Tuesday, April 09, 2013

BHSA Elections

BHSA Elections are Weds/Thurs from 10–2 in the Donor Lobby.
Don't forget to vote!  (Really? A cynic might ask. Vote? Why?)
Read on...


Background
February 25th: BHSA solicits candidates to run via school-wide email. Key dates are listed as: March 4–information session; March 14–Filing Deadline; March 18–Candidate Forum; March 20 & 21–Elections.
March 15th: BHSA receives candidate statements for only three of the available nine positions. BHSA changes filing deadline and candidate forum to March 19th; dates of voting remain the same.
March 19th: BHSA decides to postpone elections until after Spring Break. One Board Member resigns.
April 2nd: BHSA sets filing deadline as April 5th and candidate forum to April 8th. Voting is changed to April 10th--11th.
April 8th: S.O.L.I.D. sends out their official slate.

Additionally:
Group "A" decided to run for 3L Class Co-Presidents.
Group "A," running unopposed, was invited to join the S.O.L.I.D. slate.
Group "A" is removed from the S.O.L.I.D. slate.
Group "B" puts forth a candidate statement as write-in candidates for 3L Class Co-Presidents.

It’s great that more than one group of candidates is running for a position. All candidates seem very qualified. But should having more than one set of candidates run for a position be a noteworthy event? It also leads to several questions, specifically about the current situation (why was Group “A” removed from the slate? Why did Group “B” decide to run at the last minute? The filing deadline was extended several times. Is Group “B” part of the S.O.L.I.D. slate—or has S.O.L.I.D. not endorsed either set of candidates?), and also more general issues. For example: why, in a school full of ambitious individuals who like to fill their resumes with leadership positions, is it so hard to find candidates? Are people deterred from running for BHSA because of time constraints? Lack of interest? Is something more going on? You tell me. All I know is that for such a politically active school, this sure is strange.

Thoughts? Fire away, commenters.

12 Comments:

Anonymous ReturnoftheMack said...

It's time to call a spade a spade: the "Solidarity" slate "party" at Boalt is racialized politics, pure and simple.

That said, the reason no one is jumping up and down to run for BHSA is because I'm pretty sure they are empowered ... to do nothing. Except for 3L class prez, which gets to choose the commencement speaker (marginally tempting).

4/09/2013 10:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The SOLID slate runs for BHSA and attempts to discourage all other candidates in order to control which students are appointed to the admission committee. The ultimate goal is to attempt to carry out affirmative action in student admission. Also, I think placing students on the faculty committee with a goal of impacting new faculty hires.

Or, at least that was the plan back in my day.

Other than that there really is no point to being a member of BHSA or any particular officer.

4/10/2013 3:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Current 3L here.

I've heard from a number of CFD members that they were opposed to a member of Party A because he was supposedly anti-affirmative action (which appears to be untrue, but apparently being white was enough to stereotype him).

The oversimplified race politics at Boalt has hit a tipping point, and for those who actually care about diversity, it's really sad.

Compare the membership of MOCA/WOCC, who get all the resources as "people of color" with the First Generation Professionals, which are effectively marginalized on campus. Of course all people of color face hardship, but we've created a system where we reward upper middle class kids "of color" and turn a blind eye to others who might need the resources.

This is just a symptom of that.

4/10/2013 5:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boalt alumn here thoroughly confused. Boalts cost of attendance will be 300k next year (see lawschooltransparency). A boalt alumn has only an 80% chance of being employed within 9 months of graduation and less than a 50% chance at a high paying biglaw job, (see nlj figures and la times article from April 1).
Basically less than half the class coming in will have the power to pay off 300k at 8% interest, which would take around 7 years of biglaw, which I can say from experience never happens, and when it does it destroys people.

This brings me to my main point. Why are people still attending boalt when it will worsen the financial condition of the vast majority of students who attend, and why are people so giddy to put minorities in this harsh financial predicament?

4/11/2013 7:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's a lot to choose from here. First of all, 10:23, when you're talking about racial politics and when you're referring to a minority slate, beginning your comment with, "It's time to call a spade a spade," is laughably racist. Either you were making a racist pun or you're ignorant. Either way, your charge of "racialized" politics seems a little "racialized" given your choice of words.

People don't join BHSA because it's a waste of time. No one should be offended that the only group of students who wants to be on BHSA is made up of solidarity groups (which includes gay rights and social justice organizations along with minority focused organizations). I'm also pretty sure AA has been shown to hurt Asians, yet Asian student groups comprise a significant part of the Solidarity groups.

It's great to see the Boalt reactionary rumor mill kick into action in the same way it does every year when these elections come around. Affirmative action is not a system of socioeconomic justice. It's an attempt to correct for the effects centuries of systemic racism in US society (very few people of color in high level positions in any field in the US).

4/11/2013 2:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race."

Chief Justice John Roberts

4/11/2013 11:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

2:48, you argue that "the only group of students who wants to be on BHSA is made up of solidarity groups." That is inaccurate.

