Inconspicuous places on campus

As human beings we are naturally curious. This curiosity has led me to discover many interesting things around Elder. Throughout my four years here, I have always wondered if there was anything they weren’t showing us. What actually is above the third floor? What’s that tower above Elder by Seton? Why aren’t we allowed down the back staircase? Being the inquisitive person I am, I had to get answers for all these questions. I started out by interviewing Mr. Brian Bill (Class of ’94). It turns out Mr. Bill knows a lot about the history of Elder and he had answers to almost all of my questions. We started our search by going up to the tower, a place where most students have never been. The tower of Elder has two flights. Directly to the left of Mr. Laake’s room is a staircase to the tower, which is where our journey began. Upon venturing up the steps we ran into the lower tower. The lower tower is no longer used for anything except storage and an old chalkboard where past and current students sign their names. Mr. Bill found his name on that board, along with several students I know. This room used to be used for journalism back before the Schaeper Center was the Schaeper Center. Traveling up yet another flight of stairs holds the old radio/broadcasting room. The upper tower has the best views of Elder, but that’s not why that’s not why this room is so special. Back in the 80’s Elder student Bill Hemmer ’83 used to have a radio show where he and his buddies would play Rock N’ Roll loud through the halls of Elder before school until 7:50. In the radio room there is a sign with a warning for an unhealthy dose of radiation if a point is crossed. Being a place where most students have never been, it is somewhat creepy. The atmosphere up in the tower is different, and you can sense that the place is vacant. Something that most people never even notice is the tower above Elder by the Seton parking garage. Why is that tower there? What is in it? It turns out that this tower has nothing of importance in it, just more storage. But several years ago, this tower was used as a sitting area for police looking for drug busts, either happening on the street or on campus. The view from this tower makes for the perfect lookout area. Of course, that is not why this tower was built. One final thing that most Elder students never realize is that we have a back staircase. The staircase runs from the third floor behind the lab, down to the basement exiting by the dumpsters. Why don’t we use this staircase anymore? There is a very simple answer for this question. The staircase doesn’t lead anywhere students go on a daily basis. Sources tell me that many years ago students would often get busted smoking in the back staircase due to the inactivity. That could be a possible reason why we are no longer able to use this area. Sometimes a little curiosity goes a long way. I found things out that many people don’t know, making my job worthwhile. But even Elder’s rich history can still leave students like me with unanswered questions. And maybe the answers to these questions have been lost forever.