If you’re a BU student who has recently strolled across central campus, chances are you’ve seen a rather peculiar addition to the BU Beach. In the few months since it’s landed, BU students have had time to get used to the ‘Rhett Bench’, although some hard feelings remain.
The bench, colloquially known amongst BU students as ‘the Rhett statue’ or ‘that bronze monstrosity’, as one vexed student called it. was donated to BU by the Alumni Council and made its grand appearance on August 28th of this year
Whether it’s the uneasy clash of human fingers and canine paws, or the generally eerie idea of a humanoid dog statue on campus, BU students seem to have a strong negative opinion about this new dog on the block.
“Why did they make him life-size?” said Melena Rodriguez (COM ’23). “It’s like they all got drunk one night and said, ‘What’s the most off-putting thing we can put on campus?’”
However, Rodriguez had an anomalously optimistic opinion when asked if she had any alternative ideas for donations the BU Alumni Council could have given.
“But, other than the size, I have no alternative ideas because I truly believe swole Rhett is perfect,” said Rodriguez.
She went on to add: “If the Alumni Council keeps putting weird stuff like that all over campus it would benefit both the campus and advertise the alumni association. This statue can easily become a beacon for BU. He’s basically a meme and that’s what people are into now. He can become a creepy hero like mothman where he warns you about bridges falling and disasters. Swole Rhett is immortal.”
Rodriguez seems to be a member of the slim minority who didn’t strongly oppose Rhett.
“The Alumni Council could and should have spent its money on scholarships instead,” said Caroline DeHaven (SHA ’23). “The dog is not benefitting the school.”
The BU students interviewed seemed to have a common dissatisfaction with the choice of donation by the Alumni Council. In addition to DeHaven’s suggestion of scholarships, other students interviewed said that the Council could have spent its money on certain services in BU that could do with some improvement, such as Student Health Services and CARD (Center for Anxiety & Related Disorders).
Some students complained about the sense of discomfort that the statue elicited.
“When I first saw the new Rhett, I screamed because I am afraid of human-looking animals,” said DeHaven. “As a female, sometimes you have this ever-present fear of attack.”
“I wouldn’t voluntarily sit next to this Rhett statue,” said Trisha Singh (CAS ’23). “It makes me uncomfortable. I don’t know what it is…he kind of looks like my grandfather.”
The BU Alumni Council, who donated the statue, did not respond to a request for comment.