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Yesterday, polls opened for the annual Student Bar Association election at BLS. Several positions are uncontested. Andrea Viafara, for example, will likely be named Day Vice President of the SBA. Andrew Buder, also, will likely be named Secretary of the SBA. Veronica Kapka, finally, will likely serve as Technology Secretary of the SBA next year.
However, eighteen other individuals will await the results, which should be announced early next week (polls close on Sunday). These eighteen individuals are seeking fifteen positions—twelve of those positions are for Upper Class Delegates, and the final three are for Evening Vice President, Treasurer, and President of SBA.
The race for Evening Vice President pits Dong Joo-Lee against Liat Zudkewich. Next year, Dong will be a 4th year student in a joint J.D./M.A. (Urban Policy) program. Liat will be a 3rd year student next year and has transferred from the evening to the day division. Both have previous experience in the SBA, and both have knowledge of the issues facing evening students. One of Dong’s initiatives is to encourage student organizations to hold more general body meetings in the evening, so that evening students may be able to play a more active role in them. Liat’s initiatives include establishing a Wellness Committee and promoting greater transparency of the SBA. This promises to be a hotly contested race.
The race for Treasurer pits Roman Zelichenko against Stacey Tyler. Roman is not currently a member of SBA, but he is Treasurer of MYLE, and proposes two specific initiatives—that student organizations will not only be provided with the figures for their “semester” funding, but also figures for funding each individual event. He also hopes to promote a more eco-conscious approach to the food that, as a general rule, is served at student events. He will purchase biodegradable utensils, plates, and cups in bulk and provide these to student organization leaders for their meetings – and from a cost-savings approach this certainly makes sense. However, he faces a tough rival in Stacey Tyler, who is a two-year member of the SBA and currently co-chairs the Race Judicata charity event taking place April 21st. Once again, this promises to be a close race.
Finally, Colin Hedrick will face off against Jack Knorps in the race for President of the SBA. Colin served as Technology Secretary of the SBA this year and has played an active role in the dean search, both last year and this year. In his speech on Monday, April 9, Colin expressed a desire to build a stronger relationship between the administration of BLS and the students and to work closely with the incoming dean to address the most pressing student concerns. Jack, by contrast, is not currently a member of the SBA. He served as Treasurer of HLPA this year, and his platform seeks the establishment of an official “Napping Room” in Room 104M of the Library, the instituting of Scholarship Policy Reform, and a reclamation of the $5,000 Summer Public Service Grant. Both Colin and Jack were active participants in the recent ABA student Q & A session on April 2, both have a vested interest in curing some of the present inadequacies at BLS, and both hope to begin the process of making BLS a happier place in the coming years with the arrival of Dean Allard in the Fall. Whoever is elected is sure to do a fine job, but the decision is in the hands of the students now.
Your vote is important, and The BLS Advocate urges you to participate in the process.
Jack Knorps, ’13, who is running for SBA President and is a columnist for the Advocate, helped us compile this candidate summary. If you notice any factual errors, please direct them to email@example.com. Happy voting!
The BLS Advocate sat down with Nick Allard, the incoming dean of Brooklyn Law School, when he was in town on April 2nd, for a casual lunchtime Q&A at Panera Bread. We were fortunate that he brought along his lovely wife and high school sweetheart, Marla, who helped us get to know the real Nick. This is part 1 of our 4-part interview by David A. Shapiro, ’12, with additional questions from Julie Adler, ’12.
DS: We want to learn more about the switch from Patton Boggs to Academia. Like why? Why now?
NA: I don’t think it’s that much of a switch, [because over] my whole professional life, I’ve had a foot firmly planted in higher education, either as a teacher or a writer, as a counsel or advisor to presidents and chairmen of boards at other major universities, colleges and law schools. And I’ve got a terrific job where [I’ve] been working with the number one public policy practice in the galaxy—in the universe—and I came from Latham Watkins seven years ago in part to reinvigorate and help move the Patton Boggs public policy practice forward and we’ve succeeded and it’s been number one every year. And so, increasingly now, even though I work on exciting and challenging issues, I find that at the end of every day, what I do involving higher education and legal education, in particular, is what interests me the most—what gets me up on my toes. So I’m interested and for that reason I’ve been open for a little while to finding the right challenge in a full-time law school environment.
