They take up tables throughout the law library and the rest of the building. They sneak into the law students’ area on the third floor, talk with reckless abandon in quiet areas, and ‘reserve’ spots by leaving their coats on tables for hours at a time. Otherwise known as SNAILS (Students Not Actually in Law School), they are a source of great consternation for many law students.
SNAILS come from diverse backgrounds and make the trek from their respective faculties (and even other universities) over to the hallowed halls of 185 Pelham Street. Although there is not one surefire way to identify them, possession of a calculator or macroeconomics textbook and the scent of teenager are generally good indicators that you’ve got a SNAILS problem.
The law library isn’t the only space that has been invaded by SNAILS; even the discussion rooms aren’t safe from them. Any University of Melbourne student can reserve a study room in the library, even if it’s for watching cartoons or Gossip Girl. While Melbourne Law School provides a program of undergraduate breadth subjects which allows its students to book discussion rooms in the law library, the law library discussion room booking system cannot identify which University of Melbourne students are currently enrolled in an MLS program or law breadth subject.
So, what remains to be done about the never ending SNAILS infestation at the law school?
The security guard who makes an appearance during SWOTVAC and guards the library doors from non-University of Melbourne students is a great start, but perhaps we need to go further. One option is to restrict the SNAILS’ access to the law library. After all, how can we be entitled elitists without imposing some kind of disadvantage upon the common folk? Alternatively, we could send the SNAILS over to the traffic island outside the law building for processing to ensure only the worthiest are granted access.