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#1 amandakent

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Posted 16 November 2016 - 09:02 AM

http://www.law.utoro...r-class-profile

 

points to consider:

 

(1) students with criminology/gender studies/sociology degrees went up 10% for the 2016-2017 year vs the previous years.....from 4% to 14%

 

(2) students with engineering/math/science degrees declined from 22% to 17% 

 

(2) over 50% males

 

(3) 62% white...all others, except asian (21%) were single digits

 

(4) 76% born in canada 

 

(5)  over 50% speak English plus at least one other language 

 

 

What does everyone think about this? weak diversity of accepted candidates? does u of t's 'holistic' admission discriminate?

 

 



#2 Draken

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Posted 16 November 2016 - 09:18 AM

U of T (at least to me) has always had a sort of "legacy" vibe to it. Often merited seeing as smart people generally have smart children.

 

"Holistic" at U of T really just means you can have a large impact in your personal statement. You could have the best ECs in the world, if you choose to not write about them, they don't matter.

 

Considering its very high LSAT and GPA admissions requirements though, it is unsurprising that the class would be comprised mostly of: arts degrees, usually from caucasian families (typically higher income). 

 

A 52% male 48% female split is fine, virtually even. Most law schools in Canada are female tilted these days anyways, so this is likely to tilt towards more women in the future.

 

U of T is open however about having an issue with overall diversity, it is hard for them to balance maintaining a high academic standard with getting candidates from historically lower-income and marginalized groups who may have difficulties in school/LSAT due to other life factors. Problem is you have to have documentation to get special consideration for this, which many people don't think to obtain when it is happening.

 

I think for our high-ranked law school, their admissions policies are fine and do have accommodations. My 2 cents.



#3 Hegdis

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Posted 16 November 2016 - 09:23 AM

 does u of t's 'holistic' admission discriminate?

 

All admissions requirements discriminate. 

 

People with 155 on the LSAT face discrimination. People who can't formulate a coherent sentence on the personal statement face heavy discrimination.

 

This is not the first time some one has registered just to post a set of stats and ask people to draw conclusions about the diversity / racial makeup / gender divide of a particular school. It's an interesting quirk of the forum (or it's a returning one-issue poster).


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#4 amandakent

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Posted 16 November 2016 - 09:36 AM

U of T (at least to me) has always had a sort of "legacy" vibe to it. Often merited seeing as smart people generally have smart children.

 

"Holistic" at U of T really just means you can have a large impact in your personal statement. You could have the best ECs in the world, if you choose to not write about them, they don't matter.

 

Considering its very high LSAT and GPA admissions requirements though, it is unsurprising that the class would be comprised mostly of: arts degrees, usually from caucasian families (typically higher income). 

 

A 52% male 48% female split is fine, virtually even. Most law schools in Canada are female tilted these days anyways, so this is likely to tilt towards more women in the future.

 

U of T is open however about having an issue with overall diversity, it is hard for them to balance maintaining a high academic standard with getting candidates from historically lower-income and marginalized groups who may have difficulties in school/LSAT due to other life factors. Problem is you have to have documentation to get special consideration for this, which many people don't think to obtain when it is happening.

 

I think for our high-ranked law school, their admissions policies are fine and do have accommodations. My 2 cents.

 

 

thank you for your input. I thought it would be interesting to discuss the stats since other schools don't post them (at least i havent seen any)

 

that's an interesting interpretation about U of T...i assumed that because it was in Toronto it would draw people who were more diverse to live in a diverse city

 

but i want to point out that applicants from legacy backgrounds have more opportunities to pursue because of connections or because they could financially afford to do so. someone from a marginalized background may not be able to pursue ECs because they have to work or can't afford to take certain opportunities because they require capital.

 

EXAMPLE:

my (soon to be) brother-in-law, his family is quite wealthy and he was able to travel during his summer months to different countries doing whatever. he is a U of T Law alumni and said that you would find a lot of students who did that too and talked about that in their personal statements. they mostly partied in different places but on paper saying you got to travel South America and Southeast Asia sounds very impressive and makes for an interesting personal statements. 

 

i think the statistics reminded me of this



#5 Draken

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Posted 16 November 2016 - 09:54 AM

but i want to point out that applicants from legacy backgrounds have more opportunities to pursue because of connections or because they could financially afford to do so. someone from a marginalized background may not be able to pursue ECs because they have to work or can't afford to take certain opportunities because they require capital.

 

EXAMPLE:

my (soon to be) brother-in-law, his family is quite wealthy and he was able to travel during his summer months to different countries doing whatever. he is a U of T Law alumni and said that you would find a lot of students who did that too and talked about that in their personal statements. they mostly partied in different places but on paper saying you got to travel South America and Southeast Asia sounds very impressive and makes for an interesting personal statements. 

 

i think the statistics reminded me of this

 

100% agree on this, not disputing that at all. But that's the state of the world, slowly improving, so not much you can do.

 

Obviously the guy who did volun-tourism in Africa on his parents' dime is going to have better material to write on than the guy who had to do cubicle work all summer to pay the bills. But that person who couldn't do the ECs has the opportunity to write about that economic barrier in the PS and is encouraged by U of T to do so. It's not the best way to even the odds, but it's something and probably the best you'll get some a high-level academic institution that has a certain standard to enforce.

 

If someone doesn't like it, there are plenty of good law schools in Canada that will give you a more truly holistic application experience.

 

I think you'd see that U of T undergrads are quite diverse, and more representative of the city. The law school is a different game though and is a lot harder to get into.


Edited by Draken, 16 November 2016 - 09:55 AM.


#6 amandakent

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Posted 16 November 2016 - 10:02 AM

100% agree on this, not disputing that at all. But that's the state of the world, slowly improving, so not much you can do.

 

Obviously the guy who did volun-tourism in Africa on his parents' dime is going to have better material to write on than the guy who had to do cubicle work all summer to pay the bills. But that person who couldn't do the ECs has the opportunity to write about that economic barrier in the PS and is encouraged by U of T to do so. It's not the best way to even the odds, but it's something and probably the best you'll get some a high-level academic institution that has a certain standard to enforce.

 

If someone doesn't like it, there are plenty of good law schools in Canada that will give you a more truly holistic application experience.

 

I think you'd see that U of T undergrads are quite diverse, and more representative of the city. The law school is a different game though and is a lot harder to get into.

 

that's true. undergrad =/ law school 

 

its just that it feels like my personal statement was full of excuses and a pity party given the character limit

 

 

the class profile + tuition fees for toronto seem like a huge barrier to entry for students who lack a support system...especially those who work in toronto. I know osgoode is another option but i couldnt find the student profile for them or else id be over-analyzing it like i am with U of T lol

 

 

if U of T wasn't located where it was it would be a different ballgame, but i guess the elite system is about maintaining the status quo. 



