ISSUE 4 - OCT 15, 2012 obiter-dicta.ca
Submissions are due at 5 p.m. on October 20, 2012. Please send your articles to:
York University has added $1 million dollars to its base safety budget since 2009. Last year $10.2 million dollars were expended on safety initiatives.
‘The Definitive Source for Osgoode News’
Building a culture of safety at York CAMILLE DUNBAR Legal and Literary Society On September 26, 2012, the York University Community Safety Council (CSC) held its first meeting of the 2012-13 academic year. The CSC is an advisory body and acts as the forum through which students, faculty and staff help to create a true culture of safety at York. Elena Iosef, Leeanne Footman and myself were in attendance, representing the Osgoode student body.
Same song, different tune CITLALLY MACIEL Staff Writer According to the Law Society of Upper Canada, the goal of articling is “to provide law school graduates with orientation to the “real world” of the legal profession, assist them to understand the role of lawyers in representing clients and as officers of the court, provide guidance on the ethical responsibilities they must address as they navigate their way through professional situations, facilitate mentoring and other networks and provide some exposure to the practice of law as a business enterprise.” In this manner, the articling requirement has been seen for many decades as an integral part of the preparation of lawyers. Recently, however, the LSUC has had to reflect on whether the articling requirement needs to be transformed given the pressing fact that it has become increasingly difficult for law school graduates to obtain articling placements. But is this really a current problem, or is the articling requirement an issue that has been constant, throughout the decades, despite multiple changes and reforms? Is this just the same song with a different tune? In a 1970 edition of our Obiter Dicta, Robert Aaron calls for the abolition of the articling
requirement. Reading this article was certainly thought-provoking because it reflects the fact that this idea is not characteristic of our generation only. Another interesting thing was the advertisement beside the article advertising an Osgoode school dance, which stated that the dance ran from 9:00 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. charging $ 1.00 for a… “stag!” It was a different generation for sure. In any case, in his article, Aaron first gives a brief account of the history of legal education which I find worth mentioning again, for the sake of perspective. A legal education back in the 1870s was normally five-years long, although it could be reduced to three years if the student had two previous years of university. This means that a high school graduate could enter law school right after graduating, which, by the way, is still the standard practice in many places, including the United Kingdom and Québec. Indeed, the life of a student then was slightly different from the life of a student now, since students would, after attending three hours of class, work daily at a law firm downtown. The curriculum was given a twist in 1935, when students were required to take one year of classes, followed by two years » continued on pg 6
Sexual Assaults – September 2012 Chairman, John Amanatides, began the meeting expressing vehement displeasure and frustration at the recent sexual assaults on campus. The sexual assaults were perpetrated upon university students and committed by male university students. Arrests were made in relation to each incident. The Chairman insisted that finding an effective resolution is a shared responsibility: everyone needs to be more vigilant, active and determined to tackle this problem. Safety Budget York University has added $1 million dollars to its base safety budget since 2009. Last year $10.2 million dollars were expended on safety initiatives. The university also hired 10 new security officers and 2 new security supervisors in the past year. Much of this increase is in direct response to the Metropolitan Action Committee on Violence Against Women and Children (METRAC) campus safety audit conducted in 2009. The METRAC report made over 100 recommendations, 70% of which are now complete or significantly complete/on-going. » continued on pg 4
“The definitive source for Osgoode news” Osgoode Hall Law School, 0014G York University 4700 Keele Street Toronto, ON M3J 1P3 Tel. 416.736.2100 x77527 Fax. 416.736.5736 E-mail. ObiterDicta@osgoode.yorku.ca Website. www.obiter-dicta.ca Twitter. @obiterdictaoz “The thing done avails, and not what is said about it. An original sentence, a step forward, is worth more than all the censures.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson Senior Editor-in-Chief: Nancy Situ Editors-in-Chief: Thomas Mastoras, Travis Weagant Business Manager: Adam Cepler Features Editor: Cass Da Re News Editor: Nadia Guo Opinions Editor: Karolina Wisniewski
Sizing up our predecessors You know that scene in Love Actually when Hugh Grant, playing the British Prime Minister, wonders aloud at the portrait of Thatcher on the wall if she had the same problems as he? Well, we’ve been poring over the back issues of the Obiter from as far back as 1970 and wondering the same thing. Adorning the walls of Room 0014G are 109 volumes (some of them duplicates) of this superb publication, and there’s plenty over which to pore. When we’re wondering if we’re doing a good job, we invariably compare ourselves to those that came before. Presidents do it; siblings do it. So what do we find out? As we mentioned in the last editorial, nationalist politics in Québec are as alive as they were when the Obiter published on November 6, 1970, as are articling reform and gender equity. This is not to say that our society is stagnant and hasn’t made progress. For example, Québec nationalism no longer necessarily means sovereigntism; it means cultural protectionism. The debate is different, and that means progress, for better or worse. To highlight this phenomenon, Citlally Maciel, Marie Park, Cass Da Re, and Angie Sheep have all written “then and now”-themed articles for this issue. So there you have it: the Obiter Dicta, assuredly as
Arts & Culture Editor: Max Paterson Sports Editor: Andrew Cyr Staff Writers: Christopher Fleury, Citlally Maciel, Jihee (Marie) Park, Daniel Styler, Angie Sheep Crossword: Emily Gray Contributors: Spencer Bailey, Camille Dunbar, Hilary Fender, Quinn Harris, Tom Wilson Layout Editors: Julia Vizzaccaro, Harjot Atwal, Devin Santos, Patricia Wood, Wendy Sun Website Editor: Ricardo Golec Articles are due at 5 p.m. on October 20, 2012. The appropriate maximum length for articles is 1200 words. Please submit articles in Microsoft Word format via e-mail attachment to obiterdicta@ osgoode.yorku.ca. Please attach photographs separately; do not include them in your Word document. The Obiter Dicta is the official student newspaper of Osgoode Hall Law School. The opinions expressed in the articles contained herein are not necessarily those of the Obiter staff. The Obiter reserves the right to refuse any submission that is judged to be libelous or defamatory, contains personal attacks, or is discriminatory on the basis of sex, race, religion, or sexual orientation. Submissions may be edited for length and/or content. The Obiter Dicta is published biweekly during the school year, and is printed by Weller Publishing Co. Ltd.
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cutting-edge as ever. It’s reassuring to know that, as a society, we’re deliberately plodding along, accepting change slowly, as ever, and that someday some of our names might evoke nods of recognition when the class of 2052 reads back issues of the Obiter. The 1970 edition features such advertising gems as one John Sopinka named as counsel at a firm called “Fasken & Calvin,” and another Warren K. Winkler as a name partner with “Montgomery, Cassels, Mitchell, Somers, Dutton & Winkler.” Incidentally, Mr. Winkler’s name (as he then was) appears above one Brian Brock, which leads us to wonder what exactly Mr. Brock did with Messrs. Montgomery, Mitchell, Somers, and Dutton. We sincerely hope that in 40 years, some poor Editor-in-Chief has to admit that his professional lineage includes that Travis Weagant guy, who later embezzled government funds and flew himself to the moon. That’ll be a curveball. But we digress. The November 1970 edition is posted on the Obiter’s website. Read it; then read this; then be reassured. Like Hugh Grant, we’re sure that some things never change, least of all the stellar quality of this publication.
message from the dean
Osgoode: then and now LORNE SOSSIN Dean When we embarked on the Osgoode History and Archives Project (OHAP) in 2010, we wanted to focus on telling our stories as an Osgoode community. This project includes infusing those stories in the new Ignat Kaneff building (for example, through the Osgoode Then and Now niche in Gowlings Hall), in digital form (for example, through the Catalysts and Building Osgoode exhibits in the niche and posting all of Osgoode’s composite graduation photos since 1889 online), and throughout publications such as our alumni magazine Continuum and the Osgoode Brief. For as long as I can recall, the Obiter has been the focal point for Osgoode’s stories, and so it is especially fitting for the Obiter to share in marking the occasion of the Class of ‘72’s 40th anniversary by featuring some of the stories which dominated the Obiter in November of 1970. As I discussed in a recent blog post, I had the privilege to mingle with the remarkable Class of 1972 at their 40th anniversary reunion in September. The Class of ’72 was part of an important era of transition at Osgoode and in society at large. They were the first class to begin and complete their legal studies in the then newlyconstructed building at York University. In the summer, we invited members of this class
to send in their old photos, essays, memorabilia, etc. Art Vertieb (who is serving as Commission Counsel to the Missing Women Inquiry in British Columbia) shared his Osgoode Owls hockey jersey (if only shirts could talk). Russell Juriansz (now a Justice of the Ontario Court of Appeal) shared some of his favourite law school texts. Gary Hauser sent in old syllabi, original copies of the Osgoode Hall Law Journal from his years at Law School - and a nearly pristine copy of the Obiter Dicta for November 6, 1970. That issue of the Obiter is an amazing testament to change and continuity to read through its pages. The headlines included a report on articling reform (as we today await the latest report from the Law Society’s Articling Task Force later this month), a report on a “Women’s Lib” event at the Law School (as we today explore the next wave of feminism through Osgoode’s Institute of Feminist Legal Studies) and a feature story on the October Crisis and application of the War Measures Act in Quebec that Fall (as we today wrestle with the aftermath of massive street demonstrations in Quebec and draconian legislation aimed at curbing them). The 1970s, like today, was a time of instability and possibility. The echoes of the class of 1972 can be heard at Osgoode in other ways as well. It was this class
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Lions and tigers and student caucus updates, oh my!
