GE3224 CULTURAL LANDSCAPES
THE LAW FACULTY AS A LANDSCAPE OF EXCLUSION
The Law and Arts faculties in the NUS campus are located in close proximity, and instances whereby students from the two faculties use the other’s resources are fairly frequent. However, the recent uncovering of the unofficial SNAILS Act (APPENDIX A) which was drafted by law students and widely circulated has hinted at some form of antagonistic relationships between the two groups of students.
Upon reflecting on personal experiences with the landscape of the law faculty, we then realised the strong sense of elitism present among the law students, thus making non-Law students feeling a sense of non-belonging when in the Law faculty. Furthermore, we have recognised the Law faculty to be differing from its surroundings in terms of its architecture, which seemed to compound its detachment from its surroundings. Such observations led us to postulate that there are underlying reasons behind the elitism present in the landscape of the law faculty, and the incongruence of the landscape serves to play a part in perpetuating the social boundaries.
Hence, in our paper, we strive to uncover the processes behind Law students’ sense of superiority over Arts students and examine the multifaceted processes that simultaneously operate in physical and social manners in the space of the Law faculty that has resulted in it being a place of “non-belonging” for Arts students. Furthermore, we shall show that the law faculty, besides being a canvas upon which the law students exert their power through elitism and notions of a normative landscape, also serves to perpetuate the divide between Law and Arts students and thus, strengthening its position as a landscape of exclusion.
In the subsequent paragraphs, we shall first examine our methodology, followed by an introduction of the concepts and ideas relevant to our study. Finally, we will present our framework for analysis of the landscape, and elaborate upon that to present our arguments.
The methods employed in this project are a good mix of primary and secondary data. Primary sources include questionnaire surveys and interviews, while secondary sources encompass not only academic journals, newspaper articles, books but also informal publications such as weblogs.
Questionnaire surveys (APPENDIX B) were
conducted among 23 law and 26 arts students in National University of Singapore
(NUS) to gather their opinions of one another. In addition, another survey
(APPENDIX C) was also performed for 38 respondents to ascertain the general
Interviews were conducted on a separate occasion for 1 arts and 1 law respondent. The interviews identified more specific ideas surrounding the perceived superiority of law over arts students, and how these differences may potentially be inscribed in the existing law faculty landscape. An interview was also conducted with XXX, Senior Manager of C J Koh Law Library to ascertain the role of institutions in this paper. In addition, an email interview conducted with Gregory Vijayendran, a partner in law firm Wong Partnerships, who graduated from NUS Law Faculty, allowed us to explore the temporal dimensions in the antagonism.
Secondary data further substantiates our primary findings. Reviews were done on a wide range of literature and media resources, and will be further discussed below. Many blogs (APPENDIX D) which have published opinions on the issue of the law faculty as a contested landscape have also been perused over, and used to gain an understanding of the issue on an individual and personal level.
There have been certain concepts and studies introduced in the academic world that we have found to be useful in aiding our study and understanding of the issue at hand. The concepts below have been used to frame our analysis of the law faculty as a landscape of exclusion.
It is important to note that “places” are not empty, meaningless arenas within which people operate. According to John Agnew (1987), structures and institutions create a framework wherein which individuals experience their everyday lives. An individual’s experience of the place, based on his or her social status, education, time spent in the place and other life experiences then mixes with the communal socio-cultural definition (Kuusisto-Arponen,2003) or perception of the meaning of the place to produce a landscape that has particular meaning to the individual. The landscape itself then serves to perpetuate or shape preconceived notions people might have of the place and its occupants. Spatial and social spheres are therefore intertwined and the relationship between them is dialectical.
Another important notion is that of a place getting its distinctive characteristics and meanings through interaction with other places and communities. Identification with a place requires a firm basis and ideological foundations which people can identify with. Moreover, socialization, a sense of place and the physical structures of the defined place often require boundaries and signified division lines to differentiate between the included and the excluded. Hence, the comparison between “our” place and “their” place always happens, brought about by the categorization of people in a society into “us” and “them” based on generalised characteristics (Jenkins, 2000). When people are able to differentiate between ‘us’ and ‘them’, it generates a desire to hold and defend ‘their’ piece of land and thus the issue of territoriality arises. Sibley suggests that representation is involved in our understandings and creation of ‘other’ people and ‘other’ places in our imaginations (Sibley, 1996). In turn, these representations of people and place affect the ways in which the places and people being represented are related to.
