By Nash Wills, Co-Editor
When General Barton Kyle Yount speculated in the Glendale real estate market back in ’46, his $1 investment sufficed for a solid 160-acre plot of prime desert land. 71 years since then, campus has changed a lot. Sometimes it’s hard for me to imagine a time when the majority of the buildings here were filled and campus was bustling. On a daily basis, I’d go as far as saying that I only use 5 or 6 areas consistently.
I am, however, fascinated by the places that aren’t used. Signs abound of times past when people frequented certain spots that some students now consider haunted and some coyotes now consider home. Walking to the rugby field or mailroom, one can spot advertisements for on-campus travel agencies or 1990s era companies that have since faded. All of this recently got me thinking: What are the top 10 most random places on campus?
Now this list is by no means comprehensive. I tried avoiding the area by the Executive Inn and occasionally counted large spaces as single locations. Nevertheless, and without further ado, I give you the top 10 most random spots on campus…
10.) The Original CMC: I rated the real CMC #10 for a couple of reasons: First of all it’s huge. You can’t miss it. I’d even go as far as saying that it’s one of the most impressive buildings on campus. Second, although current full-time students don’t use it, Executive Education still does. I know that my class was shown it during foundations…The only other few times I’ve gone back into it were to snag some leftovers from exec education events. In a poll of 10 students from different classes, 2 had been inside and 8 had never even heard of it before.
9.) East Dorms: A year ago I would have rated the East Dorms easily within the top 3, but because a number of students recently made the cross-campus migration over there, it’s somewhat lost its sense of obscurity. Nevertheless, it’s still pretty creepy. Oral traditions passed down to me from generations of T-birds past tell tales of a time not all that long ago when the East Dorms were a lively and popular spot.
To get the low down on the situation over there I decided to do a little bit of investigating. There are currently 3 students inhabiting the East Dorms. I talked to two of them as well as a Spring 2016 graduate, Emma Livingston, who used to live there, too. In general, the dorms were described as being lonely yet peaceful and quiet. Although humans don’t occupy the majority of the rooms, other creatures have taken advantage of the vacancies. Emma said that at one point there was “a roach problem” that caused them to move down a few rooms and that there was always a lot of cat and coyote action. Nick Penna (MGM ’17) told me that he thought the coyotes had killed something in the abandoned field last week because they were howling so loudly that they woke him up around 3 in the morning.
8.) The Computer Lab: Coming in at #8 is T-bird’s very own fully functioning computer lab. Most people don’t even realize that we have one on campus. Somewhat ironically, it seems as though comuputer labs are now a thing of the past. Laptops have turned the recently modern into ancient history. The lab is located in Snell. In a poll of 10 students, the results were 60/40, with 60% not knowing it existed and 40% knowing.
7.) The random outside lunch area at Yount: The first time I noticed this area was during an interview in one of the back rooms of Yount. It’s actually a really nice spot that, unsurprisingly, no one ever uses. We should start a movement to revamp the lonely porch area…
6.) Tell Interfaith Center: Oh the chapel building…We all know it, but nobody seems to know anything about it. The last sign of religion before crossing Greenway on your way over to Tony’s, this unused monument to the gods remains a truly T-bird enigma. To learn more about it, I asked alumnus Bob Shatz whether or not it was used back in the day. He told me that, “One night back in 1981, I decided to check the doors. While the door itself was locked, the two wooden doors were not moored to the ground, so both just swung open. There was not much in the room…just a few chairs and a lectern.” 35 years later when Bob was on campus again, he decided to check out the chapel to see if anything had changed. Lo and behold the doors swung open just as easily as they had back in ’81. “There was the same worn out carpet and chairs that I had seen decades ago.”
Current students were about 60/40 on not knowing what it was versus knowing what it was. Some had even been inside of it before. Salma Kemmou (MAGAM ’17) and Maya Snowden (MAGAM ’17) both summed it up pretty well. Of the chapel, Salma said: “That’s sketch. That thing needs to go.” Maya replied, “That’s creepy.” Indeed…
5.) The Archives: Did you know that the majority of Thunderbird artifacts are housed in a room next to the mailroom? I’m guessing not…It’s definitely a really cool spot though. In a poll of 10 current students, 7 had never heard of it and 3 had. One student had actually gone before. Beware when walking by it at night—there is a creepy mannequin set up inside.
4.) The West Dorms: Once revered as the best party spot on campus, the West Dorms have now been closed for almost 2 years. It is well known in T-bird mythology that the West Dorms are the best housing that campus has to offer, but for some unknown reason we aren’t allowed to live in them. They are the only dorms that promote community living and boast a lounge for drinking coffee and socializing. One current student described them as “the creepiest place on campus.”
3.) The Thelma H. Kieckhefer International Studies Center: Talk about a place that seems like it’s been abandoned for over a decade. I’ve never been able to pick up a single bit of information on what all of these rooms were used for in the past. The only sign I could find was that of a long lost Thunderbird travel agency. I guess they were put out of business with the advent of the Internet.
2.) The buildings by the volleyball courts: Besides playing host to the annual Latin American Business & Culture Club volleyball tournament, these buildings seem like something you would find in a post-apocalyptic world. Recently though, the newly formed Thunder-Leaf club has been showing them some love. If anyone wants to film a new installment in the Blair Witch Project Series, here is probably a good place to start.
1.) That area behind the Hangar Building: Easily taking the number 1 spot, and probably the area of campus that receives the least amount of foot traffic from students, it’s your friendly “area behind the Hangar Building.” Apparently maintenance and housekeeping uses this area somewhat frequently. I would go as far as saying that only 1 in 100 students have ever been back in this spot. The only time I have ever been called in its direction was when I had a flat tire. A fun fact that might lead to the revitalization of this area: there is an air hose that can be used to inflate your car tires attached to the wall.