SLC, Prettified

Much like its students, SLC has its own unconventional beauty. Located half way between Snow White reboot and ‘70s drear, we come to rely on this beauty as the year gets more difficult. Work is overwhelming, friends are nuts, and everyone has food poisoning, but at least we have the vision of the Teahaus blanketed in snow. Though it has yet to win any awards, our physical campus is as much a part of the Sarah Lawrence experience as the faculty or freshmen retention rates, one that we tend to take for granted. That’s not to say that SLC has not been in need of repairs. If you’ve ever stepped ankle deep into a puddle outside the library or ate shit walking down Kimball, these little improvements are abundantly clear.

Apparently Sarah Lawrence’s recent accolades have given the school a major self-esteem boost, because campus is looking flyer than ever. Beyond physical repairs to paths and patios, there is even more greenery where it was most cemented, especially in front of the library and around Slonim Woods. They even made a memorial for our dearly departed Wrigley with a plaque and bench outside the Teahaus, so his spirit can receive attention from hipsters on cigarette breaks, much as he did in life.

I honestly can’t describe what mySLC used to look like, but I know its different now! Gone is the daily email, the only reliable source of whether this is an A or a B week, replaced by a Master Calendar. But since it is in our nature to complain and complain and complain about new things, the improvements will probably go unappreciated.

The makeover is certainly in large part for the prospective students that will start parading through in a few weeks, but current students can enjoy the improvements as well. If you’re going to pay $63,000 a year, the school might as well look like a million bucks. The sight of smoothed out asphalt and rehabbed swamps (re: Slonim Woods) sparks nostalgia in me for how shitty it once was. It’s hard to think that First Years from now on will never know the joys of twisting one’s ankle on Bates Hill or stumbling outside of the pub in front of a large crowd of upperclassmen. It builds character! Maybe everyone will take their eyes off their feet for two seconds and make eye contact now that they don’t have to worry about tripping over a raised stone.

Even so, the rooms are still small, the same mold lines every tub, and the food is pretty much the same (new juice machine in the Pub!).  The Kimball sidewalks remain unpaved. What will prove the worth of our infamous price tag, for current and prospective students, is the future efficiency of the school. Much of what gives SLC its offbeat charm is the level of disarray inherent in our practices, basically all the things you’ve ever had to explain to your family. That chaos is often still there in the areas where we require reliability, and issues with medical and mental health support, housing, faculty problems, and academic assistance can account for the rate of transfers in the upper grades. We can get all the titles in the Princeton review, but if these perennial issues are never resolved the school won’t grow with its reputation.

At least our view is better than Skidmore’s.

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