law students shouldn’t vote in the GSA election

Posted in Uncategorized by Ryan Locke on April 15, 2009

Law students are members of the UGA Graduate Student Association, even though we earn a “professional degree” and not a graduate degree.  Recently (and maybe for the first time), we’ve been courted by GSA candidates for president.  Nevertheless, we should not vote in the GSA election.

1.  Our interests do not align with other graduate students and the GSA.

Law students are a special breed.  We do not teach courses for undergrads, receive assistantships, work for research labs, seek summer fellowships, or publish articles (outside of a handful of people on law journals).  Most law students are young and umarried, and few have children.  Can the GSA really represent us when we’re so different from the other graduate students?

Note that we’re not without our own student government body: the Student Bar Association.  The SBA is sensitive to our particularized interests and provides us better services than the GSA could provide.

2.  What has the GSA done for us lately?

I didn’t even realize we were members of the GSA until today.  Doesn’t that say something?  I’ve never received an email from the GSA, seen a flier, or met one of their officers.  As far as I know, the first time someone from the GSA entered the law school was during this election.  Of course they want our votes–we’re like some gigantic untapped state, recently discovered by the politicking GSA candidates–but what has the GSA ever done for us?  What will they do for us in the future?

3.  We shouldn’t involve ourselves in graduate student affairs because we’re not part of that body.

Graduate students have legitimate interests and concerns and probably get a lot of value from the GSA.  We don’t share those same interests and get zero value from the GSA.  We shouldn’t be influencing their election when we have no stake in the outcome.  What basis will we even use to vote, especially when it’s unclear if the GSA can ever offer us any benefit?

Law students shouldn’t vote in the GSA election, especially when the candidates are only pandering to us for the purpose of winning, not because they’re championing our interests.  Thanks but no thanks, GSA.

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