#7 Draken

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Posted 16 November 2016 - 10:16 AM

that's true. undergrad =/ law school 

 

its just that it feels like my personal statement was full of excuses and a pity party given the character limit

 

 

the class profile + tuition fees for toronto seem like a huge barrier to entry for students who lack a support system...especially those who work in toronto. I know osgoode is another option but i couldnt find the student profile for them or else id be over-analyzing it like i am with U of T lol

 

 

if U of T wasn't located where it was it would be a different ballgame, but i guess the elite system is about maintaining the status quo. 

 

Should have found these, http://www.law.utoro...ts_Examples.pdf

 

Couple good examples in there of how to sell the social/economic/whatever barrier in a way that isn't a pity party.

 

Also in there a lady from Victoria who successfully sold the "I am a introspective, privileged white person" angle.

 

So really if you write well, anything is possible.



#8 rih

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Posted 18 November 2016 - 09:21 PM

What else are they supposed to do? Do affirmative action based on majors, genders, race, and place of birth? Does affirmative action make their admissions process more or less holistic?



#9 maximumbob

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Posted 19 November 2016 - 09:29 AM

 
that's an interesting interpretation about U of T...i assumed that because it was in Toronto it would draw people who were more diverse to live in a diverse city
 


It does. First people are not diverse, you can have a group of people from diverse backgrounds, but no one is a diverse person. I suspect you mean it would draw more visible minorities (who are no more or less diverse than any other group).

Second, and more importantly, you forget, visible minorities may make up 50% of Toronto's population, but they make up ~20% of Ontario/Canada's population (including Toronto). Since the diverse universe of people who want to live and work in a diverse city includes many of the white people who make up 80% ofthe Canadian population, UofT's student body is going to look like much more like the Canadian/Ontario population as a whole. Indeed, the UofT profile bears this out, 1/3rd of the class is drawn from people who are from outside of Ontario (and of thr 2/3rds from Ontario, one suspects a good number are from outside the GTA).

Every time I see a post like this, I wonder just what the Op think UofT's demographics should look like in a country/province that is 80% white? Is it that the Op has never left the Toronto bubble? I mean, lordy, if minority groups other than "asians" are only represented in single figures, could it possibly be that they account for a tiny portion of the Canadian population? (Hint: yes).
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#10 Deadpool

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Posted 19 November 2016 - 11:59 AM

http://www.law.utoro...r-class-profile

 

points to consider:

 

(1) students with criminology/gender studies/sociology degrees went up 10% for the 2016-2017 year vs the previous years.....from 4% to 14%

 

(2) students with engineering/math/science degrees declined from 22% to 17% 

 

(2) over 50% males

 

(3) 62% white...all others, except asian (21%) were single digits

 

(4) 76% born in canada 

 

(5)  over 50% speak English plus at least one other language 

 

 

What does everyone think about this? weak diversity of accepted candidates? does u of t's 'holistic' admission discriminate?

 

At Osgoode, this year we have more women than men. I'm looking at the admissions book and the split is 57% female and 43% male. There are also more visible minorities - blacks, middle easterners, south asians, east asians, etc. than U of T. I can't say that I am surprised by U of T having 1% black students and 3% Middle Eastern, but there are at least 3x as much at Osgoode. As a 1L, I've attended many of the combined U of T/Osgoode social events and have noticed the large differences in ethnic, economic and social backgrounds and the different cultures between the two schools. Osgoode is in many ways like U of T due to both schools being located in Toronto, but the differences lie in the diversity of the student body which is definitely lacking in U of T's law school. It can't be helped, unfortunately, because statistics show that students from wealthier, Caucasian backgrounds are more likely to do better in academic settings and on the LSAT. But, U of T should really think about making some progressive changes in how they go about admissions because I'm frequently seeing the same types of students coming out of that school (this is going to get me a lot of flak from U of T law students). I have come across MANY visible minorities from diverse backgrounds and marginalized communities tell me that they were accepted to almost every law school they had applied to in Ontario, but for U of T. Again, it is the hardest law school to get into, but with such a premium placed on GPA and LSAT score, it can't be helped that a lot of visible minority students from disadvantaged backgrounds are just not able to meet their requirements. 


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#11 Diplock

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Posted 19 November 2016 - 12:13 PM

First, Bob nailed an essential point I've been meaning to get to ever since I spotted this thread and failed to immediately reply. People from urban centres tend to have a very skewed idea of what the Canadian population looks like (imagining far more visible minorities, relative to the whole) just as people from rural areas tends to be skewed in the opposite direction. I've observed before that this can set up a very interesting dynamic on university campuses, where the undergraduate population (drawn predominately from the local area) looks different from the population in graduate and professional schools (drawn from a wider area - either nationally or at times internationally). It works both ways. I imagine the undergraduate population at Lakehead is extremely white, and the law school population looks far more diverse by contrast. In Toronto, it's the opposite. There's nothing "wrong" in either case. You just need to understand what's happening.

 

To return to the OP's original point, there's an undertone here which I think is troubling and unproductive - both for the OP and generally. To try to make hay out of 52% male (after a significant period when it was skewing close to 60% female, btw) is just ridiculous. Talk about "legacy" backgrounds at U of T is nonsensical. U of T has absolutely no legacy program. That term makes sense in context with certain Ivy League schools which do, genuinely, give priority to the children of alumni. U of T has no such program at all. We can talk in terms of general privilege. That's a valid, albeit complex, discussion. But applicants to U of T law school (or any other U of T program) derive no advantage from prior association, in family or otherwise, with U of T. That's the very definition of legacy.

 

In terms of privilege, you have no way of knowing this, but I'm practically the go-to spokesperson on this site to rail against the dangers of perpetuating privilege in the legal profession, the under-appreciation of class as a real identity vector, and the extreme importance of acknowledging disparities in wealth and opportunity. That said, I think you're doing a terrible job of advocating for or articulating your position on this topic. Throw-away lines like "I guess the elite system is about maintaining the status quo" prove nothing, other than the fact that you're preemptively bitter. Speaking personally, I am very troubled by U of T's rising tuition and I believe that the sticker shock, more than anything, will have long-term consequences. But U of T's stated priority, and I believe their priority is sincere though possibly delusional, is to ensure that doesn't happen. Let's be clear about the difference here. I believe the system may lead to bad results. You are suggesting the system is intentional and somewhere there's an administrator rubbing his old, white, privileged hands together and saying "let's make sure the right people get in, and no grubby daughter of an immigrant takes a spot in the class away from any of my friends' kids." And never, even at my most virulent, do I believe that's true. Can you cite any evidence to back it up?

 

I pulled your posting history to get a sense of where you're coming from. I don't mean this as an attack. But I strongly doubt you'll get into U of T. Not because of your personal profile, and not because your personal statement descended into excuses and self-pity (though honestly, it sounds like it might have) but because you have a 155 LSAT. Your grades are strong. Your LSAT is a death knell. I don't know of anyone at all at U of T, from any background or profile, with an LSAT in that range. I'm sure you'll get into multiple law schools. I'd be very, very surprised if you were admitted to U of T.

