Clubs, sororities, fraternities: every one of these groups participates painting the Rock, nestled in front of Founders Hall.
Each are given an opportunity to not only use this Rock to show their creativity but it also stands out as a billboard, advertising numerous events that happen within the University. Sometimes these groups just paint the Rock to paint something unique that represents who they are, what they believe.
Tradition is now being tested as the grass around the Rock has been dying, due to paint runoff from the circular platform and being absorbed by the soil. Despite ecological damage, suspending action to further paint this Rock is now, well, untraditional.
Let the Rock be painted and painted again for the memories students create are more valuable than the fears of ecological contamination.
Members of Greek life, clubs and miscellaneous student organizations engage in a university tradition that is admired by many and only available to some.
The Rock is not just a mass covered in layers of paint, it is a time capsule of college life, memories and social events. Alumni can still recall when they painted the Rock and the memories they shared with friends.
Photographs of students around the Rock are forever preserved in the yellowing pages of the Campus Times. Students will remember their adventure at the hardware store, buying the paint and brushes.
Kneeling at the Rock with classmates and even ruining a favorite pair of jeans with paint are valuable memories to an individual and community.
The installation of the white skirt and requirement to only use water based paint only encouraged student expression.
The white skirt to prevent leeching of paint in to the Earth was accepted. The change to water based paint was welcomed. Why offer preventative measures to later say the problem still persists?
Solutions to a problem should be black and white, yes or no. Solutions offered by the opposition should not come with complaints and demands in the future.
People who feared contamination should have offered an original and final solution. Opposers of painting the Rock might suggest only using watercolors on the Rock or perhaps colored chalk.
Suggestions have been made to replace the Rock with a bulletin board on which students can place the same information as would go on the Rock. Now, why offer an alternative to a situation that does not pose a problem?
The same people who now complain about the Rock would complain about a painted posting board.
“The paint falls from the board and on the ants,” they would say. “Paint should not fall on ants; ants are people too.”
No, the ever-changing design and symbols on the Rock should remain and continue on until the end of time when the University exists no more.
Unlike the University seal at the steps of Founders Hall, the Rock is not a tradition that was imposed on University of La Verne students. The Rock is an organic tradition, where it started with a few students suggesting, “Hey, lets paint that Rock.”
Senseless impulse, perhaps; however, this led other students and organizations to participate over the years. Whenever a layer is added on top of the Rock, students, faculty and organizations can watch this tradition grow from where the original Rock is placed, hundred of layers below.
Each layer of paint tells a small chapter of the student body’s story in the University of La Verne.