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Open House Links Students, Organizations

by Rizza Barnes

Dozens of students flocked to the USC Law School lobby to learn something they can’t get in the classroom � information about more than 20 USC law student organizations.

The SBA-Student Organization Open House, held Aug. 31, was designed to expose newcomers to a variety of student groups within the school.

Representatives from organizations ranging from La Raza to the Public Interest Law Foundation answered questions and recruited new student members.

At its peak, the lunchtime event caused a bit of a gridlock, as students cruised the lobby to meet with student organization leaders and grab some free pizza.

“We wanted to make sure 1Ls have a chance early on to learn that there’s more to law school than just going to class,” said Chris Gordon, president of the Student Bar Association.

“By joining student organizations, they can get involved in activities that are rewarding, educational and also fun,” Gordon said.

Mark Furuya, SBA vice president, said that the open house provides an answer for inevitable schedule conflicts.

“Many of the organizations meet at the same time, so this gives students an opportunity to talk to all of the groups they’re interested in,” Furuya said. “There are ways to be part of a group even if you can’t regularly attend the meetings.”

Nearly two dozen student organizations took part in the open house, including the Entertainment Law Society, the Women’s Law Association and Phi Alpha Delta, which hosted a mixer later that afternoon. Many organization representatives were eager to promote their groups and increase membership.

“I think this event is a great way to give the various groups exposure � it puts a face behind the multitude of posters and fliers you see at the beginning of each year,” said Cary Kadlecek of the Gay & Lesbian Law Union.

For Larisa Mortazavi, a first-year law student who signed up for several organizations, the event was a helpful way for new students to get acquainted with the Law School.

“It’s a good way to break up the pattern of just studying and have some fun, get involved in something outside of class and meet other people,” she said.

The event was the first lunchtime open house sponsored by SBA, Gordon said. The turnout of more than 100 students exceeded organizers’ expectations � and that’s good news for Dean of Students Lisa Mead.

“This is a great turnout both for the students and the organizations, and it really helps build a strong USC Law School community,” Mead said.

Open House Links Students, Organizations

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