 

Here's what always makes me wonder where people are coming from. It's challenging to get into any law school in Canada, for some people. Total spots nationally are somewhere in the low 2,000s I think. U of T is the most competitive class in the country, and it has 180(ish) spots. Not every top student attends U of T, but even allowing that they are spread out a bit, I'd suggest you need to be among the top 10-15% of all students admitted to law school in Canada to have a realistic shot. So now we're talking about being one of the most competitive applicants in an already winnowed down group. Why do you need an explanation for not making the cut into that group? Why are you looking so compulsively for some reason that the process is somehow unfair to you? What makes you reject, out of hand, the simple explanation that maybe you just haven't demonstrated that you are among the most deserving 180(ish) students who applied for a spot and got in? Did you just start from the assumption that your natural worth entitles you to a spot, and any failure to agree represents an error?

 

I'm being a jerk, but with good reason. Social critique is fine. But there's a hell of a fine line between intelligent, responsible social critique, and just being the guy or gal who responds to everything you don't get with an excuse. Please, for the love of God, don't turn into the person from X identity group who says, every time you are turned down for a job or an award or a date "it's because I'm X, isn't it?" Everyone hates that person. Especially other folks from X identity.

 

Here is something everyone had to hear on admission and entry into law school. To this point in your life, you've always been one of the smartest kids around. You may have gotten to the point you view it as natural and inevitable that you are. Get over that assumption. Your reward for excelling academically, thus far, is that you are now in a group of peers who have all excelled academically, thus far. And you can't know, in advance, how well you'll compete against each other. The bad news is that many people will suddenly find they are average, or even below average, for the first time in their lives relative to this new peer group. The good news it that you don't need to be at the top anymore to get good results. Even "average" law students go on to great careers. But you need to get over the tendency to assume that you are great by default, and that there's something "wrong" if you do not keep seeing that result. It feels true because it's always been true to this point in your life. But it's a delusion. And if you really do have the mind for legal study, you should see why.


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#12 Twoodsguy69

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Posted 19 November 2016 - 12:25 PM

First, Bob nailed an essential point I've been meaning to get to ever since I spotted this thread and failed to immediately reply. People from urban centres tend to have a very skewed idea of what the Canadian population looks like (imagining far more visible minorities, relative to the whole) just as people from rural areas tends to be skewed in the opposite direction. I've observed before that this can set up a very interesting dynamic on university campuses, where the undergraduate population (drawn predominately from the local area) looks different from the population in graduate and professional schools (drawn from a wider area - either nationally or at times internationally). It works both ways. I imagine the undergraduate population at Lakehead is extremely white, and the law school population looks far more diverse by contrast. In Toronto, it's the opposite. There's nothing "wrong" in either case. You just need to understand what's happening.

 

To return to the OP's original point, there's an undertone here which I think is troubling and unproductive - both for the OP and generally. To try to make hay out of 52% male (after a significant period when it was skewing close to 60% female, btw) is just ridiculous. Talk about "legacy" backgrounds at U of T is nonsensical. U of T has absolutely no legacy program. That term makes sense in context with certain Ivy League schools which do, genuinely, give priority to the children of alumni. U of T has no such program at all. We can talk in terms of general privilege. That's a valid, albeit complex, discussion. But applicants to U of T law school (or any other U of T program) derive no advantage from prior association, in family or otherwise, with U of T. That's the very definition of legacy.

 

In terms of privilege, you have no way of knowing this, but I'm practically the go-to spokesperson on this site to rail against the dangers of perpetuating privilege in the legal profession, the under-appreciation of class as a real identity vector, and the extreme importance of acknowledging disparities in wealth and opportunity. That said, I think you're doing a terrible job of advocating for or articulating your position on this topic. Throw-away lines like "I guess the elite system is about maintaining the status quo" prove nothing, other than the fact that you're preemptively bitter. Speaking personally, I am very troubled by U of T's rising tuition and I believe that the sticker shock, more than anything, will have long-term consequences. But U of T's stated priority, and I believe their priority is sincere though possibly delusional, is to ensure that doesn't happen. Let's be clear about the difference here. I believe the system may lead to bad results. You are suggesting the system is intentional and somewhere there's an administrator rubbing his old, white, privileged hands together and saying "let's make sure the right people get in, and no grubby daughter of an immigrant takes a spot in the class away from any of my friends' kids." And never, even at my most virulent, do I believe that's true. Can you cite any evidence to back it up?

 

I pulled your posting history to get a sense of where you're coming from. I don't mean this as an attack. But I strongly doubt you'll get into U of T. Not because of your personal profile, and not because your personal statement descended into excuses and self-pity (though honestly, it sounds like it might have) but because you have a 155 LSAT. Your grades are strong. Your LSAT is a death knell. I don't know of anyone at all at U of T, from any background or profile, with an LSAT in that range. I'm sure you'll get into multiple law schools. I'd be very, very surprised if you were admitted to U of T.

 

Here's what always makes me wonder where people are coming from. It's challenging to get into any law school in Canada, for some people. Total spots nationally are somewhere in the low 2,000s I think. U of T is the most competitive class in the country, and it has 180(ish) spots. Not every top student attends U of T, but even allowing that they are spread out a bit, I'd suggest you need to be among the top 10-15% of all students admitted to law school in Canada to have a realistic shot. So now we're talking about being one of the most competitive applicants in an already winnowed down group. Why do you need an explanation for not making the cut into that group? Why are you looking so compulsively for some reason that the process is somehow unfair to you? What makes you reject, out of hand, the simple explanation that maybe you just haven't demonstrated that you are among the most deserving 180(ish) students who applied for a spot and got in? Did you just start from the assumption that your natural worth entitles you to a spot, and any failure to agree represents an error?

 

I'm being a jerk, but with good reason. Social critique is fine. But there's a hell of a fine line between intelligent, responsible social critique, and just being the guy or gal who responds to everything you don't get with an excuse. Please, for the love of God, don't turn into the person from X identity group who says, every time you are turned down for a job or an award or a date "it's because I'm X, isn't it?" Everyone hates that person. Especially other folks from X identity.

 

Here is something everyone had to hear on admission and entry into law school. To this point in your life, you've always been one of the smartest kids around. You may have gotten to the point you view it as natural and inevitable that you are. Get over that assumption. Your reward for excelling academically, thus far, is that you are now in a group of peers who have all excelled academically, thus far. And you can't know, in advance, how well you'll compete against each other. The bad news is that many people will suddenly find they are average, or even below average, for the first time in their lives relative to this new peer group. The good news it that you don't need to be at the top anymore to get good results. Even "average" law students go on to great careers. But you need to get over the tendency to assume that you are great by default, and that there's something "wrong" if you do not keep seeing that result. It feels true because it's always been true to this point in your life. But it's a delusion. And if you really do have the mind for legal study, you should see why.

