College Life--University Structures

Like the university store, various university structures are available to meet the disparate desires and needs of students at the university. One of the most obvious and prolific examples at a university would be the university store, for reasons that are, on the whole, evident.  The university store provides the services a student may need, such as food at off-hours, notebooks, and so on.


There are many other instances present at most campuses, however, and these include structures and buildings necessary to convey other services to students. Those buildings and structures should first be understood as presenting services to students that are only available through a university, then as presenting services to students that are available best through a university, such as subsidized notebooks.


Lastly, the buildings and structures should be conceptualized as transport systems for physical items the students can get anywhere but can most easily acquire on campus, and in the absence of other commercial and artistic off-ramps, these structures can easily become the primary and in some cases the only opportunity for students to enrich their lives in an artistic sense. Therefore, university structures—if judging by this alone—are very important to the artistic, cultural, and intellectual lives of students.


There are many more instances of university structures, however, and they do not stop at the arts and commerce. Some university structures are primarily social in nature, and aim to bring students together either in an arbitrary sense or by appealing to common interests the students may have, or some combination of both. The most arbitrary groupings can happen by placing students in similar dormitory buildings, or placing unrelated classes in the same buildings—even the placement of the eating centers (be they cafeterias or purely commercial offerings) can group students based on something more or less arbitrary.


Some of the more specific and reason-based groupings are university structures related to various interests the students may share. Something like a tennis club would obviously group students who were interested in playing tennis for one reason or another into one grouping that would assemble whenever the tennis club would meet.


A more hybrid organization prompted by the university—crucially retaining a more informal style, because there is no goal other than recreation, but obviously distanced from purely informal social structures—would be an intramural soccer team. People would be first drawn into the intramural soccer team from the desire to play soccer. Then, they would be sorted in a more or less arbitrary way to create the various teams that would play against each other. In this way, the intramural soccer team would be an example of a hybrid system where students are drawn together by the university and according to a common interest, then arbitrarily separated and sorted to an even greater degree by virtue of the creation of a variety of teams to play against each other to create and maintain the league.


As such, university structures can bring students together, offer various goods and services, and enrich the artistic and intellectual lives of the students.