In Geographies of Exclusion (Sibley, 1996), the idea that the home provides a key example of how a human desire for a purified environment results in rituals centering on the expulsion of ‘threatening’ materials through housecleaning is reflected through the issue of territoriality where individuals desire to “spring-clean” their territory of the “others” that do not belong.
This can be done through the transformation of the territory into a normative landscape where cultural norms and expectations are transmitted through place and landscapes, and people who do not belong will be excluded. Cultural norms and expectations in the form of verbal and non-verbal cues are used to allocate ‘categorical identity’ to hitherto unknown others whom we encounter in ‘our territory’ (Jenkins,2000). When people do not conform, actions may be taken to put – and keep – people ‘in their place’. This process is largely informal but it may be one of the most potent form of social exclusion. We will touch on this in further sections of the paper where we examine reactions of Law students to the transgression of non-Law students into their territory.
Transgression (crossing of geographical and/or social boundaries) occurs when individuals appear ‘out-of-place’(Cresswell,1996), e.g. Arts students appearing in Law library, challenging taken-for-granted expectations of what is supposed to be found where. This can be unintentional, resulting simply from individuals seeking to use particular places in a way that inadvertently challenges dominant expectations or ‘trespassing’ into territories that one does not belong in. At this point in time, it can be interesting to keep in mind that sometimes the cultural norms are so taken for granted, to the extent that Law students are not aware of the existence of such territorial behaviour until an ‘out-of-place’ act has been committed.
Therefore, in the above literature, we see the recurrent theme of boundaries, whereby social boundaries and spatial boundaries are mutually reinforcing due to the inherently dialectical relationship between social and spatial spheres in the formation of “place”. In our study of the law faculty, we shall further explore these complex relationships between the social and the spatial, and apply the above concepts in our understanding of the landscape of the law faculty.
In the following paragraphs, we seek to understand the processes which have made the Law faculty a landscape of exclusion. Based on our preliminary understanding of the situation, we postulate that societal perceptions of Law students being superior to Arts students have been internalised into the students’ self-perceptions, allowing law students to gain a sense of superiority over the Arts population. As a result, they feel empowered to inscribe their ownership of the Law faculty into the landscape, manifested in for example, the SNAILS Act, and the elitist behaviour of Law students, thus turning the Law faculty into a normative landscape. Furthermore, such exclusion is also perpetuated through the landscape, be it unintentionally through the incongruous exterior of the Law faculty, subtly through the closed doors to Law faculty, or even deliberately through the presence of signs excluding non-Law students from the Law library. These processes are summarized in the framework below (Figure 1).
Figure 1: Framework of our Analysis -- Processes through which the
Law Faculty becomes a Landscape of Exclusion
Through our survey, it can be clearly seen that the larger society holds law students in higher regard than they do arts students. For all the questions, when given statements that reflected positively on a person, the response average for the likelihood of the person being associated with the law faculty is 4.22 (on a scale of 1-5, 1 being the least likely and 5 being the most likely), while the response average for arts shows a drastic difference, standing only at 3.11.
Table 1: Example of Survey Question and Response Averages
Therefore, from our survey it can be seen that society does view law students as superior to arts students. Over time, through the process of internalization, such societal beliefs are accepted by people to be true (Ferrante, 2003), which results in the self-perception of law students as superior to arts students. This is also supported by the observations of Mr. Vijayendran, who agreed that the proliferation of fat paychecks among law graduates could have contributed to such a “superiority complex” (Email Interview, 1 April 2006) As a result of this “superiority complex”, they feel empowered to inscribe their presence and ownership onto the landscape of the law faculty, creating a sense of territoriality, mainly manifested through two avenues -- a) the actions of the law students and b) the landscape.