The second part of it—now this may seem hokey to you…[is that] I’m looking for an opportunity to give something back and make a contribution. And if I look around at the ways I might do that right now, it seems that [given] my skill set—that this is one way I can do that. And I’ve been encouraged by others that know me well, and also former law school deans and others [with experience]. It doesn’t seem that I was that off the mark as the Board here and the search committee and the fact that they were willing to take a leap on me [has demonstrated]—and the fact that they think it’s a good fit. And given the challenges facing legal education, my bag of experiences is a useful toolkit for what law schools need in the twenty-first century.
DS: And how did you find that search process to be? Was it very quick? Efficient? Do you wish you could change anything?
NA: The search process was exhilarating and exhausting.
DS: How so?
NA: It’s just—you know. You put everything on the line. To use sports metaphors, which I try to avoid, you leave everything on the field. You’ve got nothing left. And it’s not dissimilar—any search process, right—to what law students are going through. Because in a big way, you know, if you’re already a successful partner at a law firm, and you’re coasting along, you’re not really putting your heart on your sleeve. But just like a law student applying for a job, you’re putting your heart on your sleeve, and you’re either going to be accepted or rejected, so, you know, you’re putting it all out there. So it’s a—it’s a tough—it’s a tough process. It’s a very humbling process.
DS: What was the most fun you had during the process?
NA: Meeting you [laughs.]
DS: Ha, that’s the easy answer.
NA: It was. Meeting with students. Meeting everybody. It was just very energizing to meet everybody. I mean because I’m a people person and I liked engaging with everybody that I met. The students were terrific. The faculty was very impressive; the staff was unbelievably dedicated and committed. And this was not a one-way process. I’m really proud that I got picked. But I’m really happy to come here, because, you know, it’s not like I needed a job. I was really impressed and I’m very enthusiastic about the platform that’s here. I think it’s a great launching pad that’s been created for the law school to move into the next century. Further into the century—I don’t mean the next century, I mean this century.
JA: What makes you feel that way?
NA: I really think that so many of the things that are problems with legal education, that Brooklyn is already moving in the right direction or doing the right things. And I really [believe]—I was asked about this—and I said that I think that your traditions are the future, and that more law schools are going to be headed in that direction. Now [BLS is] not perfect and you can obviously do better, but you’re moving in the right direction. And when you look at what Brooklyn has a reputation for—which is producing students who are really prepared, they’re ready to make a contribution immediately, they’re practice-ready—that [answers] one of the criticisms of legal education [generally, that] when you graduate, you’re not ready to begin working. That’s not the reputation that Brooklyn has.
Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress: BLS Student Audit 2012 – Part I – PSG Cuts; Tuition Hikes
Last week, a few representatives from the American Bar Association set up in the Moot Court room from 5:00 – 6:00 PM on a Monday. They wanted to hear students’ opinions of our law school. How many of us showed up? I don’t know—7? 8? I know that when I arrived I was the 4th.
I used this opportunity to lobby for a napping room, and for a broad mandate to all law schools that class sizes must be reduced if the legal market can ever hope to be fixed. BLS may or may not already be implementing such a mandate—and the size of next year’s 1L class should help determine that. I also mentioned a brief story about the public service grant from last year.
If you were here, perhaps you remember the one day “push” to get a petition signed by as many students as possible. Perhaps you remember our argument—that we had counted on the $5,000 being there for the summer for which we applied—and to remove it with the simple explanation that “the government cut our funding,” when there are plenty of other ways to make up for an $800,000 shortfall (the approximate cost of providing $2,000 extra per student), does not indicate a willingness on the part of the administration to really help students manage the cost of law school.
