Regarding Hall Brotherhood

I recently had a hall meeting. The signs were posted all across Mays Hall for people to gather at ten in the evening. After three years of hearing the standard boilerplate, I mulled over whether or not I should attend. My nagging sense of obligation forced me to attend. I would say that I regretted the decision but then I wouldn’t have this article.

After some confusion about the meeting changing from a general hall meeting to simultaneous floor meetings (which is entirely the fault of the residential life staff considering no one received proper notification of this change), we went over the standard “getting to know you” meeting. Somehow, this meeting was different.

The hallway was louder than in prior years. The people seemed glad to be there. Too many doors were open in the day. People are talking of hall step teams and chants and hand signs. For some odd reason, Mays hall was acting like a freshman dormitory (or at least the third floor was).

There are a few astute people about the campus that find it somewhat ironic that many people find such identity in where they rest their head at night at Morehouse College. The housing procedure should not call for this. I’m not concerned about the “brotherhood” of Mays Hall. I could care less about the history of the building. I chose to live in Mays because it has a central location in the campus, because it is adjacent to the cafeteria, because the lounge is spacious and a good location for late night games of poker and bid whist, and, at the time, it was close to KN Henry’s office (who resigned this summer).

It is really quite silly to identify oneself with where one lives here, even for the freshman. The selection process for freshman isn’t based on one’s aptitude in a skill or SAT results. Normally, roommates are placed in opposing regions of the US, but that’s about it. The only group of freshmen that is actually in a building for a specific reason is the honors program students in Graves Hall. After a year or so, this means little to most of them when they realize they get the same degree as the rest of us.

If anything, finding identity with a residence hall only separates us. The freshmen hold some arbitrary allegiance with a building and believe they should fight over locale year after year. They make t-shirts and form step teams, but three years everyone is thinking the same thing, I’m almost done and I have to get out of here.

The primary objective of any college is to learn what is necessary and get a degree. Other deeper meanings here are to learn about oneself, gain responsibility, growing into the men that we should be, know the value of a liberal arts education, and others. It shouldn’t have to involve making up chants or shirtless pictures.

Besides, there are so many other things that separate us here that seem far more justified than where I pay rent. Everyone can gang up against the business majors for sapping resources, while they can still be some of the largest alumni benefactors to the college (even though only 26% of alumni give back to the school). The science majors can still believe that they are the only majors that matter. English, History, and African-American Studies can still live in perfect harmony. Most of us can be glad we don’t wear bowties.

If anything, the notion of brotherhood should spark by the fact that we are men. Most of us are Black and have a common struggle. God (or one’s respective religion or lack thereof) oversees us all. We all hope for a quick end to the Iraq War. We all think that Soul Plane was an awful movie. There are so many things that unite us. If anything, we should focus on these, not the fact that I live two doors down.

Rent is rent, not a common bond. If anyone tells you otherwise, s/he isn’t looking at the whole situation.


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