Every Lawrentian is quirky; you’re in denial if you think otherwise. The quirk isn’t a bad thing. It is why many of us decided to come here, and why many of us love it here. Yet, sometimes this quirky bubble we live in needs a reality check.
A good example of this problem is theme group housing. Any group of students may apply for a theme house, which must represent a unique idea, benefit the campus in some way and enhance the liberal arts ideals. Last year, the housing committee approved the Gaming House.
While this house idea is definitely unique and quirky, does it benefit campus or enhance liberal arts ideals? Gaming House does provide a social space that benefits students who like to play games, but how much value does that have at an institution of higher education?
Should the University utilize its facilities in this way? Lawrence’s description of liberal learning says: “The privilege of liberal learning is the freedom to choose; the challenge of liberal learning is to choose responsibly.”
The Spanish Immersion House lost the house to Gaming House. As a group of students dedicated to improving their language skills in order to create positive social change for Hispanics, a Spanish theme house would have greatly impacted those students’ lives and provided them with the tools to engage with Lawrence and the world.
As a member who applied for the Spanish Immersion House, I was crushed when a group of students who likes playing games was given a house over a group that was passionate about a language that has the ability to impact so many.
While I don’t think college is a place that should be all work and no play, there are times when the “quirk” oversteps its bounds, and interferes with our sense of the real world.
Lawrence should show us how to incorporate the quirk realistically in our lives after college. What does Lawrence really value at its core, being quirky for quirk’s sake, or using its quirks to foster something valuable for its students’ futures?