We’re in that soft part of the second semester where things are generally calm on the law school front. Most 1Ls have figured out that they don’t need to be really paying attention yet, and the ones who haven’t are quietly plugging away in the library, oblivious to the outside world. The 2Ls are making plans for the summer (whether at a firm or visiting mom). And 3Ls without jobs are in the quiet, catatonic state where they haven’t fully processed what’s about to happen to them and they’re kind of wafting through campus waiting for somebody to wake them up and tell them it was all a dream.
Usually, the law student freak-out machine doesn’t get cranking again until April, which is why today’s campus “controversy” feels a bit like a tempest in a teapot. Essentially, a group of law students are accusing their student government of misusing their budget. We’ve seen this kind of thing before, but this time there’s a twist.
Yes, I’m shocked, SHOCKED that the people who run for law school student government did something to try to make themselves look more important than everybody else….
A tipster explains the boiling controversy at UC Hastings:
Apparently, our [Associated Students of UC Hastings] organization has been having budgeting issues, no surprises there. The scandal involves their apportionment of around $1,000 for their members to be given a sweater with the ASUCH logo on it. Students have been complaining (and accusing) that ASUCH obtained those funds by cancelling a BoB (Beer on the Beach — where the school occasionally gives students free beer). Obviously, this has created an outrage in the school community.
I actually threw in an email to the UC student government, asking them to explain themselves, because apparently I have nothing better to do with my life. They haven’t responded yet, perhaps because they are too busy running their fingers up and down their new, soft cotton sweatshirts, as if somebody mixed in ecstasy with their Peet’s coffee.
On the Hastings Law Facebook page, people are actually taking time to write comments criticizing their student leaders. Comments like these:
- Personally, I’m just disappointed they would award themselves something. If it is to be a paid position, then so be it. Nothing wrong with that. However, when I see representatives, who got into this out of the “goodness of their heart,” reward themselves… it just leaves an icky feeling. It makes me a sad panda.
- If they ran unopposed, then it is appropriate to give them a thank you gift. If they ran in a contested election, then I’m guessing that they didn’t run on a platform of cutting BOB to buy shirts for themselves. I did student government representative stuff while I was in undergrad, and I voiced the same concern about the student gov tendency to cut student services while funding student gov t-shirts then as well. While shirts are fun, core student services are more important.
- Surely the members of ASUCH have pure motives for buying the sweatshirts just as they have pure motives for joining ASUCH in the first place. What purer motive is there than the hidden desire to build one’s own resume?
The people on the UC Hastings student government must be thrilled, since this is the most attention anyone has ever paid to them. Next year, they should spend $1,000 on getting themselves mani-pedis and have a bonfire with the rest of the student budget — then people would really notice them.
The students are calling this scandal “Sweatergate.”
In fairness to my UC Hastings tipsters, they sound more amused than outraged. And in fairness to the UC Hastings student government, those sweatshirts are going to be more useful than the résumé bump they think they’re getting from Hastings student government.
So I think this is a win-win. The leaders get clothing, and the people get confirmation that their leaders are d-bags. I think the only person who lost was me, who got neither a sweatshirt nor the satisfaction of being mildly annoyed at something. Plus I just had to write 650 words about sweatshirts.