Law School is No Picnic: Environmental Law Society Pulls References to a Picnic as Offensive

We have been following the gradual elimination of common terms deemed offensive or microaggressive. The latest is the word “picnic.” After the University of Nevada Las Vegas law school’s Environmental Law Society announced a picnic, it was renamed “Lunch by the Lake” due to “diversity and inclusion” concerns. The ELS was able to avoid a second correction with a “Lunch in the Field” since “field” has also been found to be offensive at other schools.According to a memo, the law group informed members that the word “picnic” has “historical and offensive connotations,” and apologized for “any harm or discomfort” caused by its use. That is consistent with the view of  the University of Michigan’s IT department in finding that “Picnic” was an offensive word.

Prior fact checks found that claims that the term originated in reference to “racist lynchings” are wrong. Rather, it is connected to the 300-plus-year-old French word “pique-nique,” meaning a potluck-like social gathering.

Ferris State University’s David Pilgrim, curator of the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia, is also quoted in College Fix as saying that “it’s possible someone used the word ‘picnic’ to refer to lynchings, but what we know for a fact is that’s not where the word ‘picnic’ came from.’”

There have been an array of such controversies over terms being dropped for what some may incorrectly assume to be their meaning or origin.

There was the decision at Harvard to drop the traditional term “House master” despite the lack of any connection to slavery. There was also the school district which dropped a cougar mascot as disrespectful to older women.  There was also the move to drop the term “quantum supremacy” in physics. Many schools have moved to drop the term “alumni,” which is already gender neutral.

We have faced the same type of debate over the campaign to drop the “Colonials” mascot at The George Washington University. SA Sen. Hayley Margolis, CCAS-U, is quoted in the Hatchet as saying “When we talk about the Colonial in history, what does it mean? And is that really what we want our school identity to be?”

The Colonials is not a general reference to colonialism or a celebration of colonization. To the contrary, the Colonials (including George Washington) fought against being a colony. They fought the British Empire and its belief that you could subject a people to such foreign rule. The term “Colonials” is an obvious and direct reference to those who fought in the Revolutionary War. It is an inspiring symbol for any school.

What is clear is that higher education is no picnic for anyone who continues to cling to objective meaning in the usage of common terms.


35 thoughts on “Law School is No Picnic: Environmental Law Society Pulls References to a Picnic as Offensive”

  1. A lake isn’t necessary for a picnic. And, everyone I know, or would want to know, love having picnics, whether on a lake, or my backyard. Students graduating from woke law schools should not be hired as interns nor attorneys.

  2. “What fresh hell can this be?”

    – Dorothy Parker

    – The Axis of Evil and America are eye to eye and the U.S. just Blinkened

    – Joke Buydem donates $6 billion to Iran’s War Chest

    – The U.S. Congress is decapitated

    – Iran invades Israel by proxy

    – Israel is compelled to destroy Gaza rescuing Israeli and American hostages

    – Russia is flooded with North Korean weapons and ammunition, and chomping at the bit in Ukraine

    – China is salivating at Taiwan’s border, having roughed up the Philippines

    1. The entire communistic American welfare state is unconstitutional including, but not limited to, admissions affirmative action, grade-inflation affirmative action, employment affirmative action, quotas, welfare, food stamps, minimum wage, rent control, social services, forced busing, public housing, utility subsidies, WIC, SNAP, TANF, HAMP, HARP, TARP, HHS, HUD, EPA, Agriculture, Commerce, Education, Labor, Energy, Obamacare, Social Security, Social Security Disability, Social Security Supplemental Income, Medicare, Medicaid, “Fair Housing” laws, “Non-Discrimination” laws, etc.

      Article 1, Section 8, provides Congress the power to tax ONLY for debt, defense, and “…general (all, the whole) Welfare…,” omitting and, thereby, excluding any power to tax for individual Welfare, specific Welfare, particular Welfare, favor or charity, or college aid. The same article enumerates and provides Congress the power to regulate ONLY the value of money, the “flow” of commerce among nations, States, and Indian tribes, and land and naval Forces. Additionally, understanding that property damage and bodily injury are illegal, the 5th Amendment right to private property was initially qualified by the Framers and is, therefore, absolute, allowing no further qualification, and allowing ONLY the owner the power to “claim and exercise” dominion over private property.

      Government exists, under the Constitution and Bill of Rights, to provide maximal freedom to individuals while government is severely limited and restricted to merely facilitating that maximal freedom of individuals through the provision of security and infrastructure only.

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