The Enigma of Anderson Building


Some of you may know that in addition to writing articles for this most illustrious of papers, I also work behind the scenes in the admissions office. As a student job, this can be best summarized as a steady repetition of licking stamps, sending e-mails, and giving campus tours; phone calls are also known to be involved, but that’s not the part of the job I’m here to talk about today. Campus tours are what I want to mention, and one specific part of the tour at that. When I’m done showing the prospective students the main part of campus, I always ask if they want to go anywhere else, and I always suggest the Anderson building if they are any kind of science student.

Now, here’s the reason: very few new students who come to UAS know where the Anderson building is. For those of you who don’t even know what it is, it’s an off-campus building on the main road leading up to UAS where all lab science classes have their labs. The thing is, however, it’s not very clearly labeled (if at all—I haven’t been there in a while, so my memory is foggy), and all directions on how to get there are remarkably vague. The rule among science professors seems to be that if you can figure out how to get to Anderson, you are worthy of continuing on in their class; if not, you may as well drop out now because only the “Chosen Ones” may attain the majestic science degree. This is, of course, only my interpretation of what I suspect to be their thought process, gleaned from my limited interaction with science professors at UAS.

This is why, as a tour guide, I show every possible student I can where this building is. Otherwise, they are going to be seated in their first lab class and hear a confusing myriad of detailed but useless directions and descriptions, like “It’s the brown building with the stairs at that sharp bend in the road, next to the old NOAA building,” or even “Uh, it’s right down on the water?” I suppose this is easy enough to find if you have a car, but getting there from campus is another matter entirely. The first couple times I went there involved walking down the highway from housing, which took a solid 25 minutes; otherwise, our only other option was the ambiguous “shortcut” that it is difficult to describe. You know the walkway next to the totem pole across from Soboleff building? The one that goes up, then past the furthest reaches of the UAS parking lot until you reach the maintenance building on the highway? Follow that until you get to said highway, then turn right. Walk until you see a large brown building with stairs across the street on your left. That’s Anderson building. Good luck.

I hope you see how that can be confusing. Unless you have friends in the science class with you who already know where it is, I personally have found that Anderson is an enigma wrapped in a mystery that some people find difficult to believe exists. And while it’s true that Anderson building is marked on the official UAS campus map, that thing is not very detailed, and therefore still confusing.

The point of this article, however, is not to complain. Rather, it is simply to point out that something is wrong here—such an important building should not be so difficult to find—and suggest that solutions be proposed to remedy this issue. A more prominent sign, perhaps? Something that can be seen from the road, so as not to limit the building description to “it’s brown, large, and has stairs.” Maybe even a sign on the “shortcut,” which is now the main route for students living at the freshman residence hall.

As a student, this is something I’ve noticed that myself and other students have difficulty with, so I thought I would mention it and see if anyone agreed with me or took notice of the same issue. I don’t know if anything will ever be done about it, but I feel satisfied now that I’ve put my thoughts on the matter out in a public forum. So stay safe out there, and remember to look both ways before you cross the street—that corner where Anderson is located is very sharp.

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