Novembers on the Hilltop bring their usual brisk days, and a concurrent increase in time spent indoors and bothersome additional layers of clothing. All of this can leave fair Hoyas feeling a bit hemmed in and pent up. This fall, however, residents of the Henle Village are feeling more trapped than usual. Campus construction has left many crying,
“Wherefore art thou, Reiss Walkway?,” as they brace themselves for the journey through the labyrinthine fences surrounding the complex.
Henle residents need a way to express the many shades of frustration and dysphoria they are feeling. What better way to sort through the myriad emotions provoked by campus construction than through a musical narrative?
Free Henle: A Tale (Playlist) of Construction and Consternation
It all began with the age-old clash between the Georgetown neighborhood and the University students. Allegations that students were “Freaking Out the Neighborhood” compelled University officials to bust out blueprints and begin breaking ground on campus construction projects aimed to keep us within the gates. “I Didn’t See It Coming,” and my fellow Henleans certainly didn’t either. Up went the walls and gates; our apartments were “Surrounded” by “Partition” after partition. These days, we “Feel It All Around,” the maze of fences and gates that encircle our homes. We’re “Never Quite Free,” and it feels as if “There’s No Leaving Now.”
A simple walk to class in the ICC was once an easy 5 minute jaunt. In the past month, however, Henle residents have been diverted from their typical exits and walkways, forced now to traverse circuitous routes snaking between Reiss and Regents. I can tell that “I’m Gonna Be [walking] 500 Miles” for the foreseeable future. We Henleans now yearn for “The Way It Was.” We simply didn’t realize what we had in the splendid Fishbowl exit and Reiss Walkway. Whispers of “Let Me Back In” and “Get Me Away from Here, I’m Dying” can be heard around corners of aluminum fencing and construction tape. ‘Tis a dire state.
Some brave few refuse to take the construction sitting down, however. Calls for “Rebellion (Lies)” have been raised. Passersby can see that “The Writing’s on the Wall;” anonymous activists have inscribed their messages of defiance in chalk on the walls and stairs of Henle and beyond.
The members of Fleetwood Mac once said to “Go Your Own Way”, and I predict the residents of Henle may soon ascribe to this attitude of dissent. Fences and blockades can only hold the bold and determined masses of Hoyas for so long. The persistent Henle residents among us surely will not rest until they find “The Sweet Escape!”
- “Freaking Out the Neighborhood” — Mac Demarco
- “I Didn’t See It Coming” — Belle & Sebastian
- “Surrounded” — Delta Rae
- “Partition” — Beyonce
- “Feel It All Around” — Washed Out
- “Never Quite Free” — The Mountain Goats
- “There’s No Leaving Now” — The Tallest Man on Earth
- “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” — The Proclaimers
- “The Way It Was” — The Killers
- “Let Me Back In” — Rilo Kiley
- “Get Me Away from Here, I’m Dying” — Belle & Sebastian
- “Rebellion (Lies)” — Arcade Fire
- “The Writing’s On the Wall” — OK Go
- “Go Your Own Way” —Fleetwood Mac
- “The Sweet Escape” — Gwen Stefani
Photo: Daniel Varghese/The Georgetown Voice