The fish tank located in the Batten Student Center has been around for the building’s lifetime. In recent years, the tank has been strangely empty. But, this semester a duo of silver friends have made an appearance.
Glenn Johnson, a one-year alumnus, commented on the fish tank’s history, “I’ve been on this campus on and off since before they built [the Batten Student Center] and that fish tank used to be full of black pacu. There was an incident that occurred when they were cleaning the tank and the fish got sick. I was the building supervisor in that time frame.”
Dean of freshmen and director of the Jane P. Batten Student Activities Center, Jason Seward, explained the incident in detail, “In the summer of 2012, we experienced a major pipe burst which caused our tank to drain completely. Because of this, we had to refill the tank. Several of our old fish were injured when the tank drained.” Ever since then, the tank has been undergoing either repairs or preparation for more fish to be included in the tank.
There have been some drawbacks to a rather empty and deserted tank. “It kind of looks bland,” said freshmen Dillon Rudiger. “They could change up the scenery a bit.”
In fact, there hasn’t been much too look at for a while, so perhaps the addition of the two new fish is a sign of improvement.
“I mean, it’s eye-catching and it attracts attention so maybe it’ll make people want to come here?” said Rudiger. “I know the first time I came here that was the first thing I saw so it’s definitely eye-catching.”
“Over the coming months, we will be adding additional fish and tank decorations,” said Seward.
Exactly what type of fish or sort of decorations is unknown; however, we can expect the fish tank to undergo much-needed renovations, whether small or large in scale.
The Batten Student Center has become the unintended first impression of the culture of VWC. The fish tank, while sometimes overlooked, is included in this first impression. “I’d like to see them get more variety. I know that they’re working on that,” Glenn Johnson commented, describing his input. “[The fish tank] actually does offer a lot,” he continued. “It gives a good focal point when we have guests come on campus. This facility is used for so many outside events. The first thing I see guests do when they’re walking through is stop and look at that fish tank. So, it’s something the guests will remember the campus by, which is always a good thing when you’re trying to recruit people in.”
Those walking through the campus would be convinced almost immediately, with a tank full of fish, that Virginia Wesleyan is a school with curiosity and wonder, a school to eventually explore. Hopefully, the fish tank will eventually return to its former glory, with colorful fish of many shapes and sizes, a variety of fish just as distinct and unique as each one of the students on campus.
There is one fact that is almost absolutely certain. There won’t be any marlins in the fish tank any time soon. Marlins, being on average almost thirty feet in length while also having an extraordinary swimming speed, would not be spatially comfortable in our fish tank. Unless the Batten Student Center also became an aquarium, the marlin will simply remain the ever-present mascot of VWC.