← Previous Post: | Next Post:


The Unfortunate Incident at the Barrister’s Ball.

The Charleston School of Law in South Carolina held a party at which people misbehaved. That much seems clear.

The location was an aquarium. Preliminary reports indicate that a few of the pissed pissed in the otter tank.

Other, more lurid, behaviors are rumored. A spokeperson for the student body sent out to the school the following badly written email about it all:

I am going to take a minute to address the situation that has occurred today. It is regrettable that there is a situation that has occurred where someone decided to tell a news outlet about unsubstantiated rumors of what occurred at our Barrister’s Ball. I can say that these statements were rumors and that no one from the legislative community was assaulted nor was there a physical altercation of any sort between a legislator and a student. I urge anyone who says otherwise to come forward with details of such conduct. Additionally, there were no sexual relations between people at the Barrister’s Ball even though many of us heard something to the contrary. Both of these rumors were dealt with in a meeting with security for the event that occurred the Monday after the event. I can state with one hundred percent certainty that what you have read on the Internet is not true.

I can also tell you that action was taken immediately after the event between the parties involved, the administration and myself. These actions have however not been made public to the students based on the fact that we did not want to post until everything was finalized. An investigation was conducted and punishment has been considered by the administration. The SBA was planning on releasing today as part of the agenda that at our meeting this week we plan to address this situation. I urge each and every one of the students who care about this situation to attend. At the meeting we will be having a public apology by each of the individuals involved, as well as a release of the details concerning punishment…

Huh? Work your way through the thicket of words here to discover that the writer both alleges nothing happened and talks darkly of punishments and apologies. Otter tank pissing, UD gathers, did incontrovertibly take place, but you wouldn’t know it from this Kafkaesque missive, with its four uses of the word occurred and four uses of the word situation. The writer’s paragraphs contain an otter-tank full of problems — passive voice, vagueness, euphemism, redundancy…

UD doesn’t have her heart set either way on, er, sexual relations between people having taken place in aquarium toilet stalls. She merely reminds you that drunkards getting excited and doing each other in the loo is otterly routine.

Margaret Soltan, April 24, 2009 6:10AM
Posted in: kind of a little weird

Trackback URL for this post:

5 Responses to “The Unfortunate Incident at the Barrister’s Ball.”

  1. francofou Says:

    The P. P. (Pun Police) is flooded with reports of this kind of offense, but will in your case (you’re in our files) refrain from leaking it to the authorities, not wishing to lift the lid on other transgressions. Warmest wishes.

  2. theprofessor Says:

    Otter tanks! God, I knew these professional schools got way cooler stuff than the humanities types, but geez. All we got were roaches and silverfish, sans tanks.

  3. Bonzo Says:

    I love the expression: "the situation that has occurred."

    Variations include the following, out of the mouth of a Dean at Minnesota with respect to a double-dipping incident:

    "Obviously, the situation that happened to Francois Sainfort and Julie Jacko has not been a positive one for us," Finnegan said.

    Bill Gleason, U of Minnesota

  4. Dave Stone Says:

    The memo is SO bad that it almost seems deliberately designed to NOT squelch the lurid rumors. In terms of style and genre, it’s very much like the Sunday-morning awards of party points for particularly debased behavior back in my wilder college days.

    You know, something along the lines of "Please ignore, do not discuss, and do not relay the rumors that almost all of you have heard that I ruined the Swedish triplets for other men in a six-hour sex marathon after I won the underground mixed-martial-arts tournament."

    And from the standpoint of logic, how can the writer so confidently assert that no sexual relations took place? Can’t prove a negative.

  5. University Diaries » Zero Dark Thirty. Says:

    […] And, as law schools across the country begin to enjoy the synergy of the ABA’s policy of accrediting anything that moves, and the dramatic shrinkage of the job market, there’s this from the Charleston School of Law (famed for the otter tank pissing incident): […]

Comment on this Entry

Latest UD posts at IHE