SBA washes its hands of the Patty O

[Bumped up a bit. -ed.]

An update on the Patty O’Herald kerfuffle from last semester… this morning, we got this e-mail from the SBA:

Last semester, the Patty O’Herald took a different tone than it has in the last two years, departing from its more “news and information” nature to take a “satirical” look at life at NDLS. A number of the articles published in the Patty O’ last semester offended members of the student body, faculty, and administration. The SBA Board took this matter under advisement and closely evaluated the role that the SBA should play in publishing a wholly satirical newsletter. The SBA Board is a governing body, and as such it exists to represent the interests of every member of the NDLS student body. The Board does not believe that this job includes publishing satire. Therefore, the SBA Board has voted to remove the position of Patty O’ editor from the Board. In so doing, the SBA encourages the current editor…to begin publishing the Patty O’ as an independent newsletter. The SBA will begin to publish a weekly update that will be posted in the bathroom stalls and will provide law school news and information. As soon as the Patty O’ is an “unofficial publication” (to subsequently become a “student media publication” per the Du Lac Code), it will be reviewed for SBA funding similar to the manner in which all other law school organizations receive student funding.

The big unanswered question, based on that e-mail, is whether the newly “unofficial” Patty O will be able to keep posting in the bathrooms.

Incidentally, I have a copy of the resolution that BLSA passed condemning last semester’s controversial “P-Dizzle” article. I’ve been meaning to blog the text of the resolution, but haven’t gotten around to it. Now that this controversy is back on everyone’s radar again, I’ll try to type it up soon and post it here.

UPDATE: It should be noted that the first sentence of the SBA’s e-mail — “Last semester, the Patty O’Herald took a different tone than it has in the last two years, departing from its more ‘news and information’ nature to take a ‘satirical’ look at life at NDLS” — is arguably false, or at least misleading. The Patty O’Herald has always been a satirical newspaper, at least since I’ve been here (and I remembering seeing it, and thinking it was funny, when I visited in fall of 2003 as well). In prior years, it had some elements of “news and information,” moreso than this year, but it was still primarily satire, as indeed its title (a play on the name of the law school’s dean, Patty O’Hara) indicates. What set the Patty O apart in fall 2006 wasn’t that it suddenly became satirical, but that the satire became edgier, more biting, arguably more offensive, and in many cases at least, quite a bit funnier.

16 Responses to “SBA washes its hands of the Patty O”

  1. Brendan Loy says:

    In case anyone can’t tell, I’m trying to keep the names of individual students involved in this controversy (the SBA president, the Patty O editor, etc.) off the blog, unless they choose to share them, because I don’t want to be responsible for this silly controversy coming back to bite anyone in the ass via a Google search or whatever, years down the road. It’s one thing to be identified by name in a mass e-mail to your fellow law students; it’s quite another thing to be identified permanently on the Web, for all the world (not just all of NDLS) to see. Not that I think anyone involved in this has anything to be ashamed of, mind you, I’m just doing this as a courtesy to those students. They can feel free to identify themselves if they want, obviously, but otherwise I would ask commenters to respect my wishes on this.

  2. an insider. says:

    Allowing student groups to post in the bathroom would be against SBA policy. This policy was put in place after our 1L year and the battle over the 100 fetus pictures we had to see on a daily basis. SO…unless an exception is carved out, the answer is most likely no.

  3. NDLS2006 says:

    That’s a shame. The satirical bent of the Patty O’ isn’t new; it was always intended to be that way. Just this was the first year in a long time that it was actually funny. Past editors have been entirely unfunny (like my 2L year when some woman kept publishing alternate lyrics to Jessica Simpson and Britney Spears songs). I thought the BLSA article was hysterical, though I imagine my specialized knowledge of lumber was probably a big factor.

  4. NDLS 2007 says:

    Of course they do away with the only bright spot in that dungeon that is NDLS, save you wonderful people. :)

    By the way, wasn’t there Federalist Society stuff posted ALL OVER the bathrooms for the last three weeks? What’s with the double standard? Oh yeah, a certain someone is a Fed. Soc. member (possibly officer or ex-officer?).

  5. Angrier and Angrier says:

    Watch out, Joe Mama! The Cops are onto your and Alasdair’s mother…

  6. Brian Foster says:

    Barbri has been in the bathrooms too.

    I’m not sure the posting restrictions generated by the fetus flap extend to the bathrooms — or if they did once, clearly they no longer do. Or maybe there was just lax enforcement. Basically I have no idea.

  7. Another NDLS-er says:

    Good argument–they did it, so we can too!

  8. NDLS2006 says:

    I thought the NDLS Fetus Picture Act applied only to the refrigerator.

  9. Rebecca Loy says:

    EW dude. I’m all about saving babies and everything, but nobody wants to stare at a picture of a fetus when they’re on the crapper.

  10. insider again says:

    Lax enforcement regarding fed soc…but eventually they were taken down. Also, Barbri/PMBR are not student groups.

  11. Brendan Loy says:

    So if the Patty O were published by non-students, it could be distributed more widely? Heh.

    As I said to Kristin earlier, “If they try to put the Patty O up in the bathrooms, it’ll be Fetusgate all over again.”

  12. Derek says:

    Nice Brendan, it must be Law School Controversy Day.

    I’d take issue with your characterization that “‘Last semester, the Patty O’Herald took a different tone than it has in the last two years, departing from its more “news and information” nature to take a ‘satirical’ look at life at NDLS’ — is, in point of fact, false.” I think your subsequent qualification is correct: “In prior years, it had some elements of ‘news and information,’ moreso than this year, but it was still primarily satire, as indeed its title.” To be frank, this year has had no, “news and information” in it. I don’t think that’s a bad thing, because I find the “Monday Morning Update” e-mails much more helpful, informative, and complete than the Patty O’ ever was in terms of “news and information.” That said, at least ostensibly the purpose of the Patty O’ was to keep abreast of law school events, and include a touch of humor where appropriate as well. Last year, it was about 50-50 news-satire. This year, it’s 0-100. I’m sure it’s primarily a post hoc rationalization, but it’s not, I would contend, “in point of fact, false.”

  13. Brendan Loy says:

    Fair point, Derek. I think I’ll change the wording to “is arguably false.”

  14. bored 2L says:

    My 2 cents: The first few issues of the 100% satire Patty O were funny, but it quickly lost steam.

    To me the only offensive thing about that article was that the author was so naive that he didn’t realize that the lame jokes were not worth the obvious risk of offending others with racial material.

  15. NDLS '03 says:

    The Patty O’Herald was originally a satirical publication. I know this because one of my classmates created the publication as a joke and then served as its sole author at the beginning. News and information was sometimes included, but only if it was to provide info on events like the fake New Year’s ball, Mardi Gras or those parties that occur every 10 days near the end of the year.

    If the O’Herald was in fact a source of news and information rather than satire, then the O’Herald died before this decision was handed down.

    Great site BTW

  16. fellow procrastinator says:

    I liked it better last year; it was funny without being offensive.