BLS may, or may not have inflated their “9-months after graduation employment” numbers. Big whoop. So has everyone else. BLS participated in the merit scholarship “scheme” where falling beneath the 40% mark in your class meant a reduction in your scholarship. Big whoop. Some schools are even tougher—33% was my barrier everywhere else. BLS may, or may have not, participated in “scholarship stacking,” which is a vague practice that involves packaging all of the highest “scholarship earning” students in the same section, or same larger section, first year. This is more evil than fair, but difficult to prove (though not impossible). And I do know that Section 16 from last year was a powerhouse.
New York Law School’s case is getting dismissed. Brooklyn’s case is getting dismissed (I’m calling it right here) because they can’t allege anything truly audacious—their only hope is the “scholarship stacking” argument—but even that might fly as a reasonable business judgment. BLS is a 501(c)(3) and it should not care about profits. But this is the #65 law school in the nation, and keeping such a high public profile costs a lot of money. The cleanest way to make up for the shortfall without harming any existing funding or expenses is to raise tuition.
Tuition increased from $46,610 to $48,416 this year. 3Ls did not bear the cost of the increase—but 2Ls did. And 1Ls find themselves in the fortunate position of a smaller class by 100 students, and the unfortunate position of being the final class to have the 40% scholarship renewal barrier imposed upon them.
It is worth noting that I have not seen any student movement to reinstate the $5,000 summer PSG. It is a fact of life that we accept. I would like to argue that it is not unreasonable for us to seek this additional funding. With the new system, students may be tempted to work 25 hours per week at the internship and 15 hours at some other place that might pay and make up for the shortfall. This may include non-legal work like in a restaurant or something, and the school is not exactly encouraging students to do this, but they should know that students will be doing this, and that these sorts of jobs are not going to make them look any more attractive to prospective employers. Thus, students are left with a choice – work 40 hours a week at one place – 15 of those for free – or try to make up the difference. The school should not force students to make such a Hobson’s Choice when it is clear that other funds may be easily diverted to the cause (look, for example, at BLSPI, and how they fund scholarships….by getting students drunk and convincing them it’s a really good idea to spend $900 to have dinner with Geraldo, or $3,000 with the commissioner of the NHL….). The result is that students need to think more creatively and do even more legwork to best avoid financial disaster. But I hate students that complain about how busy they are. We all are. Get over it.
BLS is not the only law school to hike its tuition, and it has to stay competitive. We cannot blame BLS for everything, but we can try to urge it to be different from other schools and implement some really original policies. It’s my hope that the change will be coming soon.
Christopher J. Knorps is a 2L at BLS. He enjoys studying bankruptcy law. You may find his other work at flyinghouses.blogspot.com. Like Jamie Moyer, he believes that people should never count themselves out. You may fail, and fail, and fail, and people may call you a freak and a loser who doesn’t know when to call it quits, but when you are still pitching at age 49 in the Rockies starting rotation, you will have the last laugh.
Fewer than a dozen students gathered on Monday, April 2nd to speak with the American Bar Association committee visiting BLS last week for its sabbatical observation of the law school. These visits occur every seven years at ABA-accredited schools, and primarily entail inspections to see whether the school is meeting ABA standards on everything from admissions to faculty tenure requirements.
The ABA’s informal student session was loosely formatted as a Q&A, and was somewhat unusually located in a mostly empty 7th floor Moot Court room. No members of the BLS staff, administration or faculty were present during the hour-long session.
The volunteer committee members – all male, mostly lawyers, but at least one a legal recruiter – seemed genuinely invested in the “fact-finding mission” that brought them to BLS. The members explained that after observing classes, meeting faculty, and speaking casually to students they encountered throughout the week, the committee would draw up a report and present it to the ABA’s accreditation team.
As one committee member poetically described the process, he and his team would perform the cholesterol check and the ABA would then prescribe BLS’s diet via an “action letter,” most likely telling the school to lose a few pounds here and there. Even one hundred errors, he said, would not mean that the school is necessarily in danger of losing its accreditation.
