Just because: The best places to hide on campus

Hang with orgasmic walruses behind Jeff Hill -- only at OU. Photo by

Hang with orgasmic walruses behind Jeff Hill — only at OU. Photo by Abbie Doyle.

Hide (verb): to conceal oneself.

The word has a fairly simple definition, but hiding is not so cut-and-dry.  There are many different ways (and reasons) to hide. Perhaps you’ve gotten into a bit of a tiff with your roommate, or you’re being chased by an angry mob. Maybe that last subtweet was a bit too transparent and now you’re in trouble. Maybe you’re up to some hoodrat shit, as we all are at some point in time. Have no fear – a campus as shadowy, hilly and dense as Ohio University is a perfect place to hide yourself.  OU’s campus isn’t extremely large, but heaven knows there is a quite a bit of activity going on at any time – some of it (okay, a considerable amount) not so desirable to have publicly displayed.

For whatever reason, it’s not a bad idea to have a fundamental knowledge of hiding spots on campus.  While laughable to think any of these places are not already known, here are a few spots on each corner of campus that may be handy should a secluded spot suddenly be necessary.

But first, just a few things to keep in mind when in the act of hiding:

  1. If there are Cigarillo wrappers, beer bottles, or condom wrappers lying around, prospects are looking good.
  2. Being loud is not conducive to secrecy.
  3. Only hide in places that can be quickly exited.
  4. Don’t be a damn fool – use judgment and make as wise of decisions as possible.

Cozy enough for a pre-class nap. Photo by Abbie Doyle.

Let’s start with West Green!  Central (to nowhere) Classrooms is a charming building off West Union Street, and the back of Central Classrooms is especially delightful.  It is dark, shadowy and mostly abandoned outside of school hours.  Just up the street from Central is a steep driveway that goes down to a path which forks. Go left and find yourself next to Richland Avenue, or go right and further down, behind the Heating Substation.  A majority of buildings on campus have walls projecting outward from the building, and these projections create nicely shaded spots.  The Heating Substation has such a spot, and it is pictured below.  Shadowy even in the daytime, the place is slightly scary at dark but with enough people it’s an adventure!

But what’s to the left of the aforementioned fork?  Why, a beautifully hidden little building right below and beside Richland Avenue.  Best to avoid this spot for secrecy during the day, as students tend to walk the path leading to it.  However, if one were to perhaps hop over the railing on Richland Avenue (safely!!) they would be able to sit on top of this small white building, cloaked by trees and shadows.


Hello, shade! Reason #8934845 we kinda love West Green. Photo by Abbie Doyle.

Hugging one wall of Sargeant Hall, facing Richland Avenue, is a large Magnolia tree.  It is a lovely tree, and it is also very conveniently placed in a dark corner.  One can walk directly into the area, or attack it from above. The seemingly pointless walkway extending from Treudley’s Richland-side door leads to the tree, and you can jump from the walkway into the tree’s clearing about six feet below.  There is a notable amount of trash in this area, which is sad, but evidence that good times have been had here.

Since we’re on the subject, let’s talk about trees.  Trees are magnificent hiding spots!  If those branches are low and sturdy-looking enough, give it a go.

What about the rest of campus?  College Green is an aesthetically pleasing place to hide – the back of Scripps has some nicely shaded corners, as does the amphitheater stage.  The outside of Mem Aud is a playground, with one wall housing a large staircase and extremely deep shadows in this staircase.  It is no doubt a popular place, but this is because all the cool kids hang out there (duh).


The best place to hide? Right under everyone’s noses. Photo by Abbie Doyle.

Void of rambunctious housing units, this is maybe not the best place to conduct mischievous activities.  Nonetheless, the surplus of academic buildings have many corners and outdoor basement stairwells, and those will do in a pinch.

Judging by the extensive amount of graffiti displayed there, the small heating building off of Jeff Hill on East Green houses a shallow stairwell that does not face Jeff.  Getting to it requires hopping over the railing that borders the steps of Jeff Hill, but this is not difficult to do.


Closer view from the bottom of Jeff. Photo by Abbie Doyle.

Directly behind this small heating building is a parking garage, also covered in graffiti.  Getting into this space may require hunching over, but it’s a large space and it’s well covered.

Also on East is the ridiculously long staircase leading up to Bryan Hall.  It’s a bummer, but the chances of someone else being motivated enough to walk up all of them and possibly encounter some hiding students are slim.  The shadowy covering about halfway up provides excellent shelter.


Kind of reminds us of “Legends of the Hidden Temple.” Photo by Abbie Doyle.

East has a plethora of buildings, all which throw shadows and have many nooks to sneak into.

South Green… all of South Green is fair game, really.  It is the ultimate hiding spot.  Nobody cares what you do on South Green, unless it’s a cop.  Stay away from cops.

Where do you like to hide on campus? Share your secrets with us (or just tell us we’re crazy) in the comments, and don’t forget to tweet us @SpeakeasyMag!

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