Barrows is the kind of place that is easy to hate.
Called incestuous by some and unique by others, it's easy to see that Barrows holds a special niche on this campus. The all-female hall in the south wing of the dorm is often called the "nunnery," and often times the residents' behavior reflects the title.
But regardless of whether it is loved or hated, missed or not missed, the south wing of Barrows will be gone next year, reduced to rubble to make way for the construction of the new science building.
The reaction of those living in the south wing of Barrows this year can only be called apathetic. With a few complaints by residents that they haven't been given permission to destroy the rooms before the wrecking ball comes, no one is overly upset or has sentimental attachment to the wing.
"I'm happy that I'm not going to be living here next year. It's a very unsocial hallway," first-year Sharonn Tantoco said about the first-floor. "I have no emotional connection to the place."
First-year Rebecca Adelman felt more attached. "This is my first little place. It will be sad to think of my room reduced to rubble. I feel like I should feel really be upset, but I don't," she said.
Adelman said Barrows is definitely not up to par with other dorms. "Compared to other dorms on this campus it was a disappointment. But I guess I kind of miss it when I'm not here," she said.
Junior Tiffany Davis lived in Barrows her first year. "I haven't been back since," Davis said. "It's too institutional. The walls are cinder-block brick. I mean come on, what's to like?"
Adelman was more upset about the outside of the building. Along with the south wing of Barrows, the south end of North Quad will be the site of the beginning of the Science Center with ground breaking beginning this summer.
"My favorite place is the stoop outside," Adelman said. "I feel like I should have a shot gun and lemonade because it's my stoop."
First-year Dawn Sweeney thinks the demolition and future construction of the science building will give her some good stories to tell.
"I think it's neat that I'll be able to go into the Science building with my kids and say this is where I slept my first year here," she said.
First-year Sumit Patel was more militant about the destruction. "It'd be cool if they let us do anything we wanted to the room. You know, get out your anger," he said.
His friend, first-year Jennifer Yoon, felt the loss of the Quad was what people should be upset about. "It seems a shame to cut off the Quad like that. It's a nice open space," she said.
On the way out: Barrows' south wing will be torn down this summer to make way for the new Science Center. (file photo)
Copyright © 1999, The Oberlin Review.
Volume 127, Number 24, May 14, 1999
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