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Hot spots for cooling your heels

WILL SEBERGER/Arizona Summer Wildcat
Beth Herzfeld, a junior majoring in English, looks at the foliage at the pond near East Second Street and North Park Avenue in January. The pond is a peaceful spot to relax on campus.
By Nathan Tafyoa
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, July 28, 2004
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The bell tolls and students burst out onto the UA Mall like GAP-donned cockroaches out of a sewer. Some make a beeline for their next class, but others scatter into varying nooks and crannies of the UA campus to wait for rides home or to kill time before upcoming classes.

At some point in their academic careers, UA students are going to experience time blocks; those blank, rectangular spaces on their Student Link graph schedule.

This article isn't about the budget cuts spawning those blanks, though. It's about all those nooks and crannies - both traditionally popular and newly created by the constant construction on campus - that are attracting students.

The buildings

When you live in the desert, being outside is usually undesirable. But no worries; the UA is spotted with vacant and entertaining rooms students can access.

As Ozzy Osbourne tried to throw kitchen knives into a piece of wood on MTV2, chemical engineering freshman Ashley Lau sat on a couch and read her class notes in the TV lounge at Wilbur's Underground in the Student Union Memorial Center.

"I come here a lot, " she said, adding that she studies better with the TV playing. "It's a place to go before classes and in between."

Marcus Kong, a management information systems senior, watched a professional billiards tournament in the lounge after class Friday.

"I'm just hanging out. I don't want to go home yet," Kong said.

If he isn't in the lounge, Kong said he also likes to work out at the Rec Center or surf the Web in the Integrated Learning Center.

But Reuben Goodman, a psychology senior, lives off campus and said he does not have a regular place to hang out at the UA. Instead, Goodman often goes to Frog & Firkin or No Anchovies.

"I usually take it off campus, on the University Boulevard strip," Goodman said. "I usually do my homework at home and just socialize on campus."

In the Games Room at Wilbur's, Priscilla Lopez, a pre-business junior, played billiards with engineering management sophomore Chris Gallegos.

"I usually go to the Chicano/Hispano affairs computer lab or study area," Lopez said.

Classics junior Kristy Quick said the USS Arizona Memorial Lounge was a common meeting place.

"I like this room because it's usually where my friends are at and it is between my classes," Quick said.

Just outside the buildings

It would be downright wrong to forget about the UA's smoking community.

Ostracized from air conditioned or heated buildings, smokers often bear the elements as they tote their carcinogens outside in search of designated smoking areas.

"There's enough places to smoke. You just have to know where they are," said Steve Stout, a 2003 alumnus and Web coordinator for the Student Union Memorial Center.

While smokers can often be found congregating outside their dorms, smoking in groups and sharing lighters, Stout said he usually smokes near his office and does not have a favorite place to puff his stuff, choosing convenience over scenery.

"I need a cigarette. Let's find a place to smoke," he said.

The necessities

Finding the perfect bathroom is like finding a soul mate: You'll know it when you see it.

The clean seat and funny joke on the stall that makes you laugh no matter how many times you read it. The toilet paper roll and the assuring spare to the left of it. Free-flowing liquid soap.

"I don't go to the bathroom that much on campus," said Crystal Williamson, a communication junior who studies in the library. "They're all pretty gross."

"I think they're mostly pretty clean," said Kong, who said he has no favorite bathroom on campus.

Lopez said she likes the bathrooms in the student union by the U-Mart.

When asked about his restroom preference, Gallegos said he liked his dorm's bathrooms, noting they get cleaned every day.

"I like clean toilets," Gallegos said.

According to sociology freshman Chaitra Powell, the Harvill building's bathrooms are both gross and scary, unlike those at McClelland Hall.

"I heard the ones in Old Chem are bad, but I don't have a class there, so I don't have to worry about it," Powell said.

Some may be dirty (the second floor of the library) and some may be glorious (fifth floor Koffler), but rest assured, all campus bathrooms are guaranteed to flush, or your money back.

Mother Nature

A bird rests peacefully on a branch by the pond along North Park Avenue near East Second Street. Something white falls and splatters next to a sunbathing turtle, startling it into pushing off into the dark green water.

The expanding concentric circles above scattering goldfish and the escaping turtle are peaceful and somehow meaningful. The clouds suddenly look puffier, and the sun shines a little brighter.

But not for Sonny Yecny, a hydrology and water resources junior.

"What pond? I didn't even know there was a pond here!" Yecny said.

Beth Herzfeld, a sophomore majoring in English, said she was tired of studying and came to the pond to get out of the house.

"I think it looks nice, and it's one of the nicer places on campus," Herzfeld said about the pond.

But the murky pool of water is not the only chill spot that floats her boat.

"There's this one place by the library that I go to between classes, if I have time," she said. "One of the benches is in the shade and it's quiet and I can read."

Powell works for the Harvill Copy Center and often makes deliveries. She said she chooses some of her routes for the nature walk.

"I like North Campus Drive with the older dorms," Powell said. "It has trees and a kind of residential street. And there's that spot by the Shantz building with all the vegetation vines growing on the wall."

Whether students prefer carpet beneath their shoes or grass between their toes, the UA campus hosts many unclaimed getaways and study areas that can accommodate those preferences. And those preferences are always subject to change.

Gina Goldblatt, a pre-business junior, said she has no favorite hole in the wall to go to between or after classes.

"I don't have a specific place where I really go," Goldblatt said. "I just go where I feel like going, and that can vary every day."

Sometimes it's best to imagine another world and life when trapped on campus. Or at least read about it.

Business junior Stephanie Nishioka said she goes to the UofA Bookstore to read between class sessions.

"Usually magazines, because I have a 30-minute break between classes," Nishioka said, explaining her way of killing time on the bookstore's leather seats. "Read magazines; see if there are any good books and any good CDs on sale."

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A day at the Student Union Memorial Center
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A cynic's guide to life in the UA dorms
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Staving off the Freshman 15
The Rec: More than a place to pick up hotties
Hot spots for cooling your heels
Proselytization: godly or just God-awful?
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