The tunnel system at UR is a unique and beneficial feature of our school. It enables the students, faculty, staff, administrators and visitors to navigate campus while staying warm during the frigid winter months. Walking to a destination through the tunnels is also sometimes more convenient simply because it takes less time than walking outside. However, the tunnel system can be a daunting place for new students, visitors to the university and even some directionally-challenged upperclassmen — many passages look similar and, unlike walking outside, there are no landmarks for guidance. One wrong turn could easily make you late to an important class or meeting.
Although there are some signs posted to guide tunnel-walkers to their destinations — as well as several comprehensive maps of the entire system — the tunnels lack signs directing people to many other frequented locations. One example is the deficit of directions pointing toward Meliora Hall. The entrance is easily overlooked as it is located in a secluded corner of the tunnel that doubles as the basement of Bausch and Lomb Hall, through an unmarked door that leads to another hallway. Only at the end of this passage will you find a sign marked “Meliora Hall.”
Additionally, although there are directions to certain buildings, you only catch sight of them by the time you’ve already arrived at your destination. If you are in another part of the tunnel system there is no foolproof way to navigate to the correct location other than from memory, which — while perhaps a legitimate method for those who have been at UR for a significant period of time — is not adequate for those who are not as familiar with the University. There are some makeshift signs throughout the structure, but this is not a long-term solution — not to mention the fact that they do not look professional.
The tunnel system is a tool that, when understood, can make your life easier and more convenient — even a bit warmer. Until more signs are posted, though, the tunnels will not be able to live up to their full potential.