Category Archives: The Sandspur

Mckean, My Home

As a college student, you’ve probably been asked the same five questions everyone seems to be infatuate with asking such as: “What is your major?” “What do you want to do later in life?” “Have you studied abroad?” and my favorite “What is your favorite part about college?” For some reason my answer to the latter question seems to bewilder some, but my absolute favorite part about college is the culture of living in a residential hall and the memories I now have that I’m able to look back on and think of the “good ol’ times”. I’ve had the enormous pleasure of living in Mckean Hall for my entire college career (no, I haven’t repeated my first year over and over again, I’ve just happily lived in Mckean my first year and then have worked as a Resident Assistant for the building ever since). Whenever I tell my peers or even new faces on this campus that I live in Mckean Hall or that I’ve lived there for three years now, I always receive a facial expression of pity and hear responses like “Dude that really sucks”. It surely doesn’t help when the official newspaper for the College publishes articles where they identify the Mckean Residential Hall as the one that “smells like mildew, but it’s where the party is at”.

Mckean Hall has had an awful reputation for as long as I’ve been here, and I’m pretty sure it can be dated back even further, but has anybody really tried to understand why? Because I can tell you after living in that hall for three years straight that there is absolutely nothing wrong with the building. The long-standing reputation is the only substance of any kind that fills the halls with its “terror” and “disgusting appeal”, not the infrastructure, not its residents, not its Resident Assistants, and not Rollins College’s buzz of being a “party school”. Every single college or university across the United States faces the dilemma of having underage first years drinking, partying, vandalizing, you name it. This is not a problem singular to Mckean Hall and it is definitely an issue one can experience in almost any other residential hall on this campus.

Every first year dorm on this campus faces relatively the same conflicts, but why is it that people only think of Mckean when they think of first year’s parties? Because with the existence of a reputation, gossiping and bad-mouthing about certain events and certain people becomes easier to do and easier to believe.

Mckean Hall was designed by Hugh Mckean, a former student of Rollins College and a fellow X-club member, and when he designed this building, he did so by keeping future students in mind and making sure that they could have the best possible residential hall experience. He wanted to make sure that all of Mckean Hall’s residents could answer the question “What is your favorite part about college?” with “living on campus, living in Mckean Hall”. I completely and wholeheartedly adore this hall and I’ve been able to create great relationships with friends and residents with all that Mckean has to offer. From its thirteen comfortable living rooms, to the countless programs, to the wonderful Resident Assistants, and to the amazing memories effortlessly made, Mckean Hall you are my home and I wish that everyone could understand you.

Lightness and Weight – Response to The Sandspur’s Fall 2013 Orientation’s Issue

The difference between the journalist and the common citizen lies in a simple distinction: the common citizen has the right to ask questions in the spirit of true freedom of opinion, albeit the journalist has the right to demand an informed answer. The Franco-Czech writer, Milan Kundera, exhaustively ratifies this in Immortality.

I have written as a Freelance Writer in The Sandspur since my first day of classes at Rollins on January 16, 2012. I have continuously voiced my opinion against the status quo, informed the community and have been present recurrently as an irreverent and risky writer. That is why I remember with nostalgia the first issue where I wrote. It was educated. It was informative.

I recall writing an article about the decline of Literature, and collaborated with Amir in a recount of what was going on in international affairs. There were also articles about US politics, Liberal Arts being in peril, Erin Brioso’s provocative reflection about the MLK vigil, and even articles on the Immersion trip, and the Habitat for Humanity collaboration, during Winter Intersession 2012. However, what I found in this orientation’s issue was not what I was expecting.

I will tell you what I found during this Fall Orientation’s issue. I found disrespect towards women in the Sexperts column, which Gaby Cabrera points out in her response. And I found as well a judgment of value against McKean Hall, which Tasha touches in hers.

If you are a first year student and this is what you read in your campus newspaper, then you are already getting a preconceived notion rather than forming your very own opinion a posteriori. A newspaper that uses satire recurrently, and as the most common denominator in tone, should watch out. That is, evidently, because if laughter becomes laughable that is when the joke will become serious. Referring again to Kundera, only what has weight, and is of necessity, has value.  There must be lightness, yes, but not in excess. Gravitas is necessary for communication, especially if it strives to inform.

I congratulate other informative articles such as the LYNX guide and the Disney Rundown, which are of help to the community. But I hope the upcoming issues will stop this certain misinformation to the student body. I also hope that the students that submit their articles for the sake of informing the community will get theirs published, and not rejected. People that have the possibility to do good – especially by writing – have the moral imperative to do so. Accordingly, I will continue to write for the sake of information and journalism.

By writing these responses, Gaby, Tasha, and I are acting proactively to change what we consider should be for the betterment of Rollins. I will continue to provide not only my voice, but one of the students who are here for something more than an exaltation of shallowness.The Sandspur has to get better, and my diagnosis is not new. It has been a persistent topic of conversation with my friends, professors, and colleagues voicing this concern. Thus, find me here asking, as a potential journalist:

Why is it that the Rollins student newspaper is not representing our voice?

And I – respectfully – demand an answer.

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*NOTE: The Sandspur did not publish this response in the print edition. You can find it online at: http://www.thesandspur.org/lightness-weight-response-fall-2013-orientations-issue-sandspur/