Mind Your Step
Students and faculty across the College of Natural Sciences have felt this fear. The split second in which adrenaline races over your entire body, heat fills your head, and images from your childhood memories flash before your eyes. Your trust in the architecture of Welch has failed you as you extend your arms to brace yourself for the terrifying free fall towards the concrete.
There is no escaping what is to come - you’re acting like the Wylie Coyote after he runs off a cliff and realizes that there is no ground underneath him. This location of horror has claimed a multitude of victims, ranging from new students to seasoned faculty. The six-inch nuisance previously described is....
the step outside the side entrance of Welch.
I was first alerted to this horror after I took a mighty tumble on my first day of classes this semester, casually talking and walking with some friends until I found myself accelerating toward the ground. Since then, a countless number of individuals have either fallen or felt the moment of terror when their foot has no support below it. Whether it was a strategic ploy by the former administrators of the university to keep the students on their toes, or a poor design flaw by the architects of the building, the step is dangerous, yet humorous.
One freshman, Thi Tran, stated that she has “nearly fallen on many occasions” feeling the same “fire race through [her] blood” during the missing step, portraying the perennial opinion across the college. After a brief observation during the ten minutes between 11:50 A.M. and 12:00 P.M., six students performed the same mistake as Thi, nearly collapsing after forgetting to step down outside of the building.
With such a high number of people almost falling victim, one should wonder why nothing has been done to fix the issue. The students and faculty will never stop forgetting that the step lies there to claim their dignity, as proven by one anonymous professor who recently stumbled while in the middle of a conversation with his/her student, saying “I have worked here for too many years to almost break a hip every other time I leave Welch.”
Students and faculty alike share the struggle that confronts them any time they try to casually walk their way out of the building yet none of them have done anything about it. Lacking a “watch your step” or “caution: drop ahead” sign, it seems as though the step serves as a poor metaphor for the rapid manner in which grades can fall or, on a much lighter note, a way to laugh with your fellow classmates at the misery of others.
Regardless, that treacherous six-inch drop off could be a pleasant step to the outdoors if people would remember that it exists or at least look at where they are walking. Do not walk distractedly and end up with a face full of concrete like the many that already have in these past two months. You successfully got into UT and now you must successfully traverse it - be smart and mind your step.