Inscribing Ownership through Actions of Law Students
The law students have shown great disdain
towards what they have seen as an “invasion” of SNAIL (an acronym for Students
Not Actually In Law) into the law landscape (not just the library itself). This
is coherent with the discourse of combat, with choices of words, such as “war”
and “colonized” (
While one might argue that blogs as a form of popular culture, and do not carry as much as weight as official statements, we argue that blogs have more power to transmit the biased opinions of a selected few within the law community over space (Bunnell, 2006) and reproduce such biased opinions of the law community with greater pace and efficiency precisely due to its sheer informality (Mukerji and Schudson, 1986). The colloquial way in which the stereotypes are presented is more readily accepted by the masses without much questioning, and the speed in which further dissemination occurs is a lot quicker than official statements due to the fact that they are carried out through exclusive social networks.
This could further explain of creation of a SNAIL act, which could be a way of formalizing and legitimizing the prevention of non-law undergraduates from polluting the “landscape” through a supposedly tongue-in-cheek manner. However, such creation is far from being innocent as it proclaims, but rather, filled with expectations of what constitutes a normative landscape, and reflects strongly upon the usage of the law faculty by arts students as “transgression”. (Cresswell,1996).
Such a normative landscape is extended beyond the physical boundaries itself, and also manifests itself in the social behaviours of law students, who have been observed by many to be cliquish and socially exclusive, with strong notions of insiders and outsiders (Relph, 1976), as reflected in the SNAIL Act, which serves to embolden the distinction between the law students and the others. This has not gone unnoticed by our non-law undergraduate respondents, with “proud/arrogant” and “elitist” being the most common adjective being used to describe the law undergraduates (Figure 2).
Figure 2: Top Adjectives used to describe Law Students
We thus see a strong categorisation of space manifested, where the lack of mixing between these two groups of students generates sharp boundaries between “us” and “them” (Kunsisto-Arponen, 2003), contributing to the formation of the law faculty as a exclusive landscape.
Role of Landscape in Perpetuating Exclusion
The exclusion of Arts students from the Law landscape is not only inscribed into the landscape, but also further perpetuated by the landscape itself. The ways in which the landscape serves as a tool to facilitate exclusion could be unintentional, subtle, or even deliberate.
The best example of unintentional exclusion in the law faculty would most probably its incongruous architecture. As seen from the pictures below, the architectural style and colour scheme (Picture 1) of the law faculty does not fit in with its surroundings, thus strongly distinguishing it from the rest of the NUS campus.
Picture 1: Difference between Architecture of Arts and Law faculties
Such a difference is recognized by students from both the law and arts faculty, as seen in our survey results, where a majority register a noticeable difference between the physical architecture of the law faculty and that of its surroundings (Figure 3 and 4).
Figure 3: Responses from Law Students
Figure 4:Responses from Arts Students
One may argue that the difference between the law faculty and its surroundings can be logically attributed to the fact that it had been recently renovated in 2002, thus making no aesthetic sense to make it look older so as to fit in with the surroundings. However, taking the newly constructed Student Service Centre in NUS as a counter-example, it becomes apparent that a new construction can still fit in with its surroundings, as the SSC does not look out of place at all due to its complementary colour scheme (Picture 2).
Picture 2: The New Student Service Centre
Therefore, although it is unintentional, the difference in physical architecture of the law faculty has strongly detached itself from the context of its surroundings, thus increasing the consciousness of students of it as a separate landscape.
It has been observed, that on most occasions, the doors to the Law faculty are closed (Picture 3).
Picture 3: The Closed Doors of the Law Faculty
The closed doors serve as a marker of territoriality, strategized to assign people they deem to be outsiders to areas outside of the boundaries (Agnew, 2000), so as to exercise their power over the space within the Law faculty. As our interview with the senior manager of the CJ Koh Law Library, XXX, revealed that she found law students a closely-knit group, and thus, very protective of their space. Therefore, they prefer to create a bubble and set up a wall between law students and the outsiders, hence discouraging the transgression of non-law students into what law students view as “their” space.
The most remarkable manifestation of deliberate exclusion of Arts students from the Law faculty would be the presence of a sign which stated that non-law students may be asked to leave if the library is full to make space for law students. The law library is the only library on NUS campus to have enforced such a rule. Although the sign has been taken down following a change of management, the memory of the sign still remains with many students, and serves to reinforce the belief of law students being different from arts students, and is agreed upon by our interviewee, XXX. However, on a field observation, we noticed the sign at the faculty entrance which says “Members Only” (Picture 4), which then outrightly forbids the use of the faculty by non-Law students. The sign highlights and reinforces the ownership of the law library as belonging to law students, when other faculty libraries are not accorded with the same treatment.
