It’s hard to find a lot of respect for a place called “The Butts.” And a place where “The Butthole” is supposedly the central point of socialization is hardly endearing.
I want to preface this argument by saying that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my Wesleyan experience so far. My roommate and I have become great friends, and I’ve met a lot of great people in my few weeks here. And of course, I’ve met people living in the Butts. But residing here has not facilitated any of this.
My roommate and I met over one of the Class of 2015 Facebook groups and decided to request each other on the housing form. We both knew that we wanted to request all-freshmen housing. We agreed that living in a hall full of first-year students would make figuring out laundry and which frats throw the best parties a whole lot easier. We were a little worried when we found out we were assigned to a double in the Butts. This was, of course, after we received an email saying that we were in a triple in Fauver, and then another one basically saying, “Just kidding.”
It seems like it’s been a rough semester for ResLife. The class of 2015 is significantly larger than the preceding classes, which has obviously caused ResLife some challenges. But in this time of great difficulty, I’d like to offer some advice: The Butts is not the place for first -year students.
Allow me to take you on a quick tour. Once you’ve walked far away from everything central on campus, you’ve almost reached the Butts. When you get there, it looks quaint: there are always a few people sitting in the Butthole and walking around. However, this sunny appearance quickly fades once you open a door and walk into what looks like an insane asylum. We’ve been told that the halls are a “riot-proof” relic from the golden days of the seventies. But I’m not interested in rioting. I’m interesting in socializing. The Butts does not provide that “community hall” atmosphere that is often crucial to first year students. I have friends that supposedly live on the same floor as me, yet I have to go down a flight of stairs to get to their rooms.
More important than the dreary appearance of the Butts is its location. A lovely sophomore I had chatted with at WesFest emphasized that the Butts felt separate from the main part of campus. For a second-year student, this might be a positive attribute. Usdan might be getting a little old after two semesters and a new atmosphere could be nice. However, freshmen haven’t lived here for two semesters. I’ve barely been here two weeks. I haven’t had time to get sick of the central part of campus. I still find it exciting to chill out on Foss or get brunch at Usdan. I want to be right in the middle of that.
My roommate and I got lucky. We’re both extroverted people who are able to go out and make things happen for ourselves without the assistance of our place of residence. We also had each other during orientation—we had someone to go to meals and events with during those first few awkward days. But those less outgoing, and especially those placed in singles in the Butts, will not have these resources to fall back on.
I don’t mean to be rude or ungrateful. The most important thing is that I’m here at Wes. At the end of the day, that is more important than how many minutes I have to walk to get my dinner or how easy it is to find parties. To be truthful, this description might not apply to any other hall in the Butts besides mine. But I believe my freshman experience could have been even better if I lived in a hall where two people can walk side by side and where I could look out my window to a view of Foss Hill.