Campus Life Gets a Life Guard

by Christopher DeArcangelis

It had been a groggy start. Head in the shower, clothes on the ground and no breakfast. The class had been one of irritation: “McGregor still has no elevator or handicap accessible entrance and its recent cleaning has unleashed a fierce mold.? When class was over I couldn’t stop thinking about eggs and mayonnaise. My hunger was trying to take me for a ride.

I ran into Joe and he said “Listen: I cant get into Birch.? I looked at him and rubbed my guts. I had consumed the coffee stimulant, but no food. I needed Birch for its kitchen.

“Come on, ole Joe. I’ve got a key. “ Joe looked back pensively, not letting me in on his inner understanding. We walked down the path past the dew and craters that compose one of Birch’s main pathways. Joe almost broke his ankle stumbling into the hole in the ground. Examining his reddening joints he remarked,

“Oh, I hope lunch is good.? I helped him up and we made it up to the door. I reached into my pocket, stained from last night’s Gin, and fumbled for my keys. I found them buried beneath my coinage and whipped them out into the keyhole. Turning the key gave way to nothing; the sweat on my brow now ran down my eye sockets. I began to turn the key more aggressively, pulling on the door handles and muttering oaths.

I had not yet received my new Antioch ID. These new IDs include the ability to unlock the dormitory doors, standing for a new era in the General Safety of Antioch. This also means that until someone walked by with an ID card, my friend and I would be pressing our faces to the glass of the doors hoping to see a concerned face. And there she was.

It was Kim Deal, from the rock ‘n’ roll band The Pixies. She is also from Dayton, a nearby industrial city. She was making her way down the stairs and saw our flustered faces. She let us in through the door with the sympathy of a sailor, saying “Hey, we’re all on this ship together.?

I said, “Why, with all this good nature about, I can’t help but wonder if you know something I don’t.? Her eyes widened. Her shining teeth revealed themselves to me as she announced her new position as the Campus Life Guard.

“Campus Life Guard tell me more!? Joe beckoned. The Campus Life Guard took us aside to the Birch Space Kitchen and began preparing some sandwiches a she explained the various changes occurring on Antioch College that require our immediate attention, as well as the aid of a skilled Campus Life Guard.

“This term is but another in a series of swift changes in policy towards the students of Antioch College. The college moves on with its Renewal Plan, and the Housing website still shows a picture of Birch while leaving it out of its Internet tour of Antioch’s student housing.

Changes that face returning students this term: The necessity of a written proof of illness in order to partake in the Cafeteria’s Food Exchange Program; the lack of a smoking friendly dormitory or hall; the reorganizing of financial aid, of the FWSP; the key card identification system that took years. The understaffed faculty. The Pepto-Bismol nightmare interior of the Antioch Inn Practice Spaces and Hailed Hallway of The Dance Space. The largest first year class in years is also welcomed this term.

This term Antioch will posses the following abandoned residence halls: West, Mills, G Stanley, and Norment. “

The sandwiches were served, along with the proper end of summer cordials. Kim peered out through the Birch Space windows as she elaborated.

Housing

“Gazing about the halls of Birch one cannot find a common space. Instead, the passageway, the hallway, is the common space. Folk hang about as if waiting for the bus or a ride, one leg crooked against the wall, cigarettes in hand.

Fuck not smoking, a bright second year says.

The rooms seem to be in fine working order. Aside from the closet full of ancient piss and the incriminating fleabites that spell “get out.?

Though things seem to have taken a turn for the worse at Birch Town, its residents still have faith in the future. A fancy bench has made its way into one of the dorms halls, providing what would seem to be an attempt at the creation of a common space.

As for smoking, Ohio and many other states have decided to tighten their brassiere in a collective show of progression by banning smoking in some way or another. In Ohio it has been county by county, and while Green County remains indoor smoking friendly Antioch College does not.

The ratio of smoking detectors to smoking Antioch student has continuously caused unwanted smoke alarm detonations, particularly during the last few terms in Birch. It is rumored that tensions are rising between the Yellow Springs Fire Department and Antioch College. It seems that Antioch has been trying to save face, however, what with the sacrificial offering of the recently abandoned Torment Hall to the Fire Department for training exercises.

The RA of Willet Hall in Birch, Rob the Rev, says: “Over the last few terms their have been a lot of fire alarms going off which I think is straining our relationship with the fire department. I think that in the interest of maintaining the basic safety of this campus and the students it would be the logical course to ban smoking.?

For the first year class, North has been rehabilitated with all the floors open and ready for business. Dorm life is being kept closely monitored. Near the entrance to Green Hall there is posted warning about the seriousness of underage drinking and drinking in North. Underage drinking and smoking will not be tolerated. Steve Lawry has voiced his personal concern with underage drinking in North.

Whatever you do, don’t buy any minors beer this term.?

