There is a light at the end of the tunnel. We hope.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel. We hope.

As most Barnard students are already painfully aware, half of the Barnard tunnels are closed. You can walk in between Milbank, Altschul, and the Diana, but the long trek from Barnard Hall to the north part of campus must now be made at the mercy of the elements. Or, partially at the mercy of the elements – in order to protect us from snow and rain (or perhaps from potential construction debris), Barnard has built us an above-ground tunnel connecting Barnard Hall to Altschul and the Diana.

This tunnel may seem like a generous step down from the warm, underground tunnel system now denied to us, but it isn’t entirely devoid of benefits. Bwog has compiled a list of pros and cons of the new tunnel, so that all of you Columbia students who didn’t even know that construction was happening across the street can decide whether or not to come experience the tunnel for yourself.

Benefits of the tunnel:

  • The color could definitely be worse. It kind-of matches the green of the Diana windows, if you look at it from the right angle.
  • You can get across campus faster, if (and it’s a big if) there’s nobody else in the tunnel at the same time as you.
  • Since it has a roof and walls, you can almost pretend you’re in the old tunnels.
  • You can wave to the old library through the windows.
  • You bump (literally)into more people you know because everyone is using (squeezed into) the tunnel.
  • The tunnel “floor” makes your steps sound loud and menacing. It could be fun to imagine you are in a horror movie while you walk through the tunnel.
  • You can keep your sunglasses on and not get made fun of for wearing sunglasses indoors because you’re not, technically, indoors.

Somewhat less than benefits of the tunnel:

  • The tunnel is green – perhaps to encourage Barnard students to forget that we can no longer access our green?
  • The tunnel also blocks our access to Barnard’s one and only statue.
  • It always drips water onto your head. Water drippage is unavoidable; a natural part of traversing the tunnel.
  • Traffic is also, often, unavoidable; the tunnel during common passing times is almost comparable to the traffic at Times Square at 7pm on a Saturday.
  • Without mirrors or large enough windows, you can never tell if you’re about to bump into the person also turning the corner.
  • You can see Lehman Hall through the windows – sitting there, melancholy, with no books and no students. RIP, Lehman Hall.

And finally, to illustrate our observations, here are some pictures of the tunnel. (Taken at a relatively quiet time of day, so you’ll have to imagine the traffic for yourself.)

Tunnel shots via Bwog Staff