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Queens Hall gate locked; shortcut not so short

Photo by Ali Abbas
Photo by Ali Abbas

For Queens College students, the trek to Queens Hall just got a little longer as a campus wide decision was made to restrict access to a frequently used shortcut leading to Queens Hall.

The usual route for students headed from the main campus to Queens Hall is to walk past the Science Building or Rosenthal Library, cut through the parking lot, down the stairs to the track to walk across the track to the opposite gate that opens to the pathway to Queens Hall.

As long as they are not interrupting a class or track meet, QC students take this route to shorten the sometimes 15 minute walk to classes, depending on what part of the campus they are walking from.

In early September, without warning, students found their access to the building using this route blocked by the locked gate at the other end of the track. At first students tried to make use of the small gap between the gate and bleachers to get through to the other side. However, about a week later, students found that this gap was also locked.

While many students have resigned to just walking outside the track using the exit by Townsend Harris High School, some students have resorted to just jumping the low gate to get to and from classes in a timely manner. There was a significant increase in gate jumping around the time most students were taking midterms for this semester.

Student did not know for sure why the gate has been locked, but many have drawn the same conclusion.

“Oh, because we walk through their games and track meets,” Bridgette Garcia, a senior majoring in applied linguistics, said.

Jesse Mateo, a sophomore and speech pathology major drew the same conclusion, “Probably not to interrupt the teams that practice on the field.”

The athletics department confirmed the students’ assumptions. Assistant athletics director Robert Twible emphasized on safety concerns as the primary reason for locking the gate. He mentioned that along with the increased amount of classes offered at Queens Hall, this semester came with greater traffic along the path to the building. As more students were trying to get to class, more were also crossing the track in large groups at times.

The problem was that these students were crossing during athletic events, something Twible calls, “a safety issue.” The damage that could occur when a passing student gets into the pathway of an ongoing soccer game or a track runner going full speed could be very problematic. Therefore, although they knew of the inconveniences to the students, a decision was made to lock the gate indefinitely to avoid accidents.

“I guess it [cutting across the track] would make it easier to cross, but I don’t consider it a problem and inconvenience [to go around the track],” Mateo said.

Although she has four classes at Queens Hall, Garcia shares similar thoughts.

“I think it’s understandable. When it snows it will probably be easier to go the new way…I have enough time to get to classes,” she said.

With this decision in place, students will have to manage their time a little more wisely to get to class on time.

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