Picture 4: Exclusivity at the Law Library: "Members Only"
Picture 5: Membership check desk at Law Library
Furthermore, with the exodus of the Law faculty to the Bukit Timah campus next year, it is feared that this divide between law and arts students (as well as with the rest of the NUS population) will be further exacerbated. The law faculty will then lose its only linkage of proximity to the NUS campus as it becomes isolated. It may bring the already rife notion of elitism to new heights as what previously was a social separation now becomes physical, further deliberately excluding the rest of the NUS population from the Law faculty.
We have shown in the above analysis, how societal perceptions have caused a self-perception of superiority among law students, and consequently the manifestation of territoriality in the law faculty as the students feel a need to “protect their territory”. Hence, an invasion of the “others”, in this case being the Arts students, have been seen as transgression, then evoking negative reactions from the law students, leading to the exacerbation of social divides between law and arts students. The landscape then serves to perpetuate such a divide with a spatial element, either unintentionally, spatially, or deliberately, which is likely to worsen in the future with the movement of the Law faculty away from the main NUS campus.
Hence, using the above framework proposed for landscape analysis, we have clearly illustrated the various processes and power relations at work in the formation of the law faculty as a landscape of exclusion, and how the landscape itself serves to perpetuate such a divide. We have also detailed the social and spatial ways in which such boundaries are enforced, allowing us to gain an understanding of the complex relations between place and society, and an appreciation of the ways in which they are mutually reinforcing and played out over the landscape.
Landscape, contrary to popular notion, is far from being merely a product. Instead, as examined in the issue of the NUS Law Faculty as a landscape of exclusion, we have seen that landscape also wields the power to shape the processes occurring within, and thus, beyond being a product, is also an agent in the dynamic interactions between the social and spatial spheres.
Agnew, J. (1987) Place and Politics: The Geographical Mediation
of State and Society.
Agnew, J. (2000) Classics in Human Geography Revisited: Commentary. Progress in Human Geography, 24(1), pp. 91-99.
Bunnell, T. (2006). Lecture on Multiculturalism and Postnationalism. GE3224: Cultural Landscapes.
Cresswell, T., (1996). In Place/Out of Place: Geography,
Ideology, and Transgression.
Ferrante, J. (2003). Sociology.
Jenkins, J., (2000). Categorization: Identity, Social Process and Epistemology. Current Sociology. 48(3), pp. 7-25
Kuusisto-Arponen, A.K, (2003) Our Places-Their Spaces.
Mukerji, C. and Schudson, M (1986). Popular Culture, Annual Review of Sociology, 12, pp. 47-66.
D. (1996) ‘Outsiders in society and space’, in S. Daniels and R. Lee (eds) Exploring Human Geography.
APPENDIX A: SNAILS ACT
SNAILS OFFENCES ACT
1. Short Title
This statute may be read as the Snails Offences Act.
In this act,"Snails" means Students not
actually in law school"law school's facilities" and "premises"
pertain to, but are not limited to, the C J Koh Law Library (henceforth known
as "the library"), the air-conditioned area outside the library, the
Law Classrooms, and the tables around the law faculty.
3. Definition of SNAILS
Any person who uses or abuses the premises of law school for his enjoyment without giving priority to Lawyers is a SNAIL.
use and abuse includes, but is not limited to, studying, playing games, occupying space, squatting and is not limited to disruptive behaviour covered under s. 5 of this act.
X is in arts but does not use the facilities of law
school. X is not a snail.
Y is a science student. Y walks past the law library,
and enters through the main doors. Y is not a snail until she sits down on one
of the chairs, after which she is a snail.
Z is an engineer. Z sleeps in the law library and starts snoring; he is a snail and he is guilty of every offence in this act.
4. Infringing the personal right to enjoyment of
Any Snail who infringes upon the personal right of a lawyer to the enjoyment of law school's facilities, thus depriving him of the use of the facilities is guilty of an offence, subject to the following exceptions listed in s. 6 of this act.
