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Student Bar Association: Why Vote for Me?

Posted by Rick · April 16th, 2004 · No Comments

Normally, when someone campaigns for an elected position, they do so because they think they are the best candidate for the position. Certainly, I believe that I am a candidate worthy of being elected to the position of Student Bar Association President.

In this election, though, it is difficult to argue that I am the best candidate. This year, the students of San Joaquin College of Law are fortunate to have two very good candidates for the position and both are worthy of being elected. Therefore, about the most I can claim right now is that I am a different candidate — and I can explain why I think this difference means that the voting students should privilege me with their vote.

So why should you vote for me? Should you vote for me just because I want to be SBA President? Or course not! Should you vote for me just because some of you may like me? Of course not! Should you vote for me because of my grades? Maybe that would be a factor, because it shows that I have some ability, but I still do not think this is a reason to vote for me, anymore than it would be a reason to vote for the other worthy candidate, Shannon Pell.

One reason you should vote for me is because I will serve you. How do you know this? You know because my history since coming to San Joaquin College of Law shows that I will. Since coming here, I have not missed an opportunity to volunteer to help when help was needed. If I was asked to do something, I have nearly always done it.

When the SJCL alumni needed someone to entertain children from the Marjoree Mason Center, a group that provides services to victims of Domestic Violence, I made myself available to Bee there for them. Even before that, when word went out from the Organizing Committee for Senior Law Day that volunteers from the school were needed, I volunteered. And before that, when the school told me they needed a new telephone system, I contacted a vendor I’ve used in my job as the Director of Information Systems at Valley Yellow Pages and convinced him to put together a system at special pricing so the school could obtain the phone system it has today. When Greg Fox — who has unselfishly devoted a significant amount of his time to first-year students — asked me to lead a tutorial session on Causation & Omission to Act, I did so (and would have loved to do even more).

This is the record of service I have been privileged to build because others have given me the opportunity. I both appreciate those opportunities and enjoy them.

My attitude of service is supplemented by my background. I have been involved in technology now for more than 10 years, first as part of the first two groups of people to start Internet services in the Central San Joaquin Valley: Cybergate and Valleynet Communications, which later became Protosource Network under my watch. After a few years with Valley Yellow Pages as the Network Administrator, I am currently the Director of Information Systems.

Some of the great needs of San Joaquin College of Law relate to technology. This has already been alluded to in the mention of the telephone system above. In addition, the computer lab here is aging; it is overdue for an upgrade. There is, as yet, no wireless network that could allow students to use their own laptops while working in the library. Additionally — unless it has changed since I last spoke to anyone — the current connection to the Internet for SJCL’s web server, which provides information about the college to the public and also houses LegalPAD, is a dial-up connection! If I am successful in helping the school to obtain a faster connection, it might be possible not only to enhance the SJCL website and LegalPAD — which is a huge potential, but currently little-used, resource for students — but, it might also allow websites to be created for other groups on campus, such as La Raza and Delta Theta Phi (which is currently given space and a fast DSL connection on my own personal web server at home).

This note is perhaps already too long for some people, so I’ll just briefly note that some other ways I would like to serve you are by encouraging and facilitating even more cooperative efforts amongst other student groups and working toward greater student involvement at all levels in the SBA.

What might be too much for one group to accomplish may be easier to accomplish when we work together. La Raza, for example, wants (as do I) to find a way to obtain laptops so that if someone’s laptop fails prior to or during an examination, another is already standing by for them to use. This will relieve stress and prevent students from having to switch methods in mid-exam. Perhaps by working together, La Raza and the SBA will be better able to accomplish this than either could alone.

Many of the real workers — people like Brenda Linder, Crissi Jelladian, Cynthia Van Doren and Humphrey Valero — are graduating this year. Others who have done a lot for the school — such as Sherrie Flynn and Mark King — are in their final year and will want to spend some time, at least I think they will, on preparing for their graduation and the bar. We will need “fresh blood,” so to speak, full of energy and ideas, to take up the load these people have so selflessly and ably carried.

The students of SJCL, as I said, are in a very fortunate position as Tuesday’s election approaches. Regardless of which candidates are elected to the Student Bar Association and, of course, I[m particularly (but not exclusively) talking about the position of President and Vice-President, the students win. Because I[m a different and worthy candidate, I would ask that you give me and my ticket partner, Shonda Siler, who is running for Vice-President, the privilege of serving you in the coming year.

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