TOM WILSON Chair, Student Caucus Hello again, Osgoode!
It feels like weeks since my last update as Chair of Student Caucus. In fact, it has been weeks… and what a busy fortnight it’s been! First off, congratulations to Davina Finn, Semhar Woldai, Sabrina Lyon, and Jeff Hernaez for being selected to represent the class of 2015 on Student Caucus this year. To the many 1Ls who ran for positions on Student Caucus, thank you for your interest. Throughout the year we will look to your input and ideas on how to improve Osgoode, so please stay involved! A big welcome also goes out to new members of Caucus, Leeanne Footman (VP Internal) and Camille Dunbar (Equity Officer). With these final additions, your Student Caucus roster is officially full! Judging by the composition of SC, it’s going to be a great year. Second, the Executive has made its annual appointments to Faculty Council sub-committees. These appointments are pending the approval of Faculty Council at its next meeting. JD student representation on committees is as follows: Academic Policy and Planning Committee: Jenn Aubrey, Jeff Hernaez, Yousaf Khan, James Stevenson Academic Standing Committee: Yousaf Khan, James Stevenson Admissions Committee: Oyinkan Akinyele, Lawrence Schwartz, Melanie Thomas
Clinical Education Committee: Martin Hui, Sabrina Lyon, Oyinkan Akinyele Equality Committee: Camille Dunbar, Davina Finn, Martin Hui Faculty Recruitment Committee: Lawrence Forstner, Fahad Siddiqui, Yuxi Yu IT Committee: Ricardo Golec, Semhar Woldai, Robert Woodford Library Committee: Jeff Mitchell Nominating Committee: Tom Wilson, Elena Iosef Priorities and Finance Committee: Tom Wilson, Jeff Mitchell Research and Seminars Committee: Madison Robins Standing Committee on Teaching and Learning: Leeanne Footman, Stefan Radovanovich, Simon Wallace Student Awards Committee: Victoria Riley Tenure and Promotions Adjudicating Committee: Kasia Kmieć Throughout the appointment process, the Executive was mindful of Student Caucus’ commitment to diversity, as reflected in the Student Caucus Diversity Policy. To that end, before the September 9th information session on Faculty Council sub-committees, Oyinkan Akinyele (Communications Director) emailed leaders of
Letter to the editor: Hot Bob-ombs I hope everyone had the pleasure of watching various world leaders’ speeches at the UN last week. The most informative and argumentatively sound speech was of course Mr. Netanyahu’s (Yahoo). I would offer my congratulations to him and his adoring fans at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee and the American Enterprise Institute. I did not realize this before, but Israel certainly is facing clear and immediate danger from Iran. I have been pondering what risk Israel would face if Iran acquired a nuke but after Yahoo’s speech I have realized that the fear of nuclear armament pales in comparison to the fear that Iran has almost acquired a Hot Bob-omb. I was terrified to see this as the reality facing Israel in the near future. Bob-ombs fuck people up bad. If anybody has played the mini-game “Hot Bob-omb” featured in the realistic battle simulator game “Mario Party,” you know what I am talking about. If you end up holding the Hot the OBITERdicta
Bob-omb at the end of the game you get fucked up and Bowser steals all of your coins. Not only is your character abjectly impoverished after this but Bowser taunts you mercilessly. If Iran gets a Hot Bob-omb and uses it against Israel there will be no chance at retaliation from Mr. Yahoo. One nuclear bomb would provoke serious retaliation and Israel would have to dip into their 120 bomb strong arsenal to teach these rogue Persians a lesson. This geopolitical reality probably provokes people to ask: “why would Iran use the bomb anyway if the retaliation would ensure their complete and absolute destruction?” With a Hot Bob-omb, retaliation would be impossible as Israel would be so depressed from Bowser’s unrelenting abuse that they would not have the morale to retaliate in any way whatsoever. Checkmate for Ahmadinejad. -Anonymous
equity seeking student clubs to encourage club members to attend the information session and apply for positions. Furthermore, applicants were able to identify themselves as members of equity seeking groups in their cover letter. Selfidentification as a member of an equity-seeking group factored into the Executive’s deliberations and showed that for almost all sub-committees an applicant from an equity-seeking cohort was represented. Regrettably, the Executive was not able to meet all the goals set in the Diversity Policy. Most importantly, the information session was held less than one week before the application deadline and no call for applications was advertised in the Obiter (owing to submission deadlines). Overall, I think this round of committee selections was a good first effort under the Diversity Policy. I will advise next year’s Chair on how to improve and better streamline the sub-committee selection process. Finally, Student Caucus and L&L representatives are excited to attend an upcoming inaugural event at Queen’s University for the Law Students Society of Ontario. A similar organization existed a decade ago but faded into the annals of history. The purpose of this organization, if created, would be to serve as an advocacy body for law students across the province. Osgoode’s student governments are supportive of this initiative and excited by the many opportunities this organization might offer Osgoode students now and in the years to come. That’s all for now. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Catch you on the flip side!
duty to warn Lerners Cup 2012 Those interested in participating in the 2012 Lerners Cup should visit the Osgoode Mooting Society website (available through your MyOsgoode account). This year’s competition will take place on November 1 and 2. Mooters participate in teams of two, and every pair must include at least one first-year student. Registration deadline is October 19. Osgoode Society for Corporate Governance The OSCG had its 2012 inaugural event last week. If corporate governance interests you or you want to learn more, please visit their website at www.oscg.ca or contact them at oscg@ osgoode.yorku.ca to join their mailing list.
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legal & lit Building a culture of safety at York » continued from cover New Intervention Model Notably, METRAC recommended that the University review its model of security. As a result, one of the most remarkable changes to York’s security force is the implementation of the New Intervention Model. Under this new model, security officers will be authorized to effect a citizen’s arrest. Security officers will now be equipped with handcuffs and batons in order to perform the arrest safely; they are to be used for defensive purposes only. In order to perform a citizen’s arrest, the arresting security officer must witness the crime.
street. GoSafe, a complimentary service, upon request, will walk students and staff to and from any campus locations including bus stops, parking lots or residences. GoSafe staff is generally available to meet at a location specified by the student or staff member for pick-up within 10 minutes of receiving the request. In addition to providing foot escorts, goSafe staff also conducts weekly audits of all on-campus exterior lighting, emergency elevators and safety phones.
Once the University’s collective bargaining agreement is completed, all York University security officers will be operating under the New Intervention Model. However, the York Police department, ideally, will continue to conduct most arrests.
Family Room The Osgoode Family Room is now accessible and is for use by Osgoode students who require private parenting space and nursing mothers. The room is outfitted with furniture, a refrigerator and microwave. A request for access to the Family Room must be made, in writing, to Nancy Sperling. Once access is approved, an access card will be issued and can be used for the academic year.
Safety Updates 2011 The University now has 70 security and residence watch officers and officials. The University has also invested $200,000 to increase lighting around the campus and is in the process of adding 17 new security phones anticipated in late October or November. A new education advisor has also been hired to make safety information and updates more readily available.
Reflection Room The Reflection Room is now open and accessible to all students seeking a quiet, private space for personal reflection and/or prayer. It is located on the ground floor across from the Material Distribution Centre. Osgoode building administration is currently working on an “in use” indicator while the room occupied to avoid interruptions.
Osgoode’s Safety Initiatives Last year, Assistant Dean Ronda Bessner and Peter Lee, the Assistant Director of Operations, addressed various safety initiatives of particular concern for the Osgoode community. Updates as of September 2012 are below.
Staff Safety - Panic Buttons Panic buttons have now been installed in each staff office, at every workstation and under the front service counter located in Student Services Office. Staff can also call Security Services for a “Why Work Alone” security check (by dialing 58000) if working alone between the hours of 6pm and 7am Monday-Friday or at anytime on weekends and holidays.
GoSafe Shuttle Service The goSafe Shuttle Service has now expanded its route to the Village and will stop on every
Courtesy Phone and Full Bistro Access A student courtesy phone has been installed for local calls only and is located on the first floor by the vending machines next to IKB room 1001. A door handle has been attached and now provides full access to the Bistro from the southwest stairwell. Crosswalk at Nelson Road The Pond Road is governed by the City of Toronto and as such, any request for work needs City approval. The City requires York University to pay approximately $75,000 for a crosswalk connecting the Pond Road and Nelson Road intersection. Currently, Campus Services is awaiting a response from the City on this matter. Blue Light Emergency Phones Outdoor Emergency Telephones are equipped with a blue light for visibility. Calls from the Blue Light Phones are connected to the Security Control Centre, which automatically identifies the location of the phone. For security purposes, however, the Control Centre will ask the caller to identify their location. Osgoode Path Lighting The Osgoode Atkinson Green Reconstruction Project will include extensive landscaping, sitewide LED exterior lighting, improved accessible walkways and new public seating areas. The expected completion date is December 2012. Resources: Security Bulletins can now be found on the MyOsgoode home page under “Announcements.” York Security: Urgent: 416-736-5333 or Ext. 33333 General Inquiries: 416-650-8000 or Ext. 58000 Contact GoSafe: • By dialing 416-736-5454 (or extension 55454) • By using any of the Blue Light Emergency Phones • By Payphone on campus (it’s free!) • By the goSAFE button on any campus Safety phone GoSafe Hours of Operation: Keele Campus: 6:00pm to 2:00am (Sept to Apr), 8:00pm to 2:00am (Summer) Glendon Campus: 6:00pm to 1:00am (Sept to Apr) York Safety Website: www.yorku.ca/safety Together, let’s continue to build a culture of safety at York University. Camille is the Legal and Literary Society’s Equity Officer and sits ex officio on Student Caucus.
