Caswell's schedule and stairs per class. | Graphic by Grace Caswell

Hills and Stairs University

Everyday is leg day for HSU students

Everyday is leg day for HSU students

As I wrap up my first year at Humboldt State and reflect on the past semester, one thing I know I will not miss about campus is the stairs. Coming into HSU I quickly learned the meaning of the school’s acronym “Hills, Stairs and Umbrellas.” I discovered the daily cardio a Lumberjack really goes through just to get to class.

Curiously, I mapped one of my busiest work days and calculated the steps I climbed. I wanted to see what kind of workout I was getting on the way to class.

Living on campus meant tackling a daily unavoidable obstacle, the Jolly Giants staircase. Consisting of 82 stairs from the second floor to the top of the hill, I climb that beast at least four times a day.

Due to conveniently timed retrofitting construction happening mid-school year, accessibility to the library is somewhat restricted. This requires me to get in more steps by walking up and around the Van Duzer Theatre, into the art quad and eventually towards the library.

Luckily, I avoid the main Founders’ Hall staircase by taking a shortcut behind The Depot. By walking up and around the loading dock a “secret” staircase sticks out of the greenery on the west side of Founders’. The shortcut comes in clutch by cutting 110 stairs down to 36, a lung and leg saver!

Caswell’s Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule tracked for the entire day. | Map courtesy HSU

My cardio ends with a midnight trip to the Cupboard, scaling 64 stairs or seven floors for a snack and some caffeine.

While I often complain over the difficulty of my schedule and the exhaustion of walking to class, I’m fortunate enough to avoid some of HSU’s worst campus obstacles, such as the Campus Events Field hill or the Behavioral Social Sciences hill. Both are by far the worst and most complained about in terms of walking to class. Additionally, my schedule covers only half of HSU’s entire campus.

I acknowledge the fact that I am more than capable of maneuvering around campus. While complaining about the walk itself is half the conversation on the way to class, complaints undermine the legitimate struggle HSU students can face. By remaining conscience of this behavior we can limit complaints and be more respectful to fellow students.

Lastly, because HSU is stationed in the middle of the redwoods, copious amounts of stairs and uneven land is the campus norm. However, it’s far from being inclusive to all students and stands as more of a restriction. While we can’t always choose the land we build on we can choose how we build something and who it caters to, something HSU should be reminded of.

Expose my weak schedule by commenting your own cardio class workout! Who has the worst leg day schedule of all?

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