Convocation Capitulation: A Letter from the Editors

Nick Papageorge (2L) and Maud Rozee (2L)

Cover image by Davina Shivratan (1L)

Cover image by Davina Shivratan (1L)

¡Viva la revolución! In the face of overwhelming, vociferous pressure from students, the administration announced that it has reversed its decision to disfigure this year’s Convocation celebrations.

As most of you surely know, the administration had decided to split Convocation into two separate events, a decision handed down to us without meaningful student consultation.

The uproar was immediate. It was justified. And it can now be said that it was effective.

On February 13, an email from Assistant Dean Alexis Archbold went out to 3Ls and 4Ls, and then to the entire student body, addressing the issue. After offering a specious non-explanation as to why the initial move was not a silencing of dissent, the Assistant Dean acknowledged that having the student speeches at the reception for friends and family was logistically feasible after all.

These snide observations notwithstanding, this email was significant for putting the decision in the hands of the 3Ls and 4Ls: the choice between the administration’s version of Convocation and the one that students had been clamouring for would be put to a vote. Yes, the majority rules, and democracy still has some meaning in the halls of the Faculty.

To the surprise of nobody, the traditional Convocation celebrations triumphed emphatically. An email was sent out on February 17 with the final breakdown, as follows: 154 out of 204 (75%) students responded, 81% of respondents (125) voted in favour of the traditional celebrations, and 19% of respondents (29) voted in favour of the administration’s idea.

Thus we were given our Convocation back, and peace was restored amongst students at the law school—at least until the next major, or likely minor, inconvenience.

It is now for the history books to tell the tale of one of the most needless, avoidable, confounding, and downright silly missteps ever taken by the administration.