Path’s puddles permeate poor pedestrians’ penny loafers

By Amy Meyer, Editor-in-Chief


It’s been raining. This means something very special on the campus of Eastern Washington University.

Am I making reference to the beautiful, foggy mist that a cloudy day in Cheney will present? Am I referring to the spike in warm-clothing retail at the University
Bookstore? Could I possibly be implying that Dining Services will see a rise in the sales of hot beverages?Alas, no. I do not mean any of these things. I am reminding you all of the hard-core season of puddle jumping about to begin here at EWU.There is one less of these landmarks on campus. The last one to be fixed was the skating rink in front of the President’s Residence. In my estimation, this would leave the award for most notorious of the puddles to the depression along the pathway just west of Patterson Hall. This paved route doubles as an access road for motorized vehicles and has been one of my primary entry points to campus far before I began working at The Easterner, which is located in Isle Hall, just beyond one end of this route.

I take a lot of pride in my campus, from the centrally-located Cawich Will Bempus Mall, to the hostas on the hillside between the library and science building, the weeping willow, which stands watch between the Computer Engineering Building and the great, grassy field behind the library. With all that pride in mind, I’m pleased to see the ugly construction mess begin to clean up and disappear. I’ll be most gratified when the repainted Pepsi trailers disappear from the Hargreaves-Isle lot, but with the completion of Patterson Hall comes the contrast of one nasty walkway.

This lake has been taking on water already. It started with a hose hooked up to a fire hydrant. Have you ever seen a connection that didn’t leak a little? This one was no exception. While I haven’t soiled my shoes yet, I’m forecasting another year of the embarrassment of sloshing through the mud.

I understand that times are tight and that there is a very long list of projects that need to be tended to, so I have some low-cost solutions that might help the university.

Incorporate the lake into an obstacle course: Fitness is a huge part of wellness, and the university wants us to be well, so I suggest finding a health and wellness work study to set up some other obstacles on this path. If we did this, then watching people attempt to long jump over the water wouldn’t be out of place at all.

Show off feats of student innovation: EWU is home to engineering students. Why not tap into that talent? Ask the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Club to build a raised walkway, like a boardwalk. This would cover up the mess and, if stained properly, could take on some school spirit for the alumni who take this path on their way to the Pence Union Building for wine tasting or other fundraisers.

Bring in a natural water feature: the area is predisposed to take on water, who are we to argue? Pull out the paving, throw in some found natural rock and allow the lake to b
Involve another agency: there seems to be a building on the property adjacent to the pathway that may belong to the City of Cheney. If that is the case, then EWU may be able claim that the pathway is actually a city street. That would make the city responsible for its upkeep. The city could raise the roadway a bit, and the st

udents could stroll to their classes from Louise Anderson Hall, enjoying some natural ponds on either side of the stretch. The Sportsman’s Club could drop in some baby bass, and everyone would be happy.e a lake. If the university decided to call it Meyer Lake, I would be okay with that.

While EWU is constructing a new facilities plan for the next 10 years, these sorts of improvements are the suggestions they need. If you have ideas, we would be happy to share them with the planning group. Please, send them our way.

In the meantime, I want an EWU sweatshirt that references the puddle jumping team. Go Eagles!