A hike around Trinity University’s campus

Looking at how far some of the most unconventional classrooms are from one another


Lily Zeng

Illustrated by lily zeng

With all of the construction and building renovations going on around campus, there are classes happening in some pretty unconventional places this year, such as the Robert R. Witt Reception Center, the William Knox Holt Center and even the William H. Bell Athletic Center. Not only are these buildings atypical classroom environments, but they are also fairly far away from the main academic buildings, especially for students with back-to-back classes. I therefore decided to do some serious investigative journalism and strapped on my sneakers to see just how long it would take me to get from place to place.

Before I uncover my findings, some context: My research was conducted on the Friday of fall break, when there were no classes and therefore little foot traffic. I was dressed in athleisure and only carrying a light tote bag — I mention this as someone who frequently lugs around heavy camera equipment and my backpack, often while dressed in jeans, because I really cannot imagine having to do this on a normal day of classes. The buildings I chose were the Bell, Holt and Witt Centers (for the reasons mentioned above), Dicke Hall (for its distance) and Northrup Hall (because it’s fairly central). Finally, I went from entrance to entrance, not inside or to any upper-level floors, so I imagine that getting to and from classrooms takes an additional one to two minutes, at least. Keeping all of this in mind, I present the results:

Bell Center → Holt Center: 8:20
This was, by far, the longest walk I had to take. The route I took was, to me, the most logical one: I went from the front entrance of the Bell Center, around the mangled baseball field, between the pool and the tennis courts, around the back of the Parker Chapel and down Oakmont. As I began my journey, I quickly remembered two facts that had slipped my mind when I assigned myself this story. One: our campus is on a hill. Two: I hate speed walking. That being said, I was honestly surprised that I made it in just under eight-and-a-half minutes. I would like to say, however, that if it were a normal day of classes I would probably add about five minutes to that time, because I don’t think I could walk that quickly around people with my backpack just to make it on time to class — sorry to all my professors, but I’m just not committed enough for that. To anyone who has to make this journey (or a similar one), you have my sincere condolences.
Difficulty level: 8/10

Holt Center → Dicke Hall: 6:07
While this was the second-longest trek of the day, it was nowhere near as difficult as the first one, since the ground pretty much leveled out after I reached upper campus. It was also made lengthier by the detour I had to take thanks to the pesky Chapman renovations. Rather than taking the quickest route, straight past the back of the Center for Sciences and Innovation and Chapman, I had to go between Marrs McLean and CSI, around the front of the Chapman building and past the library. If it weren’t for the construction, I’m sure I could have made it in five minutes instead.
Difficulty level: 4/10

Dicke Hall → Northrup Hall: 3:37
Although this wasn’t the shortest route timewise, I think this was the easiest of them all. I went from the front entrance of Dicke Hall to the back entrance (near Miller Fountain) of Northrup, and it was honestly not too bad. I think it also seemed better because I could actually see my destination from much further away than any of the others, and it also took less time than I expected to get from Dicke back to the main pathway.
Difficulty level: 1/10

Northrup Hall → Witt Center: 3:12
There’s not much, subjectively, to report on this route, but on a personal level this is probably the walk I enjoyed the least, after Bell-Holt. Why? I made the mistake of waiting to take this route until after it got dark, and the dimly lit esplanade and hill were both full of cockroaches. The one bonus was that I did spot Felix, king of Cardiac Hill, on my way down, who I know is often in the area in the daytime, too.
Difficulty level: 2/10

Before concluding, I’d like to address the fact that this list is not extensive, and I’m sure that there are other, longer walks (Bell Center to Dicke Hall, for example) that some may have to take to get to different classes every day. I think, therefore, that I am not alone in hoping that this construction finishes soon, and I hope that any professors reading this will be kind enough to consider these factors before deciding to dock grade points for tardiness.