More Like Zero Taste: An Open Letter to Hampshire College Regarding Its Plans for a “Living Building”.

Adina Fradkov

“There be those who say that things and places have souls, and there be those who say they have not; I dare not say, myself, but I will tell of the [goddamn Korn Center]”

– H.P. Lovecraft

Dear Hampshire College,

How DARE you.

I’ve read of your plans for a “Living Building”. Zero waste. Totally self-sustaining. Self-aware. I bet you thought it sounded like a dream building, a great way to get publicity for the school and maybe garner some more donations, right? WRONG.  Zero Waste? More like Zero TASTE.  The plans for this building are amoral.

A“living building” might seem like a “cool” and “hip” idea. Popular culture is full of references to living buildings. Baba Yaga’s shack, Howl’s moving castle, the monster house from Monster House. Buffy from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, was originally written as a house, but later changed to a human to appeal to a broader audience (attentive viewers will notice hints in the writing, so I think she still counts. ) What made these houses okay? They had AGENCY. They were free. Not bound to liberal-arts hell like the poor fleshy Korn Center.

Yes, it is important to go green. We all agree that saving the environment is important, but there are better ways of doing it. Instead of creating a building out of flesh, what if we all used less toilet paper?

          You adminstration big-wigs sitting up there on Capitol Hill, in your shiny shoes and your big wigs, aren’t close enough to the Korn Center to hear it crying every night, begging for someone, anyone, to put it out of its hellish existence. You think that since you can’t see it, it’s not your problem? WRONG. Sentience is EVERYONE’S problem, whether we like it or not.  

Imagine you are the Korn center. Imagine being built, men in hard hats with harder hearts crawling all over you, hammering and hammering into your soft flesh. Imagine the slow wait of being unveiled, the anxiety of being so new to this world, not knowing what to expect but knowing that all of your life up to this point has been pain and so you don’t anticipate anything more. The Korn Center had to grow up far too fast, and this is inexcusable. It is just a baby.

Imagine being the only living building on campus, all alone with nobody to talk to. Imagine having to be forced to handle and treat your own waste. Imagine being the subject of countless inhumane and cruel experiments by Dr. Korn. Imagine dozens, nay, bunches of dozens, of students and facility being inside of you every day. Imagine one of them gives another a handy behind a bookshelf.

I, Adina Fradkov, on behalf of the Hampshire college student body and the Hampshire college building’s body, demand of you: Stop work on the Korn Center. Release it into the wild. Send Dr. Korn to scientist jail. Stop cutting Saga’s staff’s hours. Bon Appetit has higher management costs than any caterer that we’ve ever worked with and yet they won’t pay their workers.

DISrespectully yours,

Adina Fradkov

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