Is Murdock Darwin’s new Galápagos?


Jake Downing

The renovation and build-out of Linfield’s new state-of-the-art science center and laboratory space began during the summer of 2021 and plans to finish this winter.

Riley Omonaka, News Editor

I love the extra funding and resources being thrown into the science department, but I can’t help but wonder if Charles Darwin’s spirit has come to haunt us all.

For those of you not familiar with biology mastermind Darwin, he studied the effects of natural selection on a population of birds in the Archipelago in Ecuador. Natural selection is the process by which environmental factors affect the traits of a population across generations. Individuals with traits that are favorable to the environment live to produce offspring, those that have unfavorable traits return to their little birdie maker. 

Now how does the spirit of Darwin live on in the half-finished Linfield science buildings? Well, it is my working theory that the unfinished edges of the building are meant to test the wills and physical abilities of all science students. 

As a woman in STEM, I came into Linfield expecting to have to traverse weeder classes and stress. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would have to drag a trash can filled with sandbags through the Murdock halls. And then back again.

Let me be clear, that trash can was so heavy it would require a small squadron of science students to carry it with any ease or grace. However, the still unfinished labs of Murdock lacked a few basic necessities in the wake of their renovations, such as trash cans, clocks, and functioning air conditioning. The only trash cans to be found seemed to be double my weight.

While I dragged that trash can through the carpeted halls of the science building only two thoughts crossed my mind: ‘I really hope I don’t throw out my back and ‘if this is how the semester goes I am going to be so buff’. When I stopped to catch my breath finally I thought about how tough all science students would be when construction finally finished. We would be the most rugged, most mentally tough, group of students on campus. 

Whether by design or accident the science departments seemed to have increased the difficulty of thriving. No longer is intellect enough to get by, now students must be creative and physically nimble.

Trash can-related troubles are only for those that can find their way into the building at all. Some students and faculty have found themselves denied entry. Should the card readers decide to act up, many find themselves locked out. Oh yes, I’ve heard many harrowing tales of window entries and randomly locking and unlocking doors. Depending on the time of your arrival or the whims of the door, you may find yourself locked out of lab or office hours.

Do not worry, there are those among us with kind hearts that aim to fight off Darwin’s vengeful spirit. While the mysteriously locking doors keep out students and staff too short to reach and slip through the windows, those students refuse to leave their science brethren behind. Often, the doors can be found propped open to help out those of us who fall victim to the card reader’s malevolence.

All jokes aside, I look forward to the completion of the new science buildings, which are projected for this December, and enjoy trading construction stories with classmates and professors. While inconvenient at times the construction is no more a threat to my studies than everyday campus life (don’t get me started on parking).