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Investigation: Where Does O’Connell End and Levan Begin?

For a freshman, there’s a number of tips that are essential to know to make college a bit easier: always find the guy on your dorm floor with a fake, befriend your RA so they’ll look out for you, trying is optional, etc. But it’s even more important to know your way around campus. This becomes problematic for DePaul students with one of the most confusing building on campus for newcomers: The SAC, or O’Connell, or Levan, or all three, or none of the above at the same time.

They are all one connected building, but also three separate buildings that feel like one building, but aren’t. Super simple. Just a holy trifecta of rooms smashed together that cater to literally everyone. Every class is held there with no specificity on major — a true architectural turducken.

You’d think that with this central hub for academics on the Lincoln Park campus, each building would be named after someone essential to the DePaul name. Levan and O’Connell were both named after previous DePaul presidents. Levan was the fourth president who skedaddled on out of there right before the Great DePression. O’Connell was DePaul’s sixth president and our WWII guy.

The SAC, or the Schmitt Academic Center, was named after a random rich philanthropist who wasn’t even affiliated with DePaul in any significant way. He wasn’t a faculty member or some alumni, just a wealthy engineer who spent his dough at a bunch of colleges. DePaul isn’t even that special, we’ve got his name on a building but a bunch of other Chicago colleges have scholarships named after him.

For those of us who have been through the gauntlet and have experienced all the horrors that college has to offer, the SAC and others aren’t that confusing. But for a freshman, it’s a good first impression as to how cruel and uncaring the world really is. Asking for help to navigate the labyrinthine hallways from upperclassmen is met either with ignorance or outright hatred.

We decided that the administrators might shine some light on this construction monstrosity but they refused our calls. The DePaul student tour guides, on the other hand, were happy to vent. “I just skip the building altogether,” said junior Izzy Hansen. “The parents are too busy asking questions about campus safety and marijuana usage to actually notice that I’ve been walking them around the Quad for three hours.”

Fixing O’Clevan’s Sac should be priority number one on DePaul’s to-do list and efforts have already been made to fix this problem and make navigation easier for students. There is a giant sign when you enter the building from the Kenmore entrance, but the problem is that you have to look up to see it. Freshmen, who have already had any confidence they had beaten out of them from buying overpriced textbooks and navigating D2L, dare not look up for fear of making eye contact with someone else.

So the most obvious solution seems to not have helped. Of course, DePaul could also simply install doorways to make this one building into three interconnected buildings. Of course, they could always be renamed to something simple like SAC North, South, and West. I’m sure the past presidents won’t mind. Now if only DePaul had some money to solve this…

The confusion that SAC (Stupid Ass Classrooms) brings is a severe problem and DePaul should totally act on it now. They have a lot on their plate so a simple win would do wonders for morale.


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