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Robot umpires, please DANIEL STYLER Staff Writer In Major League Baseball, there is only one situation where replay is permitted to review an umpire’s decision: on debatable home runs, where it is unclear whether or not the ball actually went over the fence. This is a relatively rare occurrence. After all, there are, on average, slightly less than two home runs hit per game. The chance that one of those home runs will be contentious is not high. It is nice that MLB is interested in making sure that these types of calls are correct, but the league’s refusal to expand replay to other areas seems to put pre-eminence on a very minute aspect of the game. For instance, there are usually between 250300 pitches thrown on a game-to-game basis. Whether or not they are called balls or strikes is incredibly important. The ball-strike count dictates how both batter and pitcher approach an at-bat, is predictive of their success and can impact whether base runners decide to attempt a stolen base. The problem is that it is not particularly easy for umpires to correctly decide whether or not a pitch is a ball or a strike; pitchers throw up to 100 miles per hour, and their pitches break significantly as they approach the plate. NoMaas. org, a New York Yankees satire website, examined an umpire’s success rate in a recent game and concluded that 15 percent of his ball-strike calls in an April 6th game between the Yankees and Tampa Bay were incorrect. Such an evaluation is made possible by PitchFX, which helps to track the trajectories of pitches. I do not think that it is an over-generalization to suggest that this type of incompetence is almost expected. It is often painful to watch a baseball game when the broadcast you are watching has a similar strike zone chart to that employed by PitchFX, because you can see exactly how many times your team had an unfair call go against them. This frustration is equally applicable to incorrect out or safe calls at bases and fair or foul calls down the baselines that immediately become obvious thanks to the use of slowmotion replays.
What I do know is there are plenty of people who argue that it is “the human element” and “part of the game.” My response to this type of argument is this: In what area of life is failure appealing? If I failed a test or fell down a set of stairs, I would almost certainly love the possibility that I could have some sort of do-over to correct my mistake. In addition, the “human element” of failure and success would seem to be applicable to players, not umpires. What I also know is that the general failure of umpires is exacerbated by the fact that they often refuse to be held accountable for their mistakes. When umpire Jim Joyce cost former Detroit Tiger pitcher Armando Galarraga a perfect game on what would have been the final out of the game (he called a player safe at first base when it was quite obvious that he was out), it was actually refreshing to see him tearfully profess that he “took a perfect game away from that kid over there.” That type of response is not typical. Umpires are not required to grant interviews after games (and very rarely do), and often the best a fan can hope for when a mistake is made is some type of generic statement that is released by the head umpire of the game. Often, umpires will actually deny having made a mistake when there is clear evidence to the contrary. For instance, after calling New York Yankee Mark Teixeira out when he was clearly safe at first base (this is pictured below, and was the last out in an important game), umpire Jerry Meals did not say anything. In his place, crew chief Mike Winters said, “That was just a very, very close play” and was “inconclusive” from the replay they saw. The problem is that the play wasn’t close, and it cost the Yankees a game.
In response to Joyce’s mistake, Commissioner Bud Selig suggested that while “the human element has always been an integral part of baseball, it is vital that mistakes on the field be addressed” and said that he would examine the umpiring system and expanded instant replay. This happened two years ago and there still haven’t been any changes implemented. While there is talk about changes occurring in the near future, they haven’t happened yet. My belief is that the best system is one that makes use of technological advancements in a way that keeps the game moving at a relatively quick pace. It is no longer acceptable for managers to be immediately ejected for arguing mistakes home plate umpires make when calling balls and strikes. There is too much evidence suggesting that the managers are very often right to support such a practice. The issue of balls and strikes could easily be solved by replacing home plate umpires with PitchFX-equipped robots, who would have at least close to a one hundred percent success rate. This is not going to happen, though; not in an old-fashioned league terrified of progress. What needs to take place, then, is a dramatic shift in baseball’s unwillingness to adopt expansive replay systems: managers should have a certain number of challenges that can be used throughout the game (much like the NFL). These types of disputes can be solved relatively easily with the use of replay, and I have no doubt that this type of system is preferable to what is currently in place. Also, if 18-year-old rookies are held accountable by the media after games when they make mistakes, why shouldn’t umpires have the same responsibility? Games matter to too many people who invest time, money and emotion into their favourite team. It is time to get things right, robots or not.
Why is Major League Baseball okay with their incredibly well-paid umpires continuing to negatively impact the outcome of games? I have no idea; indeed, it seems pretty clear to me that the net impact of an umpire should be zero if a game is to be decided on the merit of each team.
What can be done to solve this fairly obvious problem?
DOESN’T LOOK THAT INCONCUSIVE...
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Looking back and beyond: equality for women in law schools and the profession JIHEE (MARIE) PARK Staff Writer More and more women are being admitted to law schools, a trend that is being observed across the country and over the past many decades. A long time ago, it was a remarkable struggle to be able to attend law school as a woman, but today the statistics show that women trump men in this calling, at least in number. Of the entering class of 2012 of the first-year program here at Osgoode Hall Law School, 53% are female. This may be seen as the result of decades of collective effort to promote gender equality in professional education and to diversify the perspectives of those who will be the future practitioners of law. For some perspective, here are some numbers to consider. According to the Canadian Bar Association, in 1970, 5% of lawyers were women. In ten years it became 15%, and in another decade grew to 30%. These correspondingly were the effects of increased female enrollment in law schools; in 2003, the trend had become such that there were 20% more women than men enrolled in Canada’s law schools. It is premature to conclude, though, that these statistics indicate the success of the battle for gender-neutral selection of the legal profession. Indeed there are more female lawyers, espe-
cially among the most recent graduates. The LSUC also reported that in 2006, there were nearly 60% of lawyers between the ages 25-34 were women. This compares wildly to the midtwentieth century, when only a handful of the student body were women, and those who graduated still faced gender-based challenges at the bar and beyond.
practicing in the workforce, it is the men who continue to reap the best positions and benefits. Female lawyers may become the workhorse of the field, who must fight tougher challenges to secure their jobs against competition, while the men have the automatic privilege of earning better pay without giving an equal amount of effort.
But these trends do not tell us that we have achieved equality among genders in legal scholarship and practice. One of the most telling statistics to consider is that the gender gap in salaries still is significant.
Is the salary gap merely a remnant from a receding age of male domination in the profession? If so, then we will hopefully see the gap lessen to give women the equality in pay for the equality of scholarship we have gained. If not, then we may see a new dividing hierarchy within the profession, an unspoken bar that cannot be passed for female lawyers.
Looking closer now, according to CBA, the average income for female lawyers was $70 745 and for male lawyers was $114 384 in 2001. The LSUC adds that, in 2005, the mean earnings for women were 15% lower than that of men 35-39 years of age, but the salary gender gap does seem to improve for the younger generations of lawyers. This can be interpreted to say that, unless greater interest is taken to promote equality in wages, the gender balance in the profession is far from complete. In fact, if the salary gap persists, it will be to the detriment of the profession. Taking the statistics together, it can be foreseen that though there will be a greater number of female lawyers
In the last several decades we have seen many great changes that improve the quality and diversity of the law schools in this country. As the new graduates begin to advance their careers into maturity, we are seeing the results of these changes – women in law have accomplished a plethora of national and international achievements. Perhaps, as the 53% of this year graduate and go on in their careers, we may see even more great women join the rosters of those women who have paved the road before us.
