Jonathan Edwards College

At first glance, Jonathan Edwards College may not seem to be the prime residential college that it actually is. It’s not big or newly renovated. Our dining hall leaves something to be desired. And the rooms are a bit cramped. But we do have fun and we do have pride, facts to which any good Spider will readily attest.

Although JE is no longer considered the artsy, musical college, remnants do remain. Our two grand pianos are the envy of the other colleges, as are the soundproof practice rooms in the basement.

In the past, our little college has tended to rank near the bottom of the various intercollegiate competitions. But JE’s luck is starting to change. In fact, this little college has racked up more than its fair share of victories in the last year, from intramural coed soccer to the mighty Tang, an annual beer-chugging competition.

Tradition is something JE has always had in spades. Wet Monday is the annual water war between upperclassmen and the freshmen. And every semester JEers kick off finals by loudly disturbing as many students as members of COMA. Both events tend to stop abruptly when campus police show up at the scene.

We do, of course, have customs that do not involve the police. Most notable is the Spider Ball, JE’s formal gala where the fast-flowing champagne tends to drown out any mischievous tendencies.

JE’s fly-by-night lifestyle is perfectly suited to our fly-by-night leader. Master Haller’s tastes are as expansive as his knowledge. Given proper identification, he will gladly sit down with a student and teach the art of sipping scotch. And at least once a week, he opens his home for Master’s Teas on topics ranging from nude art to, well, nude art. But even if classy pornography is not up your alley, you can always come for the great food and leave early.

Staying on the Master’s good side, however, can lead to great rewards. Master Haller regularly raffles off opportunities for a few students to accompany him to the opera in New York City, complete with top-notch dining. While he claims these are not fixed, somehow no one on academic probation has ever gone.

Unfortunately, JE is currently saying goodbye to our beloved Dean Christos Cabolis. But fear not, his replacement is already here. John Richard Mangan will be our top academic advisor next year. While it is unclear whether his soccer skills match Christos’, he is (reportedly) an incredibly talented musician and, as Master Haller has asserted, “an all-around nice guy.”

So, frosh, congratulations to those of you lucky enough to be blessed by fate as the newest members of Jonathan Edwards College. Not only do you get recently-renovated first-year housing, but admission to the JE Sextet parties comes free. And at least you’re not in Morse.

Sam Asher is a junior in Jonathan Edwards College.


  • philipsgoodman

    I’m bemused and disappointed by the breezy, snarky, blithe sarcasm of some commenters writing wittily here about stone tablets and papyrus and ancient scrolls. It’s missing the point. Yes, it’s sad and probably true that people were not using the newspaper reading room; that itself is too bad. But the wise guys are missing a thrill. The vibe of the old artifact is very real. I suspect the scholars or archaeologists who first saw — and maybe touched — the Dead Sea Scrolls were transported — thrilled, elated. I look at even a museum display of an ancient illuminated bible with awe. While researching a historical TV dramatic show in the Library of Congress decades ago, I was given — to have and hold and read — original copies of the Knoxville Whig, a newspaper published in about 1863. Holding the outrageously partisan and irrepressibly nasty newspaper in hand, amused and stupefied seeing the line-up of drawn six-inch black coffins on a front page with a celebratory headline about the deaths of the MOBOCRAT (Democratic) candidates in the election, reading an article which accused Senator Andrew Johnson of being illiterate and having a father who was a “chicken thief” in North Carolina, but feeling the paper itself and smelling it, was a lifetime thrill experience. Yes, real hands picked it up, even Editor Will Brownlow’s hands held one as he looked with satisfaction at what was first coming off the printing press. It’s sensory, it’s human, and to he person, it beats the hell out of looking at any photostat, or any one of many thousands of scans and jpegs and facsimiles I see on my monitor while researching something today. No, it is NOT the same — and certainly not better. Smugness about the superiority of the common communication tools of today and tomorrow and tomorrow is a loss of sensitivity, sensuousness, and soul.