Hillsdale's administration needs to pave the dirt path near Mary Randall Preschool | Wikimedia
Hills­dale’s Admin­is­tration needs to pave the dirt path near Mary Randall Preschool | Wikimedia

Winter means a snow-covered campus, Student Activ­ities Board’s annual ski trip, and A.J.’s Café hot chocolate.

But the winter also means icy streets and side­walks. And although college main­te­nance does work hard to clear snow from and ice side­walks, there is one path that won’t be cleared.

The dirt path that stu­dents use as a shortcut starting near Mary Randall Preschool to get to Howard Musical Hall, is the bane of campus exis­tence. Unsafe and ugly, the path needs to be paved.

The dirt walkway is par­tic­u­larly dan­gerous during Michigan’s snowy winter months. Stu­dents do fre­quently fall while walking along the trail. Some have even broken bones. But stu­dents need to be able to get to class quickly and safely.

And since the dirt trail is used by so many — those trav­eling to Howard, Sage Center for the Arts, Biermann Ath­letics Center, and Roche Sports Complex — the fre­quent foot­steps break down any chance of grass growing there, making it an eyesore. On the beau­tiful property Hillsdale owns, it is a dis­grace to allow this much-needed path to be an imperfection.

The aes­thetic beauty of campus is often a reason cited for not cre­ating more paths on campus, but the recent instal­lation of the 1844 Society walkway between Kendall and Central halls shows how a useful path can also look pleasant.

Although there is a paved path that con­nects Howard to Hillsdale Street, the unof­ficial trail is a more direct way to get from the north side of campus to buildings on the southeast side. Plus, it brings walkers closer to the Grewcock Student Union, the hub of campus activity and com­munity. A more direct pathway would encourage people to travel toward the music, arts, and ath­letics buildings as well as save stu­dents valuable time.

Admin­is­tration has dis­cussed paving the pathway before.

Student Federation’s campus improvement com­mittee also looked into the project in 2015, but it was too expensive for the organization.

This year, the college put wood chips down, but it didn’t take long for the them to scatter and the path to become dirt again.

A con­crete or brick bath would last all year and also make for a safer campus community.