A is a lawyer, and leaves his belongings in a classroom for the sole purpose of reserving its use for his enjoyment. Another lawyer B is denied the use of the classroom. A, being a lawyer, is not guilty under this clause.
4A. Penalty for infringing right to enjoyment
The penalty for this offence is subject to the discretion and pleasure of any lawyer whose right is infringed by that snail.
5. Disruptive Behaviour of Snails
Disruptive behaviour is any conduct of a snail that reasonably causes a lawyer to lose concentration, his temper, or causes frustration, irrespective of whether the frustration was uncalled for or otherwise, while that snail is guilty of s. 4 of this act.
5A. Any Snail who exhibits disruptive behaviour while infringing the right of a lawyer is subject to the derision of any lawyer, and the discretion of any lawyer in the vicinity.
The red text in parentheses below have been severed as they are unconstitutional. However much i am against the severance.
No snail is guilty of an offence if (a) (that snail is a babe, and does not deny a lawyer access to use of facilites, or
(b) )that snail is a companion to any lawyer, subject to reasonableness
( Kristin Kreuk is in one of the classrooms. She allows any lawyer to enter and use the classroom and any article belonging to the classroom, up to and including the chair she might be sitting on. Kristin Kreuk is a Snail, but satisfies the requirements under exception 6(b) and she is not guilty of any offence under this act. For the purposes of this act, Kristin Kreuk is a babe.
(b) )Ronald McDonald and a lawyer walk into the library. Ronald McDonald's shoes are making alot of noise, disturbing the peace of every lawyer in the library. He is a snail and is guilty of an offence inasmuch as he is companion to the lawyer but did not satisfy the test of reasonableness.
APPENDIX B – QUESTIONNAIRE SURVEY FOR LAW AND ARTS STUDENTS
Survey Questions (Arts)
*Disclaimer: Your identity will be kept confidential, so rest assured and be entirely honest!
If No, why?
If Yes, do you feel uncomfortable utilizing it? Y/N
- physical architecture Y/N
- student behaviour Y/N
- atmosphere Y/N
- dress sense Y/N
- intellect Y/N
RESPONSES OF ARTS STUDENTS
Survey Questions (Law)
*Disclaimer: Your identity will be kept confidential, so rest assured and be entirely honest!
▫ never ▫ once a week ▫ 2-3 times a week
▫ almost everyday
▫ Law library should be for law students’ use
▫ Invasion of my personal space
▫ They are using resources meant for law students
▫ There are other libraries around for them to utilize
▫ Personal preference
▫ Others: ___________________________________________________
▫ Friends from Law ▫ Friends from other faculties
▫ Unofficial publication (eg. blogs) ▫ Others: ___________________
- physical architecture Y/N
- student behaviour Y/N
- atmosphere Y/N
- dress sense Y/N
- intellect Y/N
RESPONSES OF LAW STUDENTS
APPENDIX C – SURVEY ON SOCIETAL PERCEPTIONS
APPENDIX D – COLLECTION OF BLOG ENTRIES OF TOPIC OF SNAILS
Monday, April 25, 2005
They are getting more and more daring. First, they hog
Then, they hog the seats outside the library, combining tables even when there are only like three people. Calculator-toting people. Then, they invade our classrooms. NOW, they have invaded the law lounge.
I saw not one, but TWO groups of snails in the
lounge last night. they weren't infringing on anybody's right to the enjoyment
of the seats (yet), but their taking familiarity with the lounge (sleeping on
the couch, having picnics, rearranging furniture etc. ) is simply flagrantly
What next? are they going to be studying in the MC room and the Dean's Office??
Law MC, if you read this, do something! The snail, prior to sprawling over the couch, went out for a toilet break, then came back and pause for a while to read the sign at the lounge entrance. the one which expressly proclaims the exclusivity of the lounge to law students.
She promptly went in and resumed her nap. I blog this in the afternoon. i suspect that there's a fresh group in there now.
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
It is also true that at this time of the year, the faculty has become increasingly annoyed with SNAILS, not least, for ursurping whatever little of the faculty we have. for your information, law school is horribly small. it consists of a small library and about ten classrooms.
law school: and a moot court right, and a moot court. The point is, we don't even have our own lecture theatres!
