Class of 2011, Section 2:
My name is Sarah Adam, and I am running to be your representative to the Student Bar Association. Over this past month, as we began our law school careers together, I have had the pleasure of knowing some, but not all of you. So, I have made a conscious decision to get to know as many more of you as I possibly can, to do my best to bring our Section and our class together, and to make sure that our interests and concerns are voiced before our student governing body. I think that each one of us has so much to offer this law school community, and each other, and I will do my best to make these connections happen.
As your 1-L Representative, I would keep you informed of the latest news and events that are important to you, and be your liaison to the Student Bar Association, to represent what you deem to be your best interests and desires. Each individual one of you is and would be welcome to come to me with any of your thoughts and ideas—whether they relate to a particular class, an area of law that you are passionate about, your law school experience in general, or something else that you just felt like talking about. I would be delighted to get to know you. I believe that beneath our interesting differences, we have a special common ground—some driving force that brought each of us here to NYU Law, and made us want to become greater. That common ground is something that we should connect on. From there, we can know and help and teach one another about the different things that we have experienced that have made us this strong. We can be resources for each other, so that we may conquer whatever comes in the future, that much more easily, and so that you can come closer to achieving whatever it is that you want.
My vision is fostering this closer sense of community, as your 1-L Representative, so that we can help each other have the best experience possible, here. And a big part of this happening is you. I need support from each and every one of you, so that I can come to represent you before the Student Bar Association, to implement the best of my ideas and yours. You can be confident that if you care enough to take time out of your day, to come to the polls on Wednesday, October 15th, or Thursday, October 16th, to vote for me, that you will be supporting someone who cares about you. And that I will do everything I can to make this first-year-of-law-school experience a better one for you.
I am looking forward to meeting you and getting to know you, if I have not already, and answering any questions you may have for or about me.
Thank you very much, and have a great week.
Theresa Chalhoub, 1L Section 3
As a liaison for Section 3 to the SBA, you need someone who is in touch with what is going on with our section and willing and ready to bring up our specific issues to the larger student group and administration. I am excited to be the representative to present our voice to the group and ready to hear everyone’s thoughts, ideas, and suggestions in order to present them to the SBA and accomplish what our section needs.
I have worked with organizations like SBA in the past, listening and bringing people together to get things done. As an undergrad I ran a large recruitment program at my school, with almost 1,000 people dependent on my ability to plan, organize, and execute a week long event. I have organized and managed several classrooms, spending a year as an English teacher in China, and offices, traveling to many states working with volunteers and organizers on the presidential primaries. Through this I gained invaluable listening and management skills that will make me a competent and creative liaison ready to implement ideas presented to me or create new ones to fix any problems that have or will arise over the course of our first year in law school.
I would like to represent our section not only because I have a desire to get to know and listen to each person in it, but to also know what you need and think the best direction and ideas for our section are throughout the year. I am always looking for ways to make things better, faster, more efficient and fun, and know by listening to my classmates and bringing their ideas to the SBA I can make this busy year even more fulfilling and enjoyable. Whether it be through suggesting ways to make classes better, or planning activities that will help everyone enjoy our time and get to know each other, I’m excited to take on the task of representing our group to the SBA.
Erica Iverson, 1L Section 3
Hello! My name is Erica Iverson and I am a Pisces vegetarian running to represent our beloved Section Three with the Student Bar Association. I'm sure you want to get a good idea of why I'd be the perfect person to represent you, so allow me to share a few fun facts about my candidacy!
First off, I have a lot of relevant experience with organizing and planning events. At the law school, I've gotten involved with the SBA's social committee this year, helping to coordinate those fun and free booze filled parties that we have every Thursday! And I'm always up for finding ways to bring people in our section together, whether through happy hours or study groups (to which I plan to bring muffins in the future...)
In addition to my current involvement, I've had a wide range of past experience orchestrating events. I was in charge of community development through NYU's Undergraduate Admissions Office and held numerous chair and Executive Board positions in my sorority as an undergraduate as well. And naturally, after once having to judge a tighty-whitey contest for Lambda Kappa Pi*, I can really handle just about anything.
Of course, tired “legally blonde” jokes aside (and just so we're clear, I was actually a brunette until a few weeks ago, as the photo indicates), I definitely have the relevant experience for this position. Not only that, but as someone who just graduated from NYU, I'm already very comfortable with the campus as well as extremely familiar with the area, so I can genuinely promise to help everyone begin to feel just as at home here!
