“Open the F*****g Stairs in Gries”


Ashlee Kothenbeutel // Illustration Editor

Recently, Griesedieck Hall students expressed their frustrations with the closure of the building’s first floor steps, causing long wait times at the elevatoreven if only traveling to the second floor. The extra traffic lead students to express their outrage over social media and through a petition on Change.org.

There are 16 floors in the Griesedieck Complex, or “Gries” as it’s called by students and staff alike. According to Daniel Bernas, a freshman resident on the 15th floor of Gries, students going to the fifth floor and above typically use the elevator, while students on the fifth floor and below use the stairs. While this was the standard procedure for students looking to access their respective floors, the new closure of the Gries steps prevents students from doing so.

Locking the door was first reserved for just the weekends, but has since become permanent. Many students living in Gries and Walsh are frustrated with this decision because they feel it limits their ability to effectively get to their floors. Students on the fifth floor and below must wait for the elevator in Gries, which is known to frequently jam and operate at a slow pace, instead of walking up the first floor stairwell in a timely manner. Students above the fifth floor have to wait an even longer amount of time to get downstairs to walk to their classes, or up to access their floor, due to having to the higher traffic through the elevators. 

“People are upset because if they live in Walsh or on floors three to five of Gries, they can’t take the stairs from the first floor so it backs up the elevator,” stated Juliana Roza, a freshmen resident of Gries. 

Gries administration defended their decision to close the steps because residents and guests could access their floors without first signing in. However, Bernas explained that they are not actually “locked” and may be accessible during an emergency. They are simply shut and attached to an alarm that will be activated if opened. 

A large number of Gries and Walsh residents alike aren’t content with this decision. While some have voiced their concerns to RA’s, some have turned to satirical methods to relieve their frustrations. Specifically the user, called ‘Friendly Individual’ who started the petition titled: “Open the f***ing stairs in Gries.” 

“I just thought that it was funny. It’s certainly not a serious petition. If I wanted people to take it seriously I wouldn’t have called it “Open the fucking stairs in Gries,” commented the author. As of Jan. 21, the petition has 27 signatures. 

If a resident of Gries or Walsh would like to share their concern with the locked doors, they may contact their RA, RHA or [email protected].