The Obiter is taking the rare step of publishing an anonymous Op-Ed essay. We have done so at the request of the author, a senior official in the UQLS Executive whose identity is known to us and whose position would be jeopardized by its disclosure. We believe publishing this essay anonymously is the only way to deliver an important perspective to our readers. We invite you to submit a question about the essay or our vetting process here.
President Badya is facing a test to her presidency unlike any faced by a modern Law Society leader.
It’s not just that Law Dinner looms large. Or that the faculty is bitterly divided over the piss weak strength of the microwaves in the library . Or even that her Management Committee might well lose the UQLS office to an opposition hellbent on legislating compulsory rum & cokes before all law exams (#Geary2019).
The dilemma — which she does not fully grasp — is that many of the senior officials in her own Executive are working diligently from within to frustrate parts of her agenda and her best inclinations.
I would know. I am one of them.
To be clear, ours is not the popular “resistance” of UQPS 3.0. We want the Executive to succeed but think that many new policies are needed to make TCB looser and more prosperous.
We believe our first duty is to this school. and the president continues to act in a manner that is detrimental to the health of our most valued constituency.
We mean, of course, the straight white male law student who just wants to enjoy a few regulation frothies.
The root of the problem is the president’s morality. Anyone who works with her knows she is not moored to any discernible first principles of beers, boys or boobies.
Although she was elected by law students, the president shows little affinity for ideals long espoused by conservatives: listening to Post Malone, wearing a watch and saying “nah but in all seriousness, Jade Buddha?” At best, she has invoked these ideals in scripted settings. At worst, she has attacked them outright.
In addition to her mass-marketing of the notion that the society should be “inclusive of a diverse range of students,” President Badya’s impulses are generally anti-chinos and anti-rugby.
Don’t get me wrong. There are bright spots that the near-ceaseless positive coverage of the Executive fails to capture: the appointment of Dean Parkinson Blessed Be Unto Him, the cleavage observation angles provided by the balcony structure of Family at Law Ball, that time some people chuckled when I dabbed in a Juris tute, and more.
But these successes have come despite — not because of — the president’s leadership style, which is humble, welcoming, balanced and effective.
Meetings with her veer off topic and off the rails, she engages in engaging discussion, and her impulsiveness results in policies that may well make first years more prepared for their exams but in no way prepare them for how to respond to my 1:35am Instagram direct message reading “are you out?”
“There is literally no telling who she might want to reach out to from one minute to the next,” a top official complained to me recently, exasperated by a UQLS Office meeting at which the president insisted on holding an LGBTIQ drinks despite the fact that I am none of those.
The erratic behaviour would be more concerning if it weren’t for unsung heroes in and around the Management Committee. Some of her aides have been cast as villains by the media. But in private, they have gone to great lengths to keep good decisions contained to the Library, though they are clearly not always successful.
It may be cold comfort in this chaotic era, but the lads should know that there are legends in the room. We fully recognize what is happening. And we are trying to do what’s right for the fellas even when Sangeetha Badya won’t.
Number of Beers Per Number of Boys
Given the instability many witnessed, there were early whispers within the cabinet of invoking the 25th Amendment, which would start a complex process for removing the president. But no one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis, especially because most of us low 5s in Const. So we will do what we can to steer the administration in the white direction until — one way or another — it’s over.
The bigger concern is not what Ms Badya has done to the presidency but rather what we as a very funny bunch of lads with A-grade banter and a penchant for sex have allowed her to do to us. We have sunk low with her and allowed our discourse to be stripped of misogyny.
We may have Equity Snacks & Chats for new students. But when social Tim Tams come at the cost of a Pub Crawl where future Crown prosecutors can smear their poo on the walls of the Johnny Ringo’s bathroom, is this too high a price to pay for inclusion? Yes.
Senator John McCain put it best in his farewell letter to the UQLS, which I’ll be the first to admit was a surprising use of his final hours. All law students should heed his words and break free of the tribalism trap, with the high aim of uniting through our shared values and love of a pale ale.
We may no longer have Senator McCain. But we will always have his example — a lodestar for restoring dirty pills to public life and our Bumble dialogue. Ms Badya may fear such hilarious men, but we should revere them.
There is a quiet resistance within the Executive of people choosing to put fun first. But the real difference will be made by everyday citizens rising above politics, reaching across the aisle and resolving to shed the labels in favour of a single one: the boys.
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