An ode to Merewether

One last goodbye to the home of economics

Artwork by Matthew Fisher.

If you’re an Economics student like me, chances are you’ve had to attend lectures, tutorials, or consultations in our favourite building: Merewether. Tragically, Merewether is being demolished soon, and with the big move to the new FASS building coming up next month, it’s time to give Merewether the recognition it deserves.

Let’s be honest, Merewether is a bit of a dump. It’s an old building with Old Building Stench. The posters and bulletin board announcements, the graffiti curses lining the wooden lecture theatre benches, the hidden creepy hallways of rarely used seminar rooms—they all give off that musty-library-from-362-years-ago vibe.

Even walking into Wolstenhome study centre is an experience. Wolstenhome is constantly packed with silent PhD students minding their own business, honours kids stressing about their workload, and first-years trying to figure out supply and demand curves using their arms. Every time I’ve been in there, it’s always just ever-so-slightly too warm—a temperature that makes your body feel like you’re crawling into the comforting womb of a mother that is the Merewether building. You’re hit by the stuffy atmosphere and the distinct salty smell of sweat dripping down an Economics student’s forehead as they desperately try to remember how to pronounce “Keynesian”.

Then when the pre-exam jitters kick in and you need to use the loo at Wolstenhome, you’re gifted with the classic odour of a public bathroom that hasn’t been cleaned since the early 2000s. And maybe even the smell of fruit because rumour has it somebody, God knows why, casually left a banana to clog the men’s urinals in the Wolstenhome restroom for eternity.

All things considered, Merewether has lived a long and full life. It smells like a senile grandpa ready to be taken off life support and let go. But for those students who call Merewether home, nobody is prepared to see it gone.

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