Thursday, December 14, 2006

Op-Ed: Fly Me to the Skybridge...

By Alison Bensimon

Where is the love? Our Lang courtyard is there to replace another university's green, cafeteria and sporting venues. We came to Lang to stay away from lame frat parties and out-of-control drunk sorority girls. We asked to be a part of this courtyard and we made it the center of our socialization process at The New School. But when I walk through the famous Lang smoke-zone, also known as "the courtyard," I don't see love.

Lang is known for its class discussions, in which students unite by sharing their thoughts on specific class topics, but not about their lives. When class is over, everyone parts and goes on with their individual lives. The discussions rarely continue outside class, especially between a male and a female. Talk about sexual tension in class: eyes crossing, smiles being exchanged, hands accidentally touching, arguments about subjects which make voices raise, hearts beat faster and temperatures rise.

But once I'm out of class, I don't see couples acting on this tension in the courtyard. This should be a place that unites great minds and personalities, a place where students can flirt and kiss and touch in the midst of the chaotic college life. All I see are friends hanging out. The courtyard should be there for strangers and friends to socialize and for students to meet their Prince Charming or Ms. Right. Where else is that going to happen? In our non-existent quad? What ever happened to the fantasy of marrying your college sweetheart? What ever happened to the exploration of our sexualities?

All girls want is to have fun! When I'm in class, walking around school or in the courtyard, I feel as though looking for a guy is useless because the odds of actually speaking to him—or even seeing him again—are so small that it would be a waste of time.

Like most people, I claim to despise rumors. But I must admit that it is the perversion of juicy gossip, the "who's dating whom" or "who hooked up with whom last night," that brings excitement to the college dating scene. It's the kiss and tell that sparks everyone's interest.

When I asked Lang sophomore Anna McCarthy her thoughts on the dating scene at Lang, she replied angrily, looking at me with piercing eyes, her chin glued to her neck. "There isn't one," she said, and walked away.

"It's different from a guy's perspective," said Lang sophomore Paul Moore. Paul Lives in the William Street dorm and feels that there are a lot more options for guys than there are for girls. "This works to my advantage because it feels like the guy to girl ratio is 1 to 7," he explained. Paul has had had a few dating experiences with girls he met in the dorms. He feels as though it is more convenient that way. "All you have to do is press the right button in the elevator," he said. Although he did mention the difficulties of extending the date through the next morning, "A girl can't spend the night, because I am afraid that I will fall off my top bunk. And you have to be respectful to your roommates sometimes, so an open double is sexually restricted."

What we can all agree on is that dating works in different stages: the talking and flirting stage, the getting-your-number stage, the hanging out stage, and the hooking up stage. So why does it seem so difficult at Lang? We can blame it on the invisible green or the missing quad, but maybe we should blame ourselves. We should stop complaining and start flirting, stop telling and start kissing.

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