Going to a top law school doesn’t make you any more considerate of others. It certainly doesn’t teach you to clean up after yourself.

But maybe going to this top law school will teach some kids on law review that being a slob has consequences. Monetary consequences.

I think anytime a poor custodian has to scold some slovenly law students, things have already gone too far. I mean, since we’re talking about kids who are going to law school in New York, the rats came out even before the law review students were told to clean up their act….

UPDATE (1:15 PM): And now we’ve got a response from one of the allegedly dirty students.

Here is the letter detailing grossness that was sent to students on the Columbia Law Review:

Hello,

I saw the head custodian a couple of days ago and he once again mentioned that the Review’s floors are very dirty. He mentioned that our lack of cleanliness is not fair to the rest of the building, due to the fact that this dirtiness causes problems with bugs and rodents. I’ve been noticing quite a bit of messiness as well as a lack of cleanliness. In general please clean-up after yourselves.

He wants us to start reporting dates of any parties or meetings where food & beverages will be served ahead of time, so that he can arrange to have additional custodians come and clean up. He verified that it will cost us approximately $200.00 per event.

Thank you.

Not cleaning up after yourself is like the mark of growing up in privileged obliviousness. The law school custodial staff are not your maids, people. If you’re having some food, throw it away when you are done. Nobody is working “so hard” on law review that you can’t find your way to a trash can.

And I’m sure the rest of the school that is not on law review does not want to deal with law review rodents roaming the halls.

This is the kind of thing that would never happen in Texas. Because in Texas they’ve got coyotes, or armadillos, or 3,500 square foot wives to kill the mice.

UPDATE (1:15 PM): A student on the Columbia Law Review sent along the following defense:

I write to provide some context to your recent story regarding the Columbia Law Review’s cleanliness. One week ago, after a Law Review party celebrating the publication of our October issue, the Law Review received an email from our Business Manager. She informed us that the head custodian found the floors were “very dirty,” and was assessing us an extra $200 clean-up fee.

As a member of the Law Review and someone who stayed after the party to clean up, I can assure you that the floors, by any reasonable definition, were not “very dirty.” I, and several other members, stayed after everyone had left and placed all the trash in the garbage cans and wiped down all the surfaces. The only thing that could possible be conceived of as a mess is a few crushed pretzels that were left on the carpet. This “mess” could have easily been vacuumed up. The Law Review purchased a vacuum several years ago so that we could clean up after our parties. However, as our business manager informed us in a subsequent email, “[t]he custodial union is very strong and they could accuse us of trying to take away their jobs.” It seems, therefore, that our hands are tied. Either we clean up after ourselves and we face a confrontation with the union, accusing Law Review members of trying to steal their jobs, or we leave a small mess to clean up, one that falls squarely within the job description of the custodial staff, and are fined.

Yes, because if there’s one thing we know about custodians, it’s that they hate it when people are clean.


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