Same song, different tune » continued from cover take one year of classes, followed by two years of practice, followed by another two years of classes. Then, in 1949, when Osgoode became a full-time law school, the curriculum was changed, giving students the choice of either articling or taking classes during the first two years. Articling would be conducted during the third year, and the fourth year would be spent obtaining both practical and academic training. In 1957, a system was created in which a graduate was given seven years to be called to the Bar. This change is what Aaron criticizes in his article because of the time it would take to a student to be admitted to the Bar. Aaron states that “[o]ur counterparts at Harvard and Yale, and all across Canada and the United States, attend three years of law school, and are admitted to the Bar immediately or within a few weeks”. Accordingly, Aaron argues for the abolition of the articling requirement and for the shortening of the Bar Admission Course. Articling, Aaron says, “is an anachronism, an archaic holdover from another era and another society”. Since the 1970s, the legal education and legal profession have progressed and evolved in many ways that go beyond the scope of this article, and monday - oct 15 - 2012
the overall experience of law students of today is quite different from that of Aaron’s. However, in a way, the word “anachronism” may still be applicable to today’s circumstances. Based on my professional experience prior to coming to Osgoode, I acknowledge the great importance of getting hands-on practice and of having a mentor to support you and guide you. These are certainly elements that should be incorporated into the training of students in every profession, not only law; and both of which are elements of the articling requirement. However, it is definitely a big concern that what was designed to assist students in their career is now hindering them. In 2009, the LSUC released a report that aimed to look at the current state, purpose, and effects of the articling requirement and to suggest areas of reform if any problems were found. The fact that the supply of law students is higher than the availability of placements was acknowledged as one of the problems with the articling requirement and a few alternatives were presented as possible solutions to this problem. One of the alternatives was to replace the current requirement with a choice of either articling or taking what the LSUC calls a Practical Legal Training Course (PLTC) which could be offered during law school or after graduating and imparted by a third party provider who “would agree to design
and deliver the program, meeting the Law Society’s standards and requirements”. This choice was definitely a personal favourite. Even though I would rather do the articling placement if I had a choice, it would certainly be a relief to know that, should I fail to find a placement, there is an alternative to fall back on. Additionally, perhaps the LSUC should look at the value that law school programs such as our OPIR have on acquiring practical experience and start taking that into account as well. There would have to be a great deal of coordination between the LSUC, law schools and the organizations and places where students volunteer in order to have a consistent program that reflects the Society’s standards. However, it is definitely something worth looking at, especially since these programs are, for the most part, geared toward the advancement of social justice. Looking back, it is certainly a relief to know that our situation has greatly departed from that of Aaron’s. Nonetheless, as society keeps changing, so should the legal profession. Certainly, there is value in traditions and customs. However, holding on to a system that may prove to be outdated and in need of change just because it is a “tradition” may not be a practical thing to do. After all, is articling not all about “being practical”? the OBITERdicta
Happiness Project: Lessons from the past CASS DA RE Features Editor You may have noticed the theme of this week’s Obiter Dicta, “Then & Now.” Our brilliant writers have delved deeply into Osgoode’s history to be inspired to write for you, our present-day audience. Normally, as your happiness guru, I would suggest a short walk down memory lane and avoiding wistful or regretful looks back. It is all too easy to get stuck in a pocket of your past; replaying scenarios, reliving outcomes, and imagining all the different ways things could have been different. The Happiness Project is not about “could haves, would haves, or should haves;” it is about growth, development, progress and consciously making informed decisions to promote positive mental health. Having said that, I will bend the rules a little bit, for the sake of a good theme. Who doesn’t love a good theme? Today, we look back to a time before many of us Osgoode students were born, in hopes of gaining some welcome perspective on our lives in the contemporary era. Today, we explore the fascinating decade of the 1970s; a time of social progress, heightened political awareness, the blossoming of the environmental movement, and an enlarged space for women in the workforce. In contrast to the laid-back hippie movement
of the 1960s, the 1970s can be characterized by one word: action. Youth, young adults, and professionals defined a decade, through anti-war protests, second-wave feminism, and the first Earth Day. In contrast, Generation Y has been described as politically apathetic, narcissistic, having an engorged sense of entitlement, and as the Peter Pan generation that never wants to grow up. While these characteristics may not apply to any particular person, it is noteworthy that social science experts have come to classify this cohort as such. What can we learn about happiness from generations past? The lessons we can take from the 1970s is that activism, participation, passion, and protest are the forces that can shape an entire decade’s culture and social place in history. Furthermore, these same dynamic forces have an equally significant role in changing the very people involved. Consequently, your Happiness Challenge is this: get involved, take action, and do something that matters – whether it matters only to you or to the world, as long as it matters. Activism requires an emotional and ideological commitment to the cause at hand. Of course, like most things, this is easier said than done. How does one find a cause that matters? What should you stand up for? There are so many world issues, how do you pick
just one? These seem like daunting and warranted questions. Nevertheless, they are easily answered by mapping out your goals using a macro to micro framework. In line with most things in law school, you have to do the work. So get out your pencil and paper Osgoode, it’s time to do something. 1) What values or ideals are particularly significant to you? For example: a. Being nice to animals b. Free and democratic society c. Helping people 2) How could you manifest those values or ideals? For example: a. Walk your neighbour’s dog b. Vote c. Offer to carry someone’s groceries to the car. 3) Do others engage in the same activity? Is there a group or party that already actively lives out the values and ideals you share? For example: a. The Toronto Humane Society and the Animal Law Society at Osgoode
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ILP testimonials Every year International Legal Partnerships (ILP) sends Osgoode students all over the world to intern at various public interest organizations. This past summer we sent students to everywhere from Sierra Leone to Thailand. Some of the interns have taken time to share their summer experiences with the Osgoode community. Tala Khoury Project: I worked for a local organization called the Kosovo Law Centre. They were working on a project that was funded by the European Union to promote legal education. KLC TALA. was in charge of publishing statutes, court cases from the Supreme Court and the District Courts (equivalent of the Courts of Appeal here), and in depth commentaries on certain areas of the law such as divorce for example. I spent my summer writing an in depth commentary on religious rights and freedoms in Kosovo and the European Union. Specifically, I concentrated on the constitutionality of banning female students from wearing the hijab (Islamic headscarf) in secondary schools. This report will be published in November. Highlight: The most rewarding work moment was a publication party that we held to celebrate the publication of nine new books in June. Amongst the attendees were the Minister of Justice, Kosovo judges, EULEX judges, lawyers, and law students. Challenge: One day the electricity got cut, so we couldn’t do any work for the rest of the day. I was reading a novel by Orhan Pamuk on the hijab in Northern Turkey. My two male colleagues asked me about the plot and so we started talking about religion, women, and politics. I got very upset during the conversation because one of my colleagues argued that women who wear short
skirts are “asking for sex.” I felt that he was blaming women for getting raped because a short skirt meant an invitation. It tested my ability to remain calm and diplomatic in a work environment while still defending my beliefs. Craziest Moment: I can’t pick between two crazy things that happened this summer. The first is that I played the violin with a band performing an Arabic song. The second is that I met a man indicted for war crimes (he was acquitted, but now the charges are being renewed based on new witnesses) at a bar. Leah Matthews and Erica Stahl Project: We volunteered at Foundation for the Study and Application of Law (FESPAD), a civil liberties association in San Salvador, El Salvador. Our task was to research and write a report on public-private partnerships (P3) to educate the lawyers at FESPAD so that they could contribute the ongoing legislative debate about a bill that would make P3s mandatory for all levels of government considering large infrastructure projects, even in situations where a P3 would be undesirable. So far the debate has shown no evidence of a nuanced, theoretical understanding of P3s. FESPAD wanted to change that, and our job was to help them do it. Highlight/Challenge:
One of the highlights of our time in San Salvador was also one of the most challenging experiences. After writing our report, we presented it to about 50 researchers, members of PACAYA’S SMOKING CRATER the public, and media. We were asked to do a radio interview for a popular local station, all in Spanish. It was lots of fun being in the studio and we were thrilled to know that our research was actually making it out into the real world, but talking about anything more complicated than my breakfast plans in Spanish requires trial and error. Sometimes even my breakfast plans are difficult to explain. So I mangled the Spanish language on local radio, but Leah did very well.
Craziest Moment: We got locked out of the Canadian embassy when we tried to deliver a letter on behalf of communities affected by Pacific Rim’s mining exploration activities (Pacific Rim is a Canadian mining company). Basically, El Salvador ignored Pacific Rim’s request for a permit to mine in the country and then declared a ban on all mining activity within its borders. Pacific Rim is now suing El Salvador in the World Bank’s International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes for $77 million of “lost profits.” How they could have lost profits when they never mined, and never had permission to mine, is a puzzling notion. Our lockout caused a sensation and we were interviewed for that evening’s daily news. The next day a woman recognized us at our bus stop and said, “Hey, I saw you girls on the news last night! Thanks for sticking up for El Salvador!” Nav Purewal
Project: I worked for the United Nations Office of Staff Legal Assistance at the UN’s African headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. Our office represented current and former UN employees who were challenging UN administrative decisions in the UN Dispute Tribunal and UN Appeals Tribunal. » continued on next page
last week`s crossword
G R I
A Y 10
W A R T
A U R O R S
S U M E T 13
N C H 15
O S E
U S T
N T G
R A D E T
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the OBITERdicta Across
3) Con-Artist [GRIFTER] 4) SCC Justice or a sea creature [FISH] 6) "The Daily Show" funny man [STEWART]
Down 1) 2) 3) 5)
Bavarian festival [OKTOBERFEST] Lover of Iseult [TRISTAN] The good word [GOSPEL] UN Security General [BANKIMOON]
osgoode news » continued from last page
We had the opportunity to attend a public lecture sponsored by the Bank of Uganda where the main speaker was Joseph Stiglitz and the responder was Mahmood Mamdani - which was a highlight in itself. Additionally, the President of Uganda decided to attend and we witnessed Professor Mamdani openly criticize the President and President’s response to the criticism! However, the highlight of the entire experience was waving to the President as he drove by in his motorcade and then nearly being run over by the his personal travelling commode!
I along with friends I met in Addis went to Harare, a beautiful preserved old city, and while there we fed wild hyenas. There is a “hyena man” outside the city that calls them at night and after putting a twig in our mouth, placed a piece of camel meat on it which the Hyenas ate or he would dangle a piece above our head so they would step on our back to FEEDING A HYENA get it. But I think the most eerie part of the experience is the walk through town when the hyenas wander along the streets with you. With so few streetlights, often it’s only their glowing eyes you can see crossing your path.