 

I had recently been reading up about some of the ways in which law students suffer (mentally) during law school. The article included things like elevated levels of anxiety, depression and other mental health issues. However, interestingly enough, these problems were thought to stem from overworking oneself and essentially the sheer difficulty of law school. As someone who has been to Law school (and around the block I assume), Diplock, do you think that a lot of these "mental health issues" befalling upon law students could actually have something to do with the fact that some people simply can't handle not justifiably being able to believe that they are superior or "smarter" than others (i.e., that they aren't special)? 

 

This was not a peer reviewed journal article or scholarly source...

 

Also anyone can feel free to chime in on this because it is a fascinating possibility.


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#13 DenningsSkiTrip

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Posted 19 November 2016 - 01:24 PM


At Osgoode, this year we have more women than men. I'm looking at the admissions book and the split is 57% female and 43% male. There are also more visible minorities - blacks, middle easterners, south asians, east asians, etc. than U of T. I can't say that I am surprised by U of T having 1% black students and 3% Middle Eastern, but there are at least 3x as much at Osgoode. As a 1L, I've attended many of the combined U of T/Osgoode social events and have noticed the large differences in ethnic, economic and social backgrounds and the different cultures between the two schools. Osgoode is in many ways like U of T due to both schools being located in Toronto, but the differences lie in the diversity of the student body which is definitely lacking in U of T's law school. It can't be helped, unfortunately, because statistics show that students from wealthier, Caucasian backgrounds are more likely to do better in academic settings and on the LSAT. But, U of T should really think about making some progressive changes in how they go about admissions because I'm frequently seeing the same types of students coming out of that school (this is going to get me a lot of flak from U of T law students). I have come across MANY visible minorities from diverse backgrounds and marginalized communities tell me that they were accepted to almost every law school they had applied to in Ontario, but for U of T. Again, it is the hardest law school to get into, but with such a premium placed on GPA and LSAT score, it can't be helped that a lot of visible minority students from disadvantaged backgrounds are just not able to meet their requirements. 

 

 

As a 1L at Osgoode you have had the opportunity to attend two combined Osgoode/U of T events this year, one of which was official and the other was quasi official, hosted by a U of T student. Both of these events were only attended by a small portion of the class, and as a result I don't think you can draw any real conclusions from your observations at either one of these events. 

 

With respect to any differences between the classes at the two schools, lets be honest, both U of T and Osgoode (and Queens and Western and Windsor and Ottawa) are largely caucasian. To the extent that there may be more visible minorities at Osgoode over U of T the difference is marginal at best, neither class is overly diverse. Moving on to your comment about wealthier applicants having more resources to be able to get higher grades in undergrad and being able to afford things like private LSAT tutors, guess what? The entrance statistics at Osgoode are only slightly below those at U of T. Both schools are hard to get into, and your class is also full of students who had these advantages, so if this is a problem at U of T its a problem at Osgoode too. 

 

Honestly it seems to me like anything you can say about U of T with respect to diversity in admissions can be said about Osgoode as well. For that reason your post comes across largely as a dig against U of T from an Osgoode student based on little more than anecdotal evidence and conjecture. I can't say that I am terribly impressed. 


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#14 ProfReader

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Posted 19 November 2016 - 02:12 PM

I had recently been reading up about some of the ways in which law students suffer (mentally) during law school. The article included things like elevated levels of anxiety, depression and other mental health issues. However, interestingly enough, these problems were thought to stem from overworking oneself and essentially the sheer difficulty of law school. As someone who has been to Law school (and around the block I assume), Diplock, do you think that a lot of these "mental health issues" befalling upon law students could actually have something to do with the fact that some people simply can't handle not justifiably being able to believe that they are superior or "smarter" than others (i.e., that they aren't special)? 

 

I have become increasingly concerned with the mental health of law students during the time that I have been teaching.  I don't think that even a small part of these issues is due to not being able to feel superior.  Law students are under tremendous pressure to perform well right from the beginning (given the belief that 1L grades determine your future career path, the increasingly competitive market for articles, etc.).  When you link this with rising tuition, it isn't surprising at all that students experience high rates of anxiety.  Couple that with feelings of isolation for the many students who are away from their home city (i.e. friends, significant others, family, support networks) or even their actual home (i.e. are just moving away from Mom and Dad's house for the first time).  I'm sure that some students are very, very anxious or frustrated or upset about going from the top of the pack to the middle or bottom, but I think that is linked to fears about employment, etc. rather than some sort of inability to feel superior to others.  


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#15 Deadpool

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Posted 19 November 2016 - 02:42 PM

 

 

 

As a 1L at Osgoode you have had the opportunity to attend two combined Osgoode/U of T events this year, one of which was official and the other was quasi official, hosted by a U of T student. Both of these events were only attended by a small portion of the class, and as a result I don't think you can draw any real conclusions from your observations at either one of these events. 

 

With respect to any differences between the classes at the two schools, lets be honest, both U of T and Osgoode (and Queens and Western and Windsor and Ottawa) are largely caucasian. To the extent that there may be more visible minorities at Osgoode over U of T the difference is marginal at best, neither class is overly diverse. Moving on to your comment about wealthier applicants having more resources to be able to get higher grades in undergrad and being able to afford things like private LSAT tutors, guess what? The entrance statistics at Osgoode are only slightly below those at U of T. Both schools are hard to get into, and your class is also full of students who had these advantages, so if this is a problem at U of T its a problem at Osgoode too. 

 

Honestly it seems to me like anything you can say about U of T with respect to diversity in admissions can be said about Osgoode as well. For that reason your post comes across largely as a dig against U of T from an Osgoode student based on little more than anecdotal evidence and conjecture. I can't say that I am terribly impressed. 

 

 

How do you know that there were only two combined UT/Osgoode events this year? 

 

I don't care if you're impressed by my observation or opinions. I'm not writing a critical essay here, stating my experience as an upper year student (should have been more clear on that). I've attended many combined UT/Osgoode events and am part of the student committee so have had many conversations on this topic with representatives from both schools. I'm not stating mere anecdotal evidence. Here, at Osgoode, we also collect surveys on the class breakdown. It hasn't been released yet for this year's class but it has been done so for previous years. I haven't bashed U of T's class in any way, just stated the obvious that I believe they could use more diversity, not just in terms of ethnicity of course, but also economic and social backgrounds. You don't have to agree with me. I do, however, know a lot of people at U of T who do agree with this assertion. 

 

o the extent that there may be more visible minorities at Osgoode over U of T the difference is marginal at best, neither class is overly diverse. 

 

The difference is actually not marginal. I wasn't making up random numbers when I said there are at least 3x as many visible minorities at Osgoode from various backgrounds than at U of T law. 

 

Osgoode's admissions policy is very holistic. There are people in the class who do not have degrees. There are a lot more mature students and aboriginals. There are many students here with GPA and LSAT scores that would have completely put them out of contention for UT law. Osgoode gives careful consideration to Part B of the personal statement where applicants discuss any barriers and disadvantages they have experienced in their lives and post-secondary studies. 

 

Whether you agree with my opinions and observations doesn't matter to me. I just don't like the snarky way you decided to bash my entire post. 



