Thursday, July 8, 2010

Ask "Anything" Panel

I'm very involved at my law school. I'm on the board of multiple student organizations, I facilitate diversity workshops, and I see myself as a resource for other students. So when the email from administration came out asking for volunteers for this year's orientation "Ask Anything" panel I responded that I'd be happy to participate if they still needed volunteers. Today I received this email:

Good Afternoon-

Thank you for volunteering to be part of an Ask Anything Panel during orientation. The five of you will be the panel for Section Two which will take place [date & time in Room 100]. Please come to Student Affairs that day prior to the panel to pick up your t-shirt and name tag. Please be in the room promptly at 2:30.

All of you probably remember this panel from when you went through orientation. You will start by introducing yourself, letting them know what year you are and what you are involved with and then open it up for questions. I urge you to be positive, orientation is not the time to get down on law school and scare them away. If anything inappropriate is said you will be pulled from the panel by a staff member. [Bold added by Reconstructing Law School for emphasis]

So please get back to me and let me know if you are still available and willing to sit on the panel, and also your t-shirt size. T-shirts are first come first serve so get back to me fast. Thanks all!

[Student Affairs Person]

Apparently the "anything" in "Ask Anything" is a relative term. I'm not suggesting that an orientation panel is the appropriate place to air one's dirty laundry but that was a pretty forceful email. The scary part about this thinly veiled censorship is that one person's truth might be another institution's "inappropriate" comment. If I say something "inappropriate" (whatever that means) do you think they'll employ force?

I wonder is they let the incoming 1Ls know that they are attending a panel whose members have been muted? Advise to 1Ls: get the email addresses of your orientation leaders, you might get more honest answers.


  1. I'm pretty sure that's an open invite to say anything and see how much you can get away with before somebody removes you. It's pretty much a challenge to see what gets who pulled. You and the other panelists should have a contest. It would at least be fun.

  2. Amy, I know, right? My first thought this a dare or a double dare?

    On the other hand, at least I'm getting a free t-shirt for letting them censor me.

  3. It just might be a triple dog dare.

  4. I'm calling their letter a big fat bluff.