The Apple(by) of my eye,
A declaration of love
By: Tala Alfoqaha
I bumped into you the first time on accident. Nestled in between Fraser and Bruininks, you were by far the ugliest of the three: a red brick and rectangular-windowed building with the architectural stylings of a burnt waffle, absolutely unassuming and ordinary in every respect. You see, my class had been moved to Fraser, yet due to poor navigation skills compounded by a riveting iMessage conversation, or fate, I ended up at your doorstep. 128 Pleasant Street SE, Appleby Hall.
I left immediately after realizing my mistake. But something drew me back to you--maybe it was intuition. Or maybe it was the display that faced the entrance: a purple banner emblazoned with the word “feminist” that prompted me to return. Or the Deathly Hallows symbol superimposed onto the phrase “help will always be given to those who ask for it” that hung above the door of the Martin Luther King, Jr. advising office. Or the Audre Lorde quote painted on a poster in scrawling silver font. Or the photos of women and queer rights activists taped right beside it. Or the student artwork that greeted me at every turn. Or the chatter from the Multicultural Center for Academic Excellence student lounge. Or the affirmations stuck to a bulletin board bearing the humble request, “please take one!” Or the pride flags scattered across the walls. Or the welcoming glow of the Aurora Center. Or a little bit of everything uniting to send a simple, comforting message: whoever you are, you belong here.