Copeland oh Copeland, how I love thee, even if you stink sometimes

The painting of the surprised blue baby in the basement of the E wing in Copeland Hall has become an iconic part of the dorm. Photo by Jo Tabacek

I was consistently given one piece of advice when applying to Lewis & Clark: do not apply to live in Copeland. I was told Copeland was the worst dorm to live in as it is loud, dirty and divided between athletes and non-athletes. Despite my initial apprehension upon learning Copeland is where I would be living as a first-year, I quickly learned to love this strange corner of LC. 

Although many are quick to emphasize and overstate how filthy Copeland is, many of these statements are rooted in an echo chamber of extreme hyperbole. Beyond the over-exaggeration about just how dirty Copeland is, it is still a college dorm. I have not seen a single kitchen sink in a dorm that was not flooded with dishes or a single bathroom wastebasket where people dunk their paper towels with perfect accuracy. I do not understand why people are surprised and upset that a building designed to house feral college students is dirty, or somehow noticeably worse than the other dorms.

Additionally, the claim that living with student-athletes makes Copeland a worse dorm is rude and insulting to other students. People who criticize Copeland because the student-athletes live there only perpetuate the cultural divide between student-athletes and their peers, while also insulting their fellow LC students.

Copeland as a dorm is also a hotbed of student activity, both facilitated by the RAs and its residents. The Copeland RAs frequently host events like grill lunches, ice cream socials or even the “Copeland Games” where Copeland halls compete against each other. Beyond the RA-hosted events, there is always something going on in Copeland, whether it is five in the afternoon or two in the morning. The residents here frequently host fun events that just are not common in other dorms. Copeland residents regularly have cooking nights where they make tacos or pancakes together, which results in a charming, chaotic mess of cooking and some free food. Copeland residents also host birthday parties for each other with cake and party hats. For those uninterested in food or parties, card game nights are abundant and open to everyone.

Copeland also has fostered a strange cultural identity. It is the only dorm on campus where you are greeted by a flag of Guy Fieri with the term “Flavortown” upon your return from classes. Copeland also hosts legendary rooms such as the blue baby room where a creepy baby mural stares at you from every angle. It is also the only dorm with a bathtub nestled deep in the A-wing. It is difficult to get bored in Copeland because there is always something fun to explore and find. The maze-like design of the dorm might confuse some, but it also houses some fun hidden areas.

Copeland is more than the sum of its parts. It might be loud and dirty like most college dorms, but it also provides a fun and comfortable place for LC students to live in. Although it may be an unconventional living situation, I am glad I live in Copeland because if I did not, I would not have the amazing friends, stories and memories that I have now.

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