BY GRAY WHITSETT – OPINIONS EDITOR
Citing glorious days of untold vandalism, flame runs, and endemic stench, Centre College graduate and veteran of Nevin Hall William Withers was outraged this homecoming weekend to find the building he once called home inhabited by men and women alike.
“I’m livid,” the 1981 graduate said, after shot-gunning his ninth beer before entering the annual homecoming football game. “After nearly beating down the front door and bullying the resident assistant of my old floor, I was shocked to find women living in my former stomping grounds.”
An English major whose dream of writing the next great American novel landed him an insurance job and substance abuse problems, Withers recalled fond memories of living in Nevin Hall his freshman year.
“I remember on my first day my roommate, Bill Button, welcomed me with a slap on the back and a remark about how heavy my girlfriend looked. We used to sneak up to the roof of Young and throw rocks at drunk girls. We had some good times, Bill and I.”
Bill Button is now serving time in federal prison for sexual assault.
“Yeah, that sounds like ole Billy,” Withers added.
Built in 1968, Nevin Hall has served since as a residence hall for freshmen men. For many graduates of Centre, it has become legendary as a site of all things ridiculous, masculine, and downright absurd. Named after a prominent Louisville architect and former Centre College Board of Trustees member Hugh L. Nevin, it has seen much of the changes on campus throughout the latter half of the twentieth century. Mr. Nevin designed Nevin Hall and eight other buildings on campus, giving to the college much of its distinctive aesthetic. Little did Mr. Nevin know he would be the father of a wretched hive of scum and villainy.
“I’ve worked for Centre since the early 70s, and you never know what could possibly be happening in Nevin,” Director of Facilities Management and former mall Santa Wayne King said. “For the first five or six years, I would go there with my crew to maintenance it. After that, I just stopped going for my health. The past decade or so we’ve been using Nevin to haze the new employees. It works like a charm.”
Now, however, the culture of the building is changing, as the 2015-16 school year is the first time Nevin Hall will be co-ed, and the change is expected to remain.
“We’ve had a lot of success with this approach in other first-year halls,” Director of Residence Life Jacob Raderer said. “It gives us more flexibility and we’ve actually seen negative behavior decline. It just makes sense.”
To any reasonable person the reform does indeed seem prudent. But that didn’t stop alumni like Withers from protesting the alteration.
“Used to be you could put a bunch of men together and let them endanger their lives and the lives of others in peace,” Withers said. “Now it’s all fire safety this, noise complaint that. Utterly ridiculous is what it is.”
Sporting a fundamentally backward understanding of sexuality and a camo “Reagan/Bush ‘84” baseball cap, Withers also resented the atmosphere the change has brought about.
“These girls I saw on the hall, they were all smiles and polite hellos. The hall decorations were still up, encouraging messages were written on their dry erase boards, and the distinct smell of dead animals was nowhere to be found.”
The change of residents in Nevin Hall wasn’t the only new thing for alumni to stomach, however. A thorough renovation of the bathrooms was also conducted over the summer, something Withers was equally distraught over.
“They were clean, spacious, and well-kept,” Withers said between yelling obscenities at innocent students. “Where was the vomit, the mud, the half-naked frat guys? At one point I thought I got a whiff of air freshener – what the <censored>?”
Not all visiting alumni were as upset. Some even were in support of the policy changes.
“I’ll be honest, I have some great stories from my Nevin days,” classmate of Withers Herb Guthrie said. “But there’s only so many times you can wake up in a pool of your own filth before you start to wonder: ‘Is there more?’”
“We really do understand that Nevin is something of an icon in Centre history and we value that,” Raderer said. “But there’s a difference between a cesspool of disease and a cultural motif. We want provide an enjoyable but healthy living environment.”
The Student and Residence Life Offices have taken pains to distance the college from less-than-safe behaviors of the past. But every year in the month of October the desirable and undesirable alike make their trek back to Mother Centre, and Department of Public Safety officers brace themselves for the highest liability weekend of the school year.
“People use words like ‘difficult,’ ‘toxic,’ and ‘sociopathic’ to describe me,” Withers said. “All I know is, my six years at Centre were well spent.”
Editor’s Note: The previous article is from the CentOnion series, a satirical publication focused on parodying various subjects unique to Centre College’s campus.
As such, all content within this article is purely fictional and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Cento or Centre College.
In addition all quotations used in this article are purely fictional and do not necessarily reflect the views of the individuals quoted.