I’ve been getting lost on the Syracuse University campus for nearly two years now and have eaten at least two out of five dining halls in my time. So yes, I’m qualified to give expert advice about this campus, its chancellor, its vice chancellor, the provost and the chancellor’s dog right about now. What’s the difference between vice chancellor and provost, you ask? Hard pass. SU students struggle with more than just the (night) life-threatening snowstorms. We have to make our peace with our fruit-inspired mascot and navigate the promenade. You think a slight uphill slope and subtle draft of wind is bad?
Come visit the 344 and re-evaluate your struggles next to these 10 Syracuse University struggles.
1. Oh, how cold is it there?
When asked about the struggles students at Syracuse University faced, Arva Hassonjee and Vicky Chan simultaneously uttered darkly, “the winter.” Syracuse sees snows 66 days a year between October and May, and three different types of snowstorms wreck the town in front of our dry eyes. Syracuse University students would never think to leave their dorm room without at least four layers and a hat that works as a wool blanket.
2. Our geographical struggle:
“One of Syracuse’s biggest struggles is getting lost in the Dome,” Lina Sullivan said. “You always exit the building a different way than the one you came.” Nothing disorients you more than to come out facing a residence hall when you expect to come out facing grass. If you think you can brave this maze, we welcome your attempts.
3. “So your mascot is a …fruit?”
When asked about something only SU students face, Jacqui Meuser said, “The fact that our mascot is a fruit.” Mascots everywhere have a fascinating history, but Otto the Orange comes after a long journey of identity crisis: SU had a warrior, a gladiator and nearly a wolf before Otto the androgynous Orange hailed a new ripe age in 1980. Students cheered the loudest for our beloved orange. We certainly like our Vitamin C.
4. The Climb to surpass all Climbs:
The weeny freshmen and the weary RAs on the Mount know this struggle all too well: you must run up 100 stairs before you have to walk some more by a graveyard to reach Day Hall and then get yelled at for using the elevator to finally get to your room. The residence halls on top of the Mount stand as the greatest challenge to the freshman 15. For some, it worked; for others, it exposed the stark reality of their weak muscles.
5. “Winter Weather Notifications” Only, Please and Thank You:
Syracuse recently got 100 inches of snow this year. We can hear the administration going “Check and Mate” at this statistic, or at least we would be able to hear them if our eardrums weren’t suffering from stage three frostbite. When was the last time the university had a snow day? In 2011, and once before that in 1993. Winter weather notification warnings appear in our emails occasionally, but we never count on days off, and we lace up our snow boots like soldiers on the way to battle.
6. What is the Promenade/Sidewalk/Einhorn Family Walkway?
Syracuse University decided to convert a road into a $6 million promenade, or pedestrian walkway. Costing so much money, this promenade is supposed to be heated, along with the rest of the sidewalks and roadways. I can’t tell you whether this new traffic pattern makes sense or if my feet feel fuzzy warm on the promenade. Personally, my feet have only felt uncertain and unloved as they slosh across slimy grey snow on a sidewalk with mismatched tiles.
7. Game Day or Leg Day?
“Trying to get into the bus on game day is the real struggle,” sophomore Paola García Soto said. As we wait for a bus on game day, only a slight resemblance of a mode of transportation shows up. Instead of a bus, a human sardine can on wheels trails down the road. If you’re up for a squish, join the Oranges. If not, walk. Probably not on a heated sidewalk.
8. Daily Appreciation of Newhouse Architecture:
The three Newhouse buildings strike fear into the heart of every person that enters them, be it for the first time or the 44th. Let me tell you who the architecture of Newhouse impresses: architecture students looking for an excuse to say that they study architecture. For all others, it needs to come with a map with diagrams and encouraging notes.
9. Farewell, Chuck’s:
The recently approved proposal for demolition of Hungry Chuck’s and other businesses on Marshall Street, the closest retreat from campus that is still on campus, has provoked many unofficial eulogies already. Seniors are calming down freshmen who will now possibly never experience the happiest hour on campus, while wiping away their own tears. We SU students ask the reader to please respect the campus in its time of collective mourning.
10. Overly Loud Jesus Guy on the Road
You don’t study or work on the SU campus if you have never been yelled at by a person on University Avenue wearing a placard that reads “Jesus Saves.” His microphone always startles the most innocent of sinners. The rest of us think of him as the signal to cross the road immediately. Props to his consistent message. However, we are all destined for hell, and if the promenade is not heated, hell most definitely is. Can we pay for sins with Venmo?