Milbank To Harvard Law SJWs: You Blew It

Are you entitled to believe anything you want to believe, special Harvard Law students? Sure. Why not? Believe away, kids. But you are not entitled to have someone else pay for it.  And that cost HLS $250,000 in annual student activities funding.

We have a confession to make. We, Harvard Law School’s Justice for Palestine (JFP), are the organization responsible for the highly controversial pizza order that cost the law school (and its students) an annual $250,000 in funding for student activities.

For the uninitiated, the “Milbank Tweed Student Conference Fund” (or Milbank Fund, named after the multinational law firm that endowed it), was established in 2012 to support the activities of student-run organizations at Harvard Law School.

Milbank’s contribution is, indeed, exceptionally generous. Oops. I meant, “was.”

In our defense, we couldn’t have possibly foreseen how our actions would come to affect the rest of the campus community. On the eve of our first-ever Milbank-sponsored speaker event, titled “The Palestine Exception to Free Speech: A Movement Under Attack”, the only thing we were really concerned about was what type of food to order for our fellow classmates. Like many others, we are an organization that recognizes the value of quality food as a major key to the success of any lunch talk.

No, they were not having pizzas delivered to hungry Palestinians. It was for their own benefit, to entice hungry students to tolerate their program for free pizza. Having once eaten dinner at a Hare Krishna temple in Amsterdam when the money ran dry, I can understand it.

Even though we had only used Milbank’s money for the pizza (our speakers, two civil rights attorneys and an undergraduate student, graciously offered their time at no additional cost to the school), we held up our end of the deal by including, in all promotional e-mails and at the bottom of the event’s official Facebook page, some iteration of the following sentence: “This event is brought to you by the generous support of Milbank LLP.”

Okay, so Milbank’s generosity had a catch to it. Still, they didn’t have to donate. While the rule was that any group enjoying Milbank’s largesse had to show a little gratitude, Milbank wanted nothing to do with this group, and demanded that its name be removed.  Even though it was post hoc, the group almost agreed. Almost.

In exchange for a written guarantee that JFP’s future funding (be it from Milbank or any other source) would not be adversely affected, we agreed to remove the sentence from the Facebook event page. Though that guarantee was promised to us, we never got it.

Yes, you read that right.  This is what entitlement looks like in the minds of Harvard Law School students of the social justice persuasion.  And Milbank, because it’s a mean old law firm, plus it was giving the friggin’ money, was not about to negotiate with this future master of the universe.

Turns out, that’s because our request was directly incompatible with what Milbank was demanding. Administrators would later reveal that Milbank had gone so far as to demand that JFP’s Milbank funding be rescinded completely. According to Dean Minow, this was not a demand her administration could honor, so Milbank decided to pull out all of its annual $250,000 in student activity funding as a result of her administration’s “principled stance” in support of our right to speak openly and honestly about Palestine.

Milbank’s demand put Dean Martha Minow in a terrible quandary. Either accept the terms of the donation, and suffer Melissa Click screaming at her from Harvard Yard, or take the “principled stance” of acquiescing to every snowflake’s right to pizza.

Moving forward, Harvard Law School should take efforts to minimize the potential for meddling from its donor overlords.

This is an incredibly easy thing to accomplish. Ask your mommy and daddy to put up a quarter mil every year so you can indulge your entitlement. Problem solved.

19 comments on “Milbank To Harvard Law SJWs: You Blew It

  1. dm

    Maybe Harvard can shift some of that Blue Book money to the Student Conference Fund. What’s a quarter mil between chums.

  2. OEH

    You seem to be suggesting that it would be the practical thing to do for Harvard to accept the requirements and take the money. But I’m not so sure.

    Imagine what the HLS administration would think of the possibility of becoming known in the media as the no-pizza-money-if-you-talk-about-Palestine school. The implications for their reputation (and funding) could be horrific. It may well be safer to just let this one donor go.

    It’s probably inaccurate to call it a principled stance, though.

    1. SHG Post author

      I don’t “seem to be suggesting” anything. You (and any other reader) will read this through your own prism, but don’t try to lay that on me. That’s how your mind filters it.

