Thursday, April 26, 2007

Thanks, Boalt Hall

For those who haven't heard the story so far: A Boalt Hall student posted a stupid, VT-inspired rant about deciding not to get up and rain gunfire on Hastings. Well, the post didn't disclose it was a Boalt student, but the Boalt student should've learned more about things like computers and IP addresses before posting. That rant resulted in the evacuation and closure of Hastings (overkill? you be the judge). Please, like we 'loiners didn't already have mental notes on how to escape from gunfire.

Anyway, the caring Boalt students association sends this message to the Hastings community:

To the U.C. Hastings College of Law community:

On behalf of students at Boalt Hall, we express our deep sympathy and sincere disapproval for the unfortunate events associated with the recent threat to the Hastings community.

Understanding the pressures common to our field of study, particularly at this stage in the academic year, we find what transpired to be particularly inappropriate. The collective discomfort on each of our campuses underscores our interdependence as students. We can only hope that this incident will strengthen the bond between our schools in the future. Please accept our sympathies.

Sincerely,

Boalt Hall Students Association
Yawn. Save it. Plus, how many multi-syllabic words does it take to issue a meaningless email? Whatevs. I want the name of the kid and, regardless of whether the closure was overkill, assurances that this ends his/her law career. Moral character app approval? I should hope not!

Oh - and it isn't because of the content of the message necessarily, though it was surely bone-headed, insensitive, immature, and pedestrian. It's because a Boalt student just had to go after Hastings rather than his/her own school. Because it isn't enough that the non-graded stars of the UC Law school universe are pretty much guaranteed a good paying job - being top 10 just wasn't satisfaction enough for you. Instead, a classist put-down of your non-rivals across the Bay was the only way to be funny.

Sad. Classless. Unwarranted. And a really telling indicator of a complete and utter lack of character.

Update: Boalt kinda sorta gets it, and manages to find a way to pat itself on the back. As ever, I believe that credit should be awarded sparingly, if ever, for doing what you are supposed to do:

April 25, 2007

To: Boalt Community

From: Dean Christopher Edley, Jr.

It has been a week since the distressing events involving a Boalt student’s threat —a hoax — against the community at Hastings College of the Law. I am writing to let you know that all our actions following the incident have been taken with the intention of securing the safety and well-being of our community and that at Hastings, while respecting the procedural rights of the student.

On Wednesday, April 25, 2007, the Law School filed a complaint with the U.C. Berkeley Judicial Affairs Office against the law student who claimed responsibility for posting the threat on a website. We, the administrative leadership of Boalt, believe that the student’s action is clearly in violation of a number of regulations detailed in the Student Code of Conduct. The case will be adjudicated by Judicial Affairs according to campus regulations. Those regulations prohibit us from disclosing the name of the student against whom we are proceeding.
Based on the facts as we understand them today, we have recommended expulsion. This is based not only on the intrinsic wrongfulness of the act itself, but also the disruption, turmoil and emotional toll on the Hastings community and, to a more limited extent, the Boalt community as well. I have received ample evidence of this through a great many emails, some of them painful to read.
This incident has once again confirmed for me the strength and qualities of the Boalt community. Even in this challenging circumstance, you have engaged in thoughtful and productive discussions. We should all take some pride in this, imperfect though we are.

Christopher Edley, Jr.
Professor of Law and Dean
Emotional toll? Oh yes, weepy and in fear, they were, I'm sure. Boalt misses the point, but at least they are taking some action. I'd almost feel sorry for the student who has now ended his/her legal career before starting it. And yet, I can't muster the energy to feel too badly for him/her.

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