LSJ Program now accepting applications for student-run LSJ Advisory Council

Submitted by Alyssa R Penner on
Current members of the LSJ Advisory Council (front row left to right) Talia Balma, Kathryn Joy, Liv Gee (back row left to right) Yoselyn Leos, and Ai Nguyen. Not pictured: Michelle Lorza, Ally Holttum, Anna Mikkelborg, and Ashley Walker.

By Starla Sampaco, LSJ Communications Assistant

The Law, Societies & Justice Program is now accepting applications for its student-run LSJ Advisory Council.

The council is made of ten LSJ students who work to improve educational, social and community-building opportunities within the LSJ major.

This year, the advisory council planned and hosted several events including an interdisciplinary panel on the Netflix show “Making a Murderer” and a panel discussion on climate justice. The advisory council has also hosted waffle feeds before exam weeks and happy hours for both students and professors.

Council members also promoted attendance for the annual LSJ Day of Service, which took place at the Downtown Emergency Service Center in February.

According to councilmember Talia Balma, the most important goal of the LSJ Advisory Council is creating a sense of community within the LSJ Program. 

“At these events, there is less surface-level conversation,” Balma said. “You can meet people with similar interests who also want to have conversations about important issues.”

Councilmember Liv Gee said that being in a relatively small major of roughly 200 students is a “luxury” on UW’s Seattle campus, which has more than 29,000 undergraduates students.

But Gee remembered being intimidated by the LSJ Program events as a newly admitted LSJ student during her sophomore year.

“Everyone in my classes was older than me,” Gee said. “I didn’t know anybody at all.”

Gee said she joined the LSJ Advisory Council as a senior last fall so she could make a difference for other students in similar situations.

Gee and other council members aimed to create an inclusive environment by personally inviting classmates to these events. They also promoted the LSJ Program at recruiting and fundraising events in addition to welcoming new students at the LSJ New Major Orientation.

Senior Yoselyn Leos said that another main purpose of the advisory council is to give students a voice. The council members contribute ideas about improving the students’ experience during meetings with Professor Steve Herbert and advisers Alyssa Penner and Alex Lynch.

“Because we are students and have constant exposure to other students, we understand what they are interested in,” Leos said.

In addition to volunteering their time to organize events, the council members gained valuable career skills.

“Networking was a huge asset,” Gee said. “And we don’t necessarily learn how to do that in class.”

The council members’ responsibilities include strategizing event outreach and coordinating logistics. Leos said she gained leadership skills, and her duties required the abilities to multitask and to pay strong attention to detail.

And these qualities, Leos said, are skills that employers are looking for.

The LSJ Advisory Council will have five open spots for the 2016-17 academic year. The LSJ Program is looking for students who are excellent communicators and are passionate about community-building to take on these roles. The application deadline is June 3. Please see the LSJ Advisers for information about how to apply.