Sep 09 2009

The Stagflation of Social Development

Published by at 3:00 pm under Miscellaneous

Last year, I was having a discussion with my writing professor about 9/11.  I was telling her how close I was to the Pentagon and the chaos that erupted from the lack of ability to use cell phones and check on loved ones.  A classmate of mine interevened saying she was in 9th grade at the time.  I was absolutely deflated.  While I realized that this event was some years ago, I did not know people that young could already be in law school.  For that crowd,  a brief explanation of stagflation.  Wikipedia (my Webster’s) says that stagflation occurs when inflation and stagnation occur at the same time in an economy and remain unchecked.  The gist of this during the OPEC crisis, was that while prices were rising and changes were being made in response to the problem,  it did not fix the problem. 

From the law school perspective, we are forever trying to make our school a community.  Seemingly, this is why we are in cohorts, why leadership is a mandatory course and why we have the preceptor program and the afternoon teas.  One of the most effective ways to get a student involved in the Elon community is to engage them in student organizations.  They have the ability to work without oversight towards effecuating a new angle by which we integrate our students to the Greensboro legal community.  Over the first three years of the school’s presence, we have developed approximately 20 organizations appealing to most every aspect of a student’s personality.  As you read, two more are in development.  But, with this blossoming supply side of new organizations, space and time for activities remain stagnate.    We have but so many rooms in which to meet in this building, and with everyone on different schedules, 12:15 – 1:00 has become the default meeting time.  This obviously leads to double booking.  Take today for example (though it’s no more special than the rest):  During the same time we had a Lexis study skills review, a Phi Alpha Delta meeting, and an Elon Law Republicans meeting from 12:15 – 1:00.

Until we can master cold fission and replicate ourselves, certain decisions will have to be made.  Do I know enough about online research to sacrifice this review session for a legal fraternity to whom I have an obligation?  Can I miss out on a first meeting of an organization I would like to be a part of for the same reason?  And the logical question, which meeting has the best free lunch?  Seemingly, you could catch any one of the three on the second meeting, but most organizations only meet once a month, and this conflict of time and space seems to be a repetitive one.  In a separate dilemna, you may have to put an organizational meeting which you are chairing in front of a career services program you have been awaiting for sometime.  This is never a wise decision. 

So, if we are already stretched thin on our schedule, what then serves the purpose of continually accrediting organizations?  Instead of double booking, we will be triple booking, and so on.  Unless we can find more resources to accomodate for the operations of each organization, we are only allocating student funds to groups with low student support.  Further, if you are a member of multiple groups and only attending meetings on a rotating basis because of the conflict, how involved can you actually be?

I am, however, an advocate of not complaining about a problem unless you have a solution.  Here it is.  Monday and Wednesday – administration days.  Career Service functions, Let’s Study meetings, Town Halls, SBA/Honor Council issues.  Tuesday/Thursday/Friday – Student Organizations.  Divide each lunch hour into three 20-minute sections.  Think about all the meetings you have attended this year; each could easily be condensed into twenty minutes of actual work.  Admittingly, once or twice a year, extra organizations would have to suck it up and hold a meeting from 8:00-8:30 AM, or 4:00-5:00 PM.  However, doing so would afford each student the opportunity to become as involved as they want to be with each organization.  It would also have the collateral benefit of allowing each organization to weed out the members who show up once a semester to secure the organizational name on their resume and are never seen from again.  And all the while we spend more time at the school attending these meetings, the building starts becoming a community, instead of a place of business from 9-5 like the rest of downtown Greensboro.  Now if only we can convince the restaurants to stay open past 3…

One response so far

One Response to “The Stagflation of Social Development”

  1. Kerri Sigleron 14 Oct 2009 at 10:11 pm

    Solution No. 2: Don’t overbook /yourself/.

    I, for instance, am a Democrat who did not participate in the Elon Law Democrats.

    I am a woman who was not a member of the Women’s Law Society.

    And I did not feel compelled to attend every meeting at which topics I cared naught about were discussed as nauseum … just like they were last year … and the year before that.

    The point is this: you are more than the sum of your organizations, socially unacceptable though that may be. Pick one or two and be active in them. Applaud the rest but don’t sign your name to them. Fewer meetings = happier law students with even shinier resumes 🙂

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply