I trekked across campus, and the humid heat was waiting like a welcoming party. This was the first voyage in one long summer journey. I had little idea of what to expect, as we were not provided with much in the way of a schedule. I knew that orientation was the following morning, so I took it one step at a time. In the case of walking across a campus littered with steps, that was a quite literal decision.
Right off, I noticed several things about the campus. The first was the creek running through it. Waller Creek flows through campus and downtown Austin, eventually dumping into Lady Bird Lake. As it runs through campus, this thin creek is sandwiched between a highly trafficked road and the rest of campus. There are limited places for people to enjoy the creek beyond the bridges traveling over it, and certain areas may be in need of restoration; but there are currently several initiatives on the UT Campus and throughout Austin aiming to revitalize the creek area.
Second, was the consistent labelling of recycling, trash, and compost bins around campus. Recycling and composting is something that many people struggle with at my home, Emory University, because it looks slightly different in every building. While UT Austin does not have composting bins in the residence halls or around campus, there is a large composting program in the dining halls. The same bins are used consistently across campus making composting and recycling simpler for residents, faculty, staff, and other university visitors, which helps to improve the success of a recycling program. Now, if only UT Austin’s success with labelling carried over to the buildings on campus, most of which are minimally or completely unlabeled. It makes trying to find your way around campus quite an adventure.
My third observation was of course the construction- no stranger to me considering the new dining facility being constructed at Emory.
As my time here continues, I will do some spotlight posts on a few places of interest around campus. Keep an eye out!