Texas State is beautiful in the spring. The flowers burst back into bloom, warmer temperatures beckon students to the banks of the river and campus buzzes with energy that went dormant during the winter. But beneath the cheery veneer cast over campus during spring lies the seedy underbelly of Texas State—The Quad. Known to strike fear and anxiety in the hearts of even the most seasoned Bobcats, The Quad tends to become an even more sinister pit of yelling, shoving and panhandling when the weather is nice.
Like Virgil guided Dante through the circles of hell, The University Star is here to navigate you quickly and safely through The Quad this spring with as few awkward encounters as possible.
Avoid Eye Contact.
If you notice a Quad panhandler standing in the middle of your path, avoid eye contact at all costs. They are easily recognizable by their outstretched hands clutching flyers promising free pizza or trash can punch, their eyes flashing madly as they desperately try to promote their organization or party. You become their next victim the second you look them in the eyes. Keep some sunglasses on you if you feel especially awkward in these types of situations.
Headphones are critical.
Like sunglasses, headphones have a way of making you seem significantly more unapproachable. Most people will take the hint that you aren’t one to bother with if you appear to be engrossed in your music. This is a more practical option than taking a fake phone call, which is just sad.
The Quad works like a road.
Keep to the right, do not text while walking, and most of all, never stop in the middle of The Quad to have a reunion with high school friends or talk to your bros. If you are guilty of this, you have terrible etiquette and are the worst type of person.
Don’t get caught up in crowds.
College is great because it magically transforms people into experts on politics and religion. Coincidentally, The Quad is a campus free speech zone. This means traveling preachers and other inflammatory speakers are able to easily rile up students and challenge their newly minted (or deeply rooted) beliefs as they walk to class. This typically ends with a large group of students standing around the Stallions as they watch one brave sinner after another take on Brother Jed. While this makes for excellent people watching and sparks (hopefully) intelligent discussion, it is not an ideal situation when you are trying to get to class. Avoid The Quad (see tip seven) when Jed is in town if you are in a hurry. If not, be mindful of those who are and try not to bottleneck The Quad.
Keep your end goal in mind.
If you want to join an organization, the walk to your philosophy lecture probably is not the best time to go about doing so. The same goes for most other distractions on The Quad—you are on a mission to get to class on time, not buy an overpriced hot dog, T-shirt or kombucha. If you are unable to resist the siren song of sorority girls pushing their philanthropies, see the aforementioned tip concerning headphones.
Timing is everything.
Let’s say you really do have your eye on something being sold in The Quad, which is totally plausible. There are often local vendors selling great art, food, produce and jewelry. Every student should check out a stall and support a local business at least once. The farmers market in The Quad, for example, is a great resource. If you choose to partake in Quad purchasing, visit during times when most students are in class so you can browse at a more leisurely pace. Even if you are not looking to buy anything, it should be noted that The Quad is obviously less crowded during class times. Things also tend to start slowing down after about 3 p.m.
Avoid The Quad altogether.
Even if you have mastered the above six tips, walking through The Quad is still probably not an enjoyable or speedy experience. We recommend circumventing the problem altogether by taking an alternate route to class. Taking the path between Evans Liberal Arts and the Undergraduate Academic Center is much faster, as is walking from the bus loop up the hill behind Derrick Hall if the student center is your destination. Both alternatives require more stairs and steeper inclines, but the calf workout and peace of mind is worth it.