Hippo City

James Eric Prichard

This column used to be a proud feature of a proud periodical. Now it stands alone, a hulking monument above the rubble, like the Statue of Liberty in a post ape-ocalyptic world. It is like Mt. Everest, an island of refuge in a Kevin Costner-ravaged “Waterworld.” It feels like only a few weeks ago I was writing beside terrific reviews of indie concerts and descriptions of hip-hop radio shows. The speed and extent of the paper’s descent truly saddens me.
A quick glance at last week’s issue shows a few of the problems of The Lawrentian. The choice of Mom and Dad Watson as focus of “After the Bubble Bursts” may get credit for reaching out to an older generation, but it also highlights a problem at both this paper and this campus: too many Watsons. I am surprised that “What’s on Your iPod?” did not feature the family pet.
I have no problem with one Watson now and then, but the overexposure to which we are being subjected is a little suffocating. Perhaps someone should sit ECW and TWatson down and explain to them the social ramifications of being over-eager. Also, I do not believe that women should be writing love columns (if at all).
I see that Mr. Fondow is now writing for The Lawrentian. Travis’ egregious overuse of em-dashes are not the only peculiarity of his writing style, and so while his choice of content – crosswords, drinking and myself — is inscrutable, his column is ultimately unreadable. Giving Travis Fondow a column appears to be the literary equivalent of giving Travis Fondow a Soundboard.
The one bright point of the paper, un-authored by me, was the brilliant satire of neo-conservative reactions to environmentalism.
The Op/Ed section of the paper is not the only one in need of improvement. I heard some pretty juicy gossip from Sig Ep’s P+H party, but when I opened up the next issue I saw no report of it. How can you call yourself a news section when you don’t report on the most scandalous hook-up of the year?
The cover story of the issue was about some “controversial” renegade postering done by a single humorless student. Hooking up, however, requires at least two people. The unreported story was therefore automatically twice as important and relevant as the cover story — although if the rumors are true, it was actually three times as much.
Unfortunately there has been on-campus news more serious than party hookups. It just has not been reported on. Most students are aware that a particular male Lawrentian has been disciplined for surreptitiously entering the rooms of female students and hiding in them.
A lot of students seem to know quite a bit more than that: the Lawrentian’s name, the names of those who were encroached upon, the approximate dates and circumstances of the infractions.
Nearly every student, however, both does not know the whole story and has heard a false rumor about the incidents. I heard a couple of things that I tracked down and found to be false. The whole situation is shrouded in rumor and ambiguity.
Boy, I sure wish that we could get some actual information about this incident! And not just for curiosity’s sake either. It would be nice to know if someone was trespassing in other people’s rooms, especially if this person were a peeping Tom.
This information might make me feel less safe, but I could take actions to protect myself. I would also not grant the perpetrator access into residence halls, though this has actually happened and was made possible by the administration’s failure to notify the larger campus about the issue.
Information on this topic would also make it impossible for the perpetrator to access the residence halls, which actually has happened and was made possible by the silence on the issue.
The administration has remained mum on the issue, which is a disservice to the student body. If it sees fit to protect its students from a “meth lab” that could not be replicated at will, why would it not see fit to inform and protect students when someone has repeatedly acted against others in this manner? Many students see the individual’s actions as possible indicators of more serious incidents to come.
Given the administration’s failure to inform and reassure the student body, The Lawrentian should have stepped up to the plate and provided the campus with the service that the school did not. The paper, however, has thus far followed the administration’s lead and remained silent on the issue. The paper’s greatest misstep, then, was one it never took.