Despite age, Morton Hall better than students say

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GRAPHIC BY CAITLIN McCLAIN / THE FLAT HAT

How would you like it if you were constantly made fun of by people around you, even people with whom you spend copious amounts of time? How would it feel to be constantly called mean names such as “outdated,” “ugly,” “smelly” and “useless”? Would you enjoy being vandalized by angsty twamps with inappropriate messages and images that would make your grandmother cry? If you answered “no” to any of these questions, I have one more inquiry for you: Have you ever made fun of Morton Hall?

I’m writing today on behalf of my unrequited love for the best building on this campus: the one and only Morton.

I won’t lie to you, I started off as a Morton hater. In my defense, it was all I knew as a measly freshman. Before registering for first-semester classes, my trusty Orientation Aides informed me that Morton was, certifiably, the worst academic building on campus. And of course, I believed them, because as a freshman, that’s what you do. So, I went forward that semester with no classes in Morton, not knowing what I was missing but glad that I was missing it. I don’t see it that way anymore, though, and frankly, I enjoy my time in Morton.

Morton sure takes a lot of heat from the student body here at the College of William and Mary, with complaints ranging from the height of the bathroom stalls, the size of the classrooms and the sheer number of stairs. Other qualms include cockroach sightings, confusing room numbers, outdated furniture and paint jobs and the fact that the building itself is just so old. However, I feel that many of these grievances have a silver lining.
My least favorite Morton-induced complaint is about the stairs. Objectively, they are just normal stairs. Sure, there are a lot of them. Sure, it’s annoying that you enter from the basement, so a second-floor class requires climbing three flights of stairs. But they’re still just stairs, and even though they may not be pretty, they get the job done. And hey, your calf muscles will thank you. I can tell you that after numerous classes in Morton, walking to my third-floor dorm room is a breeze.

Next, I understand that short bathroom stalls aren’t ideal, but is it really that big of an issue? Men, I can’t speak for you, but women aren’t standing up in the stalls anyway. Believe it or not, the short stalls in Morton can even lead to human interaction — you can’t make eye contact with a fellow student over the stall wall and not give a little “howdy.” Look at that socializing! Thanks, Morton.

Another pro of the Morton bathrooms is the delightful pink tile on the walls. The color reminds me a little bit of Pepto-Bismol, but that can be comforting in a way. Looking at them with the right mindset, they can be pretty cheerful.

Lastly, if you survived your freshman dorm, you can most definitely survive the stray cockroach occurrences in Morton. I’m not saying that cockroaches don’t freak me out, because they do, but if you don’t bother them, they won’t bother you.

As a sociology major, I’ve learned to love Morton, and it has become somewhere I feel at home. Maybe it’s the friendly environment made up of dedicated professors I’ve had there and cool students I’ve met in classes, or maybe it’s the pink bathroom walls that can always provide a colorful pick-me-up. Whatever it is, I strongly believe that Morton has character, and if personality is what I look for when picking my friends, then why wouldn’t it be what I look for when picking my favorite academic building?

Email Lauren Cohen at lhcohen01@email.wm.edu.