I’m not exactly the type that’s eager to let go. The photos hanging in my dorm room are the same photos that were hanging last year and the year before, the same goes for the memorabilia pinned to my corkboard, and I still act like I’m a first-year living in Bassett. Alright, so I’ve matured a bit, I’m applying for jobs these days, and I spend much less time on East Campus than I did as a first-year, but my allegiance to the temple that was my first-year residence hall hasn’t faltered in the slightest. In fact, as a rising senior on the First-Year Advisory Council Board, I’ll be training the sophomores that will welcome the lucky 118 students occupying the halls of Bassett in the fall!
My love for Bassett can be credited to a number of things – the tight-knit community, the Duke basketball players that were my neighbors (and the fact that Andre Dawkins calls me his “wifey”), the huge walk-in closet I had…
And my love for Bassett takes physical form in one glorious, custom-made, perfectly placed structure that puts all other structures to shame.
If you’ve been to campus, you’ve noticed that one of our trademarks is to have oversized benches in front of residence halls. Built by the members of those residence halls, these benches are just as much a place to relax as they are a display of pride. When I arrived to campus in the fall of 2009, Bassett didn’t have a bench, so the members of Bassett House Council took it upon ourselves to change that.
The Pratt students in Bassett mapped out the design for our customized, wrap-around bench – the superior residents of Bassett Hall would never succumb to the limitations of a pre-designed bore. We enlisted resident artist Dayna Uyeda to put together a mural inspired by our boys of basketball, and calculated the plywood, bolts, and tools we’d need to make our dream a reality. Hours (and hours, and hours) later, the structure we’d all fantasized about stood proudly outside of our dorm. Our House.
Two years later, the bench still stands in front of Bassett, reminding East Campus that Bassett reigns supreme. Despite the bonfires that have occurred since its erection to celebrate Duke’s wins against UNC and at the NCAA National Championship, no one would ever dare to toss this work of art into a pit of flames.
To the current sophomores that spent sunny afternoons relaxing on that bench last year, you’re welcome. To the first-years living in Bassett now, warmly welcomed home by this momentous structure after strenuous classes, you’re welcome. To the first-years that will arrive to campus in the fall, see that bench, and know that they’ve been assigned to the best first-year residence hall, you’re welcome.
Class of 2013
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