Fall 2023 Recap FROM SBA PRESIDENT Joshua Mannery

Posted by Grace Akin, Communications Liaison
January 18, 2024


Notre Dame, IN

Dear NDLS,

I hope you all had a great first week of classes. Looking back to last fall, SBA had a phenomenal semester. We accomplished so much in such a short amount of time, and I wanted to take a few minutes to recap some of the things we have accomplished and thank all those who helped make our success this semester possible.

Our Athletics Committee (led by Braden Lloyd & Jared DeFelice) organized a law-school wide kickball tournament. The tournament had teams from each of the law school classes, with the 1L's taking home the championship. The Committee also assisted in connecting students with intramural sports in the wider Notre Dame University. This semester, the committee will be running the bowling league all semester long, a long-running staple of the NDLS experience.

Our CDO Committee (led by Emily Thornton & Sudeep Kalkunte) updated and redistributed the SBA Career Contact List, as well as hosting market lunches alongside the CDO! The committee is excited to plan several informational and networking events this semester as recruiting ramps up in earnest. Be on the lookout for information about the Spring market panels!

Our Diversity & Inclusion Committee (led by Victoria Villanueva & Jakim Aaron) hosted two open conversations, where students participated in discussions about affirmative action and financial barriers to law school. It oversaw healthy debate and gave students a forum to give valuable feedback to different law school offices, including student services and admissions. The committee also circulated the first edition of its newsletter. The committee is excited to continue circulating this newsletter throughout the spring, and will be hosting its State of the Law School Address with Dean Cole in February!

Our Mental Health & Wellness Committee (led by Katherine Gordon, Victoria Bailey, & Bailie Sirhall) worked to increase the availability and awareness of mental health resources. The committee focused its efforts on a Mental Health Awareness Week, which coincided with Law School Mental Health Day (October 10), with free coloring books and law school and campus-wide resources in the commons. The committee also hosted a free yoga event for law students in the library. For the spring, the committee is looking to bring back the Professor panel to help students, especially 1Ls, gain some perspective (and relieve some stress) around finals!

Our Merchandise Committee (led by Olla Jaraysi & Sean Anderson) continued to build on the momentum from last year. It’s on track to raise over $100,000 by the end of the year! The store will continue to serve our Notre Dame students, faculty, families, and alumni. Be on the lookout for new products, including a ceramic coffee mug order and a never-done before pre-order.

Our Service Committee (led by Emma Kate Lively) hosted a service opportunity at Green Bridge Growers, an aquaponics farm operated in Mishawaka by NDLS’s very own Tidmarsh family. The farm employs residents in the community on the autism spectrum and run a completely sustainable farm growing all sorts of crops they provide to local providers year-round. The committee also hosted a DISMAS House Trip, and is looking forward to creating service opportunities for the law school this Spring!

Our Social Committee (led by Sarah Brown) hosted an incredible Fall Ball Event! In fact, the event sold out and the ballroom dance floor was packed! The committee has already started planning its Spring Barristers Ball and looks forward to another amazing event! Be on the lookout for the save the date!

Our Spirit Committee (led by Shideya Parrilla) brought joy to the community every single month from its September kickoff with Spirit Week to Christmas Tree Trimming with a Hot Cocoa Stand! The committee is looking forward to bringing smiles to your faces and joy to your hearts this Spring from Valentine's Day to May the 4(ce) Be With You!

Our Bar Review Committee (led by Ally Morcus & Owyn Ferguson) invested heavily in creating spaces throughout South Bend for students to utilize Barbri, Kaplan, Quimbee, and Themis! Our Class Representatives have been instrumental in growing our sense of community in the law school.

Our 1L Representatives (Sydni Hart, Tim Vuong, & Vincent Gullo) helped to contribute to the law school tailgates before football games and began planning a design for "Class of 2026" sweatshirts, which should be released mid-spring! The reps also have exciting plans to host an event for the 1L class in either early or late spring, depending on general preference!

The 2L Representatives (Maria Lake, Jacob Sadah, & Justin Vickers) ran the SBA Mentor Program, matching all interested 1Ls with 2L/3L mentors. The reps hosted some of the tailgates last semester along with SBA, and are excited to host events for their class this semester!

The 3L Representatives (Callie Chaney, Jazmyn Ferguson, & Karlis Larson) stopped 3LOL’ing for an evening to host the SBA Ice Skating Night this past Fall, and have their hands full planning Graduation Headshots and a legendary 3L week! Finally, our SBA Executive Board.

Our SBA Secretary Sudeep Kalkunte continues to faithfully send out our Monday Morning Update (MMU) so that our community stays up to date on events and the daily specials in the Commons. Sudeep is looking forward to presenting this year’s Fr. Mike event, so stay tuned!

Our SBA Treasurer Seth Atisha has proudly supported our registered student organizations this year. In total, he helped allocate over $14,000 across over 20 organizations. Get those budget requests in for the Spring!

Lastly, our SBA Vice President Jeremy Danzell works tirelessly behind the scenes to keep our law school afloat. From organizing the SBA Potluck to serving as the anchor to our SBA tailgates, Jeremy is crucial to SBA’s success!

On behalf of the Student Bar Association, it has been a privilege to contribute to the unending mission of improving the NDLS student experience. SBA looks forward to doing it all over again this semester.

Yours Faithfully,

Joshua Z. Mannery