NEEDED: Young law students interested in defending the rights of the poor to prevent an attempt to kick a training program for poor, elderly people out of its classroom space.
It sounds like a perfect case for Antioch, the law school that trained young men and women to defend the disadvantaged, but there's one slight problem. Those poor and elderly folks participating in a program of the University of the District of Columbia are being ousted so that the remaining vestiges of the Antioch law school can have their space. This is the latest bit of absurdity in the ill-founded attempt to save Antioch from dissolution. A majority of members of the D.C. Council decided to rescue the law school after it was cut adrift by its parent college. They wanted UDC to take it over. UDC, which has plenty of problems already, wisely refused.
Now the council has ordered UDC to vacate the main classroom and office building of its College of Education and Human Ecology so that the law school can have the building. Some 2,200 students took classes there this past year, including 1,000 poor, elderly people who, among other things, took course work that trained them to earn incomes as homemaker health aides. Thomas J. Mack, an Antioch law professor and interim chairman of the law school board, defends this displacement by saying that Antioch has a right to exist. What about the rights of those poor people?
It wasn't this city that abandoned Antioch Law School and stripped it of funds. Antioch College of Ohio and the Legal Services Corporation did. But the law school is becoming a liability for the District and for UDC. The council has taken this action at a time when the university is waiting for its latest new president to arrive and shore up its many accreditation, enrollment, management and image problems. The council picked an awful time to interfere. Mayor Barry, who let the council's earlier bill to save Antioch pass by refusing to veto it, can veto the bill ordering UDC to vacate this building. He should