Art students forced out of Ritter

This story is part of a satire issue for the week of April Fools. 

Daniella Statuti

    Ursinus athletes stormed Ritter this past weekend, forcing art students from their studio spaces, in an attempt to reclaim their old turf. However, art students found refuge in the Berman Museum of Art, where they will soon host the Annual Student Exhibition.

     According to senior history major, Morgan Larese, it all started with Annual National History Day, hosted in the main gymnasium on Mar. 24.

     “The basketball team walked into the fair dressed in their uniforms and told [us] they were supposed to have a game that same day. I felt bad having to turn them away, but the school double booked our events and there was nothing I could do,” said Larese.

    Basketball player, Zack Muredda, said that their first solution was to use the second court, but the girls’ volleyball team was already there for practice and refused to move. Said Muredda, “We talked about using the third court in Hellferich, but it was just too small.”

     They even attempted to play around the History fair’s tables, but Larese quickly dispersed the commotion so as not to frighten visiting students.

     Muredda said he felt “utterly betrayed” because the school somehow didn’t have enough room for everyone. He said the rest of the team got riled up fast, worried that they were going to have to forfeit their game.

     “But then we remembered that the floor in Ritter where the art studios are was still a basketball court,” said Muredda.

     Previously known as the Thompson-Gay Gymnasium, Ritter was renovated in 1979 after the creation of the Floy Lewis Bakes Center and Helfferich Hall. It was redesigned to accommodate the growing art, theater, and media studies majors, according to a 1980 Ursinus College Bulletin. Makeshift walls were built to separate studio spaces, work benches were placed directly on top of the old gym floor, and classrooms were made into broadcast studios and green rooms.

     What was meant to be a temporary fix turned into a permanent problem. The current state of Ritter is the result of multiple small renovations, i.e. the loft studios, gallery space, and TV studios. However, the green gym floors still remain, ancient desks litter the classrooms and only recently was a hole in the floor of Ritter 141 fixed.

      Ritter continues to be Ursinus’ backlogged building project. Freshman art major, Abby Krasutsky, said she was never even shown the building when touring the school, her guide merely pointed it out to her as the media and communications and arts building as her family walked by.

     This did not stop the athletics department from staging a revolt to claim the building..

     The team promptly rallied with the volleyball team and recruited them for help. The teams also gained the support of the track, lacrosse, wrestling, and the swim team. Many students called their friends and teammates as well, and the small gathering quickly escalated into a full-on riot.

     Muredda said, “It was almost too easy,” storming into Ritter and moving what they needed until there was enough space to play on the old court.

     Art students working in their studio spaces were disgruntled but not very shocked to be kicked out of the arts building. Senior art major, Kayla O’Mahony was most upset about losing her favorite napping couch.

     Senior art major, Oriah Lopez, was quoted as saying, “I don’t blame them. Ritter looks more like a gym than it does an art studio anyway,” while helping the team move art work out of their way.

     The art department was seen marching across campus soon after the take-over with art works in hand.

     Media and communications major, Mads Bradley, joined the parade immediately and later explained, “Ritter was our building too. We all had to stick together.”

     In search of a new facility, the students considered going back to Fetterolf, the birth place of the art major, but the risk of crossing Main Street outweighed that decision said O’Mahoney.

     Eventually they came to a conclusion. There was another place on campus, perfect for the art students, spacious and accommodating for all, and such a wonderful resource, yet somehow so easily forgettable to most; the Berman Museum. According to Lopez, the staff welcomed the homeless students with open arms.

     With the Annual Student Exhibition well under way, the students already had designated spots to put their art work with plenty of space to spare for minors and media and communications majors who joined the crew.

     Food and water was provided, as well as cots for anyone in need. The extra support that was generated from the inviting environment really encouraged students to collaborate and finish their projects for the upcoming exhibition, according to O’Mahoney. Many of the students planning to exhibit their works, including Larese, O’Mahony, and Lopez, said they created some of their best work for this year’s show during the evacuation.

     The exhibition will open April 6 with the opening reception taking place on April 19, 4 – 7 p.m. So, when you’re finished all of your COSA presentations, make sure to come visit the Berman for free food and an open bar!

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