Art: Katie Thorburn
“Physics road is a stain on the face of the university. I hate it, and I cannot deal with it. I would honestly rather swap to a sociology major than have to walk up that road again.”
I was speaking with a friend from class about my walk to University that day, and had been (once again) traumatised by my encounter with Physics Road.
“Oh please, you live on campus. I have to get a two hour train from Campbelltown every day.”
“Yeah but you only have to walk from Redfern. You obviously don’t have to deal with Physics Road,” I replied.
She rolled her eyes and walked away, oblivious to her privilege.
I remember my first encounter with Physics Road vividly. From a distance it was quite striking, really. As I approached from the University ovals I could see leafy green trees overlooking an open field and tennis courts, and an inter-war Mediterranean style building on the right hand side of the street.
“What a treat!” I thought to myself. “It’s so pretty!”
In the ever-vague cautionary words of my mother: “Well you know what thought did?”
As it turned out, walking up Physics Road at 12pm on a 41-degree day was potentially the worst life choice I have ever made (that’s including the time I briefly dated an actual member of the Greens party). Class had just ended, and what seemed like hundreds of students suddenly started pouring onto footpaths that were barely a metre wide. To add insult to injury, the gentle – yet never-ending – slope and sun had drenched me in a layer of sweat that would make me the laughing stock of my Contracts tutorial. This may seem a bit dramatic to those of you lucky enough to travel via Redfern, but it was a blatant violation of my most fundamental human right: the right to cleanliness.
Over my years at the University of Sydney one thing has become abundantly clear to me. Our infrastructure and roads are sorely outdated and in need of immediate attention. Instead of constructing that baffling new building to replace Transient, we need to immediately invest in shading, escalators, or literally anything to make the process of walking between Ralph’s Café and New Law less of a burden. (By the way, what’s up with that new building? It looks like they just ran out of money and said, “fuck it, let’s just not render it or put any panelling up. As if anyone will give a shit anyway – I mean look at Carslaw”.)
I will not rest until Michael Spence offers his grossly overdue solution to this problem. If you’re reading this Michael, don’t underestimate my determination. I’ve kept my NintenDog from running away since 2008.