Art By Ally Armstrong
If you asked a first-year Pepperdine student to show you the APC, the CCB stairs or the best part of the Caf — Oasis Pizza Bar — they could probably point you in the right direction after a few weeks on campus.
Due to remote instruction, the class of 2024 has yet to discover much of the beauty of Pepperdine’s acronyms and the DTR bench is one they must learn now; there’s no time to lose in the transition back to in-person life.
The DTR bench, full name Define the Relationship Bench, is the swinging bench located on Lower Dorm road outside of Darnell house.
“Hang on Ashley,” you protest. “There are multiple wooden swings like that on campus, including outside Banowsky and on Upper Dorm somewhere.”
Reporter’s Note: I honestly couldn’t tell you where the bench is on Upper Dorm. This message was brought to you by Lower Dorm Gang.
But the bench outside of Darnell is different — it is THE DTR bench, and the only spot one can truly understand their interpersonal relationships through direct communication.
Over the summer, President Jim Gash shared a video of himself sitting on the Banowsky DTR bench on his thirty-ninth day of waiting for students to return to campus, providing further evidence of the DTR bench’s rich heritage.
We all know Pepperdine as a “ring-by-spring” Christian school with a wacky dating culture — that’s a no-brainer. What underclass students fail to realize is that the DTR bench is an essential step in establishing a relationship.
I’ll make the caveat here that you can DTR with any individual; I’ve DTRed with friends on the bench, and it is perfectly suitable to have any kind of conversation about your connection with a fellow Wave in an organized and safe manner.
But when sitting on the DTR bench with another person, the mood shifts as both parties recognize the space they have entered and what they must do next. This is the place where romance begins, flourishes and sometimes dies. This can be the start of something beautiful or of something tragic — and only the DTR has the power to contain this energy.
As we eagerly await the newest Waves’ arrival to Malibu, we cannot forget the quirky features which contribute to the rich heritage of campus, from the Dolores statue on the main campus to the dirt hill by Drescher. But the most important of them all is the DTR bench, and the Pepperdine community must continue to affirm this cultural icon.
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Contact Ashley Mowreader via Twitter: @amowreader or by email firstname.lastname@example.org