Three weeks before Haley Center opened for business in June 1969, The Plainsman printed the layout of the now legendary Auburn labyrinth along with instructions related to zones and quadrants and counterclockwise zeros and towers that reads like a Masonic clue from National Treasure.
(Evidently the powers that were thought that every red-blooded Auburn male instinctively knew in which direction the women’s dorms were like migrating birds, even while wandering through identical, windowless hallways.)
Room numbers consist of four digits. The first number is the floor on which the room is located. The second digit indicates in which quadrant the room can be found. The third and fourth numbers are the room number for that floor quadrant.
The quadrants are numbered in counterclockwise order facing the building from Thach Ave. Quadrant one is located next to Cliff Hare Stadium and quadrant two is facing the women’s dorms. Quadrants three and four are along Thach Ave. with three being beside the Nursery School and four adjacent to the old field house.
Thankfully, they do at least acknowledge the SMH of it all.
Owing to the fact that its four quadrants and one tower essentially made Haley “like five separate buildings,” Ray K. Parker, Haley Center Construction Inspector, predicted that “locating the desired room could become a source of confusion until students familiarize themselves with the numbering system.”
Forty-three years later, it still is. And they still haven’t.
Haley, baby, don’t ever change.
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I just never forgot what we learned in SoS (I transferred to Auburn after a year at AUM):
1st quadrant is closest to the stadium…because football
2nd quadrant faces the library because it was 2nd biggest in the country (on campus)
3rd faces Foy, which has 3 letters
4th faces a 4 way stop. however, that 4 way stop no longer exists. Idk what they use now. Maybe 4 is close to PHAR-macy, which is the building it faces.
Yeah lets make a map where North is down. Because that makes things much less confusing.
For some reason, I groked how to navigage Haley pretty quickly. The only problem came when the rules didn’t work – sometimes, a room wouldn’t be where you thought it should be within the floor and quadrant, and you just had to kind of walk in circles until you found it.
We also had a saying, like James’ above, except it was: first quadrant is closest to the stadium, because football is most important. Second quadrant is closest to the library because academics always come second to football. 😛
Haley Center confused me and my mother before me. It is a beloved tradition. 🙂
Stephen (@walker_stephen) says
I NEVER understood why they did Floor-Quad and not Quad-Floor… I mean… That would make more sense, right? Or am I just crazy from making too many laps around Haley back in the day?
BartC c/o 95 says
It’s like a barbaric rite of passage. When it’s gone, the replacement must in some way be equally confusing to navigate. To do anything different would just be wrong…..and deprive future students.
I never had that much trouble. Floors were easy and if I had the wrong quad, then just try the next one. Less of a maze than a time sink.
Lowder is a different matter. Until you learn that the ground floor is not the first floor and that both floors have “ground” level access, it is easy to get confused if you come in from the wrong side.
Don’t forget the “zero” quadrant in the middle of it all, and the rule that they wouldn’t turn the AC on until it was at least 80 degrees outside for three days in a row (the inside temp being irrelevant, apparently).
One day I missed class because I entered the building differently than I normally did and didn’t know the room number. Eventually I got sick of searching and just gave up. My professor didn’t believe me when I explained this to her a couple days later. (I guess it’s a compliment that she thought I was less stupid than I actually was.)
Miller Time says
One thing is for sure is was drawn before parking went on the endangered list at Auburn
Luke Frisbee says
The real issue with Haley center was when the weather was good the concourse stairwell became clogged with greeks wanting to see and be seen. It was a grand sight for all things skin…unless you were cutting it close on trying to get to class.
Will Collier says
Have I told the story before about Haley and the greatest prank in Auburn history?
Fall Quarter, I’m guessing ’88 or ’89. The night before classes started somebody (and it wasn’t me; I would have taken the credit by now for genius of this magnitude) sneaks into Haley and removes all the room number plates from at least one of the quadrants (may have been more for all I know).
You can imagine what happened the next morning: complete and utter chaos. Since none of the room numbering ever made any sense to begin with, NOBODY knew where they were supposed to be. Not the profs, not the students, not even the Physical Plant guys who were called out to help.
They finally had to go to the university archives and pull out the Haley blueprints to figure out what the room numbers were supposed to be. The stopgap measure: write the room numbers above the doors with chalk. You can guess how long *those* markings lasted.
Finally, the original prankster(s) took pity on the rest of us, and left a box filled with the room number plates out in the hallway. Order was restored shortly afterwards… but oh, my, what a week…