Putting on the Writs

Putting on the Writs

By Kevin Fannan

As a testament to the sad lives we live as law students, I know for certain each and every one of you remembers this moment: where you were when they announced the Writs “remodel.”  I remember receiving the email.  I was excited and enthusiastic about the prospect of a better central lounge space for studying and socializing.  The email really hyped-up the new additions.  I have copied it in full:

Subject: The Writs is Getting a Facelift!

We are pleased to announce that the Writs and Student Lounge area on the first floor of Warren Hall will be undergoing some updates and modifications during the winter break.  The law school has been working with main university personnel for many months to secure funding and facilitate some much needed modernizing of the area.  Thank you to all students who provided input on furniture selection, color schemes and layout for the new Writs!

After seeing the completed updated Writs 2.0, I feel this email was a little over the top.  When I think of modifications and upgrades (a facelift; many months of work), this was not what I expected.

I have sat on these couches before.  It was at my dentist’s office and I was awaiting my root canal procedure.  Something about this couch feels too sanitary.  The couch has no life; it lacks personality.  It makes me think of excuses for why I haven’t been flossing.  Maybe that is due to the absence of comfort, who knows.  Now only the gunneriest of gunner will ever stress out to the point of exhaustion and fall asleep here.

Most law students agreed that the Writs needed an upgrade.  The tables and chairs were old — ancient some say — but they may not have been the most important thing to change.  3L Sara Rogers stated “all the Writs really needed was more outlets.”  1L Erin Osmak noticed that UCLA has “the same chairs and tables in their study lounges.”  But as I see it, if we want to increase our ranking, the furniture might not be the right way to go.

The old tables were strong, sturdy relics of a bygone era.  I remember helping move the tables to make room for the student book exchange.  These tables were massive and maneuvering them sucked.  It sucked a lot.  It was that degree of sucking that made me certain these tables had been created with the purpose to withstand anything.  In contrast, these new tables are light, their legs are thin and I predict they will not last close to as long as the old ones.  Not to mention the tables are wobbly at times.  2L Tory Smith stated that she tried to fix it with paper towels, but was not successful.

However some upgrades have been well received by the student community, especially those pieces of furniture that provide a better service than their predecessor.  For example, the high tables by the soda machines are better for eating, because as Tory Smith puts it, “it is easier to put my backpack on the chair because it is at the same height.”  Also the outlets on the side tables have increased access to computers, which the majority of students use to pretend to study.  Most students I asked specifically about the new “rolley chairs” claimed to like them, but I expect it is more about playing around than functionality.  And the size of this desk — really?

Despite the furniture looking absurdly cheap, not a single chair being actually comfortable, the new paint not actually matching the old paint, and the overuse of plaid — oh so much plaid — I am really happy the USD administration did this for us.  In my undergraduate years, my college rarely, if ever, did anything for the student body besides raise our student fees and offer fewer classes.  No Dean’s mixers.  No visits by Sotomoyor or the Dalai Lama, and no useful career or class registration advising.  This school really does a lot for us and provides each of us with VIP treatment compared to other educational institutions.  They don’t even have chairs at Cal Western.  I just wish the email did not make me think the Writs would actually become “the Ritz”.  And to the students “who provided input on furniture selection, color schemes and layout” I ask them one question.  Why?

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