When The Commons began its two-year renovation, it sent shockwaves through the on-campus culture, forcing South Side students to walk all the way to the MSC or, worse, Sbisa, for food and entertainment. The reopening of the Commons is a monumental shift in the pace of on-campus life. However, upperclassmen that toured the Commons out of curiosity and nostalgia expressed surprise and frustration regarding the new furnishings.
Most complaints focused on the quality and aesthetic appeal of what The Mugdown has termed “New Commons.”
“It’s so freakin’ nice?!” said junior electrical engineering major Jedidiah Moseley. “The Commons isn’t supposed to be nice; it’s supposed to be grungy and depressing. That was the whole point!” Moseley cited the poor conditions of the Old Commons as a bonding experience requisite of being an Aggie.
“If you didn’t almost slip on the old floors when they were being cleaned, if you didn’t stay up until 3am crying on those stained old couches, and if you’d didn’t have ping-pong tournaments with all of the broken paddles, I don’t know if I can even call you a true Aggie,” said Moseley.
The biggest trigger for Moseley, however, was the notion that the basement will open as a fully functioning food court very similar to Sbisa. “Oh hell no,” said Moseley. “The old pizza, the over-sized pasta portions with rosa sauce, the undercooked Chick-fil-a: those were iconic! I wouldn’t be the person I am without them! I wouldn’t have made my closest friends if we didn’t have to struggle through that crap together!”
At a time when other proposed changes to the A&M experience are working their way through the system, upperclassmen stress that the New Commons presents the single greatest threat to A&M’s culture and history.
“I simply can’t believe that people at this University are trying to make the Aggie experience easier and better,” said Randall Givle, a senior international studies major. “The nerve of some people! All they’re doing is pampering kids, not giving them a taste of the real world. Life is difficult, and A&M is shielding them from the inevitable reality of life.”
When asked whether any of the resentment surrounding the New Commons stemmed from jealousy over incoming students having it easier, Givle responded with a condescending laugh. “First of, upperclassmen will never be jealous of freshmen, don’t be stupid,” said Givle. “Second, all of this newfangled crap isn’t going to make things better. Having nice things isn’t going to let kids bond as much as my friends and I did. Our experiences with the Old Commons are all that matter; nothing could ever be as good. Frickin’ New Army.”