Yes, I live on the fourth floor of Sage. This is the second year that I’ve lived there out of my three at Lawrence, and it has been of my own volition both times. Think what you will of it, but I love where I live. There is a sense of community on the fourth floor of Sage unparalleled — in my eyes — by any other dormitory floor on campus.
Nonetheless, it cannot be denied that Sage — particularly the fourth floor — has a well-deserved reputation of idiocy and destruction. Obviously, the final blame for the continued destruction lies at least partially on the shoulders of the floor’s residents, but I want to explore some views less traditionally discussed in this conversation.
When discussing the constant destruction of the floor I call my home, it is worth noting that Sage isn’t exactly a palace to begin with. Those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of living there may not have noted that none of the dorm rooms in Sage have overhead lighting.
It might not seem as though there exists any sort of correlation here, but there very well may be. The absence of this basic living staple causes the rooms to be dark pretty much all the time — especially if you live in one of the many rooms arranged so as not to receive much sunlight throughout the day — and I can say from experience that this has an adverse effect upon the building’s residents.
Sage also has some of the most outdated bathrooms to be found on campus. I have the good fortune to live in a quad and only have to share a bathroom with three other esteemed gentlemen, but most residents have to use facilities that aesthetically lend themselves more to a delousing facility than somewhere one would want to shower.
The showerheads are situated so that anyone of at least average male height has to duck to wash their head. I, for one, acquired many a welt freshman year after forgetfully standing to my full height while tired in the shower.
I don’t want to sound like I’m pointing out the flaws of the building just for the sake of complaint. I merely feel as though it’s important to recognize that this disparity in quality of life between dormitories — with Sage near if not at the very bottom of the list — does play a role in the way that people who live in it and who visit it treat the hall.
With people and with spaces you get what you put into something. Sage is a slum. It’s my slum and I love it, mind you, but it is a slum.
If you’ve been paying attention you already know that Lawrence has just capped off an immensely successful fundraiser generating over $160 million. That’s quite a bit of money. I think we can fairly assume at this point that if the building were renovated, people would treat it with a new respect.
The building’s residents are long overdue for better living conditions and Lawrence has the money to do it. So, I suppose a choice lies in front of those with the power to make these decisions: Renovate Russell Sage Hall and watch the destruction wane, or leave it in its mediocre state and expect a mediocre degree of respect for its facilities.
This is not a threat; it’s an educated prediction. Put Sage even halfway on par with Hiett, and you will have created a whole new atmosphere. Until then, those of us who choose to live in the most favorably-located building on campus can continue to expect to wake up to shattered ceiling tiles littering the halls.
You get out of something what you put into it, LU.