Letters //

Consider the science students

A letter from Alexander Gillis.


My thanks, Honi, for once again enabling the self importance of a vocal minority of law students by publishing “Consider the law school” on the front page. The self proclaimed jewels of this institution, heading for lofty heights unthinkable to the broader doldrums, the plebian unwashed masses who so cruelly clutter their pristine palace. By devoting this sort of page space to this opinion article, the editorial team are presenting what they consider to be the most important issue facing Sydney uni – the content of a few junior law subjects. Quoting from SEX’s own promotional material ‘more space for issues you really care about’. To the other nine tenths of the university, this is beginning to ring hollow.

Unfortunately for the author of this piece, students are not divided into law and law-nots. Pandering to these tropes is not stimulating, and it certainly does not make for interesting reading – the minutiae of a Sydney law degree is hardly of any importance to virtually anybody outside that system. A senior science student could bemoan of the lack of coverage of pharmacogenomics, or an INGS student may complain of the lack of focus upon Polynesian tribal law and its applications to the prevailing hegemony of the current United Nations. However there are very few within these narrow fields who would consider it of any broader interest at all – the arrogance required seems select to a few put upon legal slaves. This exceptionalism displayed by an alarming proportion of legal students is astounding. They seem to consider their area of study to be so fundamentally important that anybody outside must at least want to know what’s going on inside, if not aching with a need to be included in this exclusive club. It’s very convenient for them to forget the physics and engineering that powers their little MacBooks, and the architecture that allows their shining symbol of corporate donorship to stand.

Reading of the stresses put upon aspiring Justices and great members must melt even the coldest of hearts. Pretending anyone within a vast majority of this place is anything other than grossly lucky is already churlish, however to make news out of the fact students under pressure are often distressed the reeks of a terribly fractured worldview. As for one Mr Spade, he and Pen may keep their alleged social change. There are still rich people and poor people – and many of the rich happen to have studied law.

Alexander Gillis
Science II