Guest Editorial

Alex Bunke

Last week’s article about the mayhem surrounding the disappearance of Dining Dollars featured some strong sentiments. Many students are woebegone by the fact that BBQ briskets are replacing their Viking melts, and their curly fries thrown out the window for brown lettuce.Personally, I cannot think of a more advantageous state of affairs. With the Grill out of the picture, Downer is slowly becoming the central gathering place for the students of this institution. What a boon to campus-wide camaraderie! Let me illustrate an average trip to Downer.

Familiar faces are plentiful as I make my way towards the gateway, trying to avoid eye contact with anyone asking for my blood or money from their tables of solicitation.

Next, my card is swiped by the mysterious and seductive Hilda. Shaking off any chills I might have from this all-too-brief encounter, I proceed by garnishing my blue tray with mounds of the most sumptuous treats that Pat Niles and his crew of house elves have prepared. I am particularly excited to tuck into a mushroom burger with a soymilk bun and mock cheese drizzle.

It is now time for my favorite part of the Downer experience: choosing where to sit. The most excellent feature of Downer is how nicely divided it is. Three rooms for three different groups of people — all in one building!

This is the togetherness that I am extolling. As a non-athlete, it is a treat for me to meander through Downer A where the various champions of LU are usually devising game plans, reliving the glories of yesterday’s near-victory, or deciding who is going to acquire the keg for the evening’s party.

Downer B, on the other hand, is usually overflowing with the exciting discourse of Lawrence’s thespians, the musical whispers of our Conservatory maestros, and the quiet weeping of lonely people.

I especially savor the spirited outbursts of our school’s vocal performance majors as they recount the latest episode of America’s Next Top Unemployed Singer. Finally, Downer C is where the kids from Trever are rumored to eat. I choose a table in A, and sit down with a lady I’ve never spoken to just to create an awkward moment.

In short, Jason Downer Commons is the place to be these days. It is a true microcosm of our school where friendships are sometimes made, and stereotypes are always perpetuated.
And, you know, avoiding the Grill can be a good thing, especially on Friday nights when members of the swing dance cult meet to make their ritual sacrifice to whoever gave them their theme house.