Last fall semester, I came to school excited about all my classes, only to discover that despite my international relations major, three of my classes were in Morton Hall. Not only was I stuck in Morton every day for a language, I also had to sprint from Morton to the Sir Christopher Wren Building at 3:20p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday to make it (barely) on time to my 3:30p.m. religious studies class that was housed in its departmental building.
While I can complain for far too long about the fact that despite my major, I’ve never had a class in Tyler Hall, the real shame is how much it sucks to be stuck in Morton.
Ideally, it shouldn’t really matter where your classes are, if every building is as wonderfully renovated and modernized as some of our academic buildings are. To be fair, renovation takes time, and it will take time for all buildings to be renovated to the same beautiful standards as buildings like the Integrated Science Center and Tyler Hall. However, there is a vast difference between buildings that are simply old and in need of a new paint job like Washington Hall, and Morton, a building that is deeply flawed and should have been built completely differently.
Firstly, Morton is one of the most confusing architectural buildings, and the strange room numbering doesn’t make it easier to find your way around. The building basically has two first floors depending on where you enter, and the “basement” numbering, like room 20, or 1, is especially not helpful. Looking online to see that I had a class in Morton 4 gave me absolutely no help to figure out where I was supposed to go for the first day of classes.
Beyond the confusing architectural layout, perhaps the worst part of Morton’s structure is the bathrooms. The bathrooms are covered in weird graffiti, perhaps reflective of the unhappiness the lack of a full stall door causes. The pink tile choice is just a desperate attempt to cover up the sadness of the bathrooms themselves, and it doesn’t work. Bathrooms are an important place to take a break, and unhappy bathrooms lead to unhappy students.
There is also the matter of Morton’s classrooms themselves. If the classrooms were nice, welcoming places to learn, perhaps the rest of Morton’s flaws could be forgiven or at the very least overlooked. Yet the opposite is true. Morton’s classrooms always manage to disappoint, whether it be in their chalkboards (which are worse than white boards) always lacking chalk, or the chairs with either tiny desks or broken backs. It is quite upsetting (and not particularly good for the health of students) to have to sit in uncomfortable, often broken chairs for hours on end.
Morton is also inconveniently located, which might be unavoidable but adds to the general unpleasantness of the experience of taking a class there.
I am beyond grateful that I have escaped Morton this semester, though I have yet to make it into the beautiful building in which my major is housed. Still, too many students are forced to take classes in a building that is aesthetically and functionally displeasing. Renovating Morton should be on the College of William and Mary’s list of top refurbishment priorities, but I wish I could travel back in time and beg whoever built it to fix the problems then.
Email Anna Boustany at firstname.lastname@example.org