So, in order to increase
awareness for this term and also the plight of law studs, i have decided to
bring back this blog entry, for all those of you who are not in the know. do
note that all this happened last year. amendments shall be in red. i welcome
I shall not be online very often till the end of next week as i have decided to throw my laptop away in an ultimate act of desperation. So here are my words of encouragement to you fellow examinees, to take with you to the exam halls.
Thursday, April 15, 2004
It is a bother for the law student to go to the cj koh law library these days. The library is crowded, an unusual sight, and locating an empty table is like finding fat on an anorexic supermodel.
However, that is not my peeve. My peeve is that on walking down the lawbrary, i see CALCULATORS.
I see GRAPH PAPER
I see COLOURFUL TEXTBOOKS
I see NERDS and GEEKS and AH BENGS**you get the idea
Thus finding finding a seat a pain, we law students turn to the law classrooms which are available to us. They, after all, shouldn't be invaded yet, right?so what do we see on the whiteboards as we enter the classrooms?
Also, after we redistributed the tables back to their original places (ok, we shifted that classroom's table out too), the very next day the tables were missing again and the classroom was locked. Again.Anyone shares the sentiments?
*Students Not Actually In Law School, not non-law school students in general, but those that squat in the faculty of law, e.g. library and classrooms, especially during the exam period.
**That is not to say that law has no geeks/nerds/ahbengs, but the proportion is significantly raised.
*** this small <--------------------------> (not to scale)
**** Ryan, law 1
After talking about moths yesterday (death toll last night: 14 moths, 3
maggots), I'm going to talk about snails and slugs today. They call this
progression ok! hahaha... Now the story goes like this:
Long ago there was this happy little community of lugs staying in a garden, doing their own things, tending to their academic pursuits and basically minding their own business. Due to the extreme nature of work they were supposed to do, the base entry requirements to joining the lug community were set very high. Thus the lug community was always very small and kept pretty much to themselves. This keeping to themselves in the hope of avoiding conflict, coupled with their high calibre, soon led to others within the same garden to regard the lugs as snobbish (unfairly so). They thus added the prefix 's' whenever referring to the lugs and henceforth called them slugs.
Now the thing is, the garden is kept by a council of three wise men, namely .NUA - NUS University Administration; OEI - Office of Estate Improvement; and OAF - Office Administering Finance. These wise men decide on the division of resources amongst all the communities of the garden, doling to each group differing amounts according to their contributions to:
1. making the garden a better place; and
2. improving the prestige of the garden globally.
The slug community for example is one of the best in south-east
The only other community that stayed in the garden was the snails. They could broadly be categorised into a few groups, namely the A-snails, the E/S-snails, and the O-snails. The O-snails are just every other kind of snails that are not A or E/S.
The A-snails are generally a funky bunch, very artful in their dress and their ways, though some of them do bring the artistry one step too far and end up looking like malformed peacocks. Some A-snails also have the curious idea that they are in fact superior. How funny! Some indeed choose not to be slugs, but that is the exception rather than the norm.
The E/S-snails are the worst bunch of the lot. They pride themselves on engineered precision and scientific analysis, and bring their (loud and noisy) ways everywhere they go. You can tell an E/S-snail by the calculator that never leaves their side, and the coke bottles they perch on their noses to help them see. That is, if you have somehow managed to miss their rude, crass and noisy mannerisms. Again there are exceptions, but here they are even fewer and further between.
Now the slugs and snails usually don't come into contact much, except during the exam period when snails converge onto the library and classrooms of the slugs. Yes you read that correctly! The snails come here en masse (they are present at the library entrance every morning at 8am sharp, waiting to rush in as if there were some mega sale) and take the seats of the slugs! Now that's not all. They often reserve seats for their other snail friends who come later so that they can all take out their calculators and happily punch away together, or play LAN games where they compete to click their mice as many times (and as loudly) as possible. Some snails come for the express purpose of checking out the lovely female slugs (slugs have a reputation for not only being smart, but also damn good- looking. Well deserved reputation if u ask me!), following every single remotely female form (i spoke to a poor, ravaged bookself the other day that unfortunately had two books out of position) with their antenna eyes and mentally undressing them. *Growl*
So the poor slugs no longer have access to library tables to study, no access to LAN points in the library or network computers, no place to read and do their research using the library books. You cannot imagine what poor things the slugs are now. An appeal to the slug librarians has also had limited effect, for the 3 wise men in their infinte wisdom have ordained that the facilities in each community are common to all within the garden. Therefore, slugs have been forced to move out of their own library into their classrooms, berefit of use of the library books, and having limited (if any) internet connection. Now for the next atrocity:
Snails have invaded the classrooms too.
