Despite popular belief, I did hear a while back ?Waterview? and ?sound logic? in the same sentence. I forget how the joke ended, but it involved a variety of the actions Waterview Park performs each month. I laughed for a while and then fell back into the routine of a content lifestyle.
Sure I had my complaints about the place, but I would think of them only on the first of each month as my bank account took a hit. However, my view of the apartment proprietors changed dramatically one day upon receiving a notice from Waterview?s administration.
I opened the envelope to read the ??? words, ?You have been fined $50.00 to be paid before the next rent payment?. Why, you might ask? Because the apartment had two dining room chairs on the balcony.
Surely it had to be a joke. For the last 6 months I had walked through the apartment complexes and noticed people?s balconies cluttered with life and enthusiasm. Music would play from afar as students sat outside with their friends and their furniture. Sure, the lease was pretty explicit, but Waterview couldn?t be that illogical, could it?
You bet it could.
So as an active student and a dedicated reporter, I wrote up a list of typical things a college student would like to have on a typical college balcony: wet clothes, flags, signs, tables, lights, radios, even wind chimes and bird feeders. Some of the items like the UTD colors were purposely absurd because I knew they couldn?t possibly disallow me to show school spirit. I would love to hang a UTD flag during homecoming, an American flag for the 4th of July?any way to show my love and appreciation for my country and my future alma mater. Waterview?s response?
Not ?no?, but ?Hell no?. And not only ?Hell no?, but ?Hell no, and if you try, we?ll fine you in such absurd ways you?ll start to question why you subjugated yourself to another year of our lease?.
Their real answer (and I quote): they need to ??maintain an appearance.? A shock wave swept my body.
?Maintain an appearance? reverberated over and over. As the phone conversation came to an end, I was flabbergasted, in shock, and truly worried for the future of the university.
For history has proven time and again that ?maintain[ing] an appearance? are the keywords for any dictatorial regime.
Countless groups have been repressed and persecuted in order to maintain a façade of ?proper appearances?. In fact, striving for a single appearance flies in the face of the fundamental principles upon which freedom and liberty rest. Diversity, freedom of belief, and especially freedom of speech are crucial for an open society.
While I realize that Waterview in no way is a form of government, there are certain elements of politics that permeate through any and all atmospheres of life. For definitional purposes, Waterview is a governing body which has great control over the lives of many students.
A number of people live off campus strictly for the reason that they hate Waterview. This cuts down on the number of students who would participate in campus life. Those that brave it out and live on campus have diminished school spirit because of Waterview; this in turn keeps many students from participating in activities. Negative feelings towards Waterview, no matter how they are directed, DO rub off on the university itself. It is hard to separate the two entities.
When the annual college reports are issued and a junior in high school flips to UTD, that junior will notice two bars of school spirit instead of four. Complaints about the living conditions might be turning away some very bright minds. In effect, Waterview may be not only curbing current growth for the university, but that of the future as well.
And so, having been blessed to live in a democracy where my voice matters, I was confident I could take my pleas to the top. When I argued that hanging a flag, a UTD one for that matter, did nothing but show my school spirit, I expected a decent argument against my logic. What I got was a slap in the face to intelligence and reason.
They argued if they allowed me to hang a UTD flag, they would have to allow any student to hang any kind of flag. WHAT?! Well, I guess I better not then, because I sure would hate to see other students show their pride. Tolerance really isn?t my thing anyway.
And as for wet clothes on the balcony, next time I might just leave them on the carpet. Once the mold starts to grow, I can sue Waterview because the lease is very clear that mold is illegal ? and one of Waterview?s responsibilities.
Such actions of maintenance imply weakness. Fear of losing power and reputation has caused the human race to commit unspeakable atrocities. The irony lies in the fact that those societies which allow different appearances are more stable and more prosperous.
But obviously greed overpowers the desire for stability.
And obviously the bleak 1970s style of the apartment complexes was chosen for a reason; it beautifully complements the inside of the Waterview office. If one were to mention dull colors, malfunctioning properties, or lack of any type of enthusiasm or intelligent design, it would be hard to differentiate between the buildings and the people they employ.
I am flabbergasted by the immaturity and irresponsibility of Waterview. The University should be wary of its negative affects and take immediate actions to ensure the satisfaction of its current students and the registration of many more in the future.