Open range: the quest for a quad.

By Kevin Crespo

San Diego: full of beaches, sand, sun and college students. It is a truly lovely place to live and our campus is no different.

With the Spanish renaissance influenced architecture and our pristine new buildings such as the Shiley Science and Technology building and the Student Life Pavilion, USD ranks #7 No. 7 on Travel + Leisure’s list of ‘America’s Most Beautiful College Campuses’. However, our campus lacks one key component to every college experience and centerpiece to college campuses around the nation: a quad.

To those of you who have hoped, dreamed, lived and breathed only USD from the beginning of your college selection process, quads are large grassy areas that cover squares, or ‘quadrangles’, of college campuses everywhere. They are known as places for people to congregate and laugh between classes during the day.

Kelly Vestman, a senior at Montana State University, enjoys spending a lot of time at the quad on the Bozeman campus.

“Quads are a nice place to relax between classes, get a little studying done, or enjoy the occasional tossing of the pigskin,” said Vestman.
Quads are a place to hang out and enjoy the sun while taking a break from the strenuous college life, but USD doesn’t have one.

Being one of the nicest campuses in the nation, with arguably the best weather climate in the continental United States, there is no reason to not have a quad at USD.

There is space on campus to make one, notably in between the Immaculata and Founders Hall or the parking lot next to Olin Hall, and there is a strong student desire for an outdoor hangout. Many think a quad could really add to campus.

“We need a quad area for our student body to enjoy sunny San Diego,” said sophomore Mike Gorini. “I would really enjoy seeing friends chilling on the quad in between and on my way to classes.”

Some might argue that USD is best without a quad area and that ‘the beach is our quad’, but the best part of the quad is having a place to relax and get together with everyone on campus. While the beach is great for weekends or mid-day trips, the quad offers a true outdoor ‘habitat’ for college students during the week and is unprecedented by any current outdoor hangout on USD’s campus.

There needs to be a place on campus not called the SLP where we can congregate and get together. We go to college in sunny San Diego; it’s about time for our campus to take advantage of it.
If our school closed off Alcala and made it available for only pedestrian traffic, our school could have just the kind of meeting area we need.

The impact on drivers would be minimal, as the only people who park on Alcala seem to be those who are willing to risk being ticketed, or who don’t care if they are. If it was closed right where Copley begins, it wouldn’t affect traffic going to the lot near Shiley, nor traffic heading around the back of campus.

But best of all, it would give our campus a great quadrangle, like the University of Southern California’s or the University of California at Berkeley.

Academically, our school is increasingly competitive at an elite level. Aesthetically, our campus on top of a mesa cannot be beat. Athletically, our teams continue to compete and dominate, despite at times lackluster support and recognition.

If we had a quad, our campus would be complete, enabling a greater sense of community on campus, and perhaps keeping more students at school for longer, before they head home to Old Town, back to the beach or onto the 5 South into downtown, away from campus.

We need a new Alcala Bazaar location; we need a new homecoming concert location; we need a new outdoor hangout. These are the problems with our campus; a quad is the answer to all of them.