Pirate Treasures Revealed on Campus: Community Veterans Unveil Mysteries Around the University

The Mood-Bridwell print lab offers and alternative to the library print lab. Photo by Kerry Quinn

By Nikko Gianno

Print Labs

Every so often, the machines in the library print lab glitch and decide to make it rain paper on students trying to print assignments before class. Most run into the library to print through the circulation desk. However, another print lab does exist on campus.

The Mood-Bridwell print lab shares a hallway with the Environmental Lab. Located on the first floor on west side of the building, it can be entered through a stairwell behind the building or through a door connecting to the Mood-Bridwell atrium. The lab consists of two alcoves filled with brand new Dell computers branching off of a hallway in which the printers are housed.

“I’ve never had problems with the printers [in Mood-Bridwell],” sophomore Keegan Andersen said.

The Mood lab is smaller than the library’s print lab, but offers benefits the more well-known destination does not.

The Telescopes

Although everyone looks up at the same set of stars, the astronomers at the Fountainwood observatory see them in a way no one else can. Located in the northeast corner of campus between the soccer fields and the physical plant, the observatory started off as one telescope donated by alumnus with a habit of gazing into the Georgetown night sky. It has since expanded to several stations where students can use smaller mounted smaller telescopes. It also features a new research telescope that students and volunteers like Jon Upton use to study the night sky.

“This telescope can see things a billion light years away, and right now professors are studying a group of quasars, galaxies with large black holes in the middle, in conjunction with six other universities” Upton said.

The observatory is used for more than just research, though. Upton, along with professors from the Physics Department, host a public star-gazing night one Friday a month. Students and members of the Georgetown community are invited to use the telescopes to see objects in space.

“I think the observation nights are a great way to teach the community and let everyone know what an amazing piece of technology is here at Southwestern,” Upton said.

Bird Calls

Before the installation of birdcall machines around Southwestern’s campus, Randy Damron’s job had a bit more of what he called “excitement” in it. Instead of depending on the automated machines to scare flocks of pigeons, grackles, and now doves away, Damron, Assistant Head of Grounds Keeping and Pest Control, and his crew would use firecrackers and starter guns to disperse the pesky birds.

“The bird droppings were so bad that you couldn’t walk across the mall because of the smell,” Damron said. “The university was also concerned about the risk to students’ health.”

The Physical Plant has been avoiding the use of explosives in its bird control tactics for four years now. “It was fun, but it just didn’t work,” Damron said. “They would either come back or move to a different spot around campus.”

So far, the five anti-squawk boxes have forced the flocks to forests off campus. There are boxes at the library, the boiler plant, and the McCombs, Olin, and Fondren-Jones buildings.

“They’ve been working really well, although I need to make a few adjustments, and we’re looking to get a few more installed,” Damron said.

S.U. Pirate

The way students at Southwestern connected with the World Wide Web changed October 1st: the Wi-Fi network for visitors to campus changed from SU Guest to SU Visitor. Unlike SU Guest, SU Visitor does not allow access to the My Southwestern portal.

“I was in the cove connected to S.U. guest (now S.U. visitor) and couldn’t access my email, so I clicked on SU Pirate and entered my email username and password, and it worked,” sophomore Melina Cantu said.

S.U. Pirate is available in the Cove, McCombs and Prothro centers, and most of the academic buildings on campus. No changes have been made to the Apogee Wi-Fi system in the residential communities on campus.

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