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Penn State Wasn’t Made for the Tall

Penn State is prejudiced against the tall. I have only been on campus for 3 months now, but I have noticed the rampant intolerance against everything vertical. As a 6’0″ girl I have hit my head and bent over backwards (literally) at this college too many times to count. My curiosity was sparked; how tall are the problematic places on campus? So armed with a tape measure and a camera, I sought out spots on campus that just don’t suit the tall.

Anybody that has been in the libraries has probably experienced the mind-numbing torture that is the stacks. It’s always a little too hot or too cold and just a little bit creepy, but the worst part is the ceilings. At best, a tall person is barely missing hitting his or her head on the vents or the low overhangs. It’s an obstacle course just to get to a book, you’re just ducking and bobbing all over the place. There’s not even a sign to say, “Look out! You’re about to get hit right in the face!”

The waterworks of Penn State are also extremely ignorant of the woes of being a tall student. Taking showers in the residence halls is a loathed event. I like a shower as much as the next person, but not on campus. Tall people literally have to do gymnastics in the showers just to get their head wet. At only 5’9″ the shower heads barely reach my ears, and unless you want to have your head directly on the faucet, the water stream only hits you at 5’7″. This isn’t the only water problem though.

Say a person of height, such as myself, wanted to get a drink of water.  It’s nearly impossible. The water fountains are so low to the ground that you have to get on your knees to drink from them. So for a tall person to get water, they either have to bend to extraordinarily low heights or crawl on the ground. What lengths will a person go through to get a drink of water? And why do the water fountains in the residence halls look like urinals?

And probably the best example of Penn State’s vertical challenges are the mirrors in Redifer. I can understand that some people are too short to see in a mirror that has been put up very high, but when I can’t even see my shoulders in the mirror it’s too much. At 5’4″, these mirrors couldn’t even accommodate an average height person, much less the tall. If you could only see your head at this short of a height, then you probably couldn’t even reach the sinks. This poses the question then, why make the mirrors so short, Penn State?

Our University obviously has a problem with us tall people; they want us to be dirty, uneducated, thirsty, and generally uncomfortable. As Randy Newman said, “Don’t want no short people ’round here,” but obviously Penn State doesn’t want the tall people ’round the campus any more.

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About the Author


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