LaFortune’s closing opens up new social possibilities

As you make your way back-and-forth across campus over the next few weeks, you might start to notice a rather derelict building on the corner of south Gary Place and Eighth Street. Upperclassmen know this building as LaFortune House, while freshmen know nothing of it. LaFortune, in previous years, was a residence hall many students enjoyed living in. This hall was an option for those looking to avoid the constant pull of active socialization that most other residence halls share. Unfortunately, past LaFortune residents discovered while applying for housing earlier this year that the residence hall was tentatively closed for the next school year. Many had high hopes for possible renovations meant to restore the residence hall to its former glory.
Lindsey Prather, now a sophomore, reflected on her year at Lafortune and the condition it was in by the time she left. “They had some problems with water, but other than that they weren’t bad at all. Fisher South is in worse shape.” So maybe the rumored depravity of LaFortune was dramaticized?
A conflicting report from Kassidy Everett, current freshman, suggests otherwise. Kassidy was a Tulsa-Timer that stayed two nights in LaFortune in 2016 and is currently residing in Fisher South. She specifically stated that “LaFortune was pretty rundown. You think Fisher South is old and in need of repairs? LaFortune was worse.”
Kassidy also recalled an event in the main lobby called “Jam it Up” where residents were encouraged to come and enjoy free pancakes with their fellow residents. Kassidy attended the event with maybe ten other residents. Only ten people out of the entire LaFortune population made an appearance, even with the offer of free food dangling before them. Sounds like most newcomers, students and Tulsa-Timers alike, isolated themselves in their rooms and remained that way throughout their experience. Although being alone has its perks, socialization is a necessity on a somewhat regular basis. With LaFortune closing more students end up in residential halls with more magnetic social scenes. Hardesty and Fisher South are both monumentally better social climates with at least one event planned weekly. These events help to integrate new students more directly with their peers, while LaFortune’s lacked effectiveness.
On the other side of this residential debacle, many people rejoice in the hall’s demise. Some claim our newest residential hall, Hardesty, replaces any need for LaFortune. Hardesty is now the largest, newest and arguably nicest residential hall on campus, so we might’ve just outgrown LaFortune. With Hardesty’s completion it seems like a waste of resources and time to build up LaFortune again.
All good things end. While LaFortune House was beloved by some, the University of Tulsa as a whole has outgrown it. In regards to population, LaFortune is far from necessary anymore. Students looking to close themselves off from the social goings-on of the more involved residence halls need look no further than their very own room. We all need peace and quiet every now and then, and with the assistance of a RoomPact agreement and a specialized search for a roommate that fits the social profile you would prefer, you may find Hardesty and other residence halls comparable, if not better, alternatives to LaFortune.

Post Author: Lakin Freedle

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