#16 Twoodsguy69

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Posted 19 November 2016 - 03:06 PM

I have become increasingly concerned with the mental health of law students during the time that I have been teaching.  I don't think that even a small part of these issues is due to not being able to feel superior.  Law students are under tremendous pressure to perform well right from the beginning (given the belief that 1L grades determine your future career path, the increasingly competitive market for articles, etc.).  When you link this with rising tuition, it isn't surprising at all that students experience high rates of anxiety.  Couple that with feelings of isolation for the many students who are away from their home city (i.e. friends, significant others, family, support networks) or even their actual home (i.e. are just moving away from Mom and Dad's house for the first time).  I'm sure that some students are very, very anxious or frustrated or upset about going from the top of the pack to the middle or bottom, but I think that is linked to fears about employment, etc. rather than some sort of inability to feel superior to others.  

 

I think that I worded it wrong. I shouldn't have said "superior" because, naturally, to feel superior to others in general is a problem of its own. I really just meant that to some, perhaps no longer being one of the elite students within a class would be a large enough blow to one's ego to onset some sort of mental health issue. However, you're probably entirely accurate. Realistically, your explanation serves to better encompass the entirety of a law students life and the problems attached to it. 



#17 DenningsSkiTrip

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Posted 19 November 2016 - 03:14 PM


How do you know that there were only two combined UT/Osgoode events this year? 

 

I don't care if you're impressed by my observation or opinions. I'm not writing a critical essay here, stating my experience as an upper year student (should have been more clear on that). I've attended many combined UT/Osgoode events and am part of the student committee so have had many conversations on this topic with representatives from both schools. I'm not stating mere anecdotal evidence. Here, at Osgoode, we also collect surveys on the class breakdown. It hasn't been released yet for this year's class but it has been done so for previous years. I haven't bashed U of T's class in any way, just stated the obvious that I believe they could use more diversity, not just in terms of ethnicity of course, but also economic and social backgrounds. You don't have to agree with me. I do, however, know a lot of people at U of T who do agree with this assertion. 

 

o the extent that there may be more visible minorities at Osgoode over U of T the difference is marginal at best, neither class is overly diverse. 

 

The difference is actually not marginal. I wasn't making up random numbers when I said there are at least 3x as many visible minorities at Osgoode from various backgrounds than at U of T law. 

 

Osgoode's admissions policy is very holistic. There are people in the class who do not have degrees. There are a lot more mature students and aboriginals. There are many students here with GPA and LSAT scores that would have completely put them out of contention for UT law. Osgoode gives careful consideration to Part B of the personal statement where applicants discuss any barriers and disadvantages they have experienced in their lives and post-secondary studies. 

 

Whether you agree with my opinions and observations doesn't matter to me. I just don't like the snarky way you decided to bash my entire post. 

 

 

 

1. How do you know that there were only two combined UT/Osgoode events this year?

 

I know because I go to U of T, we have had two events of significance so far this year between the two schools, a pub night and an event hosted by a student. If you're referring to any other events they have been small in size and surely relate to clubs or student organizations or the like, and I stand by my statement, they would not give you sufficient sample size to justify your conclusions.

 

2. "stating my experience as an upper year student (should have been more clear on that)"

 

Yup, you sure should have been more clear on that:

 

"As a 1L, I've attended many of the combined U of T/Osgoode social events"

 

I have no idea what year you're in at this point to be honest with you. 

 

3. "I'm not stating mere anecdotal evidence."

 

"I've attended many of the combined U of T/Osgoode social events and have noticed the large differences in ethnic, economic and social backgrounds and the different cultures between the two schools",  "But, U of T should really think about making some progressive changes in how they go about admissions because I'm frequently seeing the same types of students coming out of that school", "I have come across MANY visible minorities from diverse backgrounds and marginalized communities tell me that they were accepted to almost every law school they had applied to in Ontario, but for U of T."

 

The above is literally all anecdotal, it also sums up the entire argument you made in your first post.

 

4. "just stated the obvious that I believe they could use more diversity, not just in terms of ethnicity of course, but also economic and social backgrounds"

 

I agree 100%, but I also believe (strongly) that Osgoode could endeavour to be more diverse as well, which is the point I am trying to make. I am not saying that U of T is getting it right, I just don't agree that U of T is the only school getting it wrong and Osgoode is doing really well, I personally think both schools have a lot to work on as far as increasing class diversity. 

 

5. "The difference is actually not marginal. I wasn't making up random numbers when I said there are at least 3x as many visible minorities at Osgoode from various backgrounds than at U of T law."

 

I would have to see your statistics, but I suspect that the differences we would see in this analysis would be 4 students at U of T from a certain background and 12 from Osgoode with the same background. Is that really diversity when you have 300 people coming in per year? Again, as an upper year who knows a lot of people who go to your school, Osgoode, just like U of T, is overwhelmingly middle class and overwhelmingly caucasian, BUT painting everyone at both schools with that brush does a lot of people a disservice. 

 

6. "Osgoode's admissions policy is very holistic"

 

So is U of T's. 

 

7. "There are a lot more mature students and aboriginals"

 

This is true, we don't do very well in this regard.

 

8. "There are many students here with GPA and LSAT scores that would have completely put them out of contention for UT law"

 

We have a lot more people than you would think with GPAs and LSATs that most would assume would put them out of contention for U of T law. Believe it or not we do have people with sub 3.0 cGPAs and sub 160 LSATs. We may not have a lot of them, but they are here, and again, they are here because U of T just like Osgoode employs holistic admission standards. 

 

9. " Osgoode gives careful consideration to Part B of the personal statement where applicants discuss any barriers and disadvantages they have experienced in their lives and post-secondary studies"

 

We also have some stories that will break your heart, if you would like PM me and I can send you some ultra vires editorials to that effect. These editorials also address some of the misconceptions about our student body, those that assume that everyone who attends our school comes from a privileged background.

 

10. "Whether you agree with my opinions and observations doesn't matter to me. I just don't like the snarky way you decided to bash my entire post."

 

You're right, I didn't much care for your post. I thought you painted U of T students with a broad brush of privilege, the same broad brush that applies to a large portion of your student body as well. I didn't think it was fair and I thought it needed to be addressed. If you want to post some statistics I would love to see them, but if you want to post things like "this is what I saw at a pub night" or "this is what some students who didn't get into U of T look like to me" I am going to have a problem with that. It isn't objective and it comes across as denigrating the student body at U of T. 


Edited by DenningsSkiTrip, 19 November 2016 - 03:16 PM.


#18 DarKnight

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Posted 19 November 2016 - 03:19 PM

 

[snip]

 

2. "stating my experience as an upper year student (should have been more clear on that)"

 

Yup, you sure should have been more clear on that:

 

"As a 1L, I've attended many of the combined U of T/Osgoode social events"

 

I have no idea what year you're in at this point to be honest with you. 

