Take Five: Spring quad faux pas

The Upper Quad: a hot spot for obnoxious eyewear and students chasing missed passes. (John Kruger/TommieMedia)

Every year, I’m amazed at some things I see in the Upper and Lower quads once the weather starts getting nice again. Something about spring really brings out the ridiculousness in people.

Whether you’re walking to class or biking home from the library, you can usually bet that more than a few groups of students will be gathered in the quad if the weather’s somewhat decent. And I think that’s great, for the most part. However, some of the sights still astonish me after four years in Tommieland.

For once, I’d like to make it through the quad on a nice day without having to worrying about getting hit in the back of the head with a baseball. So, I present to you the five biggest spring quad faux pas.

1. Playing catch without catching

A friend of mine said he left his dorm the other day and saw some guys playing catch in the quad—pretty normal stuff. He also told me that within the eight throws he saw them make, the ball got dropped six times.

Now, I wish I could say that’s pretty abnormal stuff, but all too often do I find groups of students fumbling passes and chasing down Frisbees.

I know the Box Office & Expeditions loans equipment to all Tommies, even alumni, but can we get some standards here? I think anyone who wishes to rent a football should have to pass a basic catch-and-throw skills test first.

2. White sunglasses

In an Aquin article last year, I referenced lacrosse players wearing white sunglasses in the quad. At a party a few days later, a friend told me to watch out because some of the lax people there wanted to fight me because of what I said.

Talk about being too sensitive.

I’m not sure what it is about white sunglasses that bothers me so much, but it’s there. And I’m not alone. My mom always says the surefire sign of a jerk is white sunglasses, especially if they’re on backward. Maybe the lacrosse team thinks the white shades will reflect more UV rays, but is that really worth looking like jerks?

3. Sand + Volleyball = No shirts?

In February, we were blessed with a surprisingly nice day in Minnesota. For the first time in a long time, I left my coats and sweatshirts in my closest and headed to campus in just a T-shirt. When I reached the corner of Selby and Cleveland avenues, I found about six male students playing volleyball with their shirts off.

And I thought I was being bold.

What is it about sand volleyball that makes guys take their shirts off, anyway? We’re not at the beach. In no other area of the quad will you find a group of men running around topless. I doubt their spikes improve that much by only wearing shorts.

4. Dowling beach

Every spring, you can count on finding a bunch of women from Dowling Hall laying out on their blankets in the Upper Quad. Now, I don’t find anything wrong with this by itself. I enjoying soaking up the sun just as much as the next person.

However, what really makes me laugh is when these girls pretend to study. If you’re going outside to socialize, please spare us the charades and leave your textbooks in your rooms. You might as well embrace your Dowling beach membership; it’s an elite crew.

5. Gaming instead of playing games

Another reason to question the existence of Dowling beach is the herds of guys that it attracts. Once late afternoon rolls around on a spring day, men come from all over to see who else is in the quad. Most of them probably don’t even live on campus.

These are the guys who post up next to a group of girls and start throwing a football as far as they can. Do they really think that is going to attract anyone’s attention? Well, they got mine, but I doubt that’s for whom they were aiming. The point is, the quad is a place for community, not showing off and getting phone numbers.

Grant Goerke can be reached at gdgoerke@stthomas.edu.

11 Replies to “Take Five: Spring quad faux pas”

  1. Grant – The quad is in shambles. I swear year after year it’s the same “ridiculousness”; kids playing catch, girls catching a tan, guys workin’ their “game” – it’s like just add sunshine and the quad turns into the Como Zoo! Let me take a moment here to reflect on your enlightening report:

    1. Playing catch
    I couldn’t agree with you more Grant; people who can’t catch a baseball or toss a frisbee don’t even belong outside, let alone allowed to throw potentially lethal objects through a public space. You’re worried about getting hit in the head with a baseball too?? Join me in wearing a Zorbing ball between classes in the event a flyball should come your way. While a “Catch-and-throw skills test” is a phenomenal start, I think UST should just ban playing catch all together. If you want to throw stuff, fire up the 360 and toss in Madden – COME ON PEOPLE! 

    2. Wearing sunglasses
    First off, I totally agree with your mom that we should be judging people by what they wear, starting with their eye wear. What is it about spring that makes people put on sunglasses in the first place?! The whole idea bothers me Grant, I’m not really sure why either but when I see people wearing sunglasses I suddenly want to judge them as well.

  2. 3. No Shirts??
    Seriously guys, nobody’s buying it that sand makes your clothes dirty. Grant, did you by chance notice if these guys were barefoot as well? Like not wearing shoes is going to improve your setting skills. I think UST should implement a “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Education” policy to crack down on these shenanigans. 