I am also prepared to represent everyone in our section equally, from those who are woefully unclear about what exactly a “pearl snap” is to those who want to see our section thrive under the best representation possible! If these past few weeks have taught us anything (besides something about jurisdiction, maybe) it's that law school isn't just for people who are “boring and serious.” It's for people who want to get to know each other while having a great time! So if that sounds like something you can get behind then vote blonde this October!
*Doesn't actually exist
Doug Martin, 1L Section 3
I am originally from Arlington, Texas, where I proudly graduated from a public high school. I attended Texas A&M University, and graduated with a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in History in 2005. I have spent the last two years working as a teacher for Teach For America in Los Angeles, where I taught sixth-graders in the South Central LA.
Two of the primary responsibilities of a 1L Representative are organizing section gifts for our professors and putting together the end of finals party for 1Ls. To be honest, any of the candidates could do a good job representing our section. I think that I would represent Section Awesome (3) the best for two reasons: experience and determination.
I am a member of the Student Bar Association Social Committee, with whom many of you have seen me working since the second week of school. I was a Student Senator for four years in college, at one of the largest universities in the nation. While serving, I worked to improve the efficiency of student funding and bring more services to my constituents. I authored legislation encouraging the freedom of the university newspaper, as well as requiring journalistic responsibility and integrity in an overwhelmingly conservative institution. Additionally, I founded and managed the student fundraising effort for Katrina victims, raising over $13,000 in our first weekend of activities. In Los Angeles I had the privilege of serving as the union representative for my school’s chapter of the teachers’ union. In this capacity I represented individual faculty members in their grievances with the administration and the school district. I also provided information to my chapter members on a range of issues relating to their employment. I believe these experiences, among others, will enable me to effectively represent you, whatever your issue may be.
It is not in me to do a half-hearted job, or to give up when confronted with difficulty. I have been working to hold a screening of a documentary about the plight of Haitian refugees in the Dominican Republic. When the Law Students for Economic Justice told me that the cost was too high for only a screening, I recruited a co-producer to answer questions after the film. When LSEJ still thought it cost too much to justify, I lobbied the distributor for a discount, which I got. I also reached out to other organizations to coordinate additional funding, and we are now on the verge of scheduling the screening. When it comes to being 1L Representative, I will be just as determined and resolute in representing your interests and concerns to NYU, the Law School, and the Student Bar Association.
If you are still reading, thank you for your time. Vote for Doug, Get a Hug – Section 3 Representative.
Nir Zicherman, 1L Section 3
Hello, my name is Nir Zicherman, and I’m running for 1L Section 3 SBA Representative. I grew up in the town of Woodmere, NY, and currently live in an apartment in Long Island City, Queens. I went to college at Cornell, where I majored in Government and International Relations. I have no pets, but I do have an herb garden (with basil, parsley, mint, rosemary, etc.) which I water every morning upon waking up. My favorite color is orange; my favorite shape is the rhombus. I met David Bowie once in an airport in the Bahamas.
Now that the basics are out of the way, let me tell you about who I truly am inside. My friends know me as a friendly, approachable and trustworthy person. I like to think of myself as assertive yet willing to compromise. My passions are music (I play the piano and some guitar), Lost, astrophysics, and drinking tea. I cook regularly but really only know how to make two things. You’re all welcome to come over for a mean pasta or stir-fry.
I have been in leadership positions in the past. In High School I was the President of Model Congress, an organization of approximately 80 students. I was also the President of the National Honor Society. I helped run an event commemorating local victims of 9/11, and organized a fundraising initiative for victims of the Southeast Asia Tsunami. In college, I served as the president of my a cappella group, and as the founder and editor-in-chief of the J-Spot, Cornell Hillel’s official publication.
As your representative, I will entertain any and all suggestions to change things for the better. We are all equally new to this community, and so I will work hard to ensure that the life of a 1L is as enjoyable and stress-free as possible. On all topics ranging from classes to parties to job searches, I will hear your thoughts and foster your joy like a cherry blossom blooming on the steep slope that is law school. Thanks for your time! Love, Nir.
Meghan Dwyer, 1L Section 4
Hi Section Four!
Drill baby drill. Wink. HopeChangeHopeChange. I’m the outsider and my executive experience as a substitute teacher qualifies me for this position. I can see Vanderbilt from my house.
As a maverick, the goal of my campaign is to get a few of our SBA parties off MacDougal Street! I want to make sure that SBA parties are events everyone can enjoy. They should represent our diverse interests, and take advantage of our amazing city; let’s move beyond “bridge and tunnel” bars two blocks from the law school. Let’s have a variety of events: section wars, charity drives, wine tastings... I’m open to suggestions. SBA funding is not an insignificant use of our tuition money, and we should use it in a way that everyone will enjoy. We fumble our way through torts class, spend hours on projects for pass/fail lawyering, and at the end of the day we all need to have healthy social lives. Quality, variety, free drinks, good talk. Thursdays are getting thirsty again...
