The Guilfordian

Letter to the editor: Renovations

Change can be necessary. When Mary Hobbs was falling apart, Guilford spent a year renovating the space, and Hobbs came out looking better than ever. But the changes that are happening now – adding a for-profit coffee shop in the Hut and taking away The Greenleaf Coffee Co-op – are not necessary, or even positive.

As Guilford alumni and frequent Greenleaf-goers, we are appalled that Guilford could take away a space that meant so much to students. The Greenleaf wasn’t just coffee. It was community. It was a student space to connect. Not to mention the vegan pumpkin muffins were to die for.

The same holds true for the Hut. Many of us have memories of pulling all-nighters on the couches and seeking out tea between classes in the winter. Several campus organizations met there every week.

Now, the College is turning the Hut into a professionally staffed coffee shop, eliminating two valuable community spaces.

Current students are losing out on important experiences. The Hut offered 24/7 access to a safe space, a fire on a snow day or just a place to be with friends. The Greenleaf allowed students opportunities to learn alternative business strategies, a place to study and a space to hold events like poetry slams and The Greenleaf Review launch parties.

Changes like these cannot be made by the administration alone. Students who staffed The Greenleaf for years had little to no say in what would happen to their space. Faculty and staff who were the heart of the Hut had to hear the plans for its future second-hand.

Because the Hut is already renovated, one solution could be offering the new space to The Greenleaf. Instead of getting rid of two important Guilford staples, we would be combining them.

Sometimes, we as a community can’t live up to all of our commitments because of resources, and that’s okay. All we ask is that the community has a say in how to proceed in the most just manner, balancing everyone’s needs.

We know things can’t be the same, and we accept that things must change for the survival of the College. But these changes are in direct contrast with what the College stands for.

Signed:

Abe Kenmore ’17

Allison DeBusk ’16

Anna Lichtiger ’17

Beatriz Caldas ’18

Elizabeth Houde ’17

Ian Penny ’17

Justyn Melrose ’15

Kate Gibson ’14

Nicole Zelniker ’17

Valeria Sosa ’15

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5 Comments

5 Responses to “Letter to the editor: Renovations”

  1. Anna Vann on September 7th, 2018 1:40 pm

    Would like to add my signature as well. I did work study in the Greenleaf and spent a lot of formative time in that space. Can’t imagine the college being the same without it!

    Anna Vann ’09

  2. Ellen Yutzy Glebe ('01) on September 7th, 2018 2:09 pm

    Can I add my name to this letter, at least in spirit? I never benefited from the Greenleaf Coffee Shop, but I’ve heard of it when on campus since, and I wholeheartedly support the sentiment behind this letter as I observe these developments from afar.

  3. Doris Caldwell on September 7th, 2018 4:52 pm

    Sacred is what comes to mind when I think of my first introduction to the Hut. It’s appearance was tattered from the many students who embraced it when they needed to see the rainbow.God gave us his rainbow as a symbol of hope and promise.The Hut is a place on Guilford campus that should never be forgotten or it’s purpose diminished by corporate greed.

  4. Christian Matheis on September 7th, 2018 5:34 pm

    Thanks for raising attention to this. If students do not already have a specific shared governance covenant with faculty and administration, it might be time to begin work on one. Shared governance goes beyond involving constituents in a process (e.g. informing them), it commits to representation in design of process, before decision-making even begins. I am happy to help draft proposed language if current students are interested.

  5. Chris on November 1st, 2018 2:20 am

    Next they’re gonna cut down the Underground Railroad tree for a new golf range 🙄.

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