Issue 4 (Vol 13)
By Michael Franz
As summer finally stretches into autumn, and the gaiety and festivities of the year’s opening fade behind us, it is with a certain despondence that the more sensitive members of our degree find themselves facing down the solemn days of mid-semester. The annual LMR Carnival and Garden Party, much the talk of the social establishment of law school high society, now lie in our past, and although the opening rounds of the upcoming competitions season promise a spirited (if more academic than bacchanalian) resurgence of excitement, the looming storm clouds of mid-term assignments and revision nevertheless cast long shadows over our present mood. Attendance at our torts lecture on the Monday morning of our third week of studies was therefore understandably characterized more by an aura of obligation than excitement. Although much effort has been made to impress upon us the rising importance of tortious claims of negligence in recent legal history, tort law nevertheless remains a thoroughly boring topic, despite the avuncular mannerism of our beloved Associate Professor Vranken, leading a valiant though ultimately doomed rear-guard action against the encroaching forces of narcolepsy. It was then an unexpected occurrence for our gathering to discover several members of our cohort making an appearance in the hall outside of their appointed lecture schedule.
Now, just why anybody (with the possible exception of Old Scratch, in contemplation of an imminent need to expand the variety of entertainment on display in the infernal regions) should willingly subject themselves to an early morning lecture on tort law for reasons other than meeting the academic obligations of our vocation, is question perhaps better left to the philosophers than the jurists, marked as it is by the absence of that much loved commodity of precedent. Yet press on my friends, for only in the ink-stained pages of this humble publication will you find the answers to such hard hitting editorial questions, and just as exclaimed by the rich man attempting to test a noteworthy proverb involving camels and needles, there is more to this beast than meets the eye!
The well-informed reader (and of course dear readers you are nothing if not well informed) will doubtless be aware that this week past has marked the beginnings of elections for the respected public office of MULSS First Year Representative, and the keen of eye will have noticed a certain animation overtaking a number of our classmates as they traverse the lecture halls to humbly beseech their peers to spend the coin of political franchise in their favour. Such indeed was the business of our newfound compatriots, the solicitation of our votes – the tradition of using the soapbox having yet to go out of style in electoral campaigning, oft to the dismay of the constituency, though surely to the delight of the soap makers. As is usually the case with these affairs, little was said of concrete policy, save the gentleman campaigning on the provision of cups to the first-floor kitchenette, (law students after all constituting a rather pragmatic class of moralists). Rather, much ado was made over declarations of enthusiasm and comradery. That enthusiasm is taken as such a salient characteristic in the appointment of political representatives is unsurprising given the energies LSS has expended to inoculate its newest recruits with a sense of fraternity, nor is the success of this tactic unexpected – cults being famously appealing, provided that one views them from the inside.
Of course, a more cynical motive suggests itself, if friends you will forgive the stretching of this point (stretched points and cynicism being two resources that student journalism has never been in short supply of). It has after all become an established truism that the price of studying law is measured not only in currency but also in principles, and that just as selling one’s soul to corporate shysters is the better part of gainful employment, so too is involvement in one’s local student society the better part of padding a resume. That said, we mustn’t be too judgmental toward the fine practice of padding resumes lest we offend all the fine people who practice it, and it would be intolerably hypocritical if your humble correspondent did not disclose that he had applied to a LSS Co-Opt position for this very reason. Of course, feel free to disregard these words as the jaded humbug they may well be. Yet can such prosaic motives continue to invigorate us once the pressures of this degree begin to mount in earnest and the romance has fallen away? We have our doubts, but let us hope dear readers that on this occasion our editorial prescience is found wanting.
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