Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Deja vu

Perhaps Texas and UCLA aren't so different after all.

The following is an excerpt of an email sent yesterday to all students by the Dean:

Dear Members of the UCLA Law Community:

One of the great strengths of our school is our diversity. Within our extraordinary student body and faculty are men and women from a variety of races, ethnicities, nationalities, income groups, religions, sexual orientations and ideological perspectives. One of the principal benefits of diversity is the opportunity for us to learn from each other. Part of this education is learning to see the world through another's eyes. This understanding of different viewpoints and perspectives is important for one to become an excellent lawyer; it is also important to become a good person.

Given our diversity, it is an unfortunate reality that from time to time members of our community will say or do things that will unintentionally offend or hurt one another. In the past week, we have experienced one such incident when the Moot Court Board created an exercise that included racial stereotypes and then compounded the problem by using a jocular tone. Understandably, many students were deeply offended that a formal law school academic activity would include undeniably offensive stereotypes.

Based upon our conversations with members of the Moot Court Board, I am convinced that there was no intent on the part of the Board to offend or belittle our students of Mexican heritage. I also believe that members of the Moot Court Board now understand and feel deeply sorry about the hurt that they have caused to their classmates. Indeed, to avoid this sort of situation from recurring, the Moot Court Board has suggested and I have agreed that future exercises will be read by a faculty advisor.

The facts are pretty clear. In some ways I guess this was less of a misfeasance (in torts speak) than what happened at UT. But in other ways, this was more of a problem, since this was done by the Moot Court, the most prestigious organization this side of Law Review, and Moot Court supposedly represents the school.

[You can see the (revised) Moot Court problem that caused all this mess here.]

Anyway, I just thought that it was amusing/troubling that something of a racially insensitive nature happened at two law schools a spot apart in the rankings and a week apart in time.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

does deja vu refer to the fact that we already read this post when it was written by a non-plagiarist blogger on matthewb.com? yes we have noticed that your blog entries continually track his. just a thought.
*sidenote- this is a totally separate anonymous.

10:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Anonymous: Who'd have thought that two bloggers going to the same law school might comment on the same current event and have a similar opinoin. [gasp] That's just so shocking! [/eyeroll]

To The Fox: I'm not sure that this qualifies as "less" of a misfeasance than what occurred at UT. The connection the UCLA incident has with UCLA Law is a bit more disturbing than an unaffiliated, unassociated, unfinanced, and off-location party held by a few stupid 1Ls that constitute less than 5% of the 1L population at UT.

Then again, we should never underestimate the Administration's ability to cover their asses...

10:29 AM  
Blogger The Fox said...

I'm not even going to dignify with a substantive response.

But two general responses:
1. plagiarism is passing off the ideas or words of someone else, not writing about the same topic.

2. by your logic, only one person at UT could have written about their scandal and everyone would be plagiarizing. Or better yet, only one blogger could write about how the Iraq war is bad. The other million bloggers who write about that are all plagiarizing.

I know, it is absolutely shocking and inexcusable that two students could write about the same event that rocked a law school to its core.

My blog is an open record. Open challenge to anyone: look through the four months I've been writing, and point me where I have "plagiarized."

1:32 PM  
Anonymous 2L said...

Hey Fox, don't get riled up over what Anonymous says. You do a good job and reading your blog makes it seem as if I'm reliving 1L. Hope you get a chance to write about what happened here today. I could see this whole situation escalating.

2:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...plagiarism is passing off the ideas or words of someone else, not writing about the same topic."

The Fox is right -- he hasn't plagiarized anything (except for the idea of referring to Professors as "Professor [subject they teach]").

He's just been scooped a couple of times.

3:17 PM  
Blogger Mademoiselle De Rigueur said...

interesting that you thought to post the Dean's letter. I replied to the letter the very day he sent it, but as of yet got no response.

I am told by 3L's that this is as radical as Dean gets.


P.S. Been there and done Jimmy's, not the same at all. See for yourself. (plus I have a particular fondness for thar brand of coffee)

3:36 PM  

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