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College reacts to tunnel closure

Justin Tardiff | Tuesday, November 30, 2004

For nearly a hundred years, Saint Mary’s students and faculty have taken shelter from the South Bend snow and rain by walking through underground tunnels, which are now scheduled to close Dec. 18. In general, students and faculty said they were concerned about how the closing, which will likely be indefinite, would affect campus.Junior Elizabeth Voss, a LeMans resident, said she felt the closing would present a safety issue.She also said the closing would hamper students’ ability to move freely from building to building at times when it may be unpleasant to go outside.”I think it will be a great inconvenience to walk around when we have all become accustomed to using the tunnels, especially at night and in the cold,” she said.Kyra Waltz, a sophomore living in Holy Cross, agreed.”I use [the tunnels] for when it’s raining, or really cold and snowy and icy,” Waltz said. “I’m not very happy about it.”Her roommate, sophomore Angela Ellison, said she would continue to live in Holy Cross next year despite the inconvenience of the tunnel closing.”I’ll still live in Holy Cross, even though it’s the farthest from everything,” she said. Professor Mark Abram-Copenhaver uses the tunnels to travel from Moreau to Regina Hall between classes “all the time.””[I feel] a paroxysm of sadness the likes of which have rarely been encountered since Greek tragedy,” he said. “It’s cold, it’s rainy, we have to put on coats.Besides pushing students and professors outdoors during class hours, inclement weather may affect businesses like the bookstore, the Crossings snack shop in Haggar and Dalloway’s after hours.Voss said she worried about the campus businesses losing customers when the tunnels close.”As Dalloway’s Promotions Manager I am very concerned about the tunnels connecting the residence halls to Haggar being closed,” she said. “With many residence hall doors being locked at 6 p.m., I am afraid that students won’t be willing to make the effort to walk around to get to Dalloway’s in the evenings.”Waltz and Ellison both agreed not having easy underground access would keep them from visiting the campus eateries during such weather.”As for Haggar, I probably won’t go there anymore if the weather is bad,” Ellison said. “I usually only go there at night if the weather’s too nasty to walk outside to the dining hall.”Many agreed the tunnels are an important part of the Saint Mary’s campus and said they would be sad to see closed.”It is such a wonderful advantage of being at Saint Mary’s,” Voss said. “I will be very upset if they remain closed permanently.”