Sorin, a space for students


Elena Deeter, Opinion Editor

From losing a cafeteria to gaining a game room, Sorin has been a hall of many changes. When Anderson took over as the main provider of food for Hamline students, a large space in Sorin was abandoned. That space has yet to be filled in, but ideas on what should go into that large empty area have recently exploded.

Although my dream plan for Sorin would be a “Sorin Sloth Sanctuary,” realistically there are better uses for the space. Through some investigation of other university facilities and a wild imagination, I came up with some ideas that would make good use of the space.

It’s a sad fact that exercise is important and unless you’re an athlete it can be difficult for college students to do. In addition to being an unpleasant activity, fitness rooms can be an intimidating place for people without perfect bodies. A possible solution would be creating a judgment-free fitness room for alternative workouts. The room would have an area for dancing, where one could choose their own music and dance the stress out. TVs for fitness-based Wii games like Just Dance and Wii Fitness would provide an innovative solution not normally seen in gyms or weight rooms. Standard equipment such as yoga mats, fitness balls, 80s fitness videos (for me), and trampolines would all be available for students. Additionally, the area could have late hours for those who have a freer schedule at night.

Some universities have bowling alleys on campus, maybe this is something from which Hamline could learn. A bowling alley could be a fun addition to Hamline, one which promotes reducing stress with friends and could encourage student competition and engagement with faculty. It’s helpful to get away from campus from time to time, but not everyone has the transportation to do so; the bowling alley would need a completely different aesthetic, creating the illusion of being off campus. Although a bowling alley would be crazy fun, imagining the residents of Sorin going insane due to the noise makes the alley a flawed idea.   

Although Hamline houses many study spaces, there isn’t a study space that accommodates those who need a more active atmosphere. A room with comfy colorful chairs, instrumental background music, efficient group study spaces and healthy snacks, could be exciting and a good space for different types of studying. Not everyone can study in the library or in a lounge.      

A space specifically set as a meeting space for Hamline clubs could be beneficial. There are some groups on campus that struggle to find a spot for their club. The space could house an area with a large conference-like set up, entertainment stations, a small kitchenette, a dance floor and many other tools and spaces that could accommodate different clubs at Hamline. 

Going to college makes seeing movies in a theatre hard at times. There’s nothing like seeing a movie on a large screen. Maybe, the vacancy in Sorin should be filled with a Hamline theater. The theater could be connected with the usual setup: TV, DVD, an HDMI, but with a larger screen. There could be weekly screenings on the weekend, and the space could be open to all students. It would be utilized by professors when they want to show films for their class. It would promote social skills too, as it could be a place for “Walking Dead,” “Game of Thrones” and fans of other TV shows to gather around, watch their episodes and discuss afterwards.   

Whatever happens with the space, it should be used for the students’ well-being, whether that be for their physical health or their sanity.