Some students walk by them countless times a day and don’t bat an eye. Other students might comment on their muddiness during rainy weather. But only a select few students seem to appreciate and use them leisurely with any frequency. The campus quadrangles, or “quads” as they’re more commonly referred to, are a beautiful and free campus resource, and the Baylor student body should use them more often.
On many college campuses, the use of quads is an ordinary practice. Walking from class to class, it is not uncommon to see hundreds of students laying out on the grass to catch a bit of sun, throwing a frisbee to one another or studying during a free period. At Baylor, it’s unusual to see students engaging in any of these activities and, when they do, participating students receive unsolicited stares and commentary. This shouldn’t be the case.
The various quads are some of the most notable and beautiful parts of the university. Pat Neff wouldn’t appear half as majestic without Fountain Mall sprawling before it. The sheer size of the Baylor Sciences Building wouldn’t be half as astounding from University Parks Drive without the expansive fields behind it.
Being a student at a university like Baylor is a challenging endeavor. Between studying, extracurriculars and jobs, it can be hard to find the time or energy to get outside for exercise or outdoor leisure. However, being outside provides several benefits that should lift quad use to the top of students’ priorities.
Apart from increasing levels of vitamin D, being outside can improve one’s mood — a prominent need among a highly stressed student body. Called “green exercise,” outdoor activities have been shown benefit mental health, promote relaxation and improve self-esteem.
Another invaluable perk of outdoor activity is increased concentration. Several studies have shown that patients with ADHD recognize significant natural improvement to their attention span during and after participating in outdoor activities. For students feeling drained or distracted, being outdoors might be a great natural solution.
This being said, Waco has plenty of outdoor resources that provide similar outdoor experiences to those of the various quads. However, by choosing to spend outdoor time on the campus quads rather than off-campus, students are making an investment in campus community.
Between the wide array of student organizations and countless on-campus student events sponsored by various departments, Baylor works to promote student involvement and community in most areas of the university. But a true culture of community extends beyond pre-organized events. A true culture of community is marked by students conscientiously deciding to be present on campus.
Instead of studying inside or working out in the Student Life Center, make an investment in the Baylor community and yourself by using the campus quads.