As my tenure at the University of Richmond draws to a close, I've noticed a growing feeling of nostalgia and togetherness among members of the senior class. I suppose it is a purely natural occurrence, akin to what happened high school senior year.
While The Collegian has been interpreted as a platform for discussing our differences and trying to foster a sense of community, I'm certain that such a community already exists. In one of his more-underappreciated songs, Bob Dylan writes, "Strange how people who suffer together have stronger connections than people who are most content." For those of us that remember the mediocrity of old D-Hall and the sheer horrors of "under renovation" D-Hall, I think we can appreciate the truth in that. So rather than talk about the things that divide us (apparently people were pretty split on my last column), I'm using this space to write about a near-universal Richmond experience.
We all have old friends or roommates that have left us over the years. Some may have been expelled, some may have spent two semesters gambling, smoking weed, eating China Panda and stealing iPods, and others may have simply felt out of place. Anyone who has ever lived in Gray Court knows about the mad rush to try and find three people for a 5-5-5 deal -- which always succeeded in the end -- and everyone eventually discovers the late-delivering, ambrosial Chanellos.
We also all share the experience of not going to basketball games, regardless of the prodding we get from e-mails, local media and Jeff Kent. On a related note, does anybody not know Jeff? And whether you played on the football team, cheered them on, only showed up for the tailgate or never even went to a game -- we are all National Champions. Suck it, Florida.
We all managed to somehow survive the day the stars aligned and Pig Roast fell on St. Patrick's Day. We've probably had beer spilled on us at lodges and learned the necessity of "lodge shoes." We remember when the beer of choice on campus was Beast, and aren't sure when Natty took its place. We've all wondered why the guys at ABC recognize your face and don't card you anymore, but the people at CVS will consistently ask for your ID and your Spidercard. Shouldn't it be harder to buy liquor than beer?
We've all laughed at some really humorous things in The Collegian over the years (Jed Shireman's infamous list, The Hottest Girls Bracket, the plea to get students to go to basketball games). We've also all wondered who the person on the University payroll is whose job is to come up with new and exciting ways to screw us over on the meal plan.
So let's stop being so adversarial and self-righteous. Let's stop looking for reasons to be offended. If you've ever been to the Cellar on a Thursday night, you know just how welcoming everyone can be (and the Thursday bartending staff is top-notch). Honestly, nobody cares what color your skin is or if you're into dudes or not. We're all in this together, and there is truly a University of Richmond community out there, and we don't need the administration to foster it. So stop complaining that it's not there, suck it up and go find it. We've been through a lot together; let's celebrate.
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