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Tampa Bay SBA Presidential Address

Thomas M. Cooley Law School Tampa Bay SBA Presidential Address


By Katherine R. Salinas

Published: June 27, 2013

TAMPA BAY – Katherine Salinas, former Thomas M. Cooley Law School Tampa Bay Student Bar Association Vice President, was recently required to fill the vacated presidency upon the previous office-holder’s resignation and has since prepared a formal address for the student body:

Thomas M. Cooley Law School, Tampa Bay Student Bar Association Members,

Through your votes that were cast nearly a year ago now at our very first Thomas M. Cooley Law School Student Bar Association election, I was chosen to represent my classmates and the Thomas M. Cooley name, as Vice President of the SBA.

Since that time, our Executive Committee and I took an oath of affirmation—swearing to diligently represent the school we are all students of and to do so with great professionalism and integrity.

It is with that same integrity that I took to performing my responsibilities as your Vice President and that I proceeded on to enacting the ultimate duty expected of my office: to undertake the role of President upon the resignation or removal of my predecessor.

This “ultimate” duty was one that I must admit I never expected to see exercised during my term—let alone my career at Thomas M. Cooley, but since having ascended to the post, I assure you that my diligence, my commitment and my integrity remain unshaken and are more secure than ever before.


I initially addressed you all as members of the Student Bar Association and I urge you to always remember that simple fact. All students currently enrolled at our prodigious law school are automatically members of SBA because it is our primary goal to address all of your needs and concerns that you have encountered while receiving your legal education at Cooley.


The SBA’s primary goal is to make sure that we create sufficient avenues for you to explore your legal careers and various interests. We do this through a variety of Student Organizations that are chartered via a vote from our Executive Committee. By doing this, we hope to make numerous opportunities available for your participation and law school experience.


As of now, we currently have 12 Chartered Student Organizations who are all eager to accept interested students into their midst. Although this number pales in comparison to our sister campuses, it is astonishing to watch my classmates passionately lay out these foundations that will last long after our graduation.


Astonishing also, is the workmanship that I’ve seen our SBA Executive Board and Senate put forth in conducting the day-to-day operations of our office and in ensuring that the student government we were elected into, operates to address and protect every Student Bar Association member.


Former Trimble Class Senator, Martha Aristizabal, was voted into the office of Vice President through a two-thirds vote of our Executive Committee as a result of a presidential appointment. The same method was executed to appoint Luis Niebles into the vacated position of Trimble Class Senator, which was left open upon Vice President Aristizabal’s advancement. 


Vice President Aristizabal and Trimble Class Senator Niebles have shown outstanding commitment to their newfound roles. I personally find that to work with Vice President Aristizabal is both an enriching and exciting experience. Her time as Trimble Class Senator was spent listening to and engaging with her peers, as well as assisting the SBA every chance she got. The tremendous ideas and inspiration that she has been able to bring to the office so far, have already launched our SBA toward a bright horizon.


Senator Niebles’ dedication truly bears no bounds—as a fellow member of the inaugural class he has attended many SBA meetings where he has contributed outstanding insight regarding the Trimble Class’ interests and has always been ready to volunteer despite not having an official position in the SBA. That is why, although it was a long time coming, it was a sincere honor to have him join our Executive Committee.


Hughes Class Senator Elections were being conducted the week of June 24 and it is with great pleasure that I’d like to take this opportunity to announce our newest members to the Thomas M. Cooley Law School, Tampa Bay SBA Executive Committee: Adriannette Williams and Tacarra Mills. 


Through a landslide victory, Senator Williams and Senator Mills will be the first representatives of their class on the SBA senate and will be sworn into office at the upcoming SBA General Body Meeting that will be held Tuesday, July 9, at 1:30 PM in the Appellate Courtroom.


I find myself so fortunate to have such an incredible group of people working toward the common goal of providing our absolute best toward the school we attend. It has been difficult to lead, when there has been so little to guide us but with all of these growing pains that occasionally jar us out of mundane studies and three-hour long lectures, we must remember that we are the first. We are the beginning. We are where it all started, and we will be the reason it never ends. It will be because of our first steps into these vast hallways, our first questions raised in these classrooms that the Thomas M. Cooley Law School will remain an astounding presence in the Tampa Bay community.



3/23/13 Tampa, FL – McLean Class Sen. Nestor Gonzalez, Vice President Martha Aristizabal, Treasurer Shannise Sintim and President Katherine Salinas representing the  SBA at the Hillsborough County Pig Roast.



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