 

[snip]

 

:rolling:


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#19 Deadpool

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Posted 19 November 2016 - 04:00 PM

 

 

 

 

1. How do you know that there were only two combined UT/Osgoode events this year?

 

I know because I go to U of T, we have had two events of significance so far this year between the two schools, a pub night and an event hosted by a student. If you're referring to any other events they have been small in size and surely relate to clubs or student organizations or the like, and I stand by my statement, they would not give you sufficient sample size to justify your conclusions.

 

2. "stating my experience as an upper year student (should have been more clear on that)"

 

Yup, you sure should have been more clear on that:

 

"As a 1L, I've attended many of the combined U of T/Osgoode social events"

 

I have no idea what year you're in at this point to be honest with you. 

 

3. "I'm not stating mere anecdotal evidence."

 

"I've attended many of the combined U of T/Osgoode social events and have noticed the large differences in ethnic, economic and social backgrounds and the different cultures between the two schools",  "But, U of T should really think about making some progressive changes in how they go about admissions because I'm frequently seeing the same types of students coming out of that school", "I have come across MANY visible minorities from diverse backgrounds and marginalized communities tell me that they were accepted to almost every law school they had applied to in Ontario, but for U of T."

 

The above is literally all anecdotal, it also sums up the entire argument you made in your first post.

 

4. "just stated the obvious that I believe they could use more diversity, not just in terms of ethnicity of course, but also economic and social backgrounds"

 

I agree 100%, but I also believe (strongly) that Osgoode could endeavour to be more diverse as well, which is the point I am trying to make. I am not saying that U of T is getting it right, I just don't agree that U of T is the only school getting it wrong and Osgoode is doing really well, I personally think both schools have a lot to work on as far as increasing class diversity. 

 

5. "The difference is actually not marginal. I wasn't making up random numbers when I said there are at least 3x as many visible minorities at Osgoode from various backgrounds than at U of T law."

 

I would have to see your statistics, but I suspect that the differences we would see in this analysis would be 4 students at U of T from a certain background and 12 from Osgoode with the same background. Is that really diversity when you have 300 people coming in per year? Again, as an upper year who knows a lot of people who go to your school, Osgoode, just like U of T, is overwhelmingly middle class and overwhelmingly caucasian, BUT painting everyone at both schools with that brush does a lot of people a disservice. 

 

6. "Osgoode's admissions policy is very holistic"

 

So is U of T's. 

 

7. "There are a lot more mature students and aboriginals"

 

This is true, we don't do very well in this regard.

 

8. "There are many students here with GPA and LSAT scores that would have completely put them out of contention for UT law"

 

We have a lot more people than you would think with GPAs and LSATs that most would assume would put them out of contention for U of T law. Believe it or not we do have people with sub 3.0 cGPAs and sub 160 LSATs. We may not have a lot of them, but they are here, and again, they are here because U of T just like Osgoode employs holistic admission standards. 

 

9. " Osgoode gives careful consideration to Part B of the personal statement where applicants discuss any barriers and disadvantages they have experienced in their lives and post-secondary studies"

 

We also have some stories that will break your heart, if you would like PM me and I can send you some ultra vires editorials to that effect. These editorials also address some of the misconceptions about our student body, those that assume that everyone who attends our school comes from a privileged background.

 

10. "Whether you agree with my opinions and observations doesn't matter to me. I just don't like the snarky way you decided to bash my entire post."

 

You're right, I didn't much care for your post. I thought you painted U of T students with a broad brush of privilege, the same broad brush that applies to a large portion of your student body as well. I didn't think it was fair and I thought it needed to be addressed. If you want to post some statistics I would love to see them, but if you want to post things like "this is what I saw at a pub night" or "this is what some students who didn't get into U of T look like to me" I am going to have a problem with that. It isn't objective and it comes across as denigrating the student body at U of T. 

 

 

I actually agree with most of your points here. And, I apologize for the tone that I used in my post(s). You're right, it was not fair of me to paint the entire UT law student body in the same brush. I am a 2L, what I meant to say was that I had attended many UT/Osgoode combined events when I was in 1L. 

 

https://www.osgoode....urvey_Web-1.pdf   This was an optional survey so not everything is accurate but should be helpful. 



#20 Diplock

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Posted 19 November 2016 - 05:24 PM

I think that I worded it wrong. I shouldn't have said "superior" because, naturally, to feel superior to others in general is a problem of its own. I really just meant that to some, perhaps no longer being one of the elite students within a class would be a large enough blow to one's ego to onset some sort of mental health issue. However, you're probably entirely accurate. Realistically, your explanation serves to better encompass the entirety of a law students life and the problems attached to it. 

 

This conversation is going in a lot of directions at once, now. Your original question is a reasonable one, in my opinion, and I wouldn't be as certain as ProfReader (much as I respect his opinion) in rejecting it. But to my mind it's really a question of how you approach this topic. I consider it all part of the same question. Law school is, as noted, highly competitive, and students are under tremendous pressure. AND they are under pressure in an environment where inevitably many of them will not perform as well as they would like, and this inevitability is fundamental to the fact that all of these students are competing against one another. Is it explicitly some realization of their sudden "average-ness" that drives law students batty? Probably not. But I think it's all baked into the whole. It's just a different way of describing the same reality.



#21 Twoodsguy69

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Posted 19 November 2016 - 05:37 PM

This conversation is going in a lot of directions at once, now. Your original question is a reasonable one, in my opinion, and I wouldn't be as certain as ProfReader (much as I respect his opinion) in rejecting it. But to my mind it's really a question of how you approach this topic. I consider it all part of the same question. Law school is, as noted, highly competitive, and students are under tremendous pressure. AND they are under pressure in an environment where inevitably many of them will not perform as well as they would like, and this inevitability is fundamental to the fact that all of these students are competing against one another. Is it explicitly some realization of their sudden "average-ness" that drives law students batty? Probably not. But I think it's all baked into the whole. It's just a different way of describing the same reality.

 

There are-as I see it-obvious reasons for the difficulty of law school and all other graduate programs alike. The intention is, among other things, to train the professionals and leaders of the future who will obviously need a strong work-ethic and whatnot. Not to mention the element of competition. However, I really don't agree with the sad reality that any schooling should be so difficult that it quite literally drives people crazy. I mean, does anyone here believe that this country couldn't produce just as good, if not better, legal professionals without making students work so hard and fear so much that they can't even think about their future without wanting to break down if things don't go as planned and they can't excel past the other 99.9%? Obviously that doesn't apply to everyone. Plenty of people really enjoy law school and that's awesome. But, I think we could do with lawyers who aren't already breaking down before they even begin the real work. 



