Massive campus creates commuting problems

WBy Molly Kentala we all know how large the University is. With campuses in two cities, getting around can be somewhat of a hassle. Even a task as simple as getting to class on time takes on new meaning while trying to do it at our institution of higher learning. Having only 15 minutes to book it from 1701 University Ave. S.E. on the East Bank to a class in Willey Hall on the West Bank can give even an eighth-year senior trouble.

At times, walking does not cut it. No matter how long your legs might be or how skilled you are at speed walking, a bus is the only way to go. If you have a U-Pass, the city buses offer a great alternative. From virtually any place in the Twin Cities metro area, you can find a bus that brings you directly to campus. If you are unfortunately without a bus pass and lacking in the massive

stride department, the Campus Connectors are another transportation option.

The Connectors, however, run on their own timetable. First, because there is no concrete schedule and just an estimated arrival time, they are never late. That was pretty clever planning by the transportation staff. You can wait and wait, but when the Connector shows up eternities later, you can only grin and bear it. Of course, following Murphy’s law, the day your Spanish class runs over will be the day your marketing lecture starts early and, coincidently, the morning the Connector feels like being in absentia at the time you need it most.

Plotting your route ahead of time can mean the difference between a recorded tardy and an on-time arrival to class. Just make sure to check which

professors have problems with late arrivals. With my bad luck, I frequently get stuck with professors that create and enforce a late policy. Some teachers make it known the first day of class they will not put up with shenanigans such as tardy students. There are science classes where if you are not in the room when the lab begins, the instructor will lock the door and you are out of luck. Whatever the excuse, it will not be tolerated. You are late and that is the end of the discussion.

It reminds me of high school and the classroom doors that were permanently locked on the outside. If you were late, you had to rattle the handle and peer through the small pane of glass until the teacher dramatically stopped class to let you in. As you shamefully strode to your seat, the teacher went directly to his or her notebook and marked

a big black T next to your name. The mark of death – a tardy.

Tardies are still a huge deal in college. In language classes, where attendance is often a large part of the class grade, attendance is taken every day and tardies are strictly recorded. I took a class where four tardies would actually lower your final grade one whole letter. I have a beef with professors who enforce a similar policy. We are paying thousands of dollars to go to college, so we should be able to decide whether a class is worth attending. If you do not want to go, it is your monetary and educational loss. Your grade should not suffer as a result.

We all know getting to class on time will always be a challenge at a university of this size. There are many transportation options to speed up our journeys and aid in timely arrivals to class. However, if you have been waiting for 10 minutes and the Connector is barely visible on the horizon, sometimes it is better to run like hell than to show up late. Just be sure to watch out for those icy patches. Otherwise, you will be showing up to class with a wet posterior and, if you are really lucky, a professor to make fun of your misfortune.

Molly Kentala is a University sophomore

majoring in journalism. Send letters to the editor to [email protected]