COMMENTARY: The Student Senate Assault on Gustavian Cultural Heritage

The Student Senate Assault on Gustavian Cultural Heritage

By Sean Joseph

As a third-generation Gustie, the tradition of this institution is a core part of who I am. Thus, I stand in firm opposition to Student Senate’s proposal to “renovate” the Dive. This proposed renovation to the heart of our campus is a direct assault on the rich history of shitty 1960s architecture so intertwined with our five core values of Faith, Community, Justice, Twerk Juice, and Excellence.

When my parents enrolled at Gustavus in the fall of 1994, they immediate engaged with this institution’s enduring legacy of grungy tiling and bland concrete by attending the weekly Dive dances with full, inebriated vigor. It is precisely this legacy which I have thrown myself fully into, as well as thrown myself fully up on that one time I drank too much Ron Diaz before Cat Daddying. The blue band of denim stains around the wall of the Dive, to me, is more than a crystallized solid of Levi dye and ass sweat. It is a physical proclamation of how this college, above all of our academic and athletic peers, values outmoded furniture, dingy lighting, and the least imaginative architecture in the entirety of human history.

Many of my peers have voiced their approval of the Dive renovations, citing the campus’ needs for more study areas, a secondary food service venue, and an adequate performing space. They have asserted that the project is being financed through the generosity of the Board of Trustees and a modest $50/year student activity fee, and will not draw away from any academic or administrative funding.

My retort to all of these points is this: when you’re sitting in your  modern armchair, sipping a fresh caramel latte, and studying for your psych exams by gleaming natural sunlight, will your conscience be clean of the decades of truly Gustavian debauchery wiped into nonexistence by the oppressive fiscal cooperation between you, the student, and the Board?

You can take the ratchet away from the Dive, but you’ll never take the Dive out of this ratchet. Vote NO on April 17.

4th Crown Stocks (81 of 94)

Submitted to The Fourth Crown on 4.16.14 by first-year Sean Joseph. Sean has been interviewed by the Fourth Crown as an expert on a variety of topics, including the campus poster sale, the Keystone Pipeline Protest, and alleged aggression by Campus Safety Officers.