Topics covered at the session included career services, information technology, library services, admissions, the registrar’s office, and class size.
Perhaps the most interesting question the committee posed to students was its last: if you could snap your fingers and change one thing about the school, what would it be? Students responded with answers ranging from “transparency” to “the curve.”
One committee member noted in response to a student comment about low attendance at the session that generally, “the smaller the number of students in the room, the happier students are.”
Springtime is here! The smell of love and pollen pervades the air. I’ve seen some fancy engagement rings shining on perfectly manicured hands along with a couple of new relationship status updates on Facebook. Pining after a new boo can make the dreary days spent inside poorly lit classrooms go that much faster.
My mushy heart swoons with delight while my player instincts are somewhat disgusted by these ironclad commitments, for not all of us seek such a strong brand of loyalty (precedence goes first to future employer, then future boyfriend). There is nothing wrong with wanting a partner though (or at least a BLSG); we naturally crave intimacy since we are only human after all. If you want to find yourself a new after-hours friend, NOW would be the time with exams soon upon us !!!
In other words, you have about a two-week window of opportunity before you are subjected to scrimmaging for outlines and freaking out over your finals. Take advantage of this weather and this city by asking that single friend of the opposite (or same) sex if he/she would like to hang out and do something fun outside of 250 Joralemon. However, don’t aim for convenience by doing drinks at Floyds or dinner at Ki Sushi: I may be a dating pro, but these customary encounters personally bore me. Instead of trying to impress this person, it basically proves that you put no thought into these plans, and these typical dates usually turn out to be plain awkward.
Therefore, frame this outing as a “non-date” – make sure to keep this non-law school fun relaxed and informal. You could take a subway ride down to the Brooklyn Museum to check out the #1 rated exhibit on Egyptian art, take a ghost tour of Manhattan for the paranormal aficionados, or go rock climbing for the athletic types. And for those of us still broke from Barrister’s Ball, there’s always an afternoon stroll through Prospect Park.
There are an infinite number of things you can do with your non-date in good ol’ New York. No need to dress up and discuss favorite musicians or recent Supreme Court cases (especially the last one – DON’T talk about law). If you make it a date, then it comes with all the uncomfortable strings attached to dating – the situation could easily become uncomfortable for both of you. Going on a non-date will put both of you at ease since the focus is shifted to the activity at hand rather than any potential chemistry the two of you have been feeling. Plus, if it doesn’t end up progressing to the next level, you can still walk away smiling about the great time you had together. Ultimately, you’ve already spent enough time with this person in a school setting, so it’s time to get to know him/her while doing something a bit more unusual and exciting.
I have observed an interesting phenomenon in law schools generally: students that arrive single will often meet their spouse during the course of the three years they are here.
This happened with several friends of mine who will remain unnamed—one of them met their spouse through membership on a journal, and another through placement in the same first year section. It would seem as if these are the two most common “places” within law school where future spouses meet, but I would imagine a similar concept holds true for Moot Court, or certain classmates on the same career path that end up in more than a few of the same courses.
There are basic assumptions about what it means to be a law student and a lawyer. One of those assumptions is that, one day (perhaps) we will have money, and since we will have money, we will be in the “right” position to start a family. If you fail to take the right first steps, you may graduate alone, and you may then be afraid of dying alone. To paraphrase one of our career counselors, compare walking down the street alone, to walking down the street with a girlfriend or boyfriend—more people check you out in the latter situation, no? This is a metaphor for presenting an effective case for yourself as a job applicant – but the purported truth of such a hypothetical is troubling. (Not to mention the inference that, those are who are in stable, happy relationships are more likely to get a job.)
Interviewing is only like dating to a degree—you interview in the hopes of a job that will last more than a year or two—but it is unlikely to expect lifetime employment. Rapid-fire dating and one night stands may be fun up to a point – but once that point is reached, more “practical” dating becomes the rule. A lifetime relationship is sought.
