Upon what meat have you fed
that you can…
No place like the shoreland
The October 17 Maroon reports that the
housing office is considering closing Shoreland Hall as an undergraduate
dormitory, to be replaced by a new dorm south of the Midway. I was
shocked to read of this possibility. I cannot emphasize too strongly
how regrettable such a decision would be.
I lived in the Shoreland and enjoyed the experience
enough that I stayed there all four years. It was and is the nicest
dorm I have ever set foot in, seen, or heard of, at this school
or any other.
I still speak fondly of it, earning disbelieving
reactions from people whose concepts of dorm life are more conventional
and disappointing. What other dorm offers spacious, carpeted apartments,
private kitchens and baths, and views of the lake? Vintage architecture,
a magnificent mezzanined lobby, cozy lounges, and study rooms overlooking
a landscaped courtyard? Perhaps most dorms have a billiards-and-video-game
room, but how many have a ballroom? And if it’s a
shuttle ride or a few minutes’ extra walk to the quads, that’s
more than a fair trade-off for being closer to Hyde Park’s
shopping and dining, to the lake and the Point, to the express buses
downtown. Indeed, 15 years along, it remains my favorite place I’ve
A student living in the Shoreland is part of
three communities: the Shoreland itself, self-contained, lively
and cohesive in a way few dorms achieve; the University community,
with its intellectual ferment and rich traditions; and the larger
community of the city of Chicago, from which so many U of Cers are
needlessly cut off. No newly built, campus-focused dorm could be
an adequate substitute.
In the Shoreland the University has something distinctive and precious,
befitting the U of C’s own unique status in American undergraduate
education. To close it down, to willfully surrender what is arguably
the best undergraduate dorm in the country, would be an irreplaceable
loss and a tragic mistake.
Chris Miller, AB’89
For more about the Shoreland, see “College
Report,” page 24.—Ed.
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