WESTWOOD—In a new petition that has been gaining traction this week, Hill residents are looking to increase the number of spaces currently allocated for sitting alone and sobbing quietly.
Since going live Monday, nearly 6,000 individuals, including residents, RAs, and other housing officials have signed the petition that would double the number of spaces appropriated for “various levels of weeping”. Further stipulations would seek to improve upon the quality of such spaces already in existence.
Currently, there are fewer than three locations on campus where no one can hear you cry.
“It’s absurd, when you get down to it,” said 3rd Year On Campus Housing employee and originator of the petition, Tyler Mills. “You think UCLA would have gotten the message ages ago, what with people crying to their TAs all the time, but clearly they haven’t.”
In addition to totally losing it himself at least six times per quarter, Mills says he is thankful that his job has allowed him to see the problem in action.
“I can’t tell you how many time someone has come up to the front desk of Rieber, clearly on the verge of tears, and asked us if we knew of a place on campus where people would just leave them alone for a while. (…) There’s only so many unlocked janitor’s closets around, you know.”
Among the primary complaints cited in the petition are a lack of privacy barriers in places that would otherwise be suitable for freakouts of any degree. In addition, students complain that they find it difficult to cry when their roommate is in the room—which is “all the goddam time”, according to most.
“I’ve taken to breaking down in a little patch of grass behind Hedrick,” said second year Alicia Tan, whose roommate’s perpetual weeping often overpowers hers. “It’s a little uncomfortable huddling over the bushes so that no one can see me, but that way at least I know my tears are going to good use.”
For others, the realization is rather new.
“At first I thought I totally could deal, but it turns out I totally cannot,” said first year Mike Peen, who recently failed a midterm and broke up with his long-time girlfriend. “If we all just… Oh god. I just… Oh god, give me a second—.”
Current plans outlined in the petition would call for desks with opaque dividers to be added to the refurbished Rendez-Vous near the soft-serve machine so that students would not have to deal with the embarrassment of having their peers see them when they inevitably break down. New seating will be constructed in several of the more quiet corners of Covel, solely for the purpose of weeping. RAs will also be supplied with earplugs in order for students to better tune out their roommates’ hopeless sob fests, allowing them to better focus on their own.
“I don’t want to listen to my roommate freaking out when I’ve got my own issues going on here. I mean, come on—unlike everything else in my life, it’s not a competition,” said Tan.
Though he still is waiting for a response from administration, Mills is optimistic.
“Hopefully, in a year or two, students will no longer be forced to walk to Westwood for their inevitable breakdowns,” concluded Mills.
Want to join in on the discussion? Tweet @WestwoodEnabler with #UCLACrySpaces