Monday, April 24, 2006

Coming out of hiding to share this

I've been invisible for a while, and I probably have lots to write about. Work still sucks (I'll have to write about the phone calls we're making right now - I don't think that's a very good use of my law degree, personally), I'm still seeing Brian (which makes me quite happy!), and J still runs me ragged (the little stinker woke me up at 3:45 this morning, wanting to watch TV - um, NO). But this is what's prompting me to post (speaking of my law degree) - now tell me the dean of Baylor Law didn't have a total brain fart on this one.

Some Baylor law students irked after prom dinner closes part of library

Sunday, April 23, 2006

By Tim Woods

Tribune-Herald staff writer

The dean of Baylor Law School said he was wrong to let his son use part of the school’s library for a high school prom dinner Saturday evening as law students prepared for finals.

Some law students were upset Saturday when they learned that the library would not be available to them between 4 and 8 p.m., as Dean Brad Toben’s son and about 40 classmates were using a portion of the library for the dinner. Final exams for the spring quarter began Saturday and run through Friday.

“I think it was disrespectful to place the desires of a high school student over the needs of law students to study for their finals,” said third-year law student Jamie Downing.

“We’re not even allowed to have bottled water in the library, and they’re having a catered dinner. It seems kind of hypocritical,” Downing added.

Second-year student Susan Duesler was studying along with about 10 others Saturday night on the first floor library as the prom party went on.

“I study on the first floor of the library regularly . . . and I can hear clapping and a constant buzz through the earplugs I use,” Duesler said. “There is also a lot of traffic in and out, the high school kids and their parents.”

For his part, Toben, who was in Dallas for a dinner Saturday night, acknowledged the concerns of students and some faculty, and apologized for the decision.

‘Poor’ judgment

“I have come to the conclusion that my judgment in this matter . . . was poor,” Toben said via cell phone. “I have discerned very clearly that some of my students and one or more of my colleagues are very upset about the use of this space, especially during exam time. They are right.”

“I am very sorry for this, and I apologize, and I understand that I have no doubt lost the confidence of many, and I will move forth accordingly,” the law school dean said.

Downing said some students thought the dinner was not a “big deal” and that Toben’s expression of remorse was sufficient.

“An apology is the best thing because we just feel insulted,” she said. “We just want respect.”

Toben said all classrooms in the law school were to remain unlocked until 2 a.m. and that the library would open early on Sunday for students to study.



OK, what the hell. Letting his son and his little friends have a pre-prom party in the law school library?! When I was in law school, we couldn't bring a drink into the library without getting busted for it - and this was in the old law school building, not the new shiny one they're in now. That's gotta be one spoiled kid - not sure if daddy just thought it would be cool for his son to have a party there, or if junior mouthed off to his buddies and said they could 'cause his dad is the dean and dad just went along with it. Had my father been in a position where he could've done anything like that for me and I'd asked, he'd have told me hell, no in a big hurry. If I were still a student and trying to study for finals, and found part of the library CLOSED the week before finals for a high school prom party (keeping in mind that in 95% of the classes at Baylor Law, your final exam grade is your grade for the course), pissed doesn't even begin to cover it. I'd love to know what Dean Toben was smoking, because I could use some of it.