On March 11, Georgetown Law administration announced its shift to virtual classes for all students until May 15, 2020. This shift included a total cancellation of all in-person events, including those hosted by APALSA as a health and safety measure to practice social distancing. APALSA reacted quickly, calling a full Executive Board meeting the evening of March 11 and sending a formal response to our membership the same evening. Since then, APALSA has worked tirelessly to support its membership through the following ways.
March 18: APALSA Presents - Fight the Virus, Not the People:
University info sessions on safety protocol and travel logistics necessarily needed to be supplemented by an open dialogue on COVID-19's impact on the APA community. Both published and social media are explicitly racializing the pandemic in ways that are harmful to the safety and wellbeing of the APA community. Our campus has not been immune to this problem. As such, APALSA hosted an emergency General Body Meeting open to the entire Law Center community as our first Zoom event. The purpose of the event was to inform, educate, and empower both APA students and our Allies to identify and respond appropriately to instances of racism in our community.
The event was co-sponsored by the Health Law Society, OutLaw (our LGTBQ+ affinity group), the Latin American Law Students Association, the Jewish Law Students Association, the First Generation Students Union, the Women of Color Collective, the Student Body Association, the Native American Law Students Association, the Women Legal Alliance, the Black Law Students Association, and the Muslim Law Students Association.
Over 70 students and administrators attended the event, which discussed stereotypes and myths associated with the virus and a toolkit for both APALSA members and Allies to identify, address, and hopefully resolve instances of xenophobia and racism due to COVID-19. We are thankful for the prompt, kind, and caring response of our peers. Since this meeting, APALSA has monitored an anonymous COVID-19 response form distributed to its members for any reports of xenophobia and racism. We have also complied a list of resources connecting our members to APA faculty who are ready to assist. Finally, we have created and distributed a quarantine resource kit for students filled with local APA restaurants and vendors to support, grocery delivery options, and free workout subscriptions.
Thursday, April 2: APALSA Trivia Night:
About two dozen APALSA members gathered in teams of three on Zoom to battle it out for a Trivia Night. Questions came from music, art, history, science, and APALSA history, among others. Members were treated to SeoulSpice bibimbap bowls, and the top three teams were awarded gift cards to Busboy & Poets. APALSA was pleased to create a social environment for many of our members who found it difficult to adapt to quarantine life, and we were also proud to support local vendors in our community.
APALSA Custom Merchandise:
Though we were unable to celebrate the closure of the semester in person, APALSA wanted to provide support to its membership as we continued into a summer of quarantine. To comply with safety and health measures, APALSA shipped custom yoga mats and insulated grocery totes to 60 of its members to help our members with their in-home workouts and grocery runs.
APALSA Summer Instagram Challenges
With lots of time on our hands, our new Executive Board created an Instagram account for APALSA featuring Instagram challenges to keep our community connected. Our first challenge was a home cooking challenge with Toki Underground e-gift cards at stake. Congratulations to our two winners of the random raffle! Current, alumni, and incoming APALSA members are strongly encouraged to follow @gulcapalsa on Instagram.
Congratulations to our Class of 2020 APALSA Members!
Though we cannot celebrate your achievement in person, know that we are all cheering you on! APALSA Class of 2020 members will receive priority to attend our APALSA End-of-Year Banquet, which has been postponed to the fall semester when social distancing policies have relaxed. In the meantime, make sure you submit your photo to our new APALSA Executive Board so that we can honor you in a feature to all Class of 2020 members by May 27.
Turning the Page to a New Chapter:
On behalf of the 2019-2020 APALSA Executive Board, I would like to thank our members, supportive administrators, and our esteemed sponsors for a fantastic year. Though the year did not end as we would have liked, we still achieved so much. This year, APALSA hosted over 35 events attended by hundreds of attendees thanks to the generous funding of our 25 law firm sponsors. A special recognition to our Diamond Sponsors, Gibson Dunn (now a 7-year sponsor!) and Sidley Austin. We supported dozens of local restaurants through catering of our events. A special shoutout to our partner, B.Lin Catering, for delicious catering at our large-scale events such as Big Law 101. New professional events included our inaugural Winter Walk-Around program and Firm Lunch Program, which aimed to link APALSA members closely to APA attorneys at our firm sponsors in the DC and NY areas. We also worked to improve our Mentorship Program by introducing regular Mentorship Mingles. I am excited to introduce and welcome our 2020-2021 Executive Board, led by President Isabel Yu (L'22). We can expect great things under her leadership! Please stay safe and healthy over the summer, and be sure to check back on the website regularly for new updates!