Written by: Kristina Ellis- a 2L at University of Denver
The Budget Requests have been turned in, the semester begins, and your Student Bar Association (SBA) issues your budget. You open the email to find out that you’ve received no funding for the year. Suddenly the planning of every event, lunch talk, and happy hour comes to a screeching halt. This year the University of Denver- Food Law Society (DUFLS) faced this fate. Getting our budget for the school year with felt like a death sentence. Our budget was spent the second we received it. The entire budget of $125 for the year was spent on supplies for an upcoming student organization fair for 1Ls.
Realizing that your student organization doesn’t have any money to put on fun events for the school year isn’t a death sentence. It’s actually a blessing. Once our executive board sat down and discussed our lack of funding, we were able to start brainstorming some creative, free or low-cost events. Events at DU usually involve putting on a happy hour in the school or providing lunch with a panel talk. A lot of student orgs in the law school tend to be very successful in drawing in 1Ls to their organization.
Last year, we took this approach in the spring. We held one lunch panel, with great food, and speakers from different parts of food law. The event had about 25 attendees, mainly there for the free food. Most of the students who attended the lunch panel sat with their laptops open doing work for their afternoon classes or responding to emails. The typical law school student org events don’t always work. Our team, without a budget, was tasked with finding events to break the mold. And here’s what we came up with:
- Volunteering at a Food Bank
- Volunteering at a Local Urban Garden
- Exhibit on Food Deserts and Tour of a Local Food Desert
- Tour of Local Brewery
- Ask a Local Firm to Host Lunch or a Happy Hour