Law students are probably not the most physically attractive (or morally attractive) people out there. However, law students are picky because they don’t have much time—they only want to spend time with someone they could actually see themselves marrying. It follows that, when work and companionship are combined, the stress of dating subsides, a partner is found, and no time is lost. If that is the only proof to my theory, so be it. You may ignore what I say, and that is fine, but when you go out into that cold place known as reality and you lack the benefit of an immediate mutual interest, have fun trying to convince other bar patrons about the awesomeness of the automatic stay.
On the other hand, claiming that one day you will win a $100 million toxic torts judgment may potentially be an effective hook. We know we have plenty of interesting things to talk about, and some are more talented than others when it comes to engaging “outsiders” in that interest, but generally, “bar scoping” is limited to what you look like, what you do and how much you make. Nobody cares about whether you are a proponent of judicial activism. Other lawyers may scoff at such bar conversation – but if not, you may have a winner.
So maybe, when I graduate single, it will be different from the five years I spent in between college and law school, going out to bars, trying to meet someone, anyone, to place a succor on the loneliness of existence. More likely is that I will continue to be cheap, claim that bars are exploitative, and write similar op-ed pieces until I die. Only they will be published on my blog and not on The BLS Advocate.
The moral of the story is this: treasure what time you have left and don’t waste it by sitting alone in your room drinking and smoking. It is unfortunate that I cannot practice what I preach. I can’t change society and I can only change myself—but, with limited exceptions, I’m not open to changing myself to “fit in.” There is a Black Flag song called “Society’s Tease” whose lyrics I will now share to drive home my point:
Wherever I go
Playing some stupid role
Sometimes I look at the world
And I just want to say,
Something went wrong
Where love plays stupid tricks
But I’ve got a plan
The world will finally be saved.
Christopher J. Knorps is a 2L at Brooklyn Law School. He enjoys studying bankruptcy law. You may find his other work at flyinghouses.blogspot.com. He also invites you to the electrifying conclusion to this week (Sex & the Law Week)—the HLPA Open Mic! Please sign up on posted fliers to perform “a” Vagina Monologue, or your own original performance. If you are too shy to read, please come to watch the action, as a voluntary $5 donation will get you complimentary dinner and drinks.
The creators of South Park, Trey Parker and Matt Stone, say that The Book of Mormon, their musical satire and first Broadway show about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, took seven years to create and was their most difficult endeavor to date. Now a year into its running, The Book of Mormon is the hottest ticket on Broadway, winning nine Tony Awards and selling-out the Eugene O’Neill Theatre night after night. Over spring break I was fortunate enough to make it my first Broadway experience.
The Book of Mormon did not deviate from the South Park-style of humor, which seizes on topics susceptible to acute political correctness or sacrosanctity, and pulverizes them with one of the most brutal strains of Juvenalian satire. The musical comes at a time when the Mormon Church is growing in both members and in influence. This latent (or latter-day) Christian theology founded in the 1830s by Joseph Smith, right here in New York, has shown an impressive ability to gain (or compete for) converts. Mormons started playing a larger role on the national stage, making sizeable political contributions and expressing their beliefs on topics of the day; and the rest of the country has started to take notice, and sometimes pause, as the foundations of the Mormon faith become more publicized: California’s Proposition 8 referendum banning gay-marriage was the result of a grass-roots movement heavily sponsored by the Church.
The success of Prop 8 highlighted what could be described as both a conservative and fundamentalist streak within the Mormon community. Other instances, like the arrest of Warren Jeffs, whose sect of Mormonism practiced polygamy and enlisted underage girls to marry older men, re-dredge some the Church’s history and the difficulties it faced in becoming a legitimate organization. (Only a little over 30 years ago, the Church allowed African-American men to become priests.)
Efforts at the ballot box have proven effective, as there are now 15 Mormons in Congress including the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. In the 2012 election cycle, Mitt Romney, a life-long Mormon, currently has the most delegates for the Republican presidential nomination. Notably, he has been forced to address questions about how his faith informs his views on abortion, gay-marriage, and stem cell research. Whatever Romney’s views are, Mormons in the political arena have not been as homogenous as one might expect from such a close-knit Church.
