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The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

The Student News Site of Macalester College

The Mac Weekly

Holy seating space, Bateman!


Hey guys and ghouls! Are you ever in the mood for just the right place to rest your world-weary body? Read on! Alex Perlin discusses the merits of Macalester’s fave Plaza

Question: What is Alex Perlin’s favorite thing about Macalester? Answer: Bateman Plaza. For you lay-people, this is “That area in front of the campus center that sometimes has a bunch of metal tables and chairs on it.”

I suppose the follow-up question is why I prefer Bateman Plaza (affectionately referred to as “Batman,” “Bat–man” or “The Plazzz” in my head) to all Macalester has to offer, such as its raging parties, its breadth of academic departments, or even its magazine-reported hotness. To answer this question, I will describe the magic that has been my almost four years on the Plazzz.

At the beginning and end of every academic year, Bateman Plaza is filled with bright and shiny tables, and subsequently also filled with bright and shiny students, just loving being out there. To clarify my statement claiming that Bateman is my favorite part of Macalester, I really mean Bateman with tables. The day they take the tables away because “it’s too cold” is the worst day of the year for me, and the day the tables return is the best. I do not know the complex algorithm Macalester uses for judging the viability of tables in Bateman, but I do know that the current method needs some retooling. Here is the new equation to use: Yes. Put the god damn tables out.

At this very moment, as I type these words, there are no tables in Bateman plaza, but I can only hope that by the time you lay your eyes on this article, you are relaxing and enjoying the sun in the Plazzz. I don’t care if there is still snow on the ground, or even if it’s hailing, I would rather be sick and soaked in Bat–man than dry and healthy anywhere else on campus.

The Plazzz at its height captures the essence of college, as a glorious combination of fun, relaxation, and studying all occur within its boundaries. In my time at Maclalester, I have done the following in Bateman Plaza: played catch, soccer, football, poker and cribbage; studied for poli-sci, history and chemistry; seen a friend break his nose; thrown stuff at people passing by; had my share of dance parties; and even imbibed some alcoholic beverages.

Every year, when Macalester breaks my heart by taking away what I now think of as my tables, I have to re-assess what is important in my life, and decide where I can then spend my time until the prodigal tables come home to daddy. That is why when you see me “chilling” at the library or campus center, there is always an un-wipable tear in my eye—the tear for the Plazzz.

At this point, I hope you are asking me, “Hey, Alex, who is this Bateman character?” Good question, friend. The answer is “No clue!” [Editor’s Note: His name was Warren Bateman, and he is currently on the Board of Trustees] Macalester’s website has nothing about this “Bateman person,” and therefore, I no longer particularly care what Mr. or Mrs. Bateman did. He or she could have been sentenced to life in prison for killing people named Alex, and I would be cool with it, because these murders gave me the Plazzz.

On a more somber note (yes, even more somber than people named Alex being killed), Macalester’s virtual tour does not feature Bateman Plaza. It has a section on the Campus Center, but there is no mention of the modern-day garden-of-eden resting just outside. If Macalester is so worried about its budget, or ever gets worried about application numbers, I propose a new website—just 400 pictures of Bateman Plaza. All tours of Macalester should just be the tour guide walking the tour to the Plazzz, taking a seat and just talking to the prospectives. If there are questions, you can point to almost anywhere on campus from Bateman, even if you have to do that point-over-Old-Main-to-get-to-Olin-Rice thing. If one of the possible attendees really wants to see the natatorium or our impressive, world-renowned periodical section, let them wander off—it’s a small campus, and I don’t know if they are really Macalester material.

Are you left with any more questions about the Plazzz, or my philosophy on life? Well, this semester, I don’t have class Monday, Wednesday, or Friday (Senior!), and I know that once the tables return home, I will rarely leave the little piece of heaven known as Bateman Plaza.

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