After walking up and down the Hill, the last thing anyone wants to do is take the stairs. Elevators in the academic buildings can be a way to catch your breath as you run to your next class, but they can also be sketchy. As someone who is afraid of elevators, I wanted to see which elevators on campus I would trust the most. I faced my fears so you wouldn’t have to, so here is a ranking of some of the elevators on campus.
Fine Arts Center
The elevator in FAC is long, white and looks like a room in a sci-fi movie. This closet-like elevator probably wouldn’t fit many people with social distancing. Because the building is old, I expected the elevator to be unnerving. I was correct. It was very shaky and took a long time to get to the top floor. The stairs in FAC are not only faster, but they are also less panic-inducing.
Because Cherry sits at the top of the Hill, it would seem like a good idea to take the elevator since you’ve already exerted all your energy walking up. However, this elevator ranks low on the list. It sits in a dingy corner on the first floor next to the vending machines. Rarely will you find someone waiting there, not because the elevator is quick to lift them to their floor, but because everyone just takes the stairs. The elevator’s COVID capacity is two people because of the small space. The lighting is not great, but it does have the fresh scent of a hotel elevator. I give this a low ranking because the elevator vibrates when running and is very slow. The stairs would get you to your floor faster.
Gary Ransdell Hall
Ransdell Hall’s elevator is another that is situated in a dimly lit corner. While the ride is pretty smooth, occasionally there were creaks and other suspicious noises. It is pretty small with a two-person capacity, and the lighting was low and yellowish. If your class is on the top floor and you have time to wait, I would take the elevator. Otherwise, the grand staircase is your best bet.
The elevator in Grise is tricky to rank. It has a more updated interior with the silver panels and recessed lighting. However, even with a max of three people due to social distancing, the elevator still feels toasty and cramped. Also, the wait time is no less than 30 seconds to a minute which can seem forever when you are running late. Unless your class is on the fifth floor, I recommend the stairs for Grise as well.
Jody Richards Hall
The elevators in Jody Richards are hidden down the side hallways of the building, and I rarely see them get any use. As soon as I walked into the elevator closest to Einstein Bros. Bagels, I was immediately transported to the 1970s. The combination of old carpet and wood paneling gives the elevators a retro vibe. It was a pretty smooth ride but did have a big drop before the doors opened. Overall, it is a pretty even tradeoff between the elevator and the stairs in Jody Richards.
Downing Student Union
DSU’s elevators rank high on the list for many reasons. They are easily found and have adequate lighting, which is something that cannot be said for many elevators on the list. These elevators are big and roomy with a max of four people. Because there are three elevators, the wait time to get on is also minimal. Unless you need to get your daily steps in, take the elevator just because you can.
Mahurin Honors College and International Center
The elevator at the HCIC is the best on campus. This building is really nice in general, but the elevator takes the cake as far as elegance goes. It has a high-end tile floor along with bright recessed lighting. It is on the smaller side with just a max of two people, but the smooth ride makes up for the cramped feel. Take this elevator over the stairs any day.
Honorable mention: Raymond Cravens Library
Cravens’ elevator is currently closed because every floor besides the 4th floor is closed to students. However, when the elevator is up and running, it’s a great shortcut to the top of the Hill — a way to get from Normal Street to FAC without climbing. This elevator is slow, small and dingy, but it is a lifesaver on rainy days or on days when you are too tired to walk the whole way up.
Elevators were made for convenience and comfort, but they may not always be the best means of transportation. Do use your best judgment next time when making the big decision.