Letter to the Editor; Lane “Asylum”

To whom it may concern,

I’m writing to bring attention to something concerning and frustrating. The upcoming “Late at Lane” on October 3rd is tastelessly themed Lane Asylum. I am well aware that there are a number of people who do not reflexively understand why that is tasteless, or more specifically ablest, but I’m sure anyone can understand when put specifically. Historically, but not long ago, asylums and nearly all forms of mental health institutions were not simply spooky but literal hot beds of abuse and horror. Real human revulsion and suffering.

People are still alive today who endured that sometimes for decades of their lives. Gay, lesbian, and bi people were given shock therapy and tortured simply for not being straight. Husbands could institutionalize their wives for being uncooperative. The mentally ill were abused and dehumanized and experimented on. This isn’t a neat gimmick that is okay to make light of, it’s an era of our history where we catastrophically failed a portion of our national family. It isn’t something anyone should just turn into a theme for a campus sponsored event.

That isn’t to say that the situation is entirely unsalvageable, it would be little to no real effort just to call it “haunted hospital” as a theme. There is basically no effort or shift in gears except what might be put on memos or posters. The wonderfully designed flyers would only need a cosmetic title change. One simple change and the whole thing returns to harmless fun. Hospitals are scary as hell.


Noah Jones

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