Kathryn Fox and Naveen Hassan
The Office of Staff Legal Assistance supports any UN staff member that has a legal issue relating to their work; for example, problems with unfair work treatment, harassment, or failure of the administration to uphold their employment contract, whether it be promotions, medical benefits, etc. The office first attempts to discuss the matter with the appropriate administrative body to resolve the issue and when all other options have been exhausted will proceed to the litigation stage. In my position I did research, using the UN Dispute Tribunal and the UN Appeals Tribunals’ case law, to find rulings or trends that help explain our argument and then write a legal memo using this information. On occasion I was asked to begin drafting what I thought the plausible arguments might be for a case.
The highlight was the preparatory work I did for arguing a case before the UN Dispute Tribunal. Unfortunately, scheduling prevented me from actually arguing the case. I also enjoyed the regular global conference calls where we discussed litigation strategy with UN offices in New York, Geneva, Beirut, and Addis Ababa. Challenge: The most challenging period was when I ran the office – I’d like to think competently – for a week. Craziest Moment: The craziest thing that happened was being told I was under arrest by a Kenyan military policeman (my fault for forgetting my UN ID at home), and then becoming friends with my erstwhile captor.
Highlight: Personally meeting the Assistant SecretaryGeneral, Head of Ombudsman and Mediation Services who made a trip to our office from the NY headquarters. Challenge: A difficult client intake when I wasn’t sure if I was asking the right questions, to make sure I would get all the information while not making them uncomfortable. the OBITERdicta
As interns in the research department at FHRI, we conducted research on multi-party democracy in Uganda. Our research primarily consisted of interviewing academics, politicians, civil society organizations, and a former Supreme Court judge! On top of being crucial to the research project, our interviews with these prominent members of Ugandan society were the best and most interesting way for us to learn about Uganda’s past and present political scene. During our internship at FHRI, we also worked alongside the organization’s legal aid department and a pro bono lawyer on a case involving 53 treason suspects. We worked closely with the prisoners to ensure that their ordeal since their arrest was being thoroughly documented. We were also tasked with identifying those prisoners who were eligible for bail (ie. due to old age or illness) and ensuring that we had all the necessary information for their bail applications. As members of their legal team, we also accompanied the treason suspects to court on numerous occasions.
Challenge: Even though there was great value in our work on the treason case, we experienced many personal challenges being involved with the case. Initially, it was difficult to listen to each prisoner’s ordeal since their arrest because we were documenting details of their ordeal since they were arrested; this included detail about how each were tortured before being taken to a police station and processed through the system. As time went on, we developed relationships with each of the prisoners, so our most challenging moment was saying goodbye to the prisoners and explaining to them that we were no longer working on their case. Specifically, one of the prisoners was a Ugandan-Canadian and it was especially difficult to say goodbye to him. Craziest Moment: The most unreal experience of our lives was swimming with dolphins in the wild... in the Indian Ocean! This happened purely by chance when we were on our way to Mnemba Island (off the coast of Zanzibar) for some snorkelling. Kathryn also went gorilla trekking with her mother and was 5 meters away from the largest silverback in Bwindi National Park! Oh – and we also went white water rafting down the Nile (twice!). It’s fair to say that we got our butts kicked by the Nile (see picture!). WHITE WATER RAFTING DOWN THE NILE
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Nuit Blanche & Toronto: art as therapy NADIA GUO News Editor “Cities have shape and size; they have histories, constitutions, administrations and systems; they have rhythms, bodies and buildings. They are formed with all of these elements in relation to each other to make space for dwelling, commerce, ritual and play, giving expression to memories, chronicles, secrets and desires. We can discover something about the heart, mind and soul of the city by the passage of our bodies through its built form. Each of the artists selected for the exhibition works with specific elements of urban experience to construct relationships that go beyond the usual patterns of time, scale or movement, demonstrating that our urban destiny is both more fluid and more imaginary than its built form suggests.” --Christina Ritchie, curator of Bodies and Buildings in Zone B for Nuit Blanche 2012 Nuit Blanche in Toronto is an event that always reignites a part of me that lies dormant the rest of the year. For me, it will always be a reawakening of the roots I’ve sown into this city, a celebration of the joie de vivre of the Toronto community, and an indulgence in the very jouissance, fragmentation, and conflict that quotidian life in the city produces.
We all got to bear witness to a Toronto transformed, a Toronto paused in time as people took a break from the daily grind to marvel and participate in the creativity our artists had to offer. It was at the end of the night, or I suppose it was early morning by that point, when my friend and I found ourselves in the middle of an eerily quaint financial district, with only a few quiet cabs idling by. We were staring up at the stars in the gaps of sky between converging skyscrapers above, and it was then that I knew I was in a place I truly belonged. This year Nuit Blanche marked another new phase in my life. We were older, and we had more responsibilities. I’d just finished my first month of law school. My friends had 9 to 5s. We were all tired. I was stressed and irritable, second-guessing my ability to deal with the demanding nature of this program. I have a background in the liberal arts. I was a dreamer, living the bohemian life, reading Faulkner and Woolf in between endless nights out dancing and fucking. Law seemed like a tool I wanted to wield to chisel society in the direction I wanted it to go, but is it going to turn out to be that stuffily conservative, treacherous sojourn my friends warned me it would
Nuit Blanche was a concept that first originated in Paris in 2002 as a way to increase public accessibility to contemporary art, with Montreal as the first Canadian city to pick up the idea in 2003. Toronto followed suit in 2006. My first ‘sleepless night’ was in 2007. That September evening would mark my starting point in a city that would come to be the place I would call home. I had just moved to start my undergrad at the University of Toronto and my youthfully green, suburban heart was only beginning to ripen. Transplanting myself from the pre-fab, cookie-cutter, Abercrombie & Fitch-obsessed, and culturally bankrupt wasteland that is Mississauga to the city is probably a temporal milestone that will resonate with me for the rest of my life. (Although, I can’t deny that I’ll still have those Arcade Fire-inspired moments when I start to romanticize my adolescent years wandering in between empty rows of houses late at night, or lying in dog piles in someone’s parents’ basement, playing with amputee Barbie dolls, high on whatever thrills we could find.) Nuit Blanche 2007: In the company of new friends, we ventured out of our warm dormitories to traverse across the cool, fog-filled green of King’s College Circle, through Queen’s Park, and eventually down Yonge St, where we saw Dundas Square lit up like some strange diamond. All those bright advertisements rained down on us as thick crowds of people oozed by below. We had to detangle ourselves from the mess of the crowds now and again to find each other, but it was pleasant to feel lost that night in the company of strangers. monday - oct 15 - 2012
WORLD WITHOUT SUN BY CHRISTINE DAVIS
be? It seemed like I was going to have to leave the libertinism of my past behind, being among a class where everyone seemed to embrace, at least on the surface, clean, efficient and professional lifestyles geared towards a final landing in a spot on Bay St. Commuting from my beloved downtown life up to North York everyday takes its toll after a while. The fact that all of York campus seems to be in the midst of being completely ripped apart and reconstructed didn’t help my utter lack of appreciation for my new surroundings. Of course it was silly to even compare the magical, castle-like, 19th century setting of my alma mater to the ugly reality of York University. But, this was the decision I made, after all. At least it was the decision I made after being rejected from the U of T Faculty of Law. Which isn’t to say that I preferred U of T’s program to Osgoode’s – the latter has the kind of holistic outlook towards its
incoming class that I approved of in contrast to the hard-nosed environment U of T seemed to foster. But being a person who is closely bonded to the physical world around me, not being able to hear the bustle of downtown life in between classes added to my stress and lack of enthusiasm. All of this was on my mind at this year’s Nuit Blanche. But the events of the night worked to restore my confidence a little. Nuit Blanche is always demanding insofar that there are so many promising installations to visit and only so much time and energy you can devote to each one. We decided not to go on the wild drunken goose chase we sometimes found ourselves on in other years, and stuck to Zone B. A mutual friend was part of an art collective (XXXX Collective) and had an installation called Ground Cover, part of the larger exhibit Constellations, in the courtyard outside my old residence at University College. The artists had sculpted lounging, elongated human forms out of pieces of lawn laid over chicken wire. It seemed as if the shapes were pressing in raised relief from the grass of the quad itself. They were like the realizations of a generation of lost memories, of ancestors who had been laid in the ground to rest coming to reassert their presence again. Inside the sculptures, there were hidden speakers that played recordings of people breathing in their sleep, and sometimes snoring too. The public was invited to interact with the slumbering shapes, to cuddle, pet, spoon, or be spooned by them. I never thought I’d feel so comforted by an inanimate object, but they seemed to radiate an almost tangible warmth, despite being only made of earth and wire. It was surreally comforting to be near these things and I could feel my heartbeat slowing down as I caressed the grassy haunches of my soft companion. Inside University College, there was an instalInside University College, there was an installation called Crave Crawl Cave by artists Claro Cosco, Grey Muldoon, and Piffin Duvekot, where we were invited to explore three large tents connected by crawlspaces. We pulled off our shoes, ducked into the first tent, and it was as if we had fallen down Alice’s rabbit hole. They had filled GROUND COVER BY XXXX COLLECTIVE
news but those parties lacked the sincerity this installation inspired between people. I was happy. I looked at my friends and felt a great fondness for them, a fondness I seemed to have forgotten over the course of my insomnia-plagued school week.
