By Chris Mincher '11
SBA elections are a reminder that the SBA has, once again, failed to eliminate every single thing that has ever annoyed me about this school. For example, another year of student government has come and gone, and yet, infuriatingly, men here continue to shamelessly strut the hallways in salmon-colored pants. How our leaders have not taken swift, decisive action to meet this Nantucket-red crisis, I do not know, but it angers me enough to, right here, announce my candidacy for SBA President. This is easy for me to do, because, as a third-year, I am barred from the election, meaning I don’t ever have to do any actual work to solve any actual problems — but, luckily, neurotic complaints and suggesting outrageously impractical and unrealistic solutions just happen to be things I’m quite experienced in. Below, the Mincher 2011 platform.
This year saw dramatic, sensible improvements to the Law School’s parking situation, as the near-vacant, needlessly wasteful Blue Lot was donated to the JAG school to be converted into an herb garden. However, there remains the pesky question of the D2, D5, and D22 Lot shortages. Because these spots are the ones closest to school, the Administration has, as you’ve probably noticed, made sure they are efficiently and fully utilized at all times. But this, unfortunately, has led to often-chaotic overflow — which is why, when I’m President, I will personally order the paving of Spies Garden to create the extra spots those lots need. Now, many of you will be skeptical that such use of the grounds would be inappropriate given the history and aesthetic of the Law School, but fear not: The project will be called the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Multilevel Parking Facility.
U.Va. Law can teach you many things, but, if you’re a man, this instruction fails miserably in one critical area: How to correctly dispose of urine after it has been deposited in the appropriate bathroom receptacle. Males here have, apparently, gone through decades of their lives inadequately trained on basic operation of indoor plumbing; I can only assume that the school’s more privileged attendees have been raised with the benefit of a personal toilet-flushing butler. This is, of course, one simple technological solution, mainly, replacing the standard urinals with modern ones activated by motion sensors. This, however, serves merely to remove evidence of the problem rather than solve it. That’s why urinals under a Mincher presidency would go further to encourage positive behavioral change — when one activates the motion sensor by stepping away without flushing, the urinal utilizes high-pressure liquid-projection technology to discharge, fire-hose-style, a gushing blast of the user’s own urine back at him, comically knocking him off his feet and leaving him soaked and sprawled against the bathroom wall.
I’ve heard people call the mandatory B+ curve “generous.” This baffles me — a curve that results in any less-than-optimal grades is clearly detrimental to somebody. I used to think that only a mandatory A+ curve would break the winners-and-losers mentality of law school. But even that would mean that our students could theoretically be on the level with scholastically flawless students from other schools. This is why, as president, I will immediately set the curve against newly created letter that comes before an “A,” the “ℓ,” pronounced “eego.” Actually, now that I think about it, the curve will be set to an ℓ+.
Student Organization Funding
Some student organizations will, sadly, always have their important missions hampered by the SBA’s continued insistence of funneling money to other organizations that people actually care about; for example, if the SBA didn’t keep pouring funds into the coffers of groups that support such faddishly popular causes such as “public interest,” maybe A Cappellate Opinions would be able to scrounge up the cash to buy some instruments. Moreover, the funding application process is needlessly complicated and boring. I have devised a system that both gives all the hope of financial windfall and makes for a thrilling appropriations experience: Organizations receive scratch-off “SBA Funding Lottery Tickets” where, if luck’s on their side, various appropriations amounts may be revealed with a few hearty rubs of a nickel. All leftover money will be converted to $1 bills and placed inside a cash-grab booth, within which organization representatives can try to snatch as much money as they can as it blows madly around them.
Getting information out about events is an important function of the SBA, but in doing so it has clung to the outdated model of mass e-mail. Today’s technology has moved extensively further, and it’s time the SBA got caught up. That is why, as SBA president, I would overhaul the events e-mail into Events: The 3D Experience, featuring virtual-reality events simulations. For example, readers can virtually get their ass kicked to promote Virginia Law Women’s Self-Defense & Safety Seminar, or, for special paid subscribers, engage in NC-17-rated 3D announcements from Virginia Law Students for Reproductive Justice.
The previous SBA Administration procured extended coffee availability, which has somewhat helped students maintain attention through late-evening study sessions. (After that, the only caffeine option is library coffee, which tastes like ground-up panels of drop-ceiling.) Clearly, more needs to be done. There are many, many ways to increase student access to even more helpful stimulants — even Adderall is for people who aren’t trying hard enough — so, when I’m president, for example, instead of being filled with worthless office supplies such as complimentary tubes of typewriter correction fluid, the library information desk basket will contain individually wrapped Dexedrine. Dean Ballenger will replace her unhealthy candy stash with Modafinil. Further, I will order that a designated LLM begin selling 100-pill bags of imported Phenotropil, a phenylpiracetam sold exclusively in Russia, behind the Slaughter recycling dumpster Tuesday through Thursday from 2 p.m. until 9 p.m.
This past year, after the SBA lobbied for more study areas during exams, Dean Bergen agreed to unlock the doors to unused interview rooms for 17 minutes during Thanksgiving Break. (He did not, however, allow the lights in those rooms to be turned on.) Yet, because of continued space concerns, those looking for a place to read are still continually forced by inhumane levels of overcrowding to share tables with other students they don’t know very well. Everyone knows that once a person sits a table, the entire surface — no matter how large the table may be — immediately becomes a tangible boundary of his or her personal study space, but, everywhere you look, you can see horrific scenes of strangers sharing tables, trying their best to ignore the uncomfortable invasion thrust upon them, unable to do any work, perpetually shooting glances at their neighbors and wishing a meteor would crash through the ceiling and embed them 20 feet under the Fishbowl. This is why I will personally oversee the opening up of even more study areas, including the O’Melveny & Myers Reading Crawlspace, the Kirkland & Ellis Storage & Study Closet, and the Bryan Cave Broken Utility Elevator of Learning.