Every December, hundreds if not thousands of students make their way to their exams in the Education Building and anyone who has made this trek can speak to the brutality of braving the elements. So riddle me this: why is there no tunnel that connects the Education Building with the rest of the tunnel systems on campus?
The Education Building has an abundance of services that students of all disciplines use, from the gym to the library, the student lounge to the classrooms. Yet students are not able to walk from their class in the Arts Building to give blood in the Education Lounge without freezing on the way there.
A selling point for the campus’ Voyager Place residence is that the tunnel network stops residents from being forced to leave the warmth of indoors while on their way to class. This is not the case when it comes to education students or those who are taking classes in the Education Building. The creation of a tunnel connecting Edwards School of Business to the Education Building would help make living on campus all the more enticing.
Even though the front entrance of the Education Building is accessible by ramp, many people with mobility difficulties may find tunnels to be incredibly helpful. The use of elevators and ramps in the current tunnels make for an easy commute from one building to another. Accessing the College of Education via tunnel would help those who have limited mobility bypass the busy and possibly icy sidewalks on the way to and from the Education Building.
Students who are new to campus may find it challenging to find the Education Building, as it’s a standalone building farther down Campus Drive. With a direct tunnel from the Arts Building, that confusion would be alleviated. Locating buildings can be difficult, especially if you’re new to campus and even more so if you’re new to campus in the winter months. Having a complete tunnel system allows for warm and easy exploration of the entire campus.
Avoiding the weather is not the only positive that would come from the creation of this tunnel. It would also allow people to avoid crossing the busy road between Edwards School of Business and the Education Building.
The Arts Tunnel itself is a very busy place, seeing 22,000 visitors every single day. If a tunnel connecting the two buildings was created, it would provide another high-capacity venue for clubs and and other organizations to present themselves to the student body. This would not only be beneficial to the groups operating these tables but would also generate more opportunities for student involvement.
Perhaps the the biggest benefit from this suggested tunnel works in tandem with direct entry into education. This year marks the first semester where students are able to enter the College of Education straight out of highschool without taking the sixty pre-education credits that previously were required. The College of Education estimates that by re-implementing the direct entry process, they will have an increase in admissions to the program, which is already part of the second largest college on campus.
At this point you might be asking if this is an article on tunnels or on direct entry. Turns out the two are interconnected. With the increase in admissions there will be a much bigger flow of students to and from the Education Building. A tunnel would help remedy the crowded flow of students by providing an alternative route.
Though the construction of such a tunnel is unlikely, it is impossible to ignore the positive outcomes that it would provide for our campus.
Graphic: Lesia Karalash / Graphics Editor