GROUND COVER BY XXXX COLLECTIVE
the space with rubber balls that lit up when you bounced them, filled with a clear sparkling fluid. They were like alien reptile eggs and we worked together with two other guys like a group of determined preschool kids trying to get all the balls to light up at once. The walls were covered in a reflective surface, and the lights from the balls bounced back and forth. The next tent was filled with soft plush balls made from teddy bear heads and bodies. Some of the balls had ears, and in the middle of the tent was a large, plump cushion stitched together from teddy bear pelts. Despite how macabre this sounds, the artists created a tranquil and safe-feeling environment. It was like the McDonald’s PlayPlace without all the terrorizing screams of children. We spent a good deal of time rolling around, throwing balls at each other. Finally, the third tent had cobwebs stretched across the ceiling, along with black lights that lit up our ghoulish grins. Overall, the exhibit enhanced our awareness to the tactile relationship between our environment and ourselves. It had the DIY quality of scenes from Shortbus, with each room having its own theme. More importantly, the spaces inspired discussion among the various occupants of the tents, and social barriers were broken down as we were thrown together into the tight, colourful spaces. People were friendly and open to conversation: Some talked about their dreams and goals, while others talked about their favourite films and organic gardening. Memories of ecstasy-fuelled farmhouse parties came to mind,
Osgoode: then and now » continued from page 2 who first took up roles with Parkdale and CLASP and ushered in the era of experiential education at Osgoode, which the fusion of exploring the ideas of law alongside law in action, while at the same time enhancing access to justice and improving communities. An Osgoode JD student, Meredith Bacal, as part of her RA duties had the chance to call up some of the Class of ’72 to ask about their experience and what insights those alumni would pass on to the students of today. Sam Schwartz recalled his Osgoode professors – Peter Hogg had just joined the Osgoode faculty from New Zealand and was learning Canadian law along with the class, while Paul Weiler was shaking the legal establishment.
In the end, this is what Nuit Blanche is really about: belonging. It’s about a shared sense of communion. Sure, each art piece will have its own concepts, some based on paranoia and irrationality, on the end-of-theworld theories, on world poverty and disease, and other negative issues this world has to face. But the fact is that it encourages a mass participation in contemplation, in imagination, in dialogue exchange, and in the abandonment of insecurities. With city dwellers being lured out of their homes into the public space, Nuit Blanche encourages us to confront the fact that we share this city with 5.5 million other people, and that we, like art itself, depend on there being others to engage and appreciate us, our ideas, our hopes, and plans for the future generations to come. I slept wonderfully that night. It was with the above thought in mind that I went back to Osgoode on Monday morning. I remembered then that I was part of a community that I had to rely on. That even if I preferred reading literature to case law, there are different types of gold to be gleaned from both. That I was at a school that put value into breaking the mould of the ‘traditional’ legal professional, that placed importance on increasing access to justice and ethics in advocacy. That I had professors who seemed to share these beliefs. And that all of the superficial, extraneous inconveniences in between were only that – inconveniences. If I was going to love my time in this program as much as I cherished my undergrad years, I was going to need to balance my interests a bit. Once in a while, you’ve gotta take a break from drilling your mind with fact patterns and rules at your desk. Once in a while, you’ve gotta seek out some artistic therapy. When asked about his most vivid academic experience while at Osgoode, he recalled being one of the first students to work in the Parkdale Community Legal Clinic: “When I look back, the most important experience I had was Parkdale. We were the first group of students in Parkdale. We were integrated in the community and did things students today can’t do. I had thirty to forty child welfare applications, with supervision and assistance from practicing lawyers, but we were up on our feet on everything. I had one wardship application I knew I couldn’t win unless I got help from a child psychologist, so I called every single one in the phone book. Everyone said no to me. I was disconsolate until someone phoned me back: Dr. Dickman. He said to me, “I left South Africa because of oppression.
Happiness Project » continued from page 7 b. Local or National political parties and The Campus Conservatives at Osgoode *Disclaimer: The Happiness Project does not endorse any political stance as better or worse for your happiness. * c. Community Legal Aid Clinics, Peer Mentorship, Volunteer Organizations across the City, and associations such as JustLaw and CLASP at Osgoode. 4) Join the others. There are strengths in numbers, and joining others to work towards the same cause or campaign will likely increase its chances of success. On a personal level, participating in a group movement encourages sociability, communication, and emotional bonding with other like-minded people. Clearly, such micro, process oriented activities have a positive causal effect on one’s happiness. Moreover, the macro, goal oriented activity will provide you with a purpose, aspiration, and ultimately a sense of achievement. Generation Y and Osgoode students alike, do not let others define you based on a Disney movie where the main character wore green leggings. Do not be the passive victims of labeling, characterization, or categorization. Do not let your narrative and legacy be written by the generation before you. Instead, be active; be involved; be enthused; be the authors, not the puppets, and be real-life heroes, not cartoon characters. Flared jeans and turtlenecks aside, the 1970s will now and forever be defined by the people who lived it, changed it, and created it. All I ask from you Osgoode, for the sake of your happiness, is that you do the same for your generation. It is only fair to ask of the educated and influential future lawyers of this decade, that you are equally as active in shaping your contemporary reality as the Osgoode alumni of the 1970s once were. Flared jeans and turtlenecks are optional.
You have my assistance.” The result was that we won. The children were returned to the parents under strict supervision.” Of course, Osgoode continues to be enriched by the Class of ’72 in other ways – faculty colleagues Professor Paul Emond and Michael Mandel were both members of this storied group. There are many good reasons for a Law School to value its history and invest time and energy in telling the stories of its graduates – at Osgoode, our heritage and the place of this Law School in the evolution of legal education lies at the heart of our identity and our community. I hope this slice of Osgoode’s past inspires more of our community to focus on exploring more of our stories in the years to come!
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arts & culture
Review: Arthur Miller’s The Crucible SPENCER BAILEY, QUINN HARRIS AND HILARY FENDER Contributors On the evening of Nuit Blanche, your Mock Trial producers took a trip down to the charming distillery district to Soulpepper Theatre, one of Toronto’s most reliable theatres for classic productions. The show was Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, the same playwright who penned Death of a Salesman. This play was written in 1952 as a reaction to the McCarthy anti-communist witch-hunt in the United States; only a few years later Miller himself was brought in front of McCarthy’s committee. The Crucible is a compelling insight into the lives of the husbands, wives, children, priests, lawyers, and judges that were part of the horrific Salem Witch Trials in Massachusetts between 1692 and 1693. Below is a critique of the play by Hilary, Spencer and Quinn. Spencer [S]: I walked away from The Crucible thinking it was a show about two things: moral outrage and moral courage. I have not read the play before and so I did not know what to expect from the lead character, John Proctor. The basic plot follows Proctor as he navigates suspicious neighbours, pleading priests, and hell-fire judges in order to save his wife from being pronounced a witch and sent to jail or hanged. It is powerful stuff, and Stuart Hughes, a Soulpepper player and founding member, ensures that each audience member feels his rage, frustration, and moral dilemmas. Quinn [Q]: There were certainly some stellar performances in this production. The intense second half was played out as a children’s game run horribly afoul, to superbly unsettling effect. A key theme for me was highlighted by the judge’s misguided sense that it’s best to maintain your convictions than to question them or admit you could be wrong. It was the point at which fear mongering became a runaway train, and that message maintains its relevancy whether the dirty word is “witch,” “communist,” or “terrorist.” I had a harder time sympathizing with Proctor’s moral dilemmas. It is revealed that Proctor’s adulterous affair
HANNAH MILLER AS ABIGAIL WILLIAMS
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with Abigail Williams (played by Hannah Miller) is to blame for Abigail’s jealous attempt to destroy and replace his wife by accusing her of witchcraft. However, I couldn’t help but feel bothered by the way Abigail, a troubled young girl, became the pariah, and Proctor became the moral hero. Even Proctor’s wife blames herself for his lechery because she was a “cold wife” and they fail to discredit Abigail because she lies to protect his reputation.
Proctors took stands against backwards systems of law and principles, then those very systems would still be around today, wouldn’t they? Sure, he could have left that job to someone else without a wife and children, but whatever sense of duty or ethics that compelled him to head to the gallows is surely intriguing. Oddly enough, the man with the least religious convictions was also least afraid of death. Are you really calling out Arthur Miller’s character?
Hilary [H]: I too had a tough time truly sympathizing with Proctor in his final march to the gallows. After watching Proctor struggle against justice, truth and an impending martyr execution, I asked myself the question I always ask during troubling times: WWJBD (What would Justin Bieber do?). I know that ‘Biebs’ wasn’t up against a death sentence in his recent paternity scare, and fervently denied all accusations. However, based on what I know about JB, he would have taken the sensible route and signed the freaking confession had his life been on the line.* Love trumps pride, and Selena, along with the rest of Gen Y would have understood. Plus, Proctor didn’t have to deal with the global media soiling his good name, merely his 600 odd Salem neighbours.
H: I’m not saying Proctor didn’t make some big statements about the messed up system. His most admirable moment was when he refuses to blacken the names of anyone else in Salem. But let’s be honest, in the context of the play at least, Abigail never would have started this wild witchhunt had it not been for Proctor’s indiscretions. A character blinded by pride (hubris? You like that Quinn?) is interesting to watch, but this trait has lost its romance. Didn’t Proctor know what happened to all of the prideful Greek heroes? Has he never read Too Big to Fail? Spoiler alert: people end up dead, broke, or with some sort of horrific eternal fate. Proctor arrogantly thinks that he can have an affair, repent by apologizing to his wife (puh-lease) and then do the “right” thing by dying to save his good name. Sadly, he ends up looking like a bit of an asshole when he forgets his real life obligations and chooses to leave behind his wife with a bunch of sons and a baby on the way.
