Introducing the Senior Column: North Campus Blues

Someone’s got to say it: Sontag and Pomona Hall, which will always and forever be B-Hall (B for beta), have killed Pomona’s campus culture. Or its North Campus culture, at least. In the interest of full disclosure I’ll admit that I was not fortunate enough to snag a room in this LEED-Platinum paradise. I’m in an S-suite in Clark V, still one of the most desirable suites on campus. (I’ve got a fireplace, and you’ve got… a ceiling fan? Aren’t you special?)

So I’m not knocking the new dorms because the early arrival of the rainy season has forced me to brave the elements when I want to do laundry, make food, or generally go anywhere other than my room. (Although I do have some choice words for certain Sontag and Beta Hall residents who celebrated the latest freak manifestation of global climate change: “Oh, it’s so nice to observe this weather from indoors! It reminds me of Seattle/New York/Chicago/other dreary place I call home.”) And I’m not knocking the new dorms because I wish I had a common room. (As Walter, official houseplant of The Original Futbol Suite, will attest, we’ve managed to turn our landing into quite the cozy communal space.) I’m knocking the new dorms because there’s a sizable contingent of the senior class that I never, ever see.

I can’t really blame them. What does the old North Campus (North Campus proper, as I like to call it) have to offer these pampered soon-to-be-graduates? A beautiful lawn? They have got one of those, too, and it has shorter, softer grass. How about common spaces? They have got plenty of those, and they are numerous, small, and functional, unlike the singular, cavernous, and dysfunctional Walker Lounge, the supernova that’s slowly devouring North Campus proper.

So, again, I really can’t blame any of my classmates for not visiting me. After all, for most seniors North Campus proper has become little more than quaint scenery, ornamentation that makes the walk to class a little more interesting. But it can be easy to forget that some of us still live there, exiles adrift among the myriad Clark courtyards.

And class of 2012, I miss you. I can’t continue to write a senior column without you. Sure, at some point last month we had that pleasant chat about how much we both loved Drive. I realize that neither of us has seen any new movies since then, but we need another pretense to engage. When was the last time we played an impromptu and unlikely game of flip cup, or randomly ate breakfast together at Frary?

I am not asking you to step out of your (ultra)comfort zone. (In fact, if I were you I probably wouldn’t.) But remember that time when we all got drunk at the alumni house, courtesy of Pomona College? That was awesome! We should do that every week, but we should do it in your common room. Think about it: all willing residents of Sontag and Beta Halls will agree to permit all Pomona seniors to socialize in their common rooms on an agreed-upon night of the weekend. And, if enough suites agree to participate, we won’t even be breaking college policy: eight random seniors schmoozing in a Sontag common room over a beer, what could be better?

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