Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Can and will Lake Lag ever be filled?

Students have wanted Lake Lag to be, well, a lake, for years now, especially when then hear stories from old alumni who used to be able to windsurf there!  

It seems that a few years ago some students started a petition which said:

To: President John Hennessy
 Stanford University Touts its on campus lake, hereafter referred to as "Lake Lagunita," as one of the many amenities available to to students and affiliates of Stanford University.  We, the undersigned, find this particularly misleading: it is a fact that Lake Lagunita has not been filled for at least two full years now.  Prospective Freshmen, hereafter referred to as "Prospectofros," have a right to know that the campus they are considering does not actually have any discernable body of water other than the oft-mentioned fountains which so delight the hearts of all.  Many official documents, including the application and website, mention the nonexistent lake, and it is high time that somebody points out this egregious misrepresentation to both Prospectofros and the campus at large.  There is no lake.  There hasn't been for quite some time.  It has been whispered that there may never again be a lake. This is very disturbing, but the undersigned do believe that there is a solution.  There are two ways to correct the current misrepresentation: destroy all mention of Lake Lagunita in future documents, or fill the lake an fulfill the promise of the University to countless generations of students.  We believe that Lake Lag should be restored to its former glory- if a few bacteria-ridden fountains can bring the campus so much joy, imagine the joy that an entire lake riddled with diseases and students from all walks of life will bring?  The collective spiritual health of the University demands that the lake be filled, lest we continue to perpetuate a pervasive aura of dishonesty and iniquity that stems from the crushing weight of the vast emptiness that is the giant ditch behind Roble Hall.  Return legitimacy to the West Lag name and restore Stanford University to the proud institution that it once was by filling the lake once and for all!

The Undersigned

President Hennessy's Response:

Dear Mr. Kanard:

Thank you for your e-mail of February 25, 2005.  I appreciate you and the members of the Coalition to Fill Lake Lag (CFLL) taking time to share your concerns regarding the water level at Lake Lagunita.  As I am sure you are aware, Lagunita is filled by winter rains and runoff from the foothills; therefore, insufficient seasonal rainfall may cause the lake to go unfilled.  In fact, the online Introduction to Stanford Guided Tour and other web sites openly state this information.

Stanford University shares the CFLL's enthusiastic interest in nurturing the collective spiritual health of the university.  Your concern for Prospectofros, also known as ProFros, is especially commendable.  Because university resources are currently directed toward other important projects and initiatives, the CFLL may wish to consider encouraging Prospectofros and other Lagunita visitors to B.Y.O.H2O.  In this way, Lagunita visitors desiring a full lake will be able to personally and collectively participate in restoring  the pride of Stanford University.

Thank you again for sharing your concerns, and for your well-written petition.


John L. Hennessy

There had been rumors that the lake couldn't be filled due to the threatened species of tiger salamanders that dwell there but apparently the real reason is that the dam is not considered safe.  Now the lake was semi full this year but how hard would it be to fix the dam?  President Hennessy said that they are using university resources for other projects but perhaps an enthusiastic group of alumni would be willing to donate time and money to repair the dam...I guess there used to be a boathouse out there...if the dam could be repaired and the boathouse rebuilt, maybe there can be ANOTHER Arillaga building on campus :)  
Anyways, maybe I'm bias toward west campus after living there last year and again next year and was ecstatic when the lake was a semi swamp instead of just a barren meteor scar, but legitimately full would be amazing.

Here are some article from the daily on the subject too:

Ok sorry for the long post but I'll be out of town for the next few weeks and this has been on my mind :)



stanford safari said...

Didn't they (partially) fill the lake over spring break?

papilab said...

Wow. I must be hallucinating. Someone is actually discussing Lagunita? If you only knew what that site meant to alumni of the past...

I often lament memories never experienced by contemporary students. The Lake and the Boathouse and the non-stop activity were highlights of Spring quarter. If you only knew how peaceful, or wild and crazy, it could be. Oh, the stories!

But don't get me started. Nobody wants to hear about someone else's good old days. Besides, talk of a lake and a boathouse again must be a dream. I don't even remember how I stumbled upon this site.

CZ '75