Students interested in running for BHSA have been told that the S.O.L.I.D. slate is the only way to do so. The S.O.L.I.D. platform (standing for "Students, Openness, Leadership, Inclusion, and Diversity") effectively preempts every possible challenger. A rival slate, by not being part of the S.O.L.I.D. slate, becomes the opposite—unless they claim to be more committed to the S.O.L.I.D. policy goals than the S.O.L.I.D. slate itself. Otherwise, the student(s) become a de facto member of the A.B.P.E.O. (Administration, Backroom dealing, Passivity, Exclusion, and Oppression) slate.

It's hard to not draw the conclusion that the election has largely been decided as soon as the S.O.L.I.D. slate is released. The slate is determined by a few students, belying-at the least-the "O" in the party name.

4/11/2013 11:50 PM  
Blogger A. Fong said...

As a former BHSA board member, I will say that it is not entirely a waste of time. BHSA has a decent amount of influence on a number of things, including:

* Commencement speaker selection
* The Admissions Committee
* The Faculty Appointments Committee
* Class conflicts
* The 2L half-way through party and that other certain event which must not be named

BHSA is also a good place to be to influence the administration in general or, failing that, to at least get something more than the official party line out of the deans.

IMHO, the bigger issue is that BHSA is a huge time-suck. Yet the people most interested in BHSA are usually also heavily involved in other organizations, including time-intensive ones such as CLR. And given that BHSA doesn't really have the same (perceived) resume-boosting effect as CLR or a journal, the work-to-reward ratio ends up not working out for a lot of potential candidates.

4/12/2013 4:28 AM  
Blogger A. Fong said...

With respect to the Solidarity Slate, I don't think it's helpful. The issue for me is less about identity politics and more about personal relationships and cliques.

I ran against the slate my year largely because (1) I didn't want to be in a position where I had to endorse other members of the slate when I preferred their opponents, and (2) I felt the slate nomination process didn't adequately represent the slate's supposed constituency.

I was also a member of APALSA. APALSA was bound, as a condition of having a say in the slate selection process, to endorse the entirety of the slate, but no one at APALSA gave me much flack for running as an independent.

That wasn't true for one of my friends who also ran as an independent. His reasons for running as an independent were non-ideological and his personal politics were well in-line with the goals of Solidarity. However, he received a substantial amount of push-back from the leadership of one of the identity groups he was in for running against the slate. Ultimately, he chose to withdraw from the race rather than burn bridges.

I suspect that's true for a lot of other potential candidates -- where the bigger barrier to running is less about race or politics and more about the internal dynamics of the student groups that make up the Solidarity coalition. That's unfortunate.

4/12/2013 5:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These comments are pretty shocking of their ignorance.

1) statements of "racialized politics" - "racialized" is not a word - and using blanket statements or making of phrases to try to categorize a whole group of people, their message, and goals, is not only ignorant but cowardly. The Solidarity Slate has an important history that the commenters here could help themselves with familiarize themselves with it.

2) making an(other) assumption that MOCA and WOCC get "all the resources" is also largely ignorant of the fact that these groups get very little money in comparison to other identity groups on the campus - even though they carry the largest membership. I would think that the groups with the largest membership should get the most resources - not the groups that the "Anonymous" commenter likes. But I would just considered that more of a society emblematic of a representative democratic.

3) The reason for the 3L President conflict has been because a member of the pair of candidates has come out saying statements that run counter to the Solidarity Slate. If it was racial then that past Co-President of the BHSA who ran and promoted the slate would not be elected, as she was White. And regardless, to make such an assumption is ignorant in of itself.

Higher education apparently does not lead to well-thought out remarks. I would highly advise the commenters here to think about what kind of contribution to society or to understanding of our world, or on a base level, this BHSA situation, your comments make.

As the epidemic of racism moves toward the internet under anonymous names, people seem emboldened to continue pointing fingers at others trying to change structures that reward their privilege, without turning an eye inward to question or even *think* about their statements.

The comments here also reveal the makeup of the blog writers and readers.

It would be a good time to reflect now and meditate. Let's move towards a school with open communication, not hidden vitriolic statements, and compassion and understanding for one another.

4/13/2013 9:52 PM  
Blogger McTwo said...

9:52,

Your post is pretty ironic as you, too, are posting anonymously (and A. Fong, for one, is not.)

For your future reference: Racialize.

Additionally: "Higher education apparently does not lead to well-thought out remarks. I would highly advise the commenters here to think about what kind of contribution to society or to understanding of our world, or on a base level, this BHSA situation, your comments make.

As the epidemic of racism moves toward the internet under anonymous names, people seem emboldened to continue pointing fingers at others trying to change structures that reward their privilege, without turning an eye inward to question or even *think* about their statements."

Fairly a.) patronizing, b.) presumptuous, and c.) intellectually dishonest. It is pretty easy to 'win' a discourse (in your mind) when you start from the presumption that anyone who disagrees with you simply hasn't thought about the issues.

Your post epitomizes the "not only ignorant but cowardly" attempt to scare opposing viewpoints away, rather than to engage in discussion to come to an understanding. Perhaps it is you, and not other anonymous commenters, who should "think about what kind of contribution to society or to understanding of our world, or on a base level, this BHSA situation, your comments make."

4/14/2013 6:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Coalition for Diversity has about as much credibility as Wilda White at this point.

4/22/2013 1:24 AM  

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