Seniors fight to keep scrounge culture

New Trier seniors are beginning to see the negative effects of the new building’s construction with underclassmen who are unaware of vital New Trier history.

As known by all, at New Trier we can’t change, and if people forget the past we’re doomed. Despite that valid concern, people forget the past and are moving forward just like the school has since construction began. This is especially prevalent in the Scrounge, which was declared a national historic site in 1997. Since the final demolition of what remained of the Scrounge in winter 2017 many students have fought hard to preserve their culture. Said senior Petra Kim, who has a personal connection to Scrounge culture, “My older brother was voted Head Scrounge Rat in 2012, and my cousin was voted ‘most likely to be in the Scrounge instead of class’ in 2009. Now New Trier wants to take my family’s culture away from us. It’s hard to care about a place that doesn’t care about you,” Petra said through tears. Forgetting the Scrounge is an erasure of a beautiful culture at New Trier. For the past few years,New Trier has told their students ahead of Halloween to not dress in a way to disrespect other cultures, yet they are erasing a prevalent culture within their own community. The Scrounge is not something we can just get rid of, it is a vibrant culture with a history. This fight for a time they never even experienced is being led by seniors who may have seen the original Scrounge their freshman year, but probably didn’t.

Green Team captain and Scrounge activist Sam Banks said, “The new one just isn’t the same. It’s not even gross. I hate that.” Trevians even miss the creepy fluorescent lights that were reminiscent of a hospital. The flickering of the lights was what gave the Scrounge its iconic hazy glow, considered by many Scrounge activists to be one of the most signature parts of the Scrounge atmosphere. “My sister always told me about the disgusting lighting in the Scrounge,” said Sam Banks, “But I never got to experience how truly nasty the place was in its peak. I wish I had that opportunity.” The most recent construction isn’t the only change the Scrounge has had in recent years. Other aspects which have changed over the years include the services offered: New Trier historical society head Martin Van Boring explained, “I wish I saw it back when it had the bad lighting and a broken Slurpee machine with a rotating selection of unpopular flavors. I hear those were the good old days.”

Unfortunately, many younger students are unaware of the history of our beloved Scrounge. This is a tragedy. Like sophomore Aaron Kellar, who asked, “What’s the Scrounge?” and was promptly beaten to a pulp by three students in Green Team sweatshirts shouting, “Tradition!” and “We don’t mess around!” So next time you see a student saying never forget as they are on their way to the bookstore, remember the importance of the Scrounge. The scrounge is us. The scrounge is part of New Trier history, so we have to preserve it. As Martin Van Boring put it, “The Scrounge is part of our history and if we let sophomores go around calling it the second cafeteria our history will be lost. Losing our history means losing our identity, and eventually we will become a savage species who eat in the library and use pens in the language labs.”