And they lock up the classrooms for their own use, pasting pieces of paper over the glass panels in the doors with the word "Reserved". The temerity of it all!! So slug-land has become snail-land, and it definitely is not an improvement. The environment has become dirtier, more untidy and there is always food/ drinks left in places that are not supposed to have them. This is WAR.
SLUGs (Snobbish Law Under Graduates) don't actually mind SNAILs (Students Not Actually In Law) very much as long as they have BASIL (Befriended A Student In Law) or if they are SOGGY (SO Gorgeous! Granted entrY). Just please remember that slugs should have priority to space in slug-land... and please have the courtesy to behave yourself when you are using the premises of others.
10 rules for SNAILs:
1. Vacate your seat/ table if a law student needs the place/ tells you to.
2. Do not chope the seats/ tables in the library for other snails. If they are there, they sit. If not, just too bad. (Note: does not apply to SLUGs. Privilege of ownership)
3. Hello, that's our classroom. Please get out. NOW.
4. And don't you dare try to chope/ reserve it again and hide inside by blocking up the glass panel.
5. Stop leering at our people.
6. Keep your volume down. Unlike you, we have to study.
7. Stay away from our computers. You are a SNAIL for goodness sakes, which self-respecting SNAIL doesn't have a laptop???
8. No, we're not interested in being friends, stop harassing/ smiling/ looking at us in THAT way.
9. Keep the place clean. Aim when you pee, throw tissue paper into bins, don't splash water everywhere. PLEASE flush. That's the way toilets are used in Slug-land
10. No food and drinks.
These rules apply to all SNAILs unless you are accompanied by a friend from law school (ie. you have BASIL), or you are really SOGGY (not determined by you, goth/SM girl; nor you for that matter, geek-boy).
Other than that, please don't mind the S of us LUGs. =D
I hope no one is offended from reading this post. It was truly meant to be a tongue-in-cheek (though when re-reading it I don't find it successful in that aspect) lament at our fate.
Really the problem is that space is so precious to us law students. For the record, we are the only faculty in the whole university without a canteen or a lecture theatre to call our own. That's how bad it is. So spare us!! :)
It's the time of the year when SNAILS come out to play. Before I begin on my little rant, let me emphasize that I have nothing against non-law people per se, and nothing against non-law people coming to law fac to study with their friends from law. However, I take issue with non-law people who flock to law fac in droves to take up space and utilise resources which law students should rightfully have priority to.
The faculty is super crowded today, and there are numerous people I've never seen before. The seating capacity in the library is maxed-out, the computers are all taken, the coffee tables and sofas have been colonised, and there's an exceptional number of people milling around. And what do I see lying around? Scientific CALCULATORS (law students NEVER use those gadgets), graphs on computer screens, textbooks with colourful diagrams, handouts with matrices, circuit diagrams, integration and differentiation formulae et al. You get the idea, yah? It's not just one or two isolated observations. They're all over the place. If that's not bad enough, I see the abovementioned articles lying on some tables unattended, drawing the irresistable inference that the owner of the incriminating belongings merely intended to 'chope' the place so that someone else (perhaps a law student) would not be able to use it (more effectively).
Before I get labelled as a Snobbish-Law-UnderGraduate (I hear that we're 'affectionately' referred to as SLUGs by the SNAILS), perhaps a walk in my shoes would be apposite.
Last sem, there was this SNAIL who came to the law lib everyday. He sniffed and coughed very loudly every few seconds. Oblivious to the fact that that already rendered him a nuisance, he played computer games and made irritating, incessant clicking noises with his mouse in the process. If you wanna play computer games, F-ing go somewhere else. Don't pollute the environment and take up space in the law lib unnecessarily.
