House on the Hill
Published: Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 19:01
Upper Campus has always been a bit removed from the center of campus life. Not as much as Newton Campus, of course, but now, with the construction in the Dustbowl, it takes a bit more effort to climb up to the freshman residence halls. The sight of freshmen straggling through the Dustbowl back to Medeiros and Gonzaga has been replaced by that of revelers coming up Beacon Street, or down College Road.
Last year, there was some talk about directing more funds to the O'Connell House, rethinking how the facility is used, and how it can be better appropriated to the needs of students, freshmen in particular. The O'Connell House is the only building on this campus that can play host to the kind of student programming that is most successful – that devised by students. Often, the O'Connell House coordinates programming with Nights on the Heights (NOTH). However, a calendar of upcoming NOTH events features none that will take place at the O'Connell House.
We've written about the O'Connell House many times before, and last year we applauded the managers for their efforts. Our intention now is not to suggest that something isn't being done, but rather that there are more opportunities to explore.
We'd like to think that our observations in regard to the O'Connell House are being overlooked because of their simplicity. But as brevity is the soul of wit, ease is at the heart of every memorable Friday or Saturday night. The O'Connell House should be used to host larger-scale events, such as both student and non-student band performances, as well as impromptu freshman gatherings. If the house was in another location, we'd recommend it as the perfect location for a campus pub, but a coffee house would do just as well. Programming for the O'Connell House should not be difficult. If you make it somewhere that caters to the basic student needs – coffee, the occasional cause of some sort, and companionship – it will be a success.
In our minds, the O'Connell House will be living up to its fullest potential when the flow of students is reversed, and upperclassmen start making the trek to Upper Campus.