Clear the halls, dammit!

By Ryan May

I travelled around Canada during the summer, and had the opportunity to visit the campuses of two other universities: Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland, and Nippissing University in Northbay, Ontario. Being new to both facilities I expected some difficulty finding my way around, but was astounded at how easy it was to navigate in the buildings.

Easy because the administration of each school had seen fit to post easy-to-read maps of the interior of their buildings in easy to find places. The University of Calgary has no such system, and posts only exterior maps of the campus, the basic building schematics required by law.

Beyond posting maps the two schools also had individual means of helping people get around their campuses. Memorial had a system similar to some hospitals: major routes are marked with colour-coded lines on the walls, and large coloured circles mark important locations and have maps posted along side them.

Nippissing provided interior maps on their web site and printed copies of them at various locations around the campus. One such location is their information booth, which is located in the very centre of the main building, and is staffed by two people during regular school hours. The basic idea is similar to that of the Students’ Union Information Centre in MacEwan Students’ Centre, but it is infinitely more useful because the staff operating the booth have access to the school telephone system and directory. This gives them access to much more information, and allows them to be infinitely more useful.

The U of C would have a much more user-friendly campus if it were to learn from these examples. Unfortunately, the best maps and help in the world are useless if you cannot get anywhere. With the start of the Fall session the number of people on campus will approach 30,000. This many people quickly clog narrow hallways and entrances.

To help alleviate the problem, here are some guidelines to follow:

1. All hallways and sidewalks are like streets: stay on the right side (especially in the link between MacEwan Hall and Science B).

2. Do not stop in the middle of a hallway or sidewalk.

3. Do not block doorways or entrances with your person or belongings.

4. When walking with friends, try not to walk slowly.

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