*also, anything else anyone wants, I promise it to you!
**I won’t blink.
Vyasa Murthy, 1L Section 4
My fellow Section 4ers, as this election approaches you may be struggling with such questions as: who is the right person to represent me and my wishes or what do I really want from a section rep? The answer is someone who knows the pulse of our section. The answer is someone who has been working for the benefit of our section from the days when we all first met. The answer is someone who wishes to bring our issues to the forefront and is not afraid to take a stand for what is the greatest section in this fine school.
My fellow section 4ers, this is a new time for us all. We have come from diverse backgrounds into these hallowed halls. Some of us already have a plan for life, whereas others are still looking to find their paths. Yet one common element between us all is that we share the proud name of Section 4. Section 4 has a tradition of excellence with not only being the most social section this year, but also carrying that spirit over from our compatriots of last year. Section 4 has shown a commitment to excellence throughout our daily and nightly activities that our section representative must be able to reflect. We will not settle for less, as we hold ourselves to a higher standard than most other sections. We are not satisfied with a purely functional tour of law school, but look for an enriching experience outside of the classroom as well to bring to life our individuals, our personalities, our selves.
My fellow section 4ers, I have been there with you since the beginning. I have successfully organized several events and served as a resource for more events aimed at bringing our section together and strengthening the facets of our lives that we do not wish to lose in this plane of higher education. I have been an example of the social nature of our section: visiting other sections, being involved in the SBA social committee, and generally being out there not only to enjoy my time, but to serve as a conduit for others to do the same. I have made it my mission to know the spirit of this section and it is my goal to make sure that this spirit stays strong. I will make sure that we remain a force in this school and that our voices will be heard. Our thoughts, concerns, ambitions, needs, and wishes will all be taken notice of. That will be my duty.
My fellow section 4ers, in deciding to run I thought of these same questions. I thought of what is important for me for my time here. I realized what is important to me is knowing and supporting what is important to our section. I realized that I wanted to run to have the opportunity to fulfill this wish. When you go to vote this October, remember the answers to those questions. Remember to vote for Vyasa Murthy.
Mike Gordon, 1L Section 5
To my fellow Section 5'ers,
I know what you want: free beer. Appealing Thursday night social options. A chance with George Clooney or Angelina Jolie (or both). Free food. A Geistfeld-to-English dictionary. World peace.
If you elect me to be your SBA section representative, I can only promise two of the above. But they’ll be glorious. We’ll file the rest under “long term goals.”
If you're among the 25% of our section that I have yet to meet, here are some of my qualifications:
1. I'm pro-fun. And outgoing.
2. Dogs, especially beagles, adore me.
3. I can throw a frisbee eight different ways. There's a ninth, but it's illegal in some states.
4. I once made Russian dressing and played with a matryoshka nesting doll in the same day, giving me slightly more foreign policy experience than Sarah Palin.
5. My D.C. friends nicknamed me "Captain Tact." (Wait, maybe that was sarcasm...)
6. Early 90's rap is my karaoke specialty. Think "Humpty Dance".
In all seriousness, I came to law school for the education and for the opportunities just like everyone else, but I chose NYU for y’all, for the kind of people who would be my classmates. I wanted to be surrounded by folks who were brilliant, passionate about the law, intellectually curious, conscientious about the world…and socially adept as well. To me, the time we spend together outside of class playing sports, hanging out at bars, or exploring NYC aren’t really breaks from law school – they’re some of the most essential parts. When Thursday night events are poorly attended, I feel like we’re all missing out on each other. I want to be on the SBA to help facilitate the social side of law school. I think it’s important. And if being a lawyer doesn’t work out, I can always fall back on being a camp counselor.
And hey, if increased section socializing leads to one or more of us appearing on the "Above the Law" blog... well, that's just a risk I'm willing to take.
Guy Ben-Ami, LL.M.
I am from Israel, a place also known as "The Big Falafel" and the "Silicon
Wadi". If you elect me, I'll bring you the best of both worlds - that is
to say - food, drinks, parties (all free), but also interesting experiences,
activities, events, study-guides and hi-tech outlines. My goal is simple -
let's face it - the LLM is one year long only and it should be fun and cool
and amazing all at once. That's what I'm here for.
