Pace’s dirt pathways make for peaceful campus walks


Stefano Ausenda

The beginning of the unpaved wooded path that leads up behind the library and Parking Lot T.

Stefano Ausenda, Contributing Editor

“Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and I took the one less traveled.” This quote, from one of Robert Frost’s most famous poems, could be applicable to one of Pace’s walking paths.

The yellow wood is the walkway directly across from Elm Hall’s mail room that goes up behind the library. At a certain point along this walkway, the two paths split; with one going up to Parking Lot T and the other continuing past the library and ending up near an entrance to Willcox Hall.  Unlike almost all other pedestrian paths on campus, these are not paved with tar and consist of only dirt, twigs, and old fallen leaves.

Despite not being paved, they are a couple of the most common walkways on campus, with lots of students and even some faculty using them on a regular basis. There are two main reasons why I think that these paths are used so frequently.

The first and main reason is that, for a lot of students, the path is shortcut to or from their dorms, their cars, Kessel, or Willcox Hall. Instead of walking around the entire parking lot down the steps or walking across the library’s main entrance, they can alternatively use that path to get where they need to go quicker.

The second reason the path is so popular is that parts of it are very peaceful; much more peaceful than other parts of campus. There could be loud laughing and shouting going on near Elm, next to the library, or in the parking lot above, but people who use that path, the “road less travelled,”  don’t have to deal with any of that, and can escape, even for a little while, from the hustle-and-bustle and stress of college life.

If these dirt paths were present on a more urban or suburban-style campus, they would stand out like a sore thumb. But, once you pass the large generators, pumps, and fans, both paths fit in with both the surrounding northern Westchester landscape and the entire rustic design and feel of the campus… and that’s what makes them work.

It’s unknown why Pace chose to keep those two paths unpaved while most of the others are paved, but I’m glad that they did. If they do decide to pave over them and make them like the other walkways on campus, I think that it would actually work against them; their natural aesthetic, their unique serenity, and arguably, the entire point of their existence. As I’ve mentioned earlier, these paths provide a quick calm for students within the storm that is Pace life.