The flooding in Jordan Hall is a prime example of the Butler Way. Photo by Grace Hensley.
SADIA KHATRI | OPINION COLUMNIST | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Butler Way: we’ve all heard of it. Demanding commitment, denying selfishness, accepting reality and seeking improvement is what we’re, supposedly, made of. But the Butler Way is so much more than that. There are a plethora of things on campus that I think represent the Butler Way that we don’t talk about enough.
Floods on campus
This university has many charms. I am, of course, a fan of the paved brick sidewalks like anyone else. I think that they are picturesque and add character. However, campus has the tendency to flood as soon as there is even a mild sprinkling of rain, and the sidewalks here are not paved evenly.
Once it begins raining, campus almost drowns. Regardless of how much it is raining, I have to jump around when I’m walking to class to make sure my shoes don’t get wet. I feel like I am walking through the remnants of the lost city of Atlantis when it rains. That’s just the Butler way.
Sophomore strategic communications major Kyle Kane has an issue with campus floods as well, and he raised some health concerns.
“Trench foot was a really bad problem in World War I,” Kane said. “It came from soldiers having to walk through foot-high waters in their trenches. And I’m just curious about the statistics the health department at Butler University has to deal with when it rains because of the massive amounts of puddles on this campus.”
I’ll be honest, I hadn’t considered the health and wellness ramifications of the puddles. I was simply complaining on the basis of sheer inconvenience. But Kane raised a valuable point that opened my eyes to the broader consequences of these campus floods. Are we causing students to develop trench foot?
Another major issue with the floods is that it takes so much time to commute from class to class.
“It takes me five minutes extra … to walk to my classes because I gotta divert 12 ponds on my way to class,” Kane said.
We should all be walking faster, but the rain just doesn’t allow that. How am I supposed to walk quickly when I am hopping throughout campus like a godforsaken kangaroo?
However, not everyone is a critic of the puddles. Senior strategic communications major Grace Gordon is a major fan of the rain puddles.
“I personally love it,” Gordon said. “I think it gives me an opportunity to work on my parkour as I jump around. I think my galoshes are my favorite shoe that I own, and the more chances I get to break those out, the better.”
I respect Gordon’s dedication to parkour, but I have to say that I would personally prefer to practice my parkour moves outside of my walk to class. But regardless of where you’re practicing your parkour, the Butler Way includes having to jump around to get to class.
Jordan Hall is dying
Jordan Hall is an undeniably beautiful building. It has that perfect historic allure, and it fuels the inner academic within all of us.
Sophomore biology major Zayd Almaya has a deep appreciation for the building.
“I really like Jordan,” Almaya said. “Jordan from the outside looks awesome. It really looks cool and historic.”
But as the saying goes, we cannot judge a book by its cover. Or rather, we can’t judge an old building by how pretty the exterior looks. Just because Jordan Hall looks lovely on the outside, unfortunately, does not mean it is just as lovely on the inside, and Almaya agrees.
“Once you go inside, there’s something wrong,” Almaya said. “The vibe is weird.”
The vibe in Jordan Hall is definitely off. I am no architect or contractor, but I think Jordan Hall might be going through a rough patch at the moment. She’s going through a bad breakup, perhaps. But, there is nothing more representative of the Butler experience than a historic building crumbling away. It’s an experience that is unique to this university.
Kane shared that he is in awe at the fact that Jordan Hall hasn’t had any victims.
“I’m just surprised a piece of the ceiling hasn’t fallen and killed a kid yet,” Kane said.
When I think of Butler, I think of Jordan Hall and the various issues that come along with it. Whether it’s water damage or terrible WiFi reception, Jordan Hall has you covered if you ever need a problematic spot on campus. Why walk outside in the rain when you can take the stairs in Jordan Hall and feel droplets of water trickle down on your head?
One particular issue that I personally had not paid heed to is the comfort level of the chairs in Jordan Hall. This was a major dealbreaker for Almaya.
“I also really despise the chairs in Jordan,” Almaya said. “Some of them used to have wheels so at least you had some mobility, but now they took them away. So it’s like [you’re] stuck in place.”
The chairs being stuck in place is perfectly representative of Jordan Hall’s historic nature of being stagnant in the past. I can’t imagine what it must be like to be lured into a very lovelylovely and academic-looking building only to find that you are trapped in chairs that don’t allow any mobility, so my sympathies go out to Almaya.
I don’t think there are many things that are as representative of Butler as a lack of equity for all students. An example of this is inaccessibility. The Butler experience is operations vehicles parking in accessible parking spots. There are a handful of issues, some recent and some older, that point to this university’s disregard for the needs of students with disability accommodations.
“I think that Butler is inaccessible, period,” Gordon said. “I think it’s time [Butler University starts] listening to students, which is the Butler Way.”
If you thought that ableism was the only issue on campus with respect to inequity, you would be wrong. Whether we’re trying to prevent prominent civil rights leaders from speaking on campus or causing emotional harm to students of color that are invested in diversity, equity and inclusion work, Butler has provided us all with a plethora of conflicts.
Inflation aside, don’t we all just love a good, old-fashioned price increase? I think that everyone that attends this university definitely enjoys tuition and alleged parking pass price increases. This semester, students were made aware of an increase in tuition and proposed parking pass price increases.
Kane is adamantly opposed to these strange price increases and wonders why they are even occurring.
“It’s just kind of baloney,” Kane said. “Butler talks a lot about equity and diversity on this campus and how important it is, but when you raise tuition, and you’re citing reasons that [are irrelevant and] that don’t make sense … not only are you affecting … socioeconomic diversity but diversity in general.”
I think that increases in tuition and other fees are peak private university behavior. That’s the Butler Way, baby.
Is there anything better than a meal of soggy fries and cold pasta from Plum Market? Butler Dining has a notorious reputation, even though many would argue that they have certainly improved over the past few years. But nonetheless, I think almost every student has had a negative Butler dining experience at some point.
The food may not be Michelin-rated, but Gordon shared her appreciation for Butler dining trying their best.
“They are trying so hard,” Gordon said. “[But,] it’s a little bit of a bummer that the food is not the funnest part of the dining hall.”
It’s ironic that the food isn’t the highlight of the dining hall, but I think it’s just part of the iconic Butler experience even though, slowly but surely, things are getting better. Over the course of Almaya’s time on campus, improvements have been made.
“With time it has gotten better,” Almaya said. “Some days are really, really good, and some days are really, really bad.”
The general scholarly consensus is that Butler dining continues to get better as it ages. It’s essentially like a fine wine or certain actors.
Butler dining is making strides towards improvements, and there is nothing more representative of the Butler experience than the community trying its absolute best. It’s very admirable.
The Butler Way is defined by a multitude of experiences. I love Butler, but I don’t think we can separate it from all of the various issues that come along with it.
The next time you’re jumping through puddles after a questionable Atherton meal in order to get to your class on time, just to notice that a piece of the Jordan Hall ceiling is about to fall on your head, just know that we’ve all been there, done that. That’s the Butler Way.