Showdown: Worst Academic Buildings on Campus

By Chris Shores

SHOWDOWN


WORST ACADEMIC

BUILDINGS ON CAMPUS


Which academic building on campus is the worst? Click on the links below to view our bottom eight. Leave your thoughts in the comments below and vote in the poll to the right hand side of the screen!


Which building do you think is the worst? Vote now ⇒



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Marielle Fibish/Collegian

BARTLETT


By: Matthew M. Robare | December 03, 2010 |


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Bartlett is far and away the worst building on campus. It’s very nearly unfit for human occupancy. The bathrooms are, well, pieces of crap. At least one stall on each floor will have its lock, not broken, but removed entirely. The graffiti is notorious, the hot water never works in the sinks and at some point the toilet paper dispensers were moved closer to the toilets with the result that you must sit lopsided on the porcelain throne to drop a deuce – if you can find a stall clean enough.
Many people seem to think that it’s acceptable to do their business on the floor and throw a heap of toilet paper on it. That’s not only unacceptable, it’s disgusting.

Speaking of disgusting, the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) is atrocious. The heating doesn’t work in the winter and the ventilation doesn’t work in the summer. The air conditioning is alright, seeing as how the only unit is in 107. The vending machines also like to take your money and not give you your drink, a problem when the water fountains were broken. I’m glad the departments that call Bartlett home will be getting a new building soon. I volunteer to operate the wreaking ball machine that will demolish it.

The worst buildings on campus




Katherine Valera/Collegian

GOESSMAN


By: Shane Cronin | December 03, 2010 |

I’m still uncertain how to pronounce it: Goessmann Laboratory. Is it pronounced like “Guess-man” or “Goss-man?” As I enter the ancient stadium seating lecture hall, I feel like I’m going to be shown a silent movie. It’s so old, I think Calculus may actually have been invented inside it. Before choosing a seat in one of the rows, I perform a brief pat down of one of the firm red cushions with stationary wooden tables attached, and I wonder, “Is this just a little harmless dust or is it anthrax?” Then I immediately remove any and all unnecessary layers of clothing. The room’s supernaturally hot temperatures are a menopausal woman’s worst nightmare. Although I am not a member of that community, I believe I’ve experienced hot flashes of the highest order at the past few Goessmann lectures I’ve attended.

Trying to find the men’s room in there is a whole other matter. So if you have a class in Goessmann and plan on using the facilities, bring a GPS with you. Better yet, just hold it. At least in the early evening the place is almost empty. Any exploration of the building will leave you feeling like you’re surreptitiously starring in an episode of the kids TV horror series “Goosebumps.” The question is this: When will the living dummies appear?

The worst buildings on campus




Marielle Fibish/Collegian

HASBROUCK


By: Naychelle Lucas | December 03, 2010 |


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If you like dark, depressing or cramped spaces then Hasbrouck is the place for you. The charm and appeal of the gray lighting is only exceeded by the look of the dirt-brown panels on the walls. Perfect for any hung-over student looking to vomit. Not a fan of personal space? Don’t worry, there is absolutely no way you’ll feel comfortable sitting in Hasbrouck 124. In this ancient lecture hall, tons of desks are shoved so close together that if your neighbor has a cold you have a one-way ticket to UHS.

These seats are especially great for any student over five-foot six. If you’re lucky, for your entire class period you can sit with your knees pressed against your chest. The rock-hard chairs will have your butt numb in 20 minutes or less, and the desks are too small for an index card – but the real fun comes if you’re late to class. If the only empty desk is in the middle of the row you’re forced to sit on the stairs or twist and shimmy your way down the aisle, stepping on toes and sitting on laps the whole way down. You’ll feel obliged to buy everyone in your row dinner after this intimate encounter.

The worst buildings on campus




Chelsea Whitton/Collegian

MACHMER


By: Dave Coffey | December 03, 2010 |


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It’s actually sort of funny when you think about it: UMass seems to be spending the Gross Domestic Product of Poland on constructing brand-new buildings to make our campus look better to prospective students, and yet the school seems to be ignoring that a huge step in the right direction would be wiping Machmer Hall off the face of the Earth.We all had that moment in freshman year. “Hey, my first class is in some place called Machmer Hall. That sounds nice.” But wait, what’s that room number? E36? I’m a journalism major. Why do I have to do algebra to get to my room here? Whoever designed this building was clearly playing with a less than full deck. I mean seriously, if you want to have east and west wings to a building, go nuts.