#22 Diplock

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Posted 19 November 2016 - 05:42 PM

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You know something? All this talk of the insufficiently diverse class at U of T ... AND/OR Osgoode! ... makes me want to ask a very basic question. We live in a country where less than 20% of the population is a visible minority, as of 2011. That number is surely higher now, and it's been climbing for some time and will continue to climb. Which is absolutely not a problem for me or for just about anyone I know. But right now it's in the low 20% range, to be reasonable about it. So based on having that number right in front of your face, just how much over-representation of visible minorities in law school will satisfy you? How much is enough? And before you answer, please remember that as a logical necessity, you require a similar amount of under-representation of white students. There's no getting away from that. Here are some stats:

 

https://en.wikipedia...anada#Ethnicity

 

For all this bullshit everyone is spewing about concern for the poor, under-privileged students out there, and how these nasty elite schools aren't catering sufficiently to them, you all have immensely specific ideas of what privilege and lack of privilege looks like. You know who has a fuck of a hard time accessing higher education and pursuing it as far as graduate and professional schools? Kids from rural areas. And you know what else is true about kids from rural areas in Canada? They are overwhelmingly white. I've seen the numbers in relation to post-secondary education in general. I haven't seen them specific to law school. But I'm 100% confident in my diagnosis of the conditions at play and while I'm not going to cite a study you are all intelligent people who can engage common sense. The reason we already have an over-representation (an over-representation) of visible minority students in law school is because law students are being drawn disproportionately from urban centres with high immigrant populations, and that over-representation is not pushing out children who come from historical privilege. It's coming off the backs of poor white kids from the middle of fucking nowhere who can barely even imagine what a law school looks like, much less dream about attending one at any point in their lives.

 

This is the problem with acknowledging class as an identity. This is the problem with talking about economic privilege. You are all so certain that lack of privilege looks like being a child of immigrant parents living in the middle of a city that you lose the ability to think along other vectors. The economic benefits of living in a city alone are huge. Think of everything you have access to here, and largely for free. Libraries, cultural institutions, access to schools and ideas and things around you that make those experiences real to you. It's hard to attend any high school in the GTA and not be taken regularly to a university while you're a teenager. You see these places. They exist to you. What do you think happens with kids who grow up 100 km away from any institution of higher learning?

 

Honestly. I know your intentions are good. But some days, I'm sick of the lot of you. You are smart, educated people, and you are capable of opening up your eyes and not being so ignorant about things you can't see. You're all probably wondering why anyone voted for Donald Trump and how that terrifying, miserable mother fucker got elected. And then you're capable of posting shit like this, which is all rooted in the fundamental and basic assumption that poor white kids don't really matter, because you'd rather see the children of immigrants in your universities, even far beyond the point where they are already grossly over-represented in real terms. And you wonder why anyone voted for Trump.


Edited by Diplock, 19 November 2016 - 05:46 PM.

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#23 pzabbythesecond

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Posted 19 November 2016 - 06:05 PM

You know something? All this talk of the insufficiently diverse class at U of T ... AND/OR Osgoode! ... makes me want to ask a very basic question. We live in a country where less than 20% of the population is a visible minority, as of 2011. That number is surely higher now, and it's been climbing for some time and will continue to climb. Which is absolutely not a problem for me or for just about anyone I know. But right now it's in the low 20% range, to be reasonable about it. So based on having that number right in front of your face, just how much over-representation of visible minorities in law school will satisfy you? How much is enough? And before you answer, please remember that as a logical necessity, you require a similar amount of under-representation of white students. There's no getting away from that. Here are some stats:

https://en.wikipedia...anada#Ethnicity

For all this bullshit everyone is spewing about concern for the poor, under-privileged students out there, and how these nasty elite schools aren't catering sufficiently to them, you all have immensely specific ideas of what privilege and lack of privilege looks like. You know who has a fuck of a hard time accessing higher education and pursuing it as far as graduate and professional schools? Kids from rural areas. And you know what else is true about kids from rural areas in Canada? They are overwhelmingly white. I've seen the numbers in relation to post-secondary education in general. I haven't seen them specific to law school. But I'm 100% confident in my diagnosis of the conditions at play and while I'm not going to cite a study you are all intelligent people who can engage common sense. The reason we already have an over-representation (an over-representation) of visible minority students in law school is because law students are being drawn disproportionately from urban centres with high immigrant populations, and that over-representation is not pushing out children who come from historical privilege. It's coming off the backs of poor white kids from the middle of fucking nowhere who can barely even imagine what a law school looks like, much less dream about attending one at any point in their lives.

This is the problem with acknowledging class as an identity. This is the problem with talking about economic privilege. You are all so certain that lack of privilege looks like being a child of immigrant parents living in the middle of a city that you lose the ability to think along other vectors. The economic benefits of living in a city alone are huge. Think of everything you have access to here, and largely for free. Libraries, cultural institutions, access to schools and ideas and things around you that make those experiences real to you. It's hard to attend any high school in the GTA and not be taken regularly to a university while you're a teenager. You see these places. They exist to you. What do you think happens with kids who grow up 100 km away from any institution of higher learning?

Honestly. I know your intentions are good. But some days, I'm sick of the lot of you. You are smart, educated people, and you are capable of opening up your eyes and not being so ignorant about things you can't see. You're all probably wondering why anyone voted for Donald Trump and how that terrifying, miserable mother fucker got elected. And then you're capable of posting shit like this, which is all rooted in the fundamental and basic assumption that poor white kids don't really matter, because you'd rather see the children of immigrants in your universities, even far beyond the point where they are already grossly over-represented in real terms. And you wonder why anyone voted for Trump.


Can I nominate this post for post of the year? Is that/can we make that a thing?
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#24 Esper

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Posted 19 November 2016 - 07:36 PM

You know something? All this talk of the insufficiently diverse class at U of T ... AND/OR Osgoode! ... makes me want to ask a very basic question. We live in a country where less than 20% of the population is a visible minority, as of 2011. That number is surely higher now, and it's been climbing for some time and will continue to climb. Which is absolutely not a problem for me or for just about anyone I know. But right now it's in the low 20% range, to be reasonable about it. So based on having that number right in front of your face, just how much over-representation of visible minorities in law school will satisfy you? How much is enough? And before you answer, please remember that as a logical necessity, you require a similar amount of under-representation of white students. There's no getting away from that. Here are some stats:

 

https://en.wikipedia...anada#Ethnicity

 

For all this bullshit everyone is spewing about concern for the poor, under-privileged students out there, and how these nasty elite schools aren't catering sufficiently to them, you all have immensely specific ideas of what privilege and lack of privilege looks like. You know who has a fuck of a hard time accessing higher education and pursuing it as far as graduate and professional schools? Kids from rural areas. And you know what else is true about kids from rural areas in Canada? They are overwhelmingly white. I've seen the numbers in relation to post-secondary education in general. I haven't seen them specific to law school. But I'm 100% confident in my diagnosis of the conditions at play and while I'm not going to cite a study you are all intelligent people who can engage common sense. The reason we already have an over-representation (an over-representation) of visible minority students in law school is because law students are being drawn disproportionately from urban centres with high immigrant populations, and that over-representation is not pushing out children who come from historical privilege. It's coming off the backs of poor white kids from the middle of fucking nowhere who can barely even imagine what a law school looks like, much less dream about attending one at any point in their lives.

