By Cassidy Grom | Co-Editor in Chief
Last month, I found dates for four of my wing mates in under an hour. I like to think that I am a pretty good matchmaker. I decided, however, that the true test of my abilities would be finding a mate for our dear old Student Union. Taylor administration hasn't publicly announced a purpose for the desolate dome, so I decided to help them out.
Any good matchmaker knows that the first step is assessing the situation, so I paid a visit to the dome. I walked up to the west door and yanked. Locked. So were the next several doors-obviously the Union was still mourning its recent breakup. It didn't even want to see me, an old friend.
When I finally found an unlocked door, I had to peek through the yellow caution tape to get a look at my pal. The floors were bare except for some drywall dust and a door lying on its side. I commend the Union on donating its old furniture; throwing out your ex's stuff shows a desire to move on.
As every lover knows, going back to an old ex is never a healthy choice. So it was out of the question for the Union to become oddly shaped offices or a dining hall. I decided to pose my questions about its future to the people who know the Union best: bookstore employees. They seemed rather happy to see another human walk in, and the manager, Stephen Richardson, admitted that foot traffic to the store has decreased since the LaRita Boren Center opened. Richardson jokingly bantered with bookstore employee Rick Johnston about turning the dome into an aquarium. They agreed importing Shamu and hosting a "whale birthday party" would be a good match for the Union.
Before they started selling Taylor Aquarium shirts, I wanted to find a few more potential matches for the Union. I emailed the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) of Indiana to see if they would be interested in hosting their annual meetings at the saucer-shaped dome. No reply. According to UFOstalker.com, there have been over 27 UFO sightings in Indiana since June. This explained 1) Why the MUFON people didn't reply-cough, abducted, cough-and 2) Why the Union was on the verge of being designated a historical landmark. Obviously the aliens want to protect their mothership from demolition.
In case aliens or MUFON members are a bad fit, I asked the masses (i.e. my close friends) what they think. Junior Hannah Johnson suggested moving all the classrooms in remote Randall to the centrally located Union. Several echo staff members mentioned renovating it into a roller rink. And echo Photography Editor Mindy Wildman (senior) just wants more parking near the art building, even if it means razing the Union (which I have strong reason to believe won't happen).
I didn't talk to the owners of Dollarsmart, but I would be thrilled if they partnered with Taylor to create a chain retail outlet. I mean, who wouldn't want easy access to TV dinners during J-term snowstorms? The Union also has great potential for an indoor hammock park. Add a few Rainforest Cafe-style trees and stick some glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling--and bam! You have a Taylor couple's paradise.
I was about to leave the seemingly barren Union when my eyes caught the glint of a shiny object-an old-school Taylathon bike hanging from the wall. I scrutinized the other walls and spotted a Jumping Bean decal here, an office chair there and several large pictures of Taylor students doing meaningful volunteer work. Maybe the Union hasn't let go of all it's memories. Maybe it wasn't ready to move on quite yet.