The news that keeps us Onward On!

The Carroll News

The news that keeps us Onward On!
Since 1925
The news that keeps us Onward On!

The Carroll News

The news that keeps us Onward On!

The Carroll News

Follow our Twitter
Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

I miss the jukebox in the student center

Laken Kincaid
Laken Kincaid reflects on the memories provided by the gone, but not forgotten, student center jukebox.

“I love rock and roll, so put another dime in the jukebox, baby” – Joan Jett

It is a late night sometime between October and March. Although you are tucked away inside, the crisp Ohio air still stings your cheeks every time a door towards the quad is opened. After multiple doe-eyed hours studying whatever core class is lingering on your degree evaluation and ordering dinner from the Inn-Between (then subsequently reordering it because it was stolen), you are looking for just one fleeting moment of happiness to keep you on your academic grind. After all, Red Bull can only restore so much dopamine, especially at 11 p.m.

Before you retire to your quiet dorm, which is punctuated by sudden shouts from the cement stairwell, you decide to be (dare you say) silly. Not an out-of-pocket kind of silly, like a violation of community standards kind, but rather indulging in a harmless spirit of fun. Luckily for you, the avenue to do so stands right by the main exit of the atrium, incandescent and slightly nostalgic.

It’s the jukebox you pass by everyday between Corbo trips and hungry voyages to the caf. While not impressive by any means, it serves as a constant throughout your hectic days juggling countless responsibilities. Feeling blue because of a break-up? Play a fast-paced Olivia Rodrigo ballad to air out your emotions. Choking on your plummeting GPA? Queue up “Africa” by Toto and feel the stress melt away. No matter what you are going through, that jukebox is there for you and anyone needing a simple but effective pick-me-up.

This is the experience of not only me but quite a few (at least four) upperclassmen who attend John Carroll currently. No, it is not a huge staple of campus like the spray painted lion outside Pacelli Hall or the countless splashes that come from the fountain during the summer months, but it was still a part of many of our experiences. Was it minute? Yes, but still impactful.

Personally, after quick meetings in the newsroom, I enjoyed Rickrolling the entirety of the student population before quickly evading the crime scene. Other trills I took on the jukebox include playing sea shanties at night after a long shift at the radio station. These were by no means core memories, but they were still happy ones nonetheless. If I was feeling down in the dumps, I knew I could find some music to either cheer me up or plunge others into a melancholy mood, either way leaving an impact. After speaking with my peers, others seemed to feel the same way. While not a universal incident, it was still unifying.

Imagine my sadness when I found out that, after the summer renovations, the jukebox was no longer in the student center atrium. You may be asking “Laken, did they move it to another corner of campus?” Sadly, no. That booming box of vehemence is nowhere to be found, lost among the cosmos of Millor Hall and the retired nameplates of the “Administration Building.” This change, like many of the others on campus, may seem harmless or even for the betterment of the future, but it still stings in the moment. It feels like losing a distant cousin who you had a few childhood playdates with once upon a time in a sandlot.

Not only does the death of the jukebox make me cherish and miss some of my fondest memories of it, but it also makes me think of what else went with it. For me, this little music machine provided some semblance of control amidst my chaotic life. Even if I was wiping my salty, burnt-out tears on my varied required readings, I could still count on brightening my own day with a quirky little ditty. No, it’s nothing major, but it is still worth lamenting over. The jukebox provided a harmless and reliable outlet for fun, a surefire way to make things a bit brighter. Now, I have to rely on the tunes filtering in from my assorted Spotify playlists. To be honest, Rickrolling myself is not nearly as fun.

It would be easy to just call for the reinstatement of this boisterous box, but alas, I know times are changing and my words will soon have little to no impact as an alumni. There’s a reason this article is titled “I miss the jukebox in the student center” and not “Bring back the jukebox in the student center” with dozens of huffing air emojis. Instead, this rambling is meant to paint a portrait for the younger generation of Blue Streaks, to highlight one of the unsung heroes that was lost through the struggles of construction projects.

This also serves as a cautionary tale to enjoy what you have while it is front of you. In May 2023, I played “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley for the last time and had no clue. Many members of the class of 2024 are forming some of their final memories of Carroll as I write this. But even the youngest of freshmen need to learn to treasure the little things (and their time overall) on campus; you are going to long for it deeply whether you want to admit it to yourself or not.

Leave a Comment
About the Contributor
Laken Kincaid
Laken Kincaid, Editor-in-Chief
Laken Kincaid is the Editor-in-Chief for The Carroll News from Beckley, West Virginia. They are a senior at John Carroll University who is double majoring in political science and communications (digital media) and minoring in leadership development. Laken has written for The Carroll News since the start of their freshman year and has previously served as a staff reporter, campus section editor and managing editor of the paper. They have received 18 Best of SNO awards, a Society of Professional Journalists Mark of Excellence award for Region 4 and two honorable mentions from the College Media Association. They have also been recognized by universities like Georgetown for their investigative reports. Additionally, they also write political satire for The Hilltop Show and feature stories on global poverty for The Borgen Project. In addition to their involvement with The Carroll News, Laken is involved with the Kappa Delta sorority, the speech and debate team, the Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion, the Improv club and other organizations. They also serve as the news director for WJCU 88.7, John Carroll's own radio station, and as the president for John Carroll's Society of Professional Journalists chapter.  Laken also started their own national nonprofit organization known as Art with the Elderly which they have won the President's Volunteer Service Award and the Humanity Rising Award for. When not writing, Laken can be found doing graphic design for their internship with Union Home Mortgage or working as a resident assistant and peer learning facilitator on campus. Laken also enjoys skiing and watching true crime documentaries. In the future, Laken hopes to become a political journalist for a national news organization or to be a campaign commercial editor for politicians. To contact Laken, email them at [email protected].

Comments (0)

The Carroll News allows comments on articles to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards.
All The Carroll News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *