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Campus culture essentials 

By Ramiro Bustamante Torres, September 21 2022

With almost everyone back on campus — as seen by the long lines for food in MacHall or the clogged hallways between classes — there are some common practices that have been lost from campus culture after going through online classes and other stuff students might have forgotten that exist. For this fall semester, here is a quick list of campus culture essentials that make attending classes more bearable. 

Spinning the Zipper

An eternal tradition of spinning the Zipper before an exam for good luck has been kept alive even after it was removed temporarily for an exhibit at the Esker Foundation. This is one of the major artworks on campus that students can appreciate and touch. Walking by it in Science Theatres unites all students in our anxieties when taking a challenging midterm or final — except for engineers.

Hearing stories of the many follies of engineers

From the story of them climbing the side of the Social Science tower using small dodgeballs to getting an injury spinning the Zipper, there is no end to the imagination of an engineer when it comes to creating chaos. Hearing these stories unites every other faculty but also adds some history to our campus. So watch out for the Prairie Chicken 2.0 or something new that one of them has cooked up.

Visit the Nickle Galleries

Many people walk by this place on their way to a solo study session or group meeting in TFDL. The Nickle Galleries is located on the first floor of TFDL on the South side of the building. This gallery is free for students and each exhibit has its own timeline but usually lasts the semester. If you’ve been meaning to go see some art but don’t have the time or money, the Nickle Galleries is easily accessible and you can check out what’s on by visiting their website here.

Buying cheap books

On top of doing copious amounts of readings for many courses, it doesn’t help to find a good deal on a book you have on your to-read list or just see a book with the most gorgeous cover you have ever seen. Every Wednesday in MacHall by the west stairs, there is a small bookshop set up with a broad selection for everyone, run by a man named Bruce. He accepts cash or you can tap your card, ignoring that however cheap it is you have a new book to add to your ever-growing stack at home. 

Exploring the underground tunnels 

There are some underground tunnels around campus that connect the buildings together which could be an amazing way to avoid congested hallways. You might have a class or lab in one of those rooms below so it would be good to check them out.  Make sure to take a buddy with you so you don’t get scared. 

Getting Bake Chef

A staple of the University of Calgary, there is nothing like getting a pizza bun or a sub after a long morning of classes. While inflation has increased the prices of the beloved food place like the rest of MacHall, it is still one of the best options for students on a budget and has a variety of food options which include veggie and halal for those with dietary restrictions. 

While there are still other campus experiences that are not mentioned here, like going up and down the stairs in the Social Science tower to read the Leon the Frog poem or fighting for your life while trying to find a study spot in TFDL, I hope this incentivizes people to explore more of campus life and find some community as we start another year. With the opening of two new buildings and the return of the Prairie Chicken, there may be new stories added in the future of our campus.

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