Under the Button is part of a student-run nonprofit.

Please support us by disabling your ad blocker on our site.

OP-ED: The Itty Bitty Keypad At Harnwell Seems Rather Bourgeois

Photo (with edits) by Abdullah Alfaresi

Preface: I live off-campus in a comfortable building with central AC / heating and electric stoves, but this is still of utmost concern to me. This is because I lived in Harnwell (22nd floor) last year, so I feel I still have the right to comment on this. I loved it so much when I had to, like, go to the right turnstile instead of the left one because the left one was eternally broken. Eternally blocked by a chair, sometimes plastic and other times not. I think it was a metaphor for my sophomore year. 

I hate this keypad because "you cannot break opportunism if your strategy is to embed yourself in liberal institutions in an effort to reform them. Nor does any amount of revolutionary rhetoric, where reformism is disguised as principled... behaviour".

Last year, when I stayed at Harnwell for one extra day of winter break like a loner, the heating system was off for the whole day. I remember the cold of this past life of mine, it was trés eastern European. Things were different back then. The RAs had not unionized quite yet. I don’t need you to tell me what that means, I don’t believe in that stuff anymore. Why? Because if even under this spectacular union, the bourgeois class could still infiltrate the building and egregiously “fix” our dear old broken turnstile, what else is possible? How much longer until the group lounges become individualistic lounges? United we stand and divided we wait, in two separate turnstiles rather than the one functioning one.

There is so much untapped value in not succumbing to the bourgeois mentality of two working turnstiles. Breathe in the air as you wait, admire the backpack of the person in front of you who’s totally not a class traitor, steal another temp card, text your ex, judge the uncleaned and unkempt shoes and laces of the attractive man in front of you. So much can be done with time, time that the bourgeoisie steals from you as they divide you into two single file lines.

Perhaps whatever plastic surgery the keypad of this turnstile got is what fixed all of its problems, and maybe that can be a metaphor for me as well – who will be the plastic surgeon to my heart? Can it be fixed if the plastic surgeon offers me a cigarette? How can I make my acceptance abundantly clear? Acceptance is a tough step, and it will take me a long time to accept that I must go through the bourgeois-keypadded-turnstile if ever I want to meet my friend who lives there. I weep for these corrupted youth, and yet I pass through their same gate. When will a writer rescue me from this anguish?