Get over it Proctor! I gained a similar soiled reputation by just as many people after accidentally serving my entire camp condensed soup without any added water.** What I found most interesting about this play was Miller’s focus on the “individualness” of this problem. While the hysteria and power of a teenage girl’s jealousy is fascinating, there were some other significant forces at play in Salem at the time. There was heated debate within the village as to how independent Salem Village should be from Salem Town, the larger neighbouring town and centre of sea trade in the area. John Putnam led the separatist group and chose to hire Samuel Parris as the village’s own minister, separate from Salem Town. This context is necessary to understand why the Putnams and Parris looked so unfavorably upon Proctor and his occasional church attendance. Not only did it indicate Proctor’s lack of commitment to the Puritan church, but the Putnams may also have sensed political convictions that could potentially harm their separatist cause. This adds another interesting layer to the simmering tensions created by the fear and finger-pointing. S: Hilary, I can see you’ve done your research. OK, it is true Proctor is not exactly a moral hero, but I think he is certainly a complex character, who admits to his strengths and faults, and in the end makes a very fascinating decision. If no John
Q: Hubris– good one Hilary. There is something inherently selfish, and presumptive to the whole concept of martyrdom. As for Arthur Miller’s own character, it’s interesting to note that when Miller was put in Proctor’s situation in front of McCarthy’s committee, he also refused to name names, though all that was at stake was a contempt charge, blacklisting, and a $500 fine. All were overturned. But then, McCarthy didn’t start his whole anti-communist thing because he was jealous of Miller’s wife, Marilyn Monroe. Not to my knowledge, anyway.*** S: For me, the best moment of the play was when Abigail and her friends all pretended to be possessed by Mary, the witness that Proctor brings to discredit her. They go through a sequence of repeating everything Mary says in unison and in high-pitched voices. It was the closest thing I’ve seen to a horror movie on stage, and was a real testament to the power of live theatre. I don’t think the same scene on a screen would have had the same impact. In fact, the whole second act, which took place in a courtroom and jail cell was absolutely mesmerizing. » continued on next page the OBITERdicta
arts & culture » continued from last page Q: Yes, that girlish chanting brought me straight back to the nightmares of elementary school. Arthur Miller must have been a twelve-year-old girl in another life.**** I also credit Lorenzo Savoini’s sparse set design and Stephen Hawkin’s moody lighting for enhancing the fright factor. H: I also could not get over the voice of Judge Danforth (played by Joseph Ziegler). I can’t put my finger on exactly what it was, but it was a perfect judge voice. I still think about it. S: Overall, the lesson learned is, if you want someone who is not available, call their spouse a witch.***** Well, I guess on second thought, Abigail did get much more than she bargained for: she killed both the wife and the object of her affections, John Proctor. She probably felt terrible for a long time after that. Oops, right?
*Editor’s Note: The author’s view on potential actions taken by Justin Bieber in any given situation are not shared by the editorial staff nor any of the affiliates of this newspaper. For any further comments by Justin Bieber on what he would actually do please contact Usher. ** Editor’s Note: The negligent cooking habits of this author do not represent the culinary skills of the Obiter Dicta nor its editorial staff. The Obiter Dicta has a strict policy of always watering down condensed soup and has several oversight bodies that ensure rigorous compliance with this policy. *** Editor’s Note: The speculation related to whether Joseph McCarthy investigated Arthur Miller’s communist sympathies because McCarthy was jealous of Marilyn Monroe have not been verified by any fact nor evidence presented to the Obiter Dicta editorial staff.
The statement used in this article is merely a rhetorical device and is not intended to bring any offence to any member of the McCarthy family, especially Jean Kerr McCarthy (Joseph’s wife). **** Editor’s Note: The Obiter Dicta and its editorial staff do not support any single specific notion of postmortem happenings, especially not reincarnation. ***** Editor’s Note: The ‘lesson learned’ is a lesson that is set forth solely by the author. The Obiter Dicta’s editors always strive to teach lessons involving kindness and understanding. The lesson above is neither. Spencer, Quinn, and Hilary are the producers of Mock Trial 2013, and write all of their own editor’s notes. How nice.
Andrew James O’Brien and the b’ys invade the mainland TRAVIS WEAGANT Editor-in-Chief I first saw singer-songwriter Andrew O’Brien in February 2011 as part of Canadian Music Week, right here in Toronto, and I’ve made a point not to miss him ever since. I saw him again last fall at the Free Times Café on College St, and on September 28, he returned to Free Times in fine form. O’Brien, of Corner Brook, Newfoundland, was back on the mainland for a fall tour, this time accompanied by his accordion-toting better half Catherine Allan. The two clearly have chemistry on-stage as well: Allan’s effortless harmonies belie an intuition that only comes from many years of immersion in music, and complement O’Brien’s delicate, but deliberate delivery of what are often deeply personal lyrics. Carpets and various other sound-absorbing materials deaden the Free Times Café’s intimate backroom venue, a fixture on College St. for more than 30 years. The result is a feeling that you’re right in the recording studio with the performer. With that said, I’ve never been in a studio where I could get a smoked meat sandwich. While Caplansky’s Deli – just down the street – seriously undercuts Free Times’ sandwich pricing, the quality is comparable and you can’t beat Free Times on beer: just $5 for a pint of Mill St. Organic or Tankhouse, a deal so magnificent that O’Brien himself couldn’t resist advertising it on stage. I highly recommend the venue. This may seem like a hungry man’s digression, but there’s method to my ramblings on ambience and cuisine. Take an intimate venue, a well-fed crowd who aren’t bitter about being gouged for the OBITERdicta
ANDREW O’BRIEN AND CATHERINE ALLAN
their beverages; add a couple of talented Newfoundlanders, and you’ll experience something unique: the realization that if O’Brien and Allan had simply stopped playing abruptly, you could have heard a pin drop. O’Brien’s set was composed primarily of material from his debut album Songs for Searchers, including upbeat folk-rock numbers “La La La” and “On the Radio” (both of which, incidentally, have been featured on local Newfoundland stations and on CBC Radio 2). However, O’Brien truly shines when he puts down the plectrum; his greatest strength is his honest brand of folk ballad, including “Built to Last,” “West Street Serenade,” and the incomparable “Go Easy.” In these tunes, O’Brien comfortably steps into a distinctive and purposeful fingerpicked rhythm that he uses so often, and tells you about life. The spirit of Newfoundland was undeniably present. O’Brien’s friend and Fellow Corner Brook native Brad Fillatre played the opening
set, and the mutual influence between the two was plain to see. O’Brien himself covered two songs by fellow Newfoundlanders: one by Juno award-winner Amelia Curran, who features on Songs for Searchers, and another by friend Sherman Downey, whose band, Sherman Downey and the Silver Lining, includes accordion and trombone player Bill Allan, Catherine’s older brother. When O’Brien and Allan closed their set with Tom Waits’ “Picture in a Frame” and the audience insisted on one more song, O’Brien dragged yet another friend from Corner Brook out of the audience to join him in an energetic rendition of Paul Simon’s “Cecilia.” Suffice it to say that Newfoundland is a small place with big talent. O’Brien’s album Songs for Searchers is available on iTunes and on good old-fashioned Compact Disc through his website: andrewjamesobrien.com/music, where you can also stream it for free. His second album is in the works for release next year. Check it out; you’ll like it. monday - oct 15 - 2012
A Little Sheep Told Me: Then and now in Osgoode’s halls ROBYN, “COMFORTABLE CHIC”
ANGIE SHEEP Staff Writer This week in the fashion world, we’re taking a trip down memory lane. To clarify, by “memory lane,” I mean Osgoode’s hallowed halls. I venture you to peer into the aged, sepia-toned graduation frames that accompany you on your walk to class. A quick glance would suggest neutrals were very in. Maybe a more risqué gentleman would dare to wear brown instead of the seemingly mandatory uniform colour scheme of black and grey. Fast-forward about a hundred years, a quick glance down the halls would undoubtedly be filled with a glorious array of colours. The once customary “suit and tie” is no more. In the contemporary student body, both men and women boldly embrace unique perspectives on fashion, clothing, and gendered appearance. However, fashion cannot be fully appreciated through the art of writing. It is by its very nature a practice of visual escapism. As a result and a very special treat, I asked some of Osgoode’s most stylish students to shed some light on their perspective of law school fashion.
ZORN, “CASUAL HIPSTER”
Zorn is a self-professed “casual hipster.” Despite the traditional non-conformist stereotype, he manages to always look posh, poised and professional. On the other hand, he embodies his hipster persona through a pair of distinctive bold and black-framed glasses. Zorn discovered his rocking frames at an underground concert venue in Brooklyn. As an accessory, statement glasses can give an air of studiousness while simultaneously expressing a fun and funky side of your personality.