But once you start working letters into room numbers, in a world of Twitter and online pizza delivery orders, you’re going to lose a few people right there. You walk in the place, and there’s perpendicular hallways that makes you wish you left for class five minutes earlier to give you time to solve this freaking puzzle. The stairways look like they’re leading you to a discount fallout shelter. Ironically, by the time you’re done staring at the crushingly depressing walls, you’ll wish the place were being nuked. And Odin help you if you’re looking for a classroom in the basement (or making a photo finish trip to the bathroom without knowing where it is). You’re more likely to find the skeleton from the class of ’07 who perished looking for his Anthro 101 discussion.

What’s the one good thing about Machmer Hall? Lots of exits.

The worst buildings on campus




Chelsea Whitton/Collegian

MORRILL


By: Zachary Weishar | December 03, 2010 |


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Geology, biology and microbiology are disciplines that rely upon order and efficiency. Why then is it that the academic building housing these departments has the most illogical blueprint known to man?
Whether it is the random numbering system for the buildings, or the odd lay out, Morrill Science Center is easily the most confusing building on campus. After all, it is the only building with a map at every entrance. These ancient, hand drawn maps have guided countless disoriented students through the tangle of corridors that make up Morrill’s four buildings.

On top of the confusion created by lay out, Morrill is a building that has seen too many years. The most poignant example of its age are the wooden, vault-like doors dotted throughout the buildings upon which warnings of “Biohazard” and “Toxic Material” are plastered. These doors don’t look like they could keep out a cool draft, let alone isolate infectious diseases.

The worst buildings on campus




Marielle Fibish/Collegian

THOMPSON


By: Stacey Lineham | December 03, 2010 |

Is Thompson that tall building behind the library? Yeah. Well, what’s that one-floor building full of lecture halls behind the gym? That’s Thompson, too. Well then how did I walk in there and end up in Machmer? They’re connected. Is it necessary for our buildings to be confusing? Thompson’s shorter section is where classes are held and in the taller portion you can find offices. There are three rooms for the lecture halls, numbered 102, 104 and 106, but you may be surprised when you enter class late and find yourself on the stage behind your professor mortified as you enter discombobulated from trying to find the building itself. This is because there are four doors to each lecture hall and they don’t mark whether you are entering from the back or the front.

Once your seated, unless you are on the end, there is no getting up without disrupting the entire class which could be up to 306 people in room 104 or 232 people in rooms 102 or 106. This is because there is just enough leg room for an average sized individual to sit comfortably. There is no room to scoot by if you need to use the restroom during class, which brings me to my next point: The bathrooms in Thompson are located down in the basement, so unless you decide to utilize one of the two handicapped assessable, one person stalls in the Thompson Cafe area, you’re going down. One bonus point, however, for having lecture halls that are air conditioned during those hot days towards the end of the year.

The worst buildings on campus




Chelsea Whitton/Collegian

TOBIN


By: Chelsea Whitton | December 03, 2010 |


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Tobin Hall at the University of Massachusetts is reminiscent of either a state penitentiary with maximum security or a psych ward, despite its intentions of being “contemporary” and clean looking. It’s hard to find an entrance – apparently that adds to the appeal. Maybe the mental ward feeling is more appropriate than state penitentiary, as it houses the psych department and psychological services.

Professors’ offices are found in endlessly long white-walled hallways that make you feel like you’re stuck in a horror movie. The crumbling steps of the front entrance can be found by the back of Bartlett hall, across the street, with the entrance on the third floor. Good luck finding the room or office you intend on visiting; Tobin can make you feel like you are living a psychological thriller when trying to find classrooms or offices, but hey – it sure keeps things interesting.

The worst buildings on campus




Marielle Fibish/Collegian

HILLS

It’s so bad, we couldn’t find anyone who wanted to write about it.

The worst buildings on campus