Point/Counterpoint: Southwest is the best

By Roy Ribitzky

The other day I stared deep into my mirror in my awesome Z-room in Southwest and said, “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who in the land is fairest of them all?” To cut a really long fairy tale short, the mirror just stared back at me. I guess I’ll just have to fight for Southwest on my own.

The Southwest residential living area clearly has the upper hand on Central. For starters, everyone knows where Southwest is. Central? Not so much. I can go up that treacherous hill from Franklin to, for example, Dickinson Hall in Orchard Hill yet the adjacent buildings atop the hill, such Van Meter and Butterfield, are a part of Central. How does that make sense? Pick a side of a hill already, will ya?

I am not sure why Central residents make such a big deal about Z-rooms. Not only are they different from the rest of the living area dormitories, but they offer some – however limited – privacy. Roommates have their own side, and can easily hang a curtain between the sections for added privacy. You can’t exactly split a square room in the old buildings in Central. Walk-in closets in Central? Great. How about walk in living rooms in Southwest? That’s right. I’ve got my living room on one side and the master bedroom on the other. I also have a Z-room to myself, so that might be a little bit more privileged than most other Southwest residents. But I have still seen awesome setups that I have yet to see in the boring old boxes up in Central.

I mentioned in the previous article about Southwest that we are close to the athletic fields, the new recreation center, two DC’s, a relatively “convenient” convenience store, and we really are not that far from our classes. We have a nice, healthy walk to the academic side of campus. Those up the hill in Orchard Hill – I mean Central, whichever area those buildings are a part of – have that horrid looking monstrosity of their very own Mt. Everest to climb up. Both DC’s are down the hill, too – great planning on behalf of the campus to make it even more difficult for people to go up that mountain.

My counterpart wrote that residents in Southwest struggle to get sleep because of the “noise.” I highly doubt students get many hours of sleep anyways. We have rigorous classes to finish homework in and socials we have with friends that go well into the night.

Now, I actually live in Southwest, and the noise really is not that bad. I might be used to it because I’ve lived in areas where people actually went out of their houses and apartments and socialized, so the noise probably does not affect me as much as someone that can not handle two people talking in the next room. The idea that Southwest is the nosiest place on campus is a fallacy; I have been up in Central late at night, and the noise level was just like in Southwest.

Southwest also holds the best social events on campus. Southwest Week, put on by the hard workers and volunteers in the Southwest Area Government, was again a hit this year. Five full days of fun times – unlike Fill the Hill, a whopping one-day event – represents the balance of work and fun we experience in Southwest. There a lot of 4.0 GPA students living in Southwest; there are a lot of honors students who live here and manage to have social lives as well. I like to have a balance in life: work, school and friends. Up in Central it’s all “work, work and work some more! And maybe I’ll hang out with you later…not!”

I’m sorry to bash so much on Central. I tried last time to point out the positives and similarities between the living areas, but, ultimately, “there can be only one.” Down here, we’re healthier, have more fun and do awesomely in school.

It is nice to walk around Southwest and know the campus is actually alive. We have a vibrant atmosphere – there’s no surprise that school administrators like to take their guests to Berkshire. They like to show the bustling and active part of campus, other than the classrooms. We are close enough to class that we don’t have that hard a time getting there but we are far enough that we don’t feel overwhelmed with constant pressure of academics. I’ve never ran into people traffic in Southwest either, so I’m not sure what Central people talk about when they say it takes an extra ten minutes to walk under the tunnel.

Overall, Southwest is just fun. I’m 10 minutes from class and 10 minutes from Amherst Center. I know that there will always be people chilling and hanging out and doing work in Southwest – simply put, we have everything going on. Balance is key in life, and we have it.

I’m sure my mirror on the wall would agree with me. In the mean time, rock on Southwest residents and vote for your living area to prove you’re the best.

Roy Ribitzky is a Collegian columnist. He can be reached at [email protected]