As MU students put away their winter jackets and trade the library for a bench on the Francis Quadrangle, it is evident spring is elbowing its way into Columbia.
“I like the warm weather much better than the cold,” sophomore Mike Schroeder said as he watched the MU lacrosse team play Southern Missouri State University on Stankowski Field. “I am watching one of my friends play, and if it was cold out, I probably would not be here,” he said.
As the weather warms, the quadrangle livens up as students use its greening lawn for a sports field or a place for a quick nap. Students climb on the bases of its iconic columns to talk on their cell phones, chat with their friends or study.
“I’m graduating soon and I’ve never studied on the quad before, so I thought since it is warm, now is a good time to do it,” senior Tracy Atkinson said. “If I
wasn’t here I would probably be in the library.”
Senior Sanaa Deshmukh chose a surrounding bench on the quadrangle to sit and wait for a friend.
“I love it when it gets warm. I would probably be waiting at Memorial Union if it was cold, but I enjoy sitting outside between classes when the weather is nice,” Deshmukh said. “I think the best part of campus in the warm weather is the quad. It is a great place to people-watch.”
Slacklining is an activity that may warrant people-watching. It requires a strip of webbing, two trees and a little balance. Slacklining, which is similar to tight roping, is an activity many “slackliners” look forward to once spring arrives.
Junior Heather Smith was excited to set up her slacklining rope behind the Arts and Sciences building. As she balanced on one bare foot and slowly took a step forward with the other, Smith was delighted to be practicing again.
“When the weather is nice, we set it up and do it pretty regularly,” Smith said. “It is definitely the first thing I think of doing when it gets warm. When I woke up today and saw the sun, I got excited and thought maybe I could slackline. It makes me happy!”
For those who prefer keeping two feet on the ground, the MKT Trail is a popular place for running, walking and biking.
“Now that it’s warm, I am looking forward to going on walks. I love it when I can hit the trails; Columbia is good for that,” Deshmukh said.
While some chose to be active, others are content to sit and enjoy the sunshine. Some choose the area around Brady Commons as their lounging spot.
“I’ve been sitting here for half an hour, talking to people passing by,” sophomore April Brown said. “If it wasn’t warm, I would probably be in Brady or I would have just gone home.”
Spring weather makes dining outside a possibility. Many restaurants downtown, like Campus Bar and Grill, have outdoor seating that is a popular alternative to sitting indoors.
“We just keep the door unlocked, and since the first nice day, there have been people sitting up there. It fills up pretty fast when it is warm outside,” said Chris Flood, manager of Campus Bar and Grill. “It’s popular because most people spend the majority of their time inside, so getting out in the sunshine is a nice way to spend an afternoon.”