Basically, we need to bridge the gap, that insurmountable mountain, the deep
menacing sea between the foreign culture and the American culture, between
the LLB and the JD, between the east and the west, the north and the south,
the alpha and the omega, the Earth and the moon... and we can do it, really.
If we believe it's possible then it is. If we stop believing, then what do
we have left? Nothing. It's a profound belief that brought us all here in
the first place.
Whether you were sitting in Beijing, in Lima or in Geneva, what was going on
in your head? Most probably the same thing that went inside my head. But
what was it? We are here to explore what that abstract idea was - and
fulfill our expectations BEYOND OUR WILDEST DREAMS. We will boldly go where
so many Americans and New Yorkers went before, but we will do so as LLM's!
LLM's are people too. If you prick the LLM students do we not bleed? If you
tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong
us, shall we not revenge?
There is only one clear answer to these questions: "Yes, Jes, Si, Oui, Ja,
Sim, Ken, Hai, Haa'n, Shi, Dui, Aiwa, Ne, Evet, Jep, Balli, Wen, Sogyantai,
Phai, Gea, Da, Chai, Ndiyo, OO, a-yo". And the logical conclusion is that
if I'm elected: All the great opportunities available to the J.D student
will be available to us.
You should really choose me. You'll be choosing a maverick who in his past
did not fear taking on his own party. So it's one huge party that you'll be
picking if you choose me. Just look at my record - those who know me know
that I've taken leadership roles in the past, whether in the army (which is
mandatory in Israel) or at the Hebrew University back in Israel - and I've
always made sure to live by the rule that with great power comes great
responsibility but mostly great fun for all of you girls and guys. So VOTE
FOR GUY. The Guy. Thank you.
Roberta Berzero, LL.M.
Dear LL.M. Students,
I am pleased to have the opportunity to run as a candidate for the LL.M. representation on the SBA.
First of all I would like you to get to know me a little bit better giving you a brief picture of my legal background.
I am a Law student from Italy, currently attending the LL.M. program in International Legal Studies. Besides my Italian Law background, I have been attending undergraduate studies in Argentina and further graduate studies in France and Thailand, experiences that gave me the opportunity to interact with people from all over the world, to delve into a variety of foreign cultures and societies, and to improve my language skills.
Thanks to my studies abroad, I gained experience working cooperatively with classmates in problem-solving exercises requiring a high attention to detail: in group project with other international stu-dents we had to compile legal cases, present them in class and successively defend them in public. Thereby I learnt to take on responsibility and to deal with people from different cultural and social backgrounds. Moreover, I learnt in interactive processes how to behave in large groups and how to strengthen my ability to reach consensus decisions democratically.
As job experience, I worked as an intern at the United Nations Office of Legal Affairs in New York where I had the opportunity to consider actual issues and problems confronting the world. Further-more, during my studies in Thailand, I volunteered for a NGO advocating to protect the human rights of an ethnic minority settled in northern Thailand. I visited the hill-tribes, I collected data, interviewed witnesses and contributed to building up a legal case seeking to provide legal representation and humanitarian aid to the hill-tribes.
Running to represent the LL.M. students body on the SBA, I aim to make sure that we are treated fairly, that they are consulted about changes, and that we give our consent in case new rules are imposed.
When you cast your vote, please select my name as your first preference: please make me your choice because:
1. Although we won't always agree on issues, I will try to use the skills developped in my past experiences to make sure to reach decisions in a diplomatic way.
2. I'm not afraid to argue about our interests and to take steps to make sure that our position is heard.
3. I am good in listening and although English is not everybody's first language (not even mine!) I have a diverse background, as I have mentioned above. Whenever you will email me with questions or concerns, I will listen and reply.
But most of all, I am aware of the huge work load LL.M. students are facing every day. I read on some flyer given during the orientation days that Law School is going to be the busiest period of our life. Well, I am struggling too, to be on schedule with the tons of readings, but I waived one credit this semester ;) therefore I am more than sure I will be able to dedicate some extra time to represent our interests.
Looking forward to your help!
Ivan Chanis, LL.M.
My strong sense of responsibility is the main reason of all my success. I also consider myself an honest, perseverant, enthusiastic person with a firm social conscience.
To my LL.M. Family.
My name is Iván Chanis, and I am an LL.M. for the General Studies Program. I am from Panama, and I would like to be one of your representatives for the SBA Association.
First, I briefly will talk about my previous experience in activities related to this position, that I think would give me guidance to this honored task.
