Volume 3, Issue 9, (Originally Published on Monday 6 May 2013)
The Law Students’ Society’s women’s officers have launched ‘PMS: Pimp My Study’, a monthly mental health and wellbeing initiative, to both acclaim and outrage.
The event, which provided students with lollies and ‘a selection of things we hope will make you smile’, was intended to help relieve stress and anxiety in light of the well-publicised rates of law student depression.
While generally students appreciated the gratuitous provision of sugar, some were critical of the promotion’s name and description.
“Comparing irrational crazy hormonal women to stressed and anxious students, playing on a supposed weakness of women to create amusement – these things only reinforce gender stereo-
types,” said third-year Sasha Ponniah.
“Not to mention trying to drum up sympathy for men tolerating ‘PMS’ in their female friends, lovers and girlfriends. This is disappointing, coming from the very people who are supposed to be supporting and promoting the interests of the female student body.”
Women’s Officers Brigitte Wise and Jess Stojkovski apologised for any offence caused, insisting this was not their intention, and announced that they would be removing references to ‘PMS’ from the event name.
“We would like to reiterate that this event was about providing study aids for all students, men and women,” Wise said last Sunday. “We do feel that providing study-aids to students for free is a worthwhile event and one that we have received many thanks from the student body for organising,” she continued, adding that they appreciated the feedback.
Meanwhile, as application season kicks off in earnest, the LSS 2013 careers program has begun with a number of evening practice area events, and formally launched last Wednesday with their seasonal clerkship guide and feedback event. The new evening format partially replaces the lunchtime seminars that were previously a May staple, and has been well-received, in particular from firm representatives.
Some MLS students found the candid clerkship feedback event to be a laudable addition to the assistance the LSS provides to students considering applying for a legal internship. “It was great to hear what the experience is like from students themselves,” said second-year Doug Porteous. “How many applications to submit, how to approach making a good impression in interviews, what sort of questions we’ll be asked, and perhaps brutally, what we can expect from our marks – these were all really useful things to know.”
However, some students have noted, with only a little puzzlement, that the session featured four female speakers. “Were the situation reversed, I can’t help but think that the lack of diversity would have been a real issue,” said one student, who wished to remain anonymous. Careers Director Ken Kour said the panel was selected on a gender-blind basis, with a focus on finding students with diverse experiences.