Graham Pittman '19
The Affluent White Male Law Student Association (AWMLSA) released a statement today condemning the treatment of cis-gender, heterosexual, upper-middle class Caucasian men at this weekend’s Libel Show.
“The jokes made at our expense were totally out of line, and you better believe my father will be hearing about this,” 3L AWMLSA President Bradley Hartford said while lounging in Scott Commons in his signature salmon shorts, pastel polo, and boat shoes. “I came to Libel expecting to laugh about Dean Davies falling off a horse or lazy 3Ls blaming Dean Dugas for their inability to read emails and set a reminder to sign up for classes, not be confronted with uncomfortable truths about the socioeconomic composition of the law school’s student body. If I wanted to feel bad about being a straight white man, I would just read the op-ed section of Law Weekly.”
In particular, Hartford took offense to the group’s portrayal in the UVA Law Boyz music video, a parody of “California Girls” by celebrated singer-songwriter Katy Perry. “To describe us as a homogeneous and completely interchangeable group completely mischaracterizes the diversity of our membership. For instance, I’m from Greenwich, Griffon over there is from Northern Virginia, and Tucker here is from Charleston. Brett,” he added, gesturing to another student wearing khakis, an old fraternity t-shirt, and boat shoes, “plays lacrosse and tennis, while I’m more of a squash and golf guy. And to say that we only wear pastel polos and Top-Siders is totally inaccurate. It’s like the writers completely forgot that all of us spent the entire winter and fall wearing plaid button-downs, olive Barbour jackets, and L.L. Bean boots.”
“Further, I resent that they called us ‘privileged.’ We worked just as hard to get into this school as anyone,” continued Hartford, the son of a major law firm partner who serves on the Law School Foundation’s Board of Trustees. “And it’s not like we’ve never faced adversity before. Sure, I have an offer to work at my dad’s firm after graduation, but do you have any idea how difficult it is to maintain close to a B+ average while going out three nights a week with your NGSL bros?” Hartford, whose parents are paying the full cost of his attendance in addition to his rent at the Pavilion, also cited the lack of diversity scholarships for straight, upper-middle class white men.
“Until the Libel Show, I was absolutely convinced that we didn’t have a discrimination problem at the University of Virginia. You think this sort of thing could never happen around here, but next thing you know, you’re being systemically persecuted in the form of a four-minute music video set to the tune of a Katy Perry song,” Hartford exclaimed. “I’m just not sure that this is a safe place for people like us anymore” he concluded, referencing the law school whose most recently admitted class is both 55 percent male and 75 percent white.
Hartford says that his group will continue to fight to bring awareness to the plight of straight, upper-middle class white men at the University of Virginia School of Law. On Thursday at 4 p.m., AWMLSA will be holding a rally outside of the Vineyard Vines store at the Stonefield Shopping Center followed by a march to the keg in Spies Garden. Students are asked to pop their collars in solidarity, and members are required to attend unless they have a preexisting commitment with FedSoc.