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Campus Rant

Joey Kuhn | Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I remember being a freshman. I remember all those slow Saturday nights last year when the other freshman guys in my hallway and I would sit around in someone’s dorm room, waiting for a call or text from somebody, anybody, that would release us from our boredom. I remember all those times when the longed-for call or text never came. Then we would pack up our hopes into winter jackets and trek across the icy campus to Main Circle. There we would hope to solicit a party invitation from a random group, or at least get an address from a cabbie. With any luck, there would actually be a party at said address, which we could then attempt to sneak into or else submit to paying five dollars for a cup. Usually, these nights just led us on wild goose chases, and we would end up back at Main Circle at about 1:00 with nothing to do.It was then, and only then, that we would turn our weary souls to the absolute last resort for late-night entertainment: Legends.What has happened to turn this establishment from campus laughingstock to hot spot? Nowadays kids are clamoring at the door to get into Legends. One can often overhear people talking excitedly about Techno or Blacklight Nights, but the crown jewel of the club’s newfound popularity is clearly the perennial Hip Hop Night. On said night, the line to get into the club often extends all the way to the street and around the corner. Bouncers literally have to hold the crowd back, and a fight that broke out in the parking lot back in the fall has become the matter of campus lore.I should be happy that Legends has gotten so popular. I remember constantly wishing last year that there were something else to do at Notre Dame on weekends besides go to a dorm party or go to a party off campus. Legends seemed like the perfect place to fill that void, except that nobody ever wanted to go there. The few times I convinced any of my friends that we should check out Hip Hop Night, we got there only to discover about 10 people dancing awkwardly on an empty floor.I wanted Legends to be cool because I wanted an option for underage kids who couldn’t find or didn’t want to go to a party on weekends, but also did not want to just sit in their rooms and watch movies or play Mario Kart. And then, slowly but surely, Legends started to gain street cred. I heard people who used to dismiss it with a laugh saying things like, “Hip Hop Night is actually not that bad. I went last night, and there were a decent number of people there.” That was when Legends hit its high point. It was a socially acceptable option to go to Legends, and it didn’t even have to be a last resort. Most importantly, anybody spontaneously show up there with a group of friends and they would get in immediately but still find a sizeable group to mingle with inside.Then, around the beginning of this school year, a certain tipping point was breached, a slight shift in weight that caused a popularity landslide. Suddenly, getting into Legends on Hip Hop Night became harder than unsticking the bowls at North Dining Hall. I don’t know what happened to spur this drastic change. Perhaps people suddenly realized that, if everybody pre-gamed, Hip Hop Night could be just like a giant, less cramped dorm party. Maybe, given the upperclassmen’s softening stance toward the nightclub, the new freshmen were not bombarded with anti-Legends propaganda from day one, leading to record turnouts. Or maybe the entire incoming freshman class just really liked to dance.Whatever happened, Legends went from acceptable to grossly overrated. Like the rock star whom everyone loves even though his music is mediocre at best (Bono, anyone?), Legends has gotten a slightly big head. It is my duty to bring it back down to its level. Students should never have to wait in line to get into Legends, barring a concert by some big name artist. So fellow students, I never thought I’d be saying this, but please, start going to dorm and off campus parties again.