      What I am saying is that when someone gives money, they get to call the tune. They do not need the approval of entitled little shits.

      1. Jay

        I think everyone is well enough aware of your feelings about Harvard students, it’s probably not necessary to start spinning everything that occurs there to prop up your narrative. Usually your posts are spot on, but I don’t think Harvard or any institute of education that doesn’t openly adopt a particular message (and here, deciding to hate Palestine would clearly be a bad call) wants money from a bigot. 250 grand may sound like a lot to you, but I would imagine Harvard will have someone replace that in a heartbeat. Perhaps someone from the Middle East. I hear folks there have a lot of money.

        1. SHG Post author

          Don’t be silly, Jay. My posts are only spot on when you agree with them. Otherwise, I’m spinning to prop up my narrative. Don’t you get it?

        2. David M.

          Jay, I hope this won’t come off as condescending or, heaven forfend, (Ger)mansplaining, but what the fuck are you talking about “spinning everything”?

          It’s all right there. Harvard Maoists decide they’d rather have a pro-Palestine pizza party and the opportunity to throw a hissy fit in the Law Record than quarter mil in evil Zionist funding. Whether you think that’s brave or moronic depends on your politics, but don’t pretend like this is complicated or there’s trickery afoot.

      2. EH

        “What I am saying is that when someone gives money, they get to call the tune.”

        If you are an employee, the NLRB protects your right to sing a variety of tunes–insulting or not, desired or not–and you am still entitled to make someone give you their money.

        If you are a professor, you can say whatever the hell you want and you still get paid. Because (a) academic freedom; and (b) everything, conveniently, is considered “academic”.

        So I an wholly unsurprised that a bunch of students raised to support that sort of culture will end up believing that they, too, are entitled to other people’s money.

            1. Mort

              You really thought that?

              Sure doesn’t seem like it, judging from your other comments about law school students…

  3. Marc R

    So Milbank throws $250K at HLS for their student activities however Prof Minow disburses it; entertainment law and eggplant parm, criminal evidence and those punch bowls from the Kong bar, and anti-semites and pizza. Milbank says if you give the palis pizza then we pull all our money. And Minow had the chutzpah to tell Milbank to stuff it and harm all the other student group? This is instead of the student group being self-funded or finding a like-minded donor.

    I’m assuming that because of:
    “Turns out, that’s because our request was directly incompatible with what Milbank was demanding. Administrators would later reveal that Milbank had gone so far as to demand that JFP’s Milbank funding be rescinded completely.”

    Now in the real world donors make conditions attach to the donations all the time. Alumni giving money for the weight room or the law library to get funds with specific instructions not to allocate it elsewhere. I’m further assuming Milbank must have had some kind of contractual understanding with HLS for where the funds go otherwise they couldn’t pull the $250K…unless the “pulling funds” is strictly in regard to agreements for future donations.

    TL;DR
    Milbank’s donation is based upon oral or written contract and not the whims of the student groups. The first amendment right goes to Milbank as it’s their money; the student groups have no first amendment claim to a private party’s desires to spend money only as they wish.

    1. Rendall

      As I understand it, they did not threaten to pull the money right away. Milbank asked JFP to remove its name from promotional materials, and JFP in turn required assurances in writing that Milbank would continue to fund them, or something. From where it all went the way of any Greek tragedy; the initial scene set, the characters played their roles, the closing act following inexorably from first conditions.

  4. Mike G.

    Having once eaten dinner at a Hare Krishna temple in Amsterdam when the money ran dry, I can understand it.

    I feel your pain, except in my case, it was a LDS missionary kitchen. The food was actually pretty good.

  5. sam

    Harvard (not just the law school, but university-wide) could have a policy similar to my own former university regarding student group funding (it’s pretty standard) – namely that as long as the student group meets some basic set of criteria and files all the paperwork by a certain date in the semester, they’re entitled to access to student activity funding on an equal footing with all other student groups. Policies set up in order to avoid getting into arguments about whether one group’s “purpose” is more valid than another.

    If such a policy existed, it may have actually been “impossible” for the school to acquiesce to Milbank’s request without ending up in violation. That would be my best guess as to why they returned all of the money instead.

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