Erryday we’re tunneling
It’s Halloween night, it looks like the Arctic Tundra outside, and unless you’re going as a Yeti, your costume’s not cut out for the sub-zero temperatures. So what’s a bored Columbia student to do? You could drink in your room, but that’s illegal and sad. We decided to go tunneling (just plain illegal).
After a few futile and terrifyingly awkward attempts to tunnel on our own, which included locking ourselves in a hallway and getting shown out by an exasperated guard, we met up a crew of more experienced tunnelers—called “B-minus”—whose members have been exploring the tunnels since Days on Campus. We didn’t fully grasp the magnitude of what we were about to do and how seriously these tunnelers took it until we were asked to sign a privacy waiver. Shit just got real.
Feeling a bit like criminals about to attempt a heist, we rushed by security cameras with our faces covered and wound up outside a locked door under Uris. At this point, had we been by ourselves, we probably would have turned around and given up entirely. B-minus had other thoughts. Adding a little parkour to the mix, one of the members climbed his way into the main chamber and unlocked the door from the inside. A few seconds later, the door swung open. Welcome to the underworld.
Keeping an eye out for construction workers, we walked briskly down a metal walkway overlooking a behemoth of complicated looking pipes and machinery. The stifling heat was a welcome respite from the blizzard outside. Rattling chain link doors and jiggling locks, the group looked for a way through to our target destination: the Math Building. Suddenly, one of the members who had wandered off on a reconnaissance trip came sprinting towards us mouthing “Go, go” while gesturing at the figure of a lone security guard making his way towards us. Leaping frantically over fragile pipes and ducking beneath exposed wires, we made a break for it. We wound up hunched over in a narrow crevice trying not to breath too loudly until a member signaled that the coast was clear.
After squeezing past a series of scalding hot pipes in total darkness, we wandered through the various rooms, marveling at the graffiti that previous tunnelers had left behind while trying not to get electrocuted on the rather sinister looking apparatuses scattered throughout the room. Eventually we realized that we wouldn’t be able to exit the way we entered
because of the guard. Two members split off from the rest of the group to scope out a new route. As we waited in the suffocating darkness we came up with contingency plans in case we never made it out.
“Eat me first,” said one of the B-minus crew.
“Well, I’m a vegetarian, so you might as well eat me first,” responded Sandya.
Trying to divert the conversation away from cannibalism, another member chimed in: “We’re like the people from Ocean’s Eleven. Except we don’t actually steal. We get to the part where we’re about to steal the jewels and then we stop.” Thankfully at that point, one of the members made it back with good news. “This way.” He said, pointing towards a fire exit. He opened the door gingerly, hoping the alarm wouldn’t go off. “Cameras. Pass it on.” Ducking our heads and wincing as members of the group thumped across a steel plank on the ground, we hurried on.
We hit a dead end. We watched as every member immediately set to work trying every door and attempting to pick the locks with pocket-knives. Serendipitously, one of them opened. We walked up a few sets of stairs and found ourselves in the basement of the Math building. “I just had class here!” Someone exclaimed.
Looked like Sandya wouldn’t have to be martyred after all.
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