Letter to the Editor

To the Editor:
I am a big fan of The Collegian’s work. You are a tremendous asset to TU and a voice of clarity on both campus and national issues. I would venture to say that most students don’t understand just how blessed we are to have you. However, I saw a recent commentary posted on August 28th about the closing of LaFortune House that I am unwilling to sit by and watch go unrefuted, which is why I am writing you today.
In the article, the author uses the testimony of a former LaFortune resident to create a weak defense of LaFortune’s social environment, only to blow it down with the testimony of a Tulsa Timer who spent less than 48 hours in the building and wasn’t impressed with how one Jam It Up event went. After that, the rest of the article was a poorly veiled attempt to make “facts” fit the author’s preconceived notions and opinions of a residence hall that they, as a writer, demonstrated a tremendous lack of knowledge about. Not only is that very poor journalism, but it isn’t representative of the actual facts of the issue.
I came into LaFortune as a freshman, and I’ll readily admit that it wasn’t the dorm I had requested coming in. My attitude towards the hall at the start of the term was far from ideal, but I was steadily shown just how misguided that perspective was over the coming weeks and months. I was the president of LaFortune’s Hall Government last year, and through that position got to see all the best and worst of the hall. Like any residence hall, LaFortune was far from perfect. It had its things that could’ve been better, but much of that stemmed from years and years of being ignored and underfunded by the housing office and university administration. In spite of all of that, I think LaFortune was the best dorm to live in on campus. While it didn’t try to replicate the high-tempo energy of Fisher South (or Hardesty, to a lesser degree), LaFortune specialized in building deeper relationships. There may not have been an event every week, but every night you would find people in the lobby and in the rooms doing life together. Some of my deepest friendships at TU have come directly from my time in LaFortune, and that isn’t something that is overruled by one Tulsa Timer’s experience at a Jam It Up.
Lakin Freedle, I encourage you and anyone else who holds a negative view of dear ole’ LaFortune Hall to ask some of the former residents about their experiences there. I think you’ll be surprised to see a smile spread across their face and a twinkle in their eye as they think back to the quirky dorm that gave each of us so much life and joy. You might even hear about the hall government events where we had 50+ people in attendance. (Not bad for a dorm with only 90 residents.) And after that, I hope you’ll also have a better understanding of why so many people on this campus are so sad to see such a beautiful piece of our experience at TU go. For us, LaFortune will always be home.
-Stephen McDonald

Post Author: tucollegian