10 Things I Hate About CU

Only two Maroon-News issues left in my Colgate career? Jeff Fein, surely you’re kidding.

Our hardworking commentary editor, though, is quite right. So for what seems like the thousandth time in my Colgate career (it’s not; I’ve written fewer than forty commentary pieces in the past five years), I’m sitting in my apartment on a Thursday afternoon, piecing together notes that I want to take column form.

Or not. I’ve got two shots left, right? During my time here, I’ve produced about an equal number of thoughtful, intriguing essays and negative, rambling columns. So why not use my last two weeks and compose one of each. I have, after all, been thinking about some complaints I have with this school of late. Let’s put off that positive, “Oh the Places You’ll Go” goodbye column until next week. Now’s the time to sum up the year, Ramblings-style.

Was Phi Delt really playing Coldplay at 5:21 on Tuesday afternoon? Coldplay? During April Visit Days? Welcome to the new Colgate. This really sums up the past five years. Goes to show how much things have changed around here. At April Visit Days in 2001, when I was a high school senior, then-President Buddy Karelis’s speech in the Hall of Presidents was interrupted because the recently-suspended DKE house was blasting Noreaga’s “Banned From TV.” Five years later, the DKEs are gone – as is Buddy — and their neighbors are serenading the IM softball games with “In My Place.” I’m sorry, did you misplace all your Barry Manilow CDs? I’m not trying to disparage anyone’s musical tastes here, but hey, you might just find the whole Parachutes album on my computer. But something is very wrong when 21 and 22-year-old kids are choosing to spend their afternoons listening to chick music. At least you’re giving all the pre-frosh and their parents a completely accurate picture of what Colgate is like.

And the fashions. Just because the weather is warm doesn’t mean you should dress like Judge Smails from Caddyshack. Nantucket Red is not a color that should adorn any male’s body, unless that male happens to be a Duke lacrosse player. And put your collars down. Are you going to dress like that next year when you have a job?

Former Dean Weinberg’s Residential Vision sure has been an abject failure. Let’s see … even catered parties, the lamest of lame social functions, have virtually disappeared. This has become the dullest school I’ve ever seen (and let’s clarify something: when you spend five years in college, you’ve both seen a lot of different schools and learned the meaning of “dull”). When the five best parties my roommates and I have been to all year have been thrown in Newell 15, and the high point of a night is not kicking a hole in the wall, the social scene has officially evaporated. Remember Peabody’s? And when the Glass and the Taproom were fun places to go? Yeah, I barely do either.

Homework sucks. That’s why I haven’t written a column since December. Doing six hundred pages of reading a week has made me bleed from both eyes.

The townhouses suck. Talk about further diminishing students’ ability to enjoy themselves on the weekends; why not isolate a big minority of them a half-mile away from all their friends. You’re telling me building new housing on farmland nowhere near campus wasn’t designed to kill what was left of the social scene? I’m sure some creative mind in the administration could have proposed building a fifth Newell building and some extra housing behind Parker and Birch, or using eminent domain to take some homes on College Street and convert them to University housing. Fragmenting the student body, though, must have been a higher priority.

But at least students turn out in huge numbers at athletic events to support their friends and classmates. Wait, no, that doesn’t happen either. The Colgate’s men’s basketball team plays before the smallest crowds in the country, and the football team isn’t far behind.

And the library. Tuition went up this year, despite the fact that there’s no library. No one can justify this. A lot of people worked really hard to convert the Student Union into a temporary library, and we appreciate that. But the end result is no good. The computers are too slow. The printers don’t work well or consistently. Too many books are unavailable. The Hall of Presidents is always an unpleasant place to do work – not only do kids not understand the age-old concept of “shut the f— up, this is a library,” but any room with a 30-foot ceiling is not conducive to work. Noise carries. The very idea that this would be a good study space was flawed; that room should have been renovated with some temporary dividing walls and a lower ceiling. And (maybe someone can get on this before next fall) why not find a way to keep the doors from slamming? It’s pretty hard to do work with something crashing around every few minutes. Next time Colgate decides to undertake a major project like that, it should do so with the students in mind.

And my windows don’t shut, so there’s a wasp in my room right now.

I guess Colgate has some work to do. So do I, if I have any chance of writing a real column next week.