Campus Life

“The Financial Aid restructuring has continued to affect the Community Government and Independent Group’s on campus. The various groups provide resources and outlets for the diverse minds and bodies that compose Antioch College’s student body. These outlets show the true potential of Antioch College as a place for creativity and progress. With their diminished importance and volunteer status, they are threatened to disappear completely without student initiative. Even the Antioch Record itself has been struggling keep a hold of funding.

The first years are on a completely different curriculum from the upper classmen. Their days are spent in class. Most of the steady teachers have been usurped into the CORE program for the first years. For a while the fresh key cards given to returning students did not work in North.

Weekend Dance Space parties have long been a staple of Antioch College nightlife. This term, alcohol will no longer be sold at CG parties. It is sad to see the eradication of one of the most ancient forms of socialization. BYOB is encouraged, but still serves as yet another division between the older and younger students at Antioch College, a school with a very small student body.

The cafeteria has taken a new stance on the food exchange program limiting access to a great idea: take home some of the raw goods that the cafeteria uses. You must have a written notice from a doctor validating your need to partake in this program. At a school that is known for its progressive posturing, you would think the food wouldn’t put people asleep or straining at the toilet! But it does, and the cafeteria remains stigmatized.

Kim Deal really had taken this job full on. My stomach was full, but my head was filled with questions. These questions, like many, desire an answering. I leaned forward on the fancy table and asked, “But Kim, what does anyone think?? I looked at her plainly, naïve to the whole thing. She reached an arm into her pocket and prepared a mini cassette record to myself and Joe. “In order to better understand the changes, I thought it best to speak with some upperclassmen. Here for your pleasure and understanding are the true testimonials of Rob the Rev, and Emily Thornton Wourms

Emily TW

Q: How has your housing situation changed?
A: When I entered I lived in north and it was cesspool of first year debauchery and I liked it that way. The biggest problem with housing is that they don’t differentiate from the people who do drugs and the people who don’t and because of that people are put in awkward positions where their lifestyle conflicts with people around them and I thought that was a very valuable thing and that school did too.

Q: With the changes in smoking and alcohol tolerance do you feel that the school is changing its stance?
A: Oh yeah, we used to have a semi official harm reduction policy when I first entered and now it seems more like z parental relation ship between the students and administration

Q: Do you feel distanced from the first years this term?
A: Yes, but not as much as last year, which I think is very important and a very good sign. I think the issues over housing last year caused a lot of animosity over the first years and older students. I think having the older students in Birch here they’ve always been since I’ve first got here was important.

Q: Do you think that the role of the older students as potential mentors and friends is being eradicated on campus?
A: I think they are trying to formalize that role. I know they have all these official mentor ship programs but when I arrived here there was a lot of informal mentor ships which in a lot of ways worked better because it entered people lives more it was just if you had a problem with homework you had a name you could hunt down, you actually had these relationships. Maybe they are trying creating this in a more formal way, great, but I haven’t seen that happening.

Q: How do you feel about the lack of a common space in Birch?
A: I’m trying to do my senior project, and someone just moved a couch literally a foot and a half from my front door and I think that is going to be very detrimental to me trying to do my senior project, and this was done to compensate for the lack of a proper common space.

Q :Do you feel that a common space is really better than a couch outside your door?
A: A lot better for me.

Q: Why do you think they took the common spaces out of birch??
A: Probably to try to get rid of the community atmosphere that many older students enjoyed here that was somewhat destructive and somewhat dirty but I think that people are just creating that atmosphere in a narrower place that only intensifies that atmosphere, literally narrower.

Q: How do you feel about the need for a doctor’s note in order to partake in the Food Exchange program?
A: I have a bigger problem with not being able to get a refund for your meal plan and take
the money you would have spent on it. The food exchange program is great and if people
can utilize it I think they should but you should be able to opt out of the whole thing.
Q: What would you prescribe to Antioch if you were a doctor?
A: Hmmm, some antibiotics and some Valium.
Reverend Rob
Q: Do you feel cut off from the first years?
A: I do indeed I feel that the first years are in a bubble within a bubble. At the same time when the first
years were put in Birch last years it was the same thing so, I don’t think its so much a spatial issue as
much as a generational issues, as the older generations tend to cut themselves off from first years
and the first years tend to put themselves in a cocoon, it seems this problem would be inevitable
Do we stand a chance?
“Well Kim,? I started, “thanks for taking a good keep over the flock. I feel like my place in the community
is still pretty blurry though. I almost feel sick thinking about these changes. What do we do, Kim??

She stood up from her seat.
“The upperclassmen and first years are presented with some daunting challenges at a college
typically known for its strong community and support of radical thought. The leaves will all being
to fall and time will pass. A healthy diet and good sleep remains important, as well as dancing
and the occasional well supervised consumption of a cold beer and a book. It is up to us to get
what we want, or do what we want. As this term unfolds we will see just what’s in store for us.?
She then jumped through the window, glass shattering in slow motion, and walked off to
stand post as the Campus Life guard.