With the ostentatious façade of a Mormon temple providing a thematic frame around the performance, the musical begins with a reenactment of Joseph Smith’s encounter with the angel Moroni, who bestowed on Smith the Golden Plates containing the Mormon theology as preserved by Nephi, an ancient and, until then, unknown prophet.
From there, the story follows Elder Kevin Price, the supposed archetype of a young Mormon preparing for his two year mission. Kevin is designated to lead his classmates from the LDS Church Missionary Training Center (Provo, Utah) on the mission, with the goal of spreading the truth of the Mormon faith. All of the missionaries are anxious because they await their orders from the church on where they will spend the two-year mission. Kevin sings with zeal and unstoppable faith as he longs to be stationed in Orlando, Florida, which he believes to be paradise—part biblical, part Disney. Kevin is shattered when he finds out he has been chosen to mission in Uganda. To worsen his lot, Kevin is assigned a mission partner, Elder Arnold Cunningham, a short, round teen who is a compulsive liar as a result of his low self-esteem.
Kevin, Arnold, and the other missionaries arrive in a Ugandan village stereotypically rife with famine and AIDS victims. The missionaries find the natives difficult and unreceptive to the Mormon teachings. The natives go into explicit detail about the reality they live in, having to live with an AIDS epidemic, widespread lawlessness, seemingly permanent poverty, and the terror of being ruled by a local warlord—far removed from the tranquility of Utah. The natives’ existence instills in them a natural doubt that their condition will ever improve, and they see the missionaries attempt to convert them as self-serving, with the theology of Joseph Smith being nothing more than a whimsical fairytale, transparently used to give people a false sense of hope.
In trying to spread the faith, Kevin finds that the story supplied by Mormonism, and to a lesser extent Christianity in general, is a hoax which does not contain the great wisdom and divinity that the Bible and the Church leaders promised. This is contrasted by Arnold’s willingness to take the teachings of Mormonism and refashion them into a new theological narrative, one the natives can relate to in their miserable lives. The natives begin to accept Arnold’s interpretation of The Book of Mormon, but that interpretation is a patchwork of untruths borrowed from The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and a host of other references from pop culture, comic books, and science fiction. The great irony is that Arnold is able to relay the spirit of the Mormon teachings even though he discards the boilerplate Mormon theology, replacing it with an amalgamation of pop culture references which—together—somehow retains all the symbols, themes, and virtues typical of organized religions. The lie works better than the truth for accomplishing the mission: The corollary and parallel irony is the ability of a nonsensical theology, perhaps even bold deception, to get people to improve their lives and the lives of others.
The climax of the narrative brings the church leaders to Uganda to observe the good works of their missionaries. However, when the natives are questioned about the tenants of the faith they begin spouting off jumbled tales and stories pulled from pop culture. The aldermen become irate and pronounce the mission a failure and stain upon the Church. Finally, Arnold, being the pathological liar, is able to redeem the mission by making it seem as though the natives really do know the true Mormon faith, with the misunderstanding arising from translation difficulties.
The production aspects of the The Book of Mormon were outstanding and real to the audience. At two and a half hours, there was a lot more singing than one might anticipate. The singing helped to highlight the spiritual conflicts, and certainly reinforced the theme that in order to be a Mormon you must be full of optimism and absolutely free of doubt. In some sense, the performance patronizes and mocks Mormons, but plenty of details in the play allow for sympathy, too—they are portrayed as bizarrely decent people, who have a spiritual mission to improve the world and pick up a few converts along the way.
At BLS, March came in like a lion and out like a lamb. Feil roared with laughter as students bid on activities with their professors at the BLSPI auction on March 1st, while this past week the school courtyard grew quiet when supporters gathered with the Black Law Student Association for a candlelight vigil in support of justice for Trayvon Martin.
