Section: Opinion

Column: McBride residents should respect shared property

McBride Residence Hall: musty, rowdy, gross. Since long before I became a McBridian, it has been known as a first-year party dorm. Our building can easily be distinguished by its bad smell, constant ruckus and overall delinquency. I knew of this reputation before I moved in, but things feel different this year. McBride is sliding into pure degeneracy — and no longer in an endearingly quirky manner. 

Several weeks ago, my immediate neighbors and I met with our Community Advisor (CA) for a mandatory meeting. I live on the short side of the first floor, which is a little oasis within McBride, so I was slightly unaware of exactly what issues we needed to address. I knew of the loud music that plays at night, and I was aware of the constant marijuana smell, but I didn’t think these were reasons to call a mid-semester meeting. 

However, it turned out that everyone in McBride was having that exact same meeting. I was right about the smell of weed and noise level being an issue. The apparent ignorance of quiet hours was the first issue my CA brought up. After that, we covered the habitual smoking indoors. Honestly, the fact that the fact that my hall feels like the inside of a bong and I’ve begun equating the smell of weed with being in my room is more comical than harmful, but for residents with respiratory issues, the air quality is a serious issue. 

These two issues are typical McBride, but they are hardly unique to our dorm or substantial enough on their own to justify the steps currently being considered. In this meeting, we were told that if we don’t start adhering to quiet hours and fixing other issues, Campus Safety will start doing nightly sweeps and handing out fines. 

The threat of regular rounds by Campus Safety could be frustrating to some students. I, however, am not terribly upset about the school’s reaction, because I’m more focused on the abhorrent behavior within McBride, of which we have only scratched the surface. 

I have minimal issues with smells and partying but those are just the tip of the McBride iceberg. A more serious issue is the rampant vandalism. There are the sharpie writings of “69” on select exit signs, which, despite being dumb, are relatively harmless. I’m sure the school is upset because it shows a lack of respect for school property, but that isn’t really my greatest concern, especially because the signs are still functional — they just say 69 on them now. What is more upsetting to me is the repeated destruction of CA bulletin boards. My CA told us that someone has torn down her display, as well as other displays around McBride, and that it’s just really hurtful to the CAs. 

I understand the concept of an 18 year old writing “69” on stuff. However, equating the blatant disrespect towards our Community Advisors to mere juvenile pranks is not valid. It is cruel, disrespectful and inconsiderate. I want to stress that vandalism is not just destructive in the abstract. Someone has to clean up after you. These “jokes” aren’t victimless; they affect real people. 

There lies the issue within McBride — a complete lack of compassion for others. Whether it’s the people blasting music at 2 a.m. on a Monday night, or smoking weed inside, or destroying hard work and shared property, the offenders don’t care about anyone else in the shared space. I can’t imagine they gave the feelings of their neighbors a single thought before completely giving into their impulses. 

As a McBridian, I ask, where is our camaraderie? Where is our sense of responsibility toward our shared space? I really don’t mean to stand on a soap box and nag, but it is a little absurd that these things have to be said. I know McBride has a reputation for parties and fun, but we must distinguish between lighthearted fun and downright destructive behavior. I don’t want all the fun to stop, I would just appreciate it if we all decided to hold ourselves accountable for vandalism and destruction of property and make McBride the best it can be.    

Dalia Fishman ’27 is a columnist for the Collegian. She has not yet declared a major and is from McLean, Virginia. She can be reached at fishman2@kenyon.edu. 

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