I Didn’t Live There

I can’t get through Bexley’s tribute video “We Lived Here – You Didn’t” without tearing up a bit.

My first tour of MIT was not of any new fancy shiny dorms. It was through Bexley – with its dark lighting, painted slogans and scruffy atmosphere. My Bexley friend, playing as tour guide, told the story of “2.361 – Friction and Lubrication”. My friends were put off by the grunge, but I was intrigued. Later, as a prefrosh coming to MIT, when I heard the news about Bexley being shut down, I was stunned. The news came just before finals. The same tour guide who had led me through was having to help her friends who had become physically ill with the news.

You’re right. I didn’t live there. But the love for that community, the ability to do stupid things, to turn your living space into your own – it’s so apparent in the video and  in interactions with Bexiles that it screams out, crying desperately to be heard.

And then you tell me that “Any new building we construct will soon develop a culture of its own“? Pointing to Maseeh and Simmons as paragons of this ideal? Please.

I refer you to what the New York Times had to say about Simmons: “Someday — when the designer chairs are all busted and tampons protrude from the wooden panels in the ceilings — this is going to be one hell of a dorm.”. We don’t need to wait for that dream. It already exists – in EC, Senior Haus, Bexley and Random. You tore down one. Don’t destroy the others.

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