Every time there is an influx of SNAILS, I see poor law students, some of them my friends, walking around the library, searching in vain for seats. I have been in that position several times and it really isn't pleasant at all.
I return to the 'seat-choping phenomenon' mentioned above. It's downright selfish. If you don't wanna use that space, just scram. Otherwise, you tempt me to smash your ugly little calculators to bits.
At one point of time, the SNAIL problem got so bad that some of my friends gave up studying in the lib and decided to try classrooms instead.... only to find that some classrooms had been 'choped' by SNAILS too.
The toilet outside the law lib has been EXCEPTIONALLY dirty of late. I wonder why.
I think I need not say more. Unfortunately, the SNAIL problem looks set to stay.
And the SNAIL problem persists.
For the 2nd day in a row, I've been reduced to occupying this table with a spoilt PC. I have a feeling I'll have to share it with Yippie when she comes later. Why? Cos the better spots have all been occupied, a significant proportion by SNAILS.
Lalala. What's new right. I'm sure most law students are used to it by now. I seriously think the librarians are too lazy to do anything.
I seriously wonder why people who have no proximate connection with law fac whatsoever bother coming all the way here to study. It's not as if we have a lot of extra space. Hmph.
Forgot to add this to my list of disgusting SNAIL behavior yesterday: A few days ago, I had a good view of this SNAIL from where I was sitting, hence I had the dubious opportunity of observing him for a couple of hours. Not that he was cute, or even decent looking, but because his behavior was really quite..... revolting. He had his leering eyes fixated on every single female who walked past, as long as she was at least remotely attractive. He was sooooooo freaking obvious, like he turned his head to look at them, and turned it the other way when they walked 'out of range'. I could practically see him mentally undressing them.
wait for the move to the Bukit Timah Campus!! Went to the Dean's talk on the
move today... I'm quite excited with the prospect of buying my starbucks/coffee
bean cuppa and walking into the fan-shaped lecture theatre every morning..
The thrill of having a kick-about in the quadrangle
The only bad thing is the lack of accomodation facilities. The Dean said that the decision to grant post-graduate students priority is quite unconvincing. He refered to the unwelcomed prospect of being an enclave if undergraduates were to stay in Bukit Timah. He mentions that furthermore, there would be shuttle busses to cater to the transport needs of those who stay in the Halls in
May i propose a simple solution. Why don't the
University save the money to be used for the bus service and use that money to build an accomodation block. Firstly, law school is already an enclave. Law students are not required to take cross-faculty modules, law students don't have that much time to mix around with members of other faculties. Snails do not really like slugs for that matter too. So why not do everyone a favour let the status quo remain? Furthermore, other then some staff, who would need to commute between
Support the crush the SNAILS campaign
I think I have been a very nice person insofar as I
have not said anything explicitly mean about people who do not belong. I never
knew that the NUS libraries, other than the law one, are in such a deplorable
and abysmal state that hey! each day when I'm in the law library, cos you know,
I actually happen to be A LAW STUDENT, I see people with calculators (i never
knew that we needed calculators when reading cases), drawing GRAPHS (what a
creative way to study law eh??) and reading about molecules. I never knew there
was so many unconventional ways of studying the law. I guess we learn sth new
everyday. I wnt mind if there are one or two of them around, but these people
come in DROVES, SWARMS AND HERDS. and they actually happen to take up space,
and emit unwanted noises. Argh and before im being condemned as some elitist
scum, let me clarify. I do not see anything wrong with feeling this way. NUS
students do not go to NTU to study right? Cos HELLOOOOOO WHY THE HELL WOULD WE
DO THAT? and when I happen to be in a very, very irritable mood, when i happen
to be so far behind in my work that i actually need to concentrate fully, I DO
NOT APPRECIATE NOT HAVING A TABLE TO STUDY, I DO NOT APPRECIATE HEARING PEOPLE
DISCUSS MATHEMATICAL EQUATIONS, and
I DO NOT APPRECIATE BEING DISTURBED, ESPECIALLY BY PEOPLE WHO HAVE OTHER PLACES TO GO TO, BUT CHOOSE TO COME HERE AND IRRITATE THE HELL OUT OF ME! SO BUGGER OFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF!!!!!!!!!!