Spotted: two law students who refused to let me into the law building 20 minutes before it opened during the break. ‘Sorry,’ they simpered through the glass. ‘The building opens at 10:00.’
Seething inwardly, I couldn’t help but wonder who these parvenus thought they were, why they wouldn’t just let me in only minutes before opening hours, and why they were able to tauntingly study in plain view of the plebes outside. I then realised that they must belong to a law student committee or journal, thus affording them the privilege to avoid the rules imposed on the rest of us.
The fact that only those on certain student committees and journals get 24-hour access to the law building is ludicrous. This policy feeds into the elitism and entitlement that already runs rampant throughout the law school.
What is it exactly that makes this elite group of students better than the rest of us? Are other law students not worthy enough to come and go as they please?
Is it because committee and journal members have much more important work to do than other law students? Doubtful. This assumes that the students with unfettered access to the law building have a higher volume of work, and that this work is more important.
However, many law students uninvolved in the law journals or committees juggle other (impressive) time-consuming extracurriculars and part-time jobs outside the law school bubble. Furthermore, some of this ‘important’ work consists of trivial tasks that could easily be accomplished by trained apes.
Do these law school nobles even use their 24-hour access to work on committee matters, or do they use it to study? I find it highly unlikely that anyone with this privilege would only use it to work on matters pertaining to their student groups and not also take advantage of the silent law building to catch up on schoolwork.
And what of regular law students, reduced in the eyes of the law school to commerce student status? If we dare stay after the building has closed, we will promptly be ushered out by the law school security guards, as I know all too well.
Are we a safety hazard, not trustworthy enough to enjoy the privilege of after-hours access? When I asked one of the security guards, who asked not to be named, whether he thought all law students should be allowed after-hours access, he stated ‘I don’t make the rules, I just enforce them.’ Upon further questioning, he said ‘Wait, are you interviewing me?’
In any case, I fail to see the problem with granting this privilege to all law students. Aren’t all those who swipe in accounted for anyway?
For those of you screeching about the merits of work-life balance and how limited hours for the ‘common’ law student encourages this, then you’re in the wrong profession. If you’re so adamant about having work-life balance, then have one. Just don’t impose this fantasy on the rest of us.
All law students should have 24-hour access to the law building, regardless of whether or not they’re in some self-entitled committee. The current policy is elitist and unfair. Let us in.