UR offers its students a great variety of facilities, services and outstanding faculty. From the modern architecture of Wilson Commons, to the Red and Blue bus lines, to my mother, Professor Nancy Chin, UR is pretty cool.

However, I think one of the best features this University has to offer its students is its handicap door openers. Particularly in the winter, when I make the most use of the University’s tunnel system, these buttons probably cut in half the number of doors I have to open, the amount of muscle-contracting I must perform and ultimately the amount of momentary discomfort I have to endure.

The function of these buttons not only gives a moment of muscular relief, but also provides a feeling of childlike amusement followed by one of telekinetic might. (This holds doubly so for the button connecting Morey and Lattimore Halls as it opens both doors in the hallway.) Perhaps most significantly, these buttons have stopped me from looking weak in front of heavy doors: My center of gravity is no longer swayed by their unreasonable mass. These benevolent buttons have gone on without the appropriate praise they have deserved. They are, in two words, really helpful.

For a while I did not know the tunnels even had these blue buttons, but one day I was walking to chemistry with some hallmates, and one of them persistently hit every button from Rush Rhees Library to Dewey Hall. Initially I thought, “Man, what a bum, what are you like 5 years old?’ Now, however, I realize he’s probably 18. Just like me. And just like him, I now refuse to open doors in the traditional mode.

From my epiphany onward, I have witnessed a culture of blue-button pressing emerge. No longer do students hold the door for the person behind them. Now they simply pass through and press the button as they leave the thanks can be shouted ahead, no eye contact necessary. The gentlemen no longer burden their biceps for the sake of chivalry. Nay, instead they elegantly press the wheelchair icon and allow their ladies to pass before them the ladies’ honor preserved. The blue button has integrated itself with this University and is as one with the campus as is the phrase Meliora.

While these buttons may have brought prosperity to UR, and it may seem that these buttons are perfect, I would like to address some minor flaws. First off, the buttons don’t always work, especially if you don’t press them hard enough. This minor defect can actually really suck. If someone goes to press the button and the button fails, someone is now stuck in front of the door. If someone presses the button again, then he really looks like a jerk as it demonstrates an ostentatious display of his indolence. Therefore the only solution is to manually open the door. This presents someone with a problem: He just opened a door. To remedy this, rarely do I ever press them. Instead I jab them with a clenched fist of solidarity.

However, my button-karate solution runs into a brick wall with the buttons’ second flaw: They were not built to endure fists of fury. This can be examined by viewing the button that guards the threshold between Wilson Commons and Rush Rhees Library. The blue cover of the button has fallen off. What is left is a much sharper and more metallic button that has proven to draw blood from its aggressors.

I previously mentioned that I had done away with the archaic tradition of opening doors with my hands. This is a half truth, as not all doors have these blue buttons. This leads me to my next topic: All doors should have these blue buttons. A modern campus like UR has no reason to deprive ill-conditioned students of really easy access to places like the Spurrier Gym practice rooms, the swimming pool and all dorm rooms. Instead of splurging our tuition money on extravagances like free T-shirt giveaways, our University should focus on stepping into the 21st century. Every door deserves a blue button and every blue button deserves a door.

While I praise the innovator who brought us this cultural artifact, I propose the engineers of this school look carefully into careers of making softer, more sensitive and more durable blue button door openers. The remainder of us can aspire to elevating our University, and then our society, into a world that no longer lives with the plight of manual doors.

Chin is a member of
the class of 2013.



Buzzz-buzzz

They moved in packs, resembling clouds of yellow pain. Their intent: to drive students into buildings, away from campus center, and just generally insane.

To all the overachievers out there

If you’re wasting the most amazing years of your life stressing about the future and always working, you’re ruining yourself.

Comic: UR sus

Failure to complete tasks results in expulsion from this school.