Zachary McKinley

Russell House changes, culture does not

As students become upperclassmen, it is perfectly OK for Russell House to take a back seat so that students can get involved in more specialized communities on campus. 

At the end of freshman year, many students point to Russell House as their home base. Having the largest selection for on-campus dining, various study areas and student organization meetings, it serves as an excellent display of what our university has to offer. 

It is a place for people to gather and celebrate both their differences and commonalities. While it still serves the purpose of a campus wide gathering place, some of the secondary functions of Russell House become less useful to students as they continue their academic careers. 

While Russell House should continue to be a gathering place for students, it’s important for students to be able to move on from it to pursue their own interests all around campus, rather than being tied to one building. No matter how much Russell House is improved, it will never be able to cater to the endless and diverse interests and pursuits of students on campus. 

As they enter their upper level courses, many students start to spend more of their time on campus inside their college-specific academic buildings. They can also get involved in organizations that are more field-focused. These allow students to be among their peers and those interested in the same things as them, which can help students in future careers. The goal shouldn’t be to consolidate all these communities into Russell, but to foster these communities wherever they are on campus. 

Instead of focusing on how to make the Russell House building better, we should focus on the interests of our diverse population of students and what they want out of campus as a whole, wherever they find communities with the same interests. We can’t contain our university’s diverse community into one building. Russell House should serve a jumping-off point for students to find where they want to take their place in our university's legacy. 

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