Here’s what happened in between:
• IPLA Guest Speaker: Christopher Soghoian
• BLSPI’s Race and the Law Week
• Adam Kubota, ’14, wins the prize at the Art Law Association’s Spring Exhibition
• 8th Annual Barrister’s Ball
• New BLSConnect Launch
• Nicholas Allard named New Dean
• ILS’ Around the World Party
• NY Court of Appeals rules against cash-only bail. Dog the Bounty Hunter rejoices. Syracuse.com
• Paul Clement in the house! EDNY judge upheld NLRB’s right to sue without quorum. Reuters
• NYCLU challenges NYPD’s “Clean Halls’ program. NY1
• NYLS suit brought by former students dismissed. Silver lining: being unemployed, students have plenty of free time to plan their appeal. Bloomberg
• After dealing with congressional redistricting, EDNY judges may have to settle the revised state legislature district challenges, too. Reuters
• DSK is claiming diplomatic immunity. Incroyable! AP
• Illegal immigrant, and potential DREAM Act beneficiary not allowed to file civil rights complaint against ICE agent. Fox
• SCOTUS upholds right to challenge EPA. NYTimes
• A headline that speaks for itself: “Supreme Court: Lawyers must do good job on plea bargains.” USA Today
• Yahoo sued Facebook for alleged patent infringements. Guess they haven’t seen “The Social Network.” ArsTechnica
• Congress now balancing civil liberties and security with Cybersecurity Bill proposals. I can haz privacy? HuffPo
Lastly, there’s been noise about a healthcare law…
Check out the poll on the front page of the Advocate and guess the outcome.
On Monday, March 12th, the BLS cafeteria introduced its new “Meatless Monday” program. The BLS Student Animal Legal Defense Fund (SALDF) worked with CulinArt, the school’s food service provider, to get this exciting new initiative off the ground. Every Monday, the fourth floor cafeteria will be serving a variety of freshly made meat-free dishes along with its usual offerings, making the first day of the week that much more bearable for the school’s many kosher and vegetarian students.
However, SALDF co-chair Cody Carlson is quick to point out that the program isn’t just aimed at students with dietary restrictions: “Meatless Mondays are a great way for students who aren’t interested in going completely vegetarian to lean into eating healthier, reducing their carbon footprint, and preventing animal cruelty simply by passing on the meat one day a week. With convenient, affordable, and most importantly, tasty options available at the Café every Monday, it couldn’t be easier.”
Dana Wolfe, ’12, a committed omnivore, agrees. “I spent my 1L summer working for the Street Vendor Project, where I fell in love with kebabs, dumplings, and jerk chicken,” she told the Advocate. “But I know that not eating meat is certainly better for the environment. ‘Meatless Mondays’ are an easy way to remind myself every week of the bigger social and environmental impacts my food choices have.”
Wolfe’s fellow Meatless Monday participants include Oprah Winfrey, Mario Batali, Gwyneth Paltrow, Padma Lakshmi, and Al Gore. The program was initiated in 2003 by a partnership between Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Center for a Liveable Future.
Manhattan borough president Scott Stringer has also advocated for the adoption of Meatless Mondays at New York’s public schools. “We can’t legislate – nor should we – what people eat, but we can offer people smart food options so they can make informed decisions,” he said on NPR recently.
Since it began three weeks ago at BLS, Meatless Monday dishes have included polenta with black bean salsa ($3.95), quinoa and vegetable curry ($4.95), savory vegetable Panini ($5.95), French Onion soup ($4.40/lg), and grilled vegetable barley salad ($2.95).
Last week, SALDF teamed up with CulinArt to get the word out by serving free samples of some of the new foods you can expect to see. SALDF also encouraged bolder students to take the “Meatless Monday pledge.”
“We’re really grateful to the folks at the Café for listening and responding to student concerns,” says Carlson. “By joining the many schools that participate in Meatless Mondays and continuing to work with us to get rid of eggs from battery caged hens, the team at the BLS Café have affirmed our school’s commitment to sustainability and social responsibility.”
Photos courtesy of Cody Carlson and BLS SALDF