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Monday, November 20, 2006
The following new exam guidelines were sent to the student body last week by Associate Dean Espada:
EXAM TESTING CONDITIONS: PROHIBITION ON MATERIALS AND ELECTRONIC DEVICESI take two issues with these new exam taking rules. First, the student body was not consulted or notified in any way of possible rule changes. Second, to be blunt, the new rules treat the students like children. IU Law school's mission is to produce graduates worthy of practicing the law, but they cannot even trust us to carry backpacks into exam rooms?
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
The first update is that judging by this statement by Dominic Dorsey, the president of the IUPUI Black Student Union and someone who has been frequently quoted by the Indianapolis Star as a leader of this initiative (to sue IUPUI unless it meets certain demands by the deadlines that have been created for it), the word "Black Thursday" (which he also uses to refer to November 2, the day that "Through Our Eyes" was released and the suit against IUPUI was first threatened) is an informal nickname for the initiative. (I do not know why its supporters would choose a name that would make people think of a day of chaos or a stock market crash to describe their initiative or the day it began, but when people are taking their initiative public, they can call it whatever they want.)
Fortunately, this gives us a name to use to refer to this initiative, because it now appears that it is technically incorrect to identify it by the group that had seemed to have been promoting it: the Black Student Union. According to Dominic Dorsey's statement on the BSU web site, "As President of this great organization, I can assure you. The executive board of Black Student Union had no hand in the planning, execution or construction of Black Thursday or the proposal submitted to the Administration. I however did." In my post on Sunday, I credited the IUPUI Black Student Union with "Through Our Eyes" (which was posted on the BSU web site) and the law suit threat. Now, however, this does not seem to be completely true. This is the second update: the initiative was not created by the BSU executive board, but it can be identified by the name "Black Thursday."
The third update is that the meeting on Sunday, which was supposed to have determined whether the suit against IUPUI would go forward, did not. However, it did resulted in the creation of a second deadline for IUPUI to meet (5 PM today), which would have been enforced by demands for resignations.
The fourth update, and the most significant, is that the Indianapolis Star reports today that IUPUI Chancellor Charles Bantz has given his approval to a version of some of the "Black Thursday" demands, and has agreed to consider some of the others. "IUPUI Chancellor Charles Bantz today promised a new multicultural center and a full-time campus diversity officer in response to complaints from black students that they have been treated unfairly," the Star reported. He made a few other promises as well, which the Star article also reports.
Dominic Dorsey is also quoted: "Progress is being made, and at this point there is a level of communication between the administration and the students that has never existed before, so that we can definitely be proud of ... We don’t look at anything as a step back right now, and nothing is a failure."
Chancellor Bantz made the promises before 5 PM, so unless they were unsatisfactory to "Black Thursday" activists, he has met the deadline.
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
In case some of you missed it, this is an update on the Law School Dean search posted to the Listserv by Angela Sanchez (Student Member of the Dean Search Committee):
One of IU Law-Indy's greatest strengths is in the field of international law, aided by relevant course offerings, study abroad programs, the LLM program, and various student groups. Bolstering that image, the International Law Society, the Hispanic Law Society, and the Committee on Diversity Initiatives hosted an International Practitioner Panel today from 5-6 P.M. today in Inlow Hall.
The panel included a diverse set of attorneys in Indianapolis practicing international law. Two of the panelists, Mr. Edward Delaney (Partner, Delaney & Delaney) and Mr. David Williams Russel (Partner, Harrison & Moberly) work in the field of international trade. Mr. Zack Dong (Partner, Baker and Daniels) focuses on international mergers & acquisitions as well intellectual property law. Finally, Angela Iza (Associate, Lewis & Kappes) and Sarah Moshe (Associate, Broyles, Kight & Ricafort) both work on immigration law.
After each panelist described their backgrounds the session opened up to questions. The panelists were asked various questions regarding tips for law students considering a career in international law. Mr. Delaney stressed the need to learn at least one other language and the other panelists universally agreed. Mr. Russel stressed the importance of basic lawyering skills, saying that before one may be a successful international practitioner, he or she must develop skills in reading and interpreting large statutes as well as sharp networking experience.
Finally, the panelists all agreed that flexibility is a key. Most of them did not specifically plan on becoming international practitioners when they were in law school and took indirect paths to the practice. Mr. Delaney did recommend taking at least a couple international law related courses to get a basic understanding of some of the issues involved and to help one decide whether it's field he or she would be interested in pursuing.
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Without actually speaking with the leaders of the IUPUI Black Student Union, I cannot say for certain whether I have found the explanation for a surprising fact reported by the Indianapolis Star in two of its three articles about the IUPUI Black Student Union's recent discrimination-related grievances and demands: "The demands included a campus center for black students and $78,000 for black student groups, which is about $10,000 more than the student government's budget for all campus clubs."
On November 2, which the IUPUI Black Student Union calls "Black Thursday," the BSU released "Through Our Eyes: The State of The Black Student at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis." The document alleges that the IUPUI administration has behaved unfavorably toward black students in its course offerings, faculty hiring policies, "cultural competence," and communication (see the document for details), and that it has actually discriminated in distributing funds to student organizations. The BSU has also made several requests, and is meeting today (as of the time of this posting, I do not know the outcome of this meeting) to decide whether to sue IUPUI.
But according to the Indianapolis Star, which has now reported this fact more than once, one of the BSU requests is "$78,000 for black student groups," which the Star reports is $10,000 more than is currently allotted to all student organizations. Why would the BSU make such a request?
Well, as I said before, the only way to find out for certain is to ask the leaders of the BSU (and maybe I will, or maybe they will affirm or dispute this in the comments under this post). However, I did notice something in "Through Our Eyes" that might explain why they would have believed that this request was justified. On page 5, the document reads, "In addition, Black Greek Organizations under the National Pan Hellenic Council facilitate 18 weeks of programming during the course of an academic year on campus. The Black Student Union facilitates 12 programs during the course of an academic year, not including weekly study tables. By our calculations, this means that these two Black organizations alone facilitate over 130 days worth of programming here at IUPUI. There are about 160 days out of the academic year. In translation, Black student organizations do 81% of the student programming at IUPUI. This is more than any other student organization combined at IUPUI."
However, to divide the number of days in which these two (?) organizations are said to have facilitated programming (130) by the number of days in an academic year (160) would produce the percentage of days in which the organizations conducted programming (81.25%, if the organizations did hold events on 130 days and if there were 160 days available), not the percentage of all programs at IUPUI that were organized by them. For the statement quoted in the preceding paragraph to be true, no other student organization could have held events of their own on any of those 130 days, but must have held events on each of the remaining 30 days of the year.
There is, of course, more to the document than this, but this math error does seem to provide an explanation for the BSU request of $10,000 more than all IUPUI student organizations combined currently receive: because the BSU believes that the organizations that would receive the $78,000 conduct 81% of all student activities at IUPUI.
To read the rest of "Through Our Eyes," (which I would advise you to do) it is available on the IUPUI Black Student Union web site.