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The Fish Pond: Part of Allen’s Identity

Student+often+hang+out+in+the+fish+pond+to+study+and+socialize+with+friends.
Student often hang out in the fish pond to study and socialize with friends.

Student often hang out in the fish pond to study and socialize with friends.

Paul Borcherding

Paul Borcherding

Student often hang out in the fish pond to study and socialize with friends.

Paul Borcherding, Video Editor

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Every college campus has its own area for students to hang out with their friends or study for classes. At Allen Community College, one of the most popular spots to gather is the “fish pond,” located between the administrative area and A-Complex offices. While some people see this as a luxurious spot for students to chill, there is plenty of history behind the pond.

When the school was first being built, an architect from Wichita submitted a design element for the “fish ponds.” At the time it won several awards for its unique design. There actually used to be two fish ponds at Allen at one point. The B pond, which no longer exists, was a smaller area half the size of the current one and was located where admissions now stands.

Longtime physical education instructor Roger Campbell said that he often joked with his peers that the fish ponds were their “shopping mall college.”

We have always had a very heterogeneous population, with kids from all over the US and the world. The fish pond serves as a gathering place that brought everyone together and got to know each other.”

— Roger Campbell

“If you look at it from a shopping mall point-of-view, you have long corridors with shops on the side and you have fish ponds or activity areas in the middle,” Campbell said. “We used to joke that it was our ‘mall college’ because it was built like a mall.”

Before technology became an integral part of society, the fish ponds were used for a number of different things such as: Halloween costume contest, pep rallies for athletic teams, dances or even a workout areas for the track team.

Campbell also said that the fish pond is a great place to meet new people and form relationships with others. He added that the electronic age has limited the potential for meeting new people because everyone naturally forms their own social groups. The Pond serves as a catalyst to directly meet new people.

“We have always had a very heterogeneous population, with kids from all over the US and the world. The fish pond serves as a gathering place that brought everyone together and got to know each other,” Campbell said. “Henceforth today there is not that place and everyone has their own little groups. We tend to limit ourselves to a certain area instead of opening ourselves up and that is where the fish pond has worked out.”

Sophomore Julia Keating also expressed her view about what she likes about the fish pond.

“The couches are comfy and relaxing because you don’t have to worry about being in class and paying attention. You can just sit here and talk with other people,” said Keating.

President John Masterson has stated that there have been several ideas “floated” to potentially renovate the fish pond area in the future and to best utilize it. He believes that the fish pond displays “character” and does not plan to renovate it anytime soon.

“I have heard countless stories of people who have come so far away from different backgrounds and the only thing that they had in common was that they met and I think that is where the fish pond has come in,” Campbell said.

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About the Contributor
Paul Borcherding, Video Editor
Born in Chicago and raised in Rossville, Kan., Paul Borcherding is a freshman pursuing a mass media major at Allen Community College. He earned a band scholarship and plays the flute and the piccolo, in addition to his other classes, and, of course, writing for the Flame. Borcherding wants to bring his skills from high...
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The Fish Pond: Part of Allen’s Identity