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Serving the GW Community since 1904

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Wine bar on 2200 Penn opens doors
By Ella Mitchell, Contributing News Editor • June 14, 2024

Walk like an upperclassman with these campus shortcuts

Sarah Urtz | Assistant Photo Editor

It’s easy to get lost among the city blocks of campus during your first few weeks. You’ll soon learn that Google Maps won’t always take you the fastest route, and campus walking mostly involves diagonal turns. Here are some go-to shortcuts to help you walk like an upperclassman within days.

Marvin’s exits

Believe it or not, the Marvin Center can buy you time on your walks through campus. Although the Marvin Center’s busiest entrance is the staircase facing H Street, two other entrances can save you time entering or exiting this student hub. If you’re walking from the School of Media and Public Affairs or CVS, the door facing 21st Street is your quickest route into the Marvin Center. If Whole Foods or the Metro is your destination, leave the building from the back doors that exit onto I Street.

Cut through campus to get to residence halls

To shave time off of walks to Thurston or Potomac halls, always take diagonal turns. Save yourself steps from Gelman Library to your residence hall room by cutting through Square 80 or Potomac Park, the empty lot next to Tonic on G Street. Walking through Potomac Park will also speed up your commutes to academic buildings like Bell Hall, which is located across the street from the lot.

When to hop off the Vex

The Vern Express can be avoided once you’re an upperclassman, but freshmen must navigate the Vex to get to their University Writing class or residence hall room. The Vex, which departs from the Foggy Bottom Campus in front of Funger Hall, makes its first stop on the Mount Vernon Campus at the quad by Somers Hall and then drops off students by Eckles Library.

Unless you’re looking for Eckles Library or the soccer field, don’t wait to get off at the second stop. You can walk up the hill to Ames Hall if that’s your destination, and the other academic buildings are relatively close to the first stop.

For students who are traveling from the Vern to Foggy Bottom, be aware of two stops. The first stop is on E Street, near the Elliott School of International Affairs and Thurston and Potomac halls. The bus’s final destination is Funger Hall, which is the quickest way to get to buildings at the center of campus like Duques Hall or Gelman Library.

Cutting through District House

In addition to housing several dining vendors, the District House basement offers a shortcut between H Street and I Street. If you’re heading to Peet’s Coffee from Kogan Plaza or vice versa, cut through the building instead of walking around the entire residence hall. The shortcut is also helpful during inclement weather, like snowy or rainy days.

Cutting through Kogan Plaza

Being practically in the center of campus, cutting through Kogan Plaza can speed up your route to almost any academic building. For students coming from Thurston or Potomac halls, you can take the adjacent alley by the fire station into Kogan. Students coming from the direction of Bell or Corcoran halls should walk through the 21st Street entrance to Kogan and take the exit out of the plaza in the direction you are heading. The third entrance faces District House and is an easy way to get from District or the Marvin Center to buildings like Duques or Funger halls, which are located on 22nd Street.

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