Images in a slideshow at the Law School’s May 18 dinner for graduating students marred the occasion, having provoked strong reactions from Law School deans and students. During the showing of the student-produced slideshowwhich consisted of pictures students had submitted to share memories of their years at the Law Schooltwo images were of particular concern for their offensive nature.
The offending images depicted a white male student at a private Halloween party shown in blackface makeup in order to look like Janet Jackson. According to Eleanor Arnold, dean of students in the Law School, many of the people present were offended by the photographs.
Shortly after the dinner, Arnold sent an e-mail to the students and faculty of the Law School stressing that the black-face photographs were in fact anomalies, and that preventive measures would be taken to ensure such offensive acts do not occur in the future. The e-mail also explained that the students who had put together the slideshow had done so in haste and had simply not looked closely enough at all the photographs before putting them in the slide show. These students claim that had they looked more closely at the photographs and realized exactly what was being depicted, they would not have included them in the slideshow. Arnold’s e-mail continued by saying that the Law School will remain committed to ensuring that such offensive acts do not happen again, and that this one incident is not reflective of the general nature of the Law School or the student body.