I was strongly involved in the Student Law Association since my freshman year. In my third year, I was nominated for Vice-president of the Association. Our team did an excellent campaign, and we won the elections by a landslide. During that year, our group worked exhaustively raising money to construct a “Debate Room.” Currently, this room, designed as a legal court, is used by all the law students in the University.
I have also been involved in extracurricular activities that carry a great sense of responsibility. I am currently the President of the Latin-American Council of Studies of International and Comparative Law (COLADIC), Panama’s Chapter. That is the equivalent to ILSA for Latin-American countries.
Besides my academic achievements, I am very proud of being a founder, member, and current Fiscal Adviser of a non-profit organization named “Dejando Huellas” which means “Leaving a mark”. The objective of this organization is to help the less fortunate children. I was one of the lawyers who participated in the legal process of establishing this nonprofit organization through the requirements of Panama’s law.
After finishing my Undergraduate Studies, I decided to enrich my knowledge by taking a summer course of International Affairs and Diplomacy in Madrid; Italian in Florence as a third language; and Business English in London. This was my second experience studying in Europe. I am certain that it helped me improve myself as a person because I had to deal with people from many different countries and cultures. Not only did I learn from them, but I developed friendships that I maintain with most of them. As my last academic preparation for the LLM, I had the pleasant yet rigorous experience of attending a summer seminar in Law, at Yale University.
Before coming to New York City, I worked for the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Regional Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean in Panama. Previously, I worked as a Legal Assistant for Citibank in Panama. Also, I worked as an Intern for a Panamanian Law Firm and at the Panama Canal Authority.
We are all full of work, going to classes, trying to be on time with the readings, preparing papers and so on, but knowing that we, as LL.M.s, were not going to have any representation on the SBA, I thought it was unacceptable and decided to run for a position. We are a distinguished part of the student body of this University, and we deserve to be considered in all the matters that would interest us during this incredible year at NYU Law School.
Besides our commitment to study, we need social activities to complement our experience here at NYU. I am convinced that having such a broad representation in the LL.M. from people of all over the world, social activities should consider the background of all. We should celebrate holidays from different cultures, and learn from them. As a Latin I would strongly suggest to plan a Latin Party! We should also plan interesting trips to galleries, plays, and other unique opportunities that the city of New Work offers.
Also, I enjoy cooking, going to the gym, swimming, a good reading (aside the ones for class), and painting.
I hope that all of you share at least one of my principles or ideas for this complementary yet important part of being a proud LL.M. for New York University.
All the best my friends!
Mitali Mody, LL.M.
With the buzz and furor about the U.S. Presidential elections, I won’t even attempt to deny having fallen prey to the election fever. Watching Obama and McCain debate over crucial issues has made me choose my favorite, even though I can’t vote. But why I follow it so closely is because in some way or another, these elections will affect me – hopefully, by changing the course of this down-swinging economy, and getting me (AND all of us here!) a job.
But here’s what, as non-critical as this sounds, the Student Bar Association (SBA) elections are crucial and the outcome will affect all of us too. However, here YOU have the power to influence the outcome by making the choice as to who, according to you, are the candidates best suited to represent you for this entire year!
Hi! I’m Mitali Mody, a student in the Corporations program. Though we’ve been here several weeks, I’ve had the opportunity and pleasure of knowing only some of you, and not all. As an attempt to get to know as many more of you as I can, especially with a batch as big as ours, I figured the best way is by being one of your elected SBA representatives.
There is one thing I would have promised to you had these elections taken place a month earlier - I would have at least attempted, as a student representative, to get the heating on by now at the college residences, because I don’t think they understand our plight!
Well, one thing that I can promise is a fixed quota of drink coupons for LL.Ms at SBA parties to avoid any shortage!
In all seriousness, my chief aim, as one of your elected representatives, is to attempt to make life for us LL.Ms easier (in every which way I can!) and foster a closer sense of community, so we can all collectively help each other have the best experience possible here. Each of us has a lot to offer and exchange, especially considering we’re all of varied nationalities and I believe that it is the friends made here at NYU and the priceless knowledge gained from one another that each of us will take back wherever we go and cherish forever! And a major part of any of this happening is YOU. I need the support of each and every one of you to implement the best of my ideas and yours.
I cannot encourage you enough to make the right choice and elect me as one of your SBA representatives. Three-time presidential candidate Henry Clay said after losing his third election, "I would rather be right than president." – But I submit to you that I can be BOTH – “the RIGHT choice” and “your REPRESENTATIVE”.
So, let’s all come together to make THIS ONE YEAR of our lives as memorable as we can for each one of us – let’s all vote for Mitali Mody on Oct 15-16 and make it happen...TOGETHER!!