BY MARTIN MCGREGOR, OUTGOING LSS PRESIDENT
As UBC Law’s first year at Allard Hall draws to a close, I am struck by the amount of change, and of growth, that we have all experienced.
We started September barely having access to classrooms, with no library, and with no access to any of the upper floors. Many of us will remember the old library wall crashing perilously close to our “front entrance.” Since that first week we have made it our own. We’ve marked up the walls, we’ve kicked the infinitely-rattling metal panels, and much to the chagrin of the library staff, we’ve left crumbs all over the library carpets. We’ve even used the showers (I’ll leave that to your imagination.)
We may complain about certain things that still need attention like no cell reception, urinals for giants and the lack of decent food or coffee within reach. But we know that the value of the building is not measured by its physical comforts. Faculty now roam the same halls, delighting us with donuts and conversations about tax. The staff are no longer segregated into the portables, and the research centers have their signs up all over so we now at least know the names of the centers and lounges, even if we have no idea what they research. And the students congregate on couches, sharing thoughts on anything other than what was covered in class. 1Ls even show up on Mondays to study. A true community is growing in Allard Hall.
The changes, and the growth, do not end with the building, or even with the UBC Law community. I can see changes in each person. Since September, the starry, eager eyes of the 1Ls have become glassy, tired, and yearning for the freedom of summer. Since September, the 2Ls have asserted their place in the law student community, shifting in while the 3Ls check-out – I mean, shift-out. And the eyes of the 3Ls have started to take on a bittersweet glow, as we begin already looking back with nostalgia on the days of law school, knowing that it’s going to be so much harder to skip a day of articling than it was to skip class.
Each of us has grown as a person, has had their horizons expanded, and has learned from those we share these walls with. Since September, we have forged relationships that will last a lifetime like bonds with professors and mentors; collaborative relationships with classmates and future colleagues; and true friendships, built on a shared experience, no matter where we came from before.
If the Constitution is a “living tree,” Allard Hall has living walls – walls that will bring together future iterations of the community that we have built here at UBC Law. As we sought to do this year, the future LSS Presidents and student leaders will do their parts to promote inclusion, improve student life, increase student–faculty exchange, and enhance our communities. Yet to steal a phrase: it takes a village to raise a community. The community we have results from all of the interactions among all of us in the law school.
The future that awaits us as we graduate is brighter because of this community. That is, as long as no one gets a hold of Trike Race photos.