We need to update the Sunken Garden


Lauren Meyer ’24 is planning to major in anthropology and minor in history. Outside of the Flat Hat, Lauren is a member of Swim Club and is also an avid Swiftie. Email Lauren at lemeyer@email.wm.edu

The views expressed in the article are the author’s own.

The last time I went to the Sunken Garden to hang out was sometime last semester, when my friends and I decided to have a picnic, brought food and blankets and quickly realized that the ground was wet and there were wasps. It’s safe to say that we didn’t stay for very long.

It seems like everyone on campus is always expounding upon the Sunken Garden’s virtues, hailing it as the greatest gift of the College’s campus, the backbone of our campus society, and my question is, “Why?” Genuinely. I know we are not necessarily known as a super social school, but are we serious? Are we all actually buying into the idea that the Sunken Garden is the peak of a College of William and Mary student’s casual daily life?

The Sunken Garden is ugly. The grass is almost always either dead or wet (I’m not even touching on the subject of the Homecoming tent), and it’s quite honestly just a giant green void. I implore you to look up pictures of the Sunken Garden — tell me if any of them really seem like a place that you, a college student, would willingly go to hang out. Especially the picture on the College’s website. It would be laughable if it weren’t so sad.

Both the administration and brainwashed students like to boast about how the Sunken Garden is a prime spot for people to hang out in between classes, but most of the occupancy during the day seems to be solitary students scattered about, a limited number due to the severely low amount of Adirondack chairs. Through my observation over the past week, the highest number of people I saw at one time on the Sunken Garden was 16, which isn’t a bad number, but out of 6,000 undergraduates, it’s not really a number to boast about.

The thing is, it wouldn’t be that hard to remedy the banal existence of the Sunken Garden. Put in more chairs. Maybe add some permanent seating, like a low stone bench surrounding the edges — it wouldn’t disrupt people’s frisbee or spikeball games. We could add a non-problematic statue. A small water feature (something that this campus is severely lacking — fountains). Maybe even some flowers on the sloped edges, so that the place would live up to its name, an actual garden instead of a pit.

People don’t want to spend time in places that aren’t enjoyable to be in. Although the Sunken Garden is in a convenient location, nothing else serves to incentivize students to utilize it. The addition of fire pits last year was a great step in the direction of making it more accessible in the cold months, but a lot more is left to be desired on the aesthetics front. It’s a shame too, because the Sunken Garden is a focal point of our campus, and it is in no way living up to its potential. Just think of how nice it would be to see an actually pretty lawn in the middle of our campus, instead of the ugliest stretch of grass that you’ve ever seen.


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