As for the main staples in Zorn’s look, he often relies on the classic button-down shirt. Here’s the twist: instead of reaching for the predictable neutral shades, try a bright pop of colour or pattern, or both. Law students would profit from a wide selection of dress shirts in their closets. While crisp white may be appropriate for an interview, opt for something more dramatic outside of the office. Lastly, Zorn’s coat is from W Boutique and exudes a business casual vibe that perfectly balances his leisure shoes. Jeff is a Student Caucus rep; I would describe his style overall as chic and urban. Jeff ’s most eye-catching accessory, a must-have for any law student, is his fashionable, spacious, and professional-looking messenger tote. A leather book bag is de rigueur at Osgoode, and I imagine it has been for years because of its classic shape and undisputed functionality. Jeff ’s coveted messenger bag is from Danier Leather and monday - oct 15 - 2012
holds everything that he needs to get through a busy day. Like Zorn, Jeff is adorned in a smart dress shirt. However, pairing a preppy shirt with a more rugged, military-esque jacket, makes his look more casual and interesting. How would this student leader describe his wardrobe? In one word, “versatile.” Jeff ’s wardrobe bears items that can be described as business casual, preppy, and relaxed; this representative is ready to rise up to any occasion. Being a student at Osgoode allows you a lot of flexibility when it comes to fashion. The class photos of austerely dressed students are long gone. Today, if you don’t want to brush your hair on Monday morning, you don’t have to. I would not suggest arriving to your 8:30 AM class as such, but let me recommend that you throw on a hat or baseball cap instead, like our next model, Lucas. There was once a perception that wearing hats in class was rude, but tuques, beanies, berets, oversized hair accessories, and fascinators are all acceptable expressions of one’s individuality. Lucas bought his hat from New Era and wears it to school almost everyday; it is his signature statement piece. In line with his sporty, yet casual look, he also is never without his Nike Fuel watch that keeps track of time, steps, and heartbeats. Who says technology isn’t a part of fashion? Lucas demonstrates that a choosing a wardrobe “theme” ensures each outfit looks coherent and styled. Adjacent Lucas sits Jason, sporting sunglasses from Walmart. I find this particularly refreshing, considering the alternative and much more costly Ray-Ban trend. Regardless of brand name, sunglasses are an easy go-to accessory that transition seamlessly through the seasons. Going with a classic aviator shape is always a safe choice, because it never goes out of style. Robyn casually strolled to class just the other day and cemented her status as one of Osgoode’s style stars. Obviously, the first thing that caught my eye was her robin’s egg blue coat. It’s bright, happy, and a welcome addition to grey and dreary days of fall. This coveted jacket has its origins in an adorable boutique from London, England. A mere coat, however, does not a fashionista make; there was a chic effortless quality to her entire ensemble. Instead of throwing her sunglasses in her handbag when she arrived, Robyn unexpectedly propped them up on her head, for an ad hoc headband. These fashionable frames are an H&M bargain, and her over-theknee boots can be found at the Bay. Meanwhile, her handbag was a gift from Turkey. Robyn’s comfortable chic style pulls from high-end and low-end brands, as well as domestic and international stores. There are no set rules of fashion, the more you mix-and-match, the closer you will come to defining your very own sense of style. Stepping back into the past for a moment, the Osgoode of “then” was suffering from an
extreme lack of colour. I have recreated a typical look that one would expect from the first generation of women to attend law school. In an ironic twist of fashion fate, it turns out that the white collared shirt, black sweaterskirt combo, and conservative knee-highs are actually very “now.” This retro-inspired, vintage look works for both eras. In addition, it pays homage to the trailblazers, the legal leaders, the early female students who changed the landscape and the status quo of what it mean to be a law student (fashion included). As an alternative, round collared necklaces over a sweater give a similar look. You can often find bold, statement jewelry on sale at affordable stores such as Forever XXI and Sirens. For an even more alternative, alternative, ditch the black and go for colour. Be your own trailblazer. As a law student, I naturally often turn my mind to the future of the legal profession, career paths, the rumours of Bay Street, and the fashion at law firms. When one thinks of a corporate lawyer’s wardrobe, three colours will likely spring to mind: black, grey, and white. Life is never black and white, and neither should one’s wardrobe be so dualist. Hannah is an excellent example of professional, pretty, and in pink. On a recent firm visit, she chose to a pastel toned silk top from Zara to break up an otherHANNAH, “PROFESSIONAL AND wise monochromatic ensemble. Hannah PRET TY” keeps things formal by choosing to pull her hair back in a chic chignon, a classic choice for the office. Note, her makeup is minimal, but her smile is really the star accessory here. Hannah’s look inspired me to vamp up my take on business attire. My dress is from Costa Blanca ($25), necklace from Forever XXI, and shoes from the Bay ($50). My mantra is simple: Every day is a fashion show and the world is your runway. Rock whatever your style entails with confidence, and we’ll let the new generation of graduation photos speak for themselves. the OBITERdicta
Nuit blah KAROLINA WISNIEWSKI Opinions Editor My feelings regarding Nuit Blanche were perfectly captured by Bite.ca’s posting of the Nuit Blanche Drinking Game. Among other clever instructions, players were invited to finish their drink whenever they regretted coming to the event. One of my friends reacted immediately by saying that if he played along, he would have consumed so much alcohol before getting off the subway on his way downtown that the consequences would be dire. I laughed and didn’t think anything of it at first. But upon reflection, it pointed to a deeper understanding of the ennui I was experiencing regarding Nuit Blanche. To better illustrate my point, I’ll make use of an analogy. The most depressing moment, the moment where you feel so acutely that a relationship is indubitably over, is when you can’t bring yourself to care anymore. Though it may seem counterintuitive, fighting is healthy; disagreements, however difficult they may be to work through, are indicative of a mutual willingness to engage in discussion in the first place. It’s only the people who bear no importance to us that we don’t bother arguing with. Although, of course, no relationship should be entirely consumed by conflict, working through difficulties can actually be productive. When things don’t seem worth fighting for, on the other hand, the situation changes entirely.
illusioning as it was to come to terms with such a realization, it didn’t leave me entirely hopeless. Nuit Blanche may never live up to its full potential, but this doesn’t mean that it ought to be seen as having no merit. The mediocrity of many Nuit Blanche artworks was the principle source of my aggravation. Many shake their heads at the millions of dollars they see as wasted on proposals that are unoriginal, poorly planned or unable to translate into actuality all that they promise on paper. There is truth to such sentiments. For starters, after seven rounds of Nuit Blanche, I don’t ever need to see another ‘audience participation’ piece, where my movements are shoddily translated into some sort of flickering light pattern above, below or in front of me. In similar spirit, I’ve developed intolerance for certain media. Contemporary artists seem to be collectively afflicted with the unawareness that projections (of any kind – on a wall, a window, a sidewalk, on the CN tower, over Lake Ontario) are never provocative or daring or any of the other pretentiously inflated synonyms used to describe them. It’s astonishing to see this method utilized countless times without the slightest bit of selfreflection or criticism, which, if taken up, would undoubtedly have indicated to the artist that they were hurtling themselves into the black books of critics.
Over the years, Nuit Blanche has come to be known as one of two things: to many, an excuse to meet up with friends, roam downtown aimlessly, drink with reckless abandon and ‘check out some cool art shit’ (as one attendee put it so eloquently). For the artistic community of Toronto, it’s seen as a celebration of mediocrity and an exposition of pseudo-artwork. But perhaps this kind of an environment is necessary. Perhaps in a climate of ‘anything goes’, the volume of attempts allows for the emergence of true gems. Though Nuit Blanche is no stranger to poor artwork, neither is it uncommon to see a few standout pieces every year, each of which would fit in seamlessly with the collections of many world-class galleries. Brilliant ideas (and, more importantly, brilliant artworks) are very rarely one-offs or epiphanies. They come about as a product of tireless pursuit and a neverending process of aesthetic development. By displaying works that aren’t entirely successful, both the creator and fellow artists in the audience are given the chance to refine their notion of artistic excellence, and are brought that much closer to their own breakthrough. So, although I’ve ended a certain kind of relationship with Nuit Blanche, in the process, I’ve come to appreciate a completely different way of approaching the event. And, in the end, this may be for the better.
For many years, Nuit Blanche annoyed me. I abhorred the drunken and obnoxious teenagers the event drew; I shuddered at the thought that the only way to ‘enjoy’ an artwork was to push through crowds, and I rolled my eyes each time an artist’s statement employed the words “ambivalent”, “juxtaposition” and “postmodern.” This year was different. This year, I didn’t sigh forlornly when my friends joked about their love/hate relationship with Nuit Blanche: I nodded in agreement. I didn’t feel phased by such sardonic accounts of the event, because I identified with them. I had stopped caring. After seven years, I had, unknowingly, broken up with Nuit Blanche. It wasn’t acrimonious; I wasn’t bitter. I was just done. Maybe a more accurate way of characterizing this is to say that I parted ways with my idealized vision of Nuit Blanche. I had, once and for all, put to rest my expectations. I had ended all attempts at trying to jam the square peg of my idealizations into the round hole of reality. I had reconciled myself with the notion that Nuit Blanche would never break through its frustratingly self-perpetuating cycle of inflated expectations and disappointment to follow. Disthe OBITERdicta
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BY: EMILY GRAY
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5) The Big Apple 8) Angel Farrah 9) Chanel perfume number 11) The only month in which the War Measures Act was invoked 13) A wrinkle in the plan 15) Break-up, casually
monday - oct 15 - 2012
1) Starbucks' commodity 2) Ti-Cats hometown 3) Seventy-one percent of the Earth's surface 4) Footwear made for walking 6) SNL Alum Kristen 7) Flower part