Hidden Gems on Campus

The University Art Gallery is next to the Bovee University Center.

Your first year at CMU is a big adjustment period and it can be pretty overwhelming. It’s easy to focus on just finding your classes and forget about exploring the campus. But in the whirlwind that is your freshman year, take the time to find the places where you can take a breath, relax and appreciate the fact that you have made it this far.

Ditch the University Center Starbucks, here are some hidden gems to check out on campus:

The Fabiano Gardens - You probably walked through this area during orientation. It’s right next to the Charles V. Park library and across the street from the Bovee University Center. It has a decent amount of foot traffic so the location isn’t exactly hidden, but there are plenty of plants and small ponds, the gazebo makes a perfect place to relax or do homework and the cluster of trees nearby was practically made for hammocks. 

Green Study Space - On the corner between Bovee University Center and Powers Hall, is an open green space for students to lay out blankets and relax while the weather is still warm. The space is the former location of Barnes residence hall, which is commemorated on-site.

Art Gallery - Right next to Bovee University Center is the uniquely designed University Art Gallery. With regularly updated exhibitions and work by faculty and students, the art gallery is a must-visit at CMU.

The Rock Wall - For the daredevil students, CMU has a rock climbing wall and a ropes course within Finch Fieldhouse. The hours are limited due to COVID-19 health and safety guidelines, but the facility is still open and holding seminars.

Greenhouse - The greenhouse is between Brooks Hall and the Dow Science Building. It is used by students majoring in various science and biology fields, but is still open to the public to enjoy the greenery in peace.

Volleyball/basketball courts - Next to the Towers Residence Halls are courts for volleyball and basketball. It’s a great way to bond with the other students in your hall and enjoy the last few weeks of warm weather. However, last winter the courts were converted into an ice rink.

Billiards in the SAC - The main floor of the Student Activity Center overlooking the basketball and volleyball courts has six pool tables that are free to use. The SAC is a short walk away from the residence halls which means a game of pool with friends is never too far away.

Hot tub and sauna - Also in the SAC, are a hot tub and sauna located in the pool area. The perfect way to take a break and de-stress during the semester is to grab some friends and make it a spa day.

Baber room - On the first floor of the library is the Baber room, which doubles as a study space and an art gallery. Lots of comfortable seating makes this one of the best places to chill out.

Biosciences lobby - Even if you’re not a science major, take the time to visit the lobby of the biosciences building. The space is big and quiet with lots of seating for studying. There is a wall covered in plants and another wall with a long fish tank with all sorts of fish to look at.