Dean for a Day

Dean for a Day Winning Submission

Congratulations to JD Student Andrea Hill, winner of the 2012 Dean for a Day contest. She will trade places with Dean Lorne Sossin on Monday, February 13 and rule Osgoode for the day. Here is her winning submission:

My Dean for a Day ideas are focused on improving the Osgoode student and visitor experience, as well as enhancing the school’s broader public image. Osgoode is a wonderful school, but sometimes students are in the best position to notice potential improvements. My plan is comprised of short-, medium-, and long-term solutions to make Osgoode even better for staff, students, and guests.

Short Term (1-2 years)

1. Put big plants in the atrium and Gowlings Hall. These are beautiful spaces full of natural light, but they are currently sterile.

2. Look into landscaping the gravel fields outside the front doors.

3. Install sound systems in the Bistro and JCR, and play ambient music.

4. Have coffee with the Dean in Gowlings Hall.

5. Put coat hooks in classrooms.

6. Initiate Puppy Day! Puppies can be provided by the local adoption centre, and can be kept in a pen. Students can sign waivers to protect the school. This will be a terrific stress reliever, guaranteed.

Medium Term (2-3 years)

1. Add a salad bar to the Bistro. It should be unacceptable to be running out of salads by 11:30 (as often happens), and pre-mixed salads often come with ham or cheese, which many people can’t have.

2. Build a big bus shelter at the southeast corner of Sentinel and Pond Road. Most Osgoode students who take the bus catch it there, and the spot is windy and cold.

3. Install lamps and smooth out the pavement on the walkway between Osgoode and the intersection of Sentinel and Pond. Whether students drive or take the bus, they typically use this diagonal route and it can be dark, bumpy, and icy.

4. Get a crosswalk or stop sign installed at the point where the walkway to Passy crosses the Pond Road. There is too much traffic here in all directions.

5. Commission student artists to paint art for Osgoode’s walls.

6. Install big, clear signs directing traffic to Osgoode from Keele and Finch. I have helped to run an experiential learning program for two years, featuring dozens of guest lecturers each term. Virtually everyone gets lost and frustrated, and then is less willing to come up in subsequent years. Osgoode should also try to get parking spots in the Atkinson Parking Lot across the field.

7. Overhaul Osgoode’s branded clothing. The current supplier is awful, and the clothing is scratchy and cheap. I would replace the current supplier entirely, and emphasize form and quality with the new one. A boat neck tank top with a legal quote wrapping around the side, for example, is much more likely to be proudly worn outside the school.

Long Term (3-5 years)

1. Send student ambassadors to regional high schools around the GTA to discuss law and law school, including their experiential learning highlights.

2. Remove fencing from between Osgoode and HNES and plant flowers, maybe with a firm sponsorship.

Implementing such simple changes will help make Osgoode even more welcoming, safe, and exciting!