SJSU students take the grass to get to class

by Sep 24, 2013 4:15 pm Tags: , , , , ,

Students cut across the grass by the Spartan Memorial chapel as construction continues to block off an entrance to Paseo de San Antonio onto campus. Raphael Kluzniok | Spartan Daily

Students cut across the grass by the Spartan Memorial chapel as construction continues to block off an entrance to Paseo de San Antonio onto campus. Raphael Kluzniok | Spartan Daily

There comes a time when most SJSU students have to decide whether to walk on the grass or the path.

With so many students trying to get from point A to point B (often in a hurry), there are really only two options.

Either students walk on the grass to take a shortcut or walk on the concrete pathways that meander through campus.

SJSU electrician Lee Costello said people often walk across the grass corners where pathways form a "V" shape.

"These kind of corners don’t work," he said. "People don’t walk that way — people don’t walk like robots."

Costello said he thinks the layout of the pathways is awkward and makes it difficult for students to avoid cutting across the grass.

"People don’t walk that way, cars don’t even drive that way," he said. "I think they ought to fill the corners in."

According to Matt Nowzari, path-walker and sophomore software engineering major, staying off the grass is habit for him.

"Ever since high school I’ve learned to walk on the path — always," he said. "You’ll get your shoes dirty. Not that I really care about dirty shoes, but you don’t want to walk into class leaving tracks everywhere (and) it’s kind of embarrassing."

Nowzari said he also sticks to his path-walker ways out of respect for the grass.

"The grass gets messed up after a while and it kind of shows," he said. "Trodden-on grass just looks bad, I'll leave it at that."

Jonathan Domingo, senior occupational therapy major and grass-walker said he thinks students should be allowed to walk anywhere.

"I think students can choose wherever they want to walk," he said. "There are no restrictions or limits that I see from my point of view."

Domingo said he walks on the grass mostly to take shortcuts, but for other reasons as well.

"I actually enjoy walking on the grass — it’s more comfortable," he said.

Domingo said that frequency comes into play as far as damage to the grass.

"It’s not a problem, that I know of, unless the same people take the same path every day," he said. "Then it will cause the grass to wither and decay."

Hector Gonzalez, SJSU grounds maintenance employee, says that students walking on the grass can be a hindrance to lawn upkeep efforts.

"We take too long to grow the grass then students are walking on it all the time," he said. "Every year, every semester, we plant some grass, then as soon as the kids start walking, boom — the grass disappears. We can't do nothing about it."

Gonzalez said that grounds maintenance employees have voiced opinions about creating more logical pathways through campus.

"We make suggestions to do more walkways, especially on the shortcuts, but there is no way to avoid it," he said. "Even if we put concrete walkways, (students) are still walking on the lawns."

Gonzalez noted the student-made dirt pathway between Campus Village A and Joe West Hall.

Despite signs asking students to take the pathways, Gonzalez said it is still the most commonly used pathway to get between these two buildings.

Gonzalez said this is upsetting to him.

"It’s a lot of labor to cover all this and then seed it," he said. "They're going to put concrete here, but I don't know how long it's going to take."

Gonzalez said that grounds maintenance comes out of student tuition costs.

Grounds maintenance specialist Jose Solano said students will walk on the grass regardless of signs or attempted restrictions.

"There is no way to avoid it," he said.

According to Costello, students often have no choice but to use the grass.

"I think right now with all the construction that’s going on around here, there’s hardly any room to walk on the sidewalks," he said.

Costello said there may be a reason why students use the grass as a place to walk and relax.

"If you look around, there needs to be more seating," he said. "There is very little seating anywhere."

Costello said students on a college campus should enjoy the campus lawns.

"It makes a big difference for a student to be able to go on the lawn and read or take a nap, you know," he said. "They’re industrial grade lawns, they’re not gonna die from being walked or laid on."

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