    4. Dowling Beach
    The gig’s up ladies. Thanks to this investigative journalism, Grant has discovered that all you do is gossip and chit chat while laying out. I think you should respect his request and leave your textbooks in your rooms, or better yet, stay in your rooms! Yeah I said it, stay inside because you’re distracting the hooligans who already can’t catch a ball, with NO regard for people like me and Grant who fear a blow to the head as it is! How “elite” of you to sit outside and study in this nice weather, did you ever even CONSIDER inviting Grant to join you? Don’t bother with an excuse girls, we “get it”.

    5. Sneaky Boys
    Yeah guys, like we’re suppose to believe you came to the quad to play catch. I too have noticed men interacting with women in the quad – we’re trying to build a community people! Stop asking for phone numbers, inquiring about what’s going on Thursday night, and last but not least leave the footballs inside…

  3. What is left for socializing?
    1. Playing Catch – Are you saying you want the hard working students of the University of St. Thomas to not go outside and absorb their much needed and deserved vitamin D? Some students here might be athletically challenged; they might need improvement. And sure the attractive girls around might add to the missed catches, but I firmly believe moving those people who want to loosen their stiff backs and unkink their necks, is a better solution than hibernating during the sunshine.
    2. Sunglasses – Is this a fashion bash? Since when has judging others on appearances been okay? Did your mom ever tell you that? Guess not
    3.No shirts – Okay, I can see your point here. Taking your shirt off could be a little excessive to enjoy the sunshine. Have you tried playing volleyball shirtless though? (I am only referring to males here) Or any sport for that matter? From experience I can definitely say it feels liberating and is convenient to avoid a farmers tan. A university is not the appropriate place though so I give you partial credit here.
    4. Dowling beach – What is such a zoo about girls and guys socializing? It is not like spring fever has turned them into animals. People are doing in the spring what they would be doing in the winter if it weren’t so…

  4. cold out. I just don’t think people need to be put in cages for wanting to socialize in the great outdoors.
    5. What is all the hate for? Why do you think the girls bring their textbooks out in the first place? The same reason guys come out with a football of course! They want to have things to do so they can look approachable. Connecting, socializing, meeting new friends, even hooking up. This is normal college behavior, especially for a quad in between dorms. One may as well call it a “community square.” A place for people to just be people. Lets let them be, what do you say?

  5. Yeah, pretty much all I got from this article is that somebody thinks they are better than everyone else. Perhaps there should be a Take Five: Ways to avert attention to other people as a means of boosting your own self esteem. For shame.

  6. That being said, I agree with your other points. Only people with natural God given talent should partake in the fun of sports, like me and you. And shirtless people playing volleyball only makes me jealous of their tan and athletic bodies, so you and I can’t condone that either. Dowling beach ticks me off because I’ve never known how to approach the good-looking girls of UST. I just have no confidence. And those guys “gaming” just anger me because they can do it, and I can’t. So I definitely see where you’re coming from, Grant. I’m right there with you. The quad should only be for pure male athletes, fully clothed, with no sunglasses, who hate girls. Ah, heaven. If only we could find a way to get Phil Vassar to come daily and play the soundtrack of our segregationist quad, Grant and I could die happy.


    This belongs in a pointless personal blog, not a University-ran media resource. More so than the author, whose opinions are is own, I’m disappointed in the editors of TommieMedia. Keep this “real” news coming.

  7. My first post was sensored. To sum up: As a four year veteran and two year captain of the lacrosse team, I take offense to the “ridiculousness” of your white sunglass hatred being pawned off on lax players. First, try to substantiate your opinions by more than, “My mom says…” I’m sure your mom is an amazing lady, but that doesn’t make her, or you, right. Moving on, most lacrosse players don’t wear white sunglasses (the two that do are some of the nicest kids I know… Even Grant would like them, sans the shades of course!). Don’t confuse people with lacrosse sticks with people who are a part of our program. That’s like calling out the whole football team for being talentless because some kids can’t catch a football in the quad. Lacrosse is big enough now where there are plenty of people on campus who own sticks and aren’t “lacrosse players”. If your business is with white shades, keep it with white shades. If its with lacrosse players, thats a wholly different beast. Lastly, I’ve never seen you at a lacrosse party. If you hate us white-shade-wearing bros so much, why party with us?
    Overall, a pretty “elitist” article for someone who claims girls who study outside are snobby and all people who wear white glasses are jerks and people who can’t catch…

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