 

This is the problem with acknowledging class as an identity. This is the problem with talking about economic privilege. You are all so certain that lack of privilege looks like being a child of immigrant parents living in the middle of a city that you lose the ability to think along other vectors. The economic benefits of living in a city alone are huge. Think of everything you have access to here, and largely for free. Libraries, cultural institutions, access to schools and ideas and things around you that make those experiences real to you. It's hard to attend any high school in the GTA and not be taken regularly to a university while you're a teenager. You see these places. They exist to you. What do you think happens with kids who grow up 100 km away from any institution of higher learning?

 

Honestly. I know your intentions are good. But some days, I'm sick of the lot of you. You are smart, educated people, and you are capable of opening up your eyes and not being so ignorant about things you can't see. You're all probably wondering why anyone voted for Donald Trump and how that terrifying, miserable mother fucker got elected. And then you're capable of posting shit like this, which is all rooted in the fundamental and basic assumption that poor white kids don't really matter, because you'd rather see the children of immigrants in your universities, even far beyond the point where they are already grossly over-represented in real terms. And you wonder why anyone voted for Trump.

 

I guess the pendulum was always going to shift.

 

I rarely disagree with you, but I don’t know what to make of your post. It swings dangerously close to strawmanning, and mixes up so many different things (systemic discrimination, privilege, “white privilege,” immigration, moral/cultural relativism, social status, social inadequacy) in the law school student profile discussion that I don’t even know what angle to approach it from. Or maybe I’m mixing it up because I can’t talk intelligently about these issues.

 

I mean sure, if you want to talk about how tough it is for Casey Baker from Hill Spring, why stop there? Why not talk about Aputik Arngak from Eskasoni?

 

What I get from your post is that Bakari Appiah from Toronto has no right to feel angry that his 50 y-o Engineer dad works as a janitor in a factory or taxi driver to make ends meet, that his actuary mom holds a high-school level job, and that his name impairs his professional development. And why? Because he can go to a library for free, while Casey can’t? Surely that cannot be what you mean?

 

You then go on to make a pretty significant claim that white rural kids don’t have access to post-secondary education, while expressly stopping short of backing it up, then proceeded to veneer the argument under “common sense.” I dispute that reasoning completely. You don’t even show that there has been any outcry from rural kids because they feel discriminated against. How do you even know that Casey isn't content where he is? Heck, our very Uriel is a Casey. And even if I were to accept your reasoning, the fact of the matter is that the only thing separating Casey and Bakari is transport, both literally and figuratively (and for the sake of argument, I’ll let you guess how much separates Casey and Aputik).

If you’re going to suggest that Bakari will become a law student while Casey will be rejected, then sure, but how is that Bakari’s fault? Holding an argument like that makes it seem as though Casey was robbed of his spot by an undeserving candidate. I disagree. Instead, why not ask the school to do a better outreach job, or better yet, to enforce a geographic representation policy just as strictly as it seems to be enforcing national ethnic distribution representation? In other words, instead of making this about Bakari vs Casey, why not make it about Casey vs Beverly Cullen from York Mills?

 

Trump was elected because the pendulum had shifted. Introspection had to make way for scapegoating. Here, too, it appears our pendulum is beginning to shift, and we, too, will have our own Trump very soon. 


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#25 Diplock

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Posted 19 November 2016 - 08:03 PM

If I had the studies at hand, I'd provide them. Years ago I saw numbers and academic work regarding the difficulty of attending (or even aspiring to) higher education from a rural background. It was aimed at undergraduate admissions but I'm satisfied beyond doubt it applies equally to professional schools. I'm aware that I'm hanging it out there and I'll live with that. I'm only willing to do so much research in the cause of an Internet debate. But if someone wants to discount my points on that basis, it's fair.

 

I'm really not trying to set up a direct competition. I guess I'm more pointing out both the inevitability of direct competition and also the impossibility (even the absurdity) of trying to handicap that competition fairly. Here's where I agree with Esper completely. Trying to say that X got Y's spot on some unfair basis invokes so many assumptions and variables and impossible-to-gauge comparisons that it rapidly becomes nonsense. It happens all the time when we start to compare privilege. Is it better to be a gay white male raised in economic privilege by educated parents but legally blind, or a visible minority female who was sexually abused as a child but is otherwise physically fit and a talented athlete? Which is an easier path in life? Jebus - who the hell could ever answer a question like that? And yet ... and yet ... we implicitly invoke those contrasts all the time. Any time we say "there isn't enough X, and there's too much Y" we are trying to handicap the competition. We're trying to establish the points where the playing field has become too uneven.

 

The point of my post wasn't to argue definitively that rural kids are getting screwed out of their spots in schools by unknowingly privileged children from urban immigrant families. If I made that argument I'd be saying that I have sufficient insight to actually add up all the privilege and somehow establish a hierarchy. And that's fucking insane. Let's at least agree on that much. What I am saying, however, is that this thread introduced all kinds of blithe assumptions and gross generalities and the assumption from others that they have the calculus, and I deny that emphatically. I pointed out some ways in which the factors they are invoking are grossly, unforgivably lacking. Esper introduced some ways in which my own model is grossly lacking in reply. I don't deny it.

 

So where does that leave us? We can't ignore the topic of privilege. If we do that, we end up with 95% white men and some idiot comes along, sounding dangerously close to what I've just said with the "who the hell knows?" argument and suggests we just leave it alone because it's all so impossible. At the same time, we need to all be far less certain than we seem to be, sometimes. And that's what really set me off. This topic started with the suggestion that U of T is 62% white, turned in the direction of disagreeing just how much U of T deserves to be excoriated for that gross failure of diversity (not if, just how much), then involved some chest thumping about how Osgoode has even more diversity, then raised the question of whether Osgoode has enough also ... and no one even questioned the incredible assumptions at work until I did. I'm glad I did. Doesn't mean I have the rest of the answers. Never claimed to.

 

As for the politics ... yeah. My class politics compels me to say one further thing. Economic privilege is incredibly real, and yet so often denied or sidelined in discussion, and subsumed in discussion of race and other forms of privilege. The OP did exactly that, invoking a need for racial diversity and then moving straight to points about how lack of resources will prevent certain students from accessing school. So, my question in return - are we only worried about poor immigrants, poor visible minorities, or poor kids generally? There's plenty of poor white kids. Do they deserve the same concern?

 

Comedy is a great window, sometimes. There's a joke that various comedians have riffed off successfully, but the most recent example was Tom Hanks' remarkably sympathetic portrayal of a Trump supporter on SNL's Black Jeopardy. The usual joke in Black Jeopardy is that non-black contestants don't "get it." But Hanks' poor white character gets it perfectly. Why? Because many things that Americans think come from being black actually come from being poor. No question that black Americans suffer from this disproportionately. But the idea that if only America corrected its racism things would be better, even though economic disparity is eating that country alive ... that idea is corrosive. Anyway, I've said way too much.

 


Edited by Diplock, 19 November 2016 - 08:08 PM.

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