You pass it every day. It’s bold, big — its white exterior screams for attention. It’s protective, nurturing, but ultimately unnecessary.
And no, it’s not Rameses desperately trying to raise spirits at the Duke-UNC game last Saturday.
The big tent on the quad has long been considered one of the more irrelevant fixtures on campus — but it wasn’t always that way. The tent came at a time when COVID-19 was peaking, with few indoor study options during a period of primarily remote classes. There have been days where I've spent hours in it, studying or catching up with friends under its roof. The tent was a place I called home.
Then, one day in mid-January, it died.
It happened tragically — slowly, and then all at once. The winter snow caused the roof to cave, leaving a dismembered graveyard of abandoned chairs and tables underneath its suffocating canopy. The roof was removed, but the furniture remained – a harsh reminder of what used to be.
It was hard to watch that majestic structure meet such a painful end, but I've made peace with its cruel fate. All good things must come to an end, and it was the tent’s time to part ways with our beautiful campus.
But then, they started rebuilding it.
I remember the shock, confusion and anger I felt when I passed the construction crew setting up in the quad on the way to my morning class. What could they possibly be fixing? I had paid my respects to the tent, and I think I speak for most students when I say that I was ready to see it go.
But there they were, putting it back together with the pieces of a puzzle that we had happily cast aside.