The thing speaks for itself


The notoriously aloof HLS faculty outdid themselves this week at Tuesday’s Faculty-Student Appreciation Reception in the Ropes-Gray Room. The event, organized and sponsored by the 3L class marshals, was well attended by students. About 100 showed up in all. Unfortunately, most of them arrived to find no faculty members present. Not one. Only at 5:30 p.m., an hour and a half after the event started, did a few faculty members begin to trickle in. Many of the students had already left.

We would like to thank those professors who did attend, as well as Dean of Students Suzanne Richardson, for being there. If Profs. Zittrain, Westfall, Fallon, Meltzer, von Mehren, Tribe and Kagan had not come, the reception would have been a complete flop. Their presence was truly appreciated by all. But they could not carry the day by themselves. Where was Dean Clark? Where was Dean Rakoff, who had just finished leading a town meeting in the Hark, no more than 100 yards away? Where were former Assistant Deans Steiker and Sander, or any of the other 130 professors, lecturers and administrators who received hand-delivered invitations from Class Marshal Frank Rossi?

Perhaps most disappointing, given the imminent creation of HLS’s “law colleges,” was that only two of the seven newly appointed college Masters, Professors Meltzer and Westfall, attended the reception. These seven college Masters should strive to become community leaders, prominent figures in student life. Ultimately this will involve much more than merely attending receptions, but showing up for some snacks and beer would be an easy start. Their absence does not bode well. (It is also worth noting that only one college Master, Prof. Meltzer, attended Tuesday’s Town Hall Meeting, at which the future form and role of the “law colleges” was the main topic of discussion.)

For most students, the Faculty-Student Appreciation Reception was just another in a string of letdowns. Many of us have become so cynical, in fact, that we can no longer be disappointed. By far the most overheard remark at the reception was: “What did you expect?” And this from the 100 or so 3Ls who are still engaged and enthusiastic enough to attend such an event. What a shame.

P.S. – As of this week, Prof. Scott Brewer still has not turned in the grades for his fall semester Contracts class.

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