By Etta Moen
Lewis & Clark requires students to live on campus for at least two years, providing an array of living options. Each residence hall is known to have a different environment, a personality of sorts, but is where people live correlated to their extracurriculars? Copeland has been called a myriad of nicknames, yet it is commonly referred to as the “athlete dorm.” How does this perception hold to be true for different students?
Many student-athletes do live in Copeland. Sydney Cross ’21, a third baseman on the softball team, plans to live in Copeland for all of the required two years.
“I wanted to live in Copeland because it was the dorm I stayed in when I came for my visit and I really liked it,” Cross said. “I think there is a very strong athlete presence in Copeland, and that is why lots of people see it as the ‘athlete dorm.’ I definitely notice the large number of athletes in Copeland. Most of the people that live in my wing in Copeland are athletes.”
However, there are also many athletes that do not live in Copeland and enjoy living elsewhere. Kara Wood ’21, a Resident Advisor in Platt-Howard and track and cross country player, reflected on why she prefers not to live in Copeland.
“I do at times feel separated from the student-athlete community, but that is largely intentional,” Wood said. “If I had wanted to become more engaged in the student-athlete community I would have chosen to live in Copeland. I have a lot of friends who are athletes on campus and I love my teammates but I also recognize that a lot of other students on campus draw connections between the student-athlete community at Lewis & Clark and the Greek systems at other colleges. Being an athlete is only part of who I am as a student and I don’t want my other friends to think of me as only an athlete, so I don’t mind being a step apart from the student-athlete community.”
Despite the sense that Copeland is geared towards athletes, there are non-athletes living there as well. Max Colmenares ’20, the lead Resident Advisor in Copeland has spent a lot of time patrolling the halls of Copeland and observing what goes on.
“I don’t consider Copeland to be the athletic residence hall, partly because we try pretty hard as a staff team to fight the perceptions that Copeland is the athletic residence hall,” Colmenares said. “That label erases all the people who don’t fit that label. There are students in theatre, student government, arts, science, gaming society, fire arts, or some combination of activities that may include athletics too. I think it’s something people use to describe the dorm as a derogatory term sometimes, which is not only reductive, it’s making broad judgments about a diverse group of people.”
It is safe to say that in general, there is a large concentration of student-athletes that do live in Copeland their first or second year, however, the perception of it being an “athlete” dorm seems to vary across the board.