The Collegian
Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Campus Secrets: Things you want to know but never ask about

There seem to be several places and things on campus that no one knows about. We see them every day and ask the person with whom we're walking to D-Hall (or ourselves), "What is that?" or "Who does that belong to?" or "I wonder whether we have any buildings built over an old swimming pool?"

The first place on campus that comes to mind is the fenced-off area next to Lora Robins Court. Anyone who was on campus before the major construction projects began might remember that area as an open field. Now it's fenced off and designated as dirt storage.

When the construction projects began, the area was fenced off. Construction workers bring dirt from the construction sites when they need to get rid of it for a while until they take it back. Eventually all of the dirt should be gone. But, construction projects could also continue for a very long time.

Another addition to campus that everyone seems to be asking about is the painted van in X-lot. Sophomore Alex Langreou, an international student from France, needed to buy a van last semester but couldn't get any money from his parents. He had $900 and a need for wheels. He said he found a rusty white van on Craig's List and went for it.

Because the van was ugly and rusty, he painted the entire thing white again and then added the colorful "hippie" art that has people asking questions.

Langreou said he was trying to get enough money together to ship the van to France for the rest of this life.

The university also has a costume shop that makes costumes for various theatre department productions at the Modlin Center for the Arts. It is in the basement of the Modlin Center, which was built over an old gym. That places the costume shop in an old swimming pool.

I know there are other interesting things on campus that not many people know about, yet there are only two more Rice Reports because we will be switching Collegian staffs and I will be graduating. So, if you have something you know of at the university and want everyone else to know about it too, send me an e-mail at I will research what I can and put it all in the last report.

Contact news editor Stephanie Rice at

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