On Apr. 28, the Office of Communications and Marketing sent an email out to the students list informing students that the blue wall that had divided the Hamilton “Ham” Center in half for two years would be gone by brunch the next morning. Introduced alongside Metz’s “All You Can Eat” plan in 2021, the blue wall was intended to section off the dining area—putting a physical paywall in a student space to the dismay of students such as New College Student Alliance (NCSA) President Grace Keenan. In the time it took to come and go, four semesters worth of students have gotten to know the blue wall as a character of the Hamilton Center—and what of the student mural which decorated the deconstructed wall?
“The wall has been a situation,” Keenen said, relaying the story of how the wall was first built in an interview with the Catalyst. “We just came onto campus and it was there with no announcement at all.”
The purpose of the wall was to create a one-point entrance to more easily sort out those who had paid for a meal and those who hadn’t. Keenan recalled the initial pushback.
“The students really did not like it,” Keenan said. “The main reason is that the Hamilton Center is one of our only spaces on campus, and most of it is paid for by student fees—this is our space—and that blue wall cut off about half of the student space we’ve had. You’re left with ping pong tables, the line going into Hamilton and if any other person’s having a conversation in that space, you can very much hear it.”
When asked what finally gave way to the wall after standing for two years, Keenan attributed the wall’s demolition to Interim President Richard Corcoran.
“I’m constitutionally required to meet with him every two weeks,” Keenan said. “I brought up the wall being on a list of issues, and he said he could get it down by next weekend [after we met].”
When asked if Corcoran had been as enthusiastic about helping with anything else on campus, as he had in demolishing the blue wall in the Hamilton Center, Keenan refrained from commenting.
The NCSA worked with the physical contractors charged with demolishing the blue wall to ensure the preservation of the student mural that had been painted during the Spring 2022 Independent Study Period (ISP). The pieces of the wall are now located outside the Old Mail Room (OMR) until summer.
“The student feedback has been fantastic,” Keenan said. “Everyone says it’s a significant improvement, and I’m grateful for everyone who’s played a part in working to get the wall down. I’m also very grateful to Metz.”