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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

New quad’s underwhelming reveal

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A look at the quad construction on campus. Photo by Darryn Adams / Mass Media Contributor.

The quad is slowly being revealed after having been in the works for the past four years, with the project starting in the summer of 2020. However, as students try out the new space, some were left disappointed, as flaws are already becoming visible within months of its launch. Most of these problems are proving to be accessibility issues for people with certain limitations, such as myself.

First, the paths are surprisingly steep. With this new quad being bit angled on a hill, these paths can honestly leave someone like me with limited lung capacity a bit winded. The thing was, it didn’t seem that steep until I was already walking and committed, causing a bit of a surprise along with a chuckle to myself as I started to regret my choices.

Due to the quad’s placement, I’m just not sure what the solution to these steep hills would be. Many people may not notice. However, as someone with a disability, I think I’ll just have to find a different way to get to my location—which is unfortunate, because after seeing what the finished quad will look like from the website, I would’ve liked to utilize it more if I was physically able to.

On the topic of the paths, the paving is proving to be a bit dangerous. Some of the cobblestone is already starting to lift—a tripping hazard on the already steep layout. This problem is what confused me the most, because it’s only been a few months since they were laid down. This issue can easily be resolved with maintenance, and there is still some time until the quad is fully ready. Hopefully this is repaired as we get closer to its completion, since it is crucial to the overall function of the quad.

I was testing the new space recently when we had some bad weather, and I could see that days with heavy rain may exacerbate some already existing issues. The puddles were far from few on the day I went, and they could easily be a tripping hazard, especially on top of already uneven pathways. The paths were also hard to navigate, and you have to almost hop from path to path to get where you want to go—on slippery paths, that could be dangerous.

Overall, the quad may prove to be perfectly fine and an enjoyable experience for many other students. However, to those who need accessible walkways, the quad might not be the best option. It was a bit difficult for me to deal with the steepness and pathing, but I know certain issues may impact someone else in a different way.

For me, the quad has been a disappointing and lackluster experience, especially as I was hoping to like it. While I do plan on still utilizing it as the months start warming up, I know I unfortunately won’t be able to take advantage of it as much as I’d like. I do believe UMass Boston could fix a lot of these issues, such as the uneven paving, to better accommodate everyone; however, issues like steepness are simply a product of its location, and in these situations, not much can be done.

But in a more positive light, I do look forward to the communal space it will offer to many of the students here. It will be a location filled with life, and I know it’s going to bring another aspect of campus culture to UMass Boston. So, while there are limitations for people like me, I can also appreciate what this new space will add. The school can benefit from a bigger space where students can come together and feel pride for our campus!

As construction starts finishing up in the upcoming months, I will be sure to keep an eye out on whether necessary improvements have occurred. By then, I’ll have engaged with the quad more and can offer my thoughts. Until then, I hope you’re able to enjoy the new space and all it has to offer as the weather starts to warm up!

About the Contributor
Mercy Moncada, Opinions Writer