Unpopular Opinions: Frank Is Great

Earlier this week, in an attempt to avoid the frigid November weather, I took a shortcut between Ho and McGregory through the Olin tunnels. I’m a computer science and peace & conflict studies double concentrator, which means I’m not in Olin that often. I found myself lost, wandering through the neuroscience and psychology departments, seeing classrooms I’d never seen before and posters on research that honestly bewildered me. Through my unintentional journey, I had a realization—the Colgate I experience, know and love is far from universal. Here I was, in an area that housed two of Colgate’s most popular majors, and yet I felt like I was at a different school.

The point here is that, by and large, people’s Colgate experiences are really different, and there are few things that are really universal to all Colgate students. The classrooms and study spaces I’ve spent countless hours in are synonymous with Colgate in my head, but they might be completely alien to many other students. That’s not to say that there are no truly universal elements—I can certainly imagine a few. Perhaps the most prominent thing that all Colgate students truly seem to share is a dislike for Frank Dining Hall.

How often have you heard “Frank sucks”? How many times have you checked the Colgate meme page in between classes, only to be greeted by endless stories of raw chicken and dirty silverware? It’s actually kind of amazing how universal of an opinion it seems to be. It’s not even just us students—the Colgate Parents Facebook page could be accurately renamed the anti- Frank page. It’s not that the criticism is unwarranted—when it comes to food quality, Frank really isn’t very good—but rather, we’re criminally underrating the better aspects of it, which greatly outweigh the not-so-great food.

Frank is the only public space on this campus that’s actually a great place to hang out in. Colgate students, as studious as we are, have turned every other indoor spot on campus into quiet reading spaces. Even in open areas like the COOP fireplace room or the Library Café, it’s impossible to have a conversation that’s just a little too loud without feeling guilty.

In Frank, on the other hand, socializing is the expected behavior. There is perhaps no better underclass Colgate experience than sitting around a table with friends for hours, careless and free, enjoying a much-needed break from the constant reminders that you should be studying, which dominate every other space on campus.

And even if you don’t feel like using the space that way, you don’t have to. The true beauty of Frank is the freedom of choice, and freedom from expectation. Want to sit alone for two hours and down as much pasta as you can? Go for it. Want to sit quietly in a corner at 1 a.m. working on that paper due tomorrow, instead of walking to the library? No problem. No matter what you feel like doing, odds are Frank is a solid space for it.

Honestly, some of my fondest memories of Colgate are in Frank, and as a junior, I really do miss my frequent Frank trips with my friends, where quick dinners inevitably turned into hours of late-night antics over ice cream and chicken tenders. It’s disappointing to me that liking Frank is an unpopular opinion. It is absolutely the best casual social space on campus, and we as a student body aren’t recognizing just how special it is.

Except for the food. That really does need some work.

Contact Caio Brighenti at [email protected].