Walking through campus, students are bound to run into multiple concrete cylinders covered with bright-colored fliers for everything from concerts to fundraisers. These structures, known as kiosks, provide student organizations with a perfect space to disseminate information — but do they serve another purpose?
The kiosks function as more than just a posting wall. According to University Planner Sue Gott, the kiosks provide ventilation for a system of underground tunnels that connect Central Campus to the Medical School. The tunnels contain pipes that carry hot water and steam to all campus buildings.
Gott said that while vents located closer to the ground could have been used to ventilate the tunnels, they would have blown away passersby by directing air onto walkways. The kiosks eliminate this problem by aiming air above people on the sidewalks.
“(The kiosks provide) a return for air, directing air above where people are walking,” Gott said.
But Gott added that the space the kiosks provide for posting flyers is one of their greatest assets. With their large surface areas and locations near heavily trafficked walkways, the kiosks serve the dual purpose of providing people with a place for hanging flyers and preventing them from hanging information on telephone and light poles.
“They are kiosks that function for people to pin information on,” Gott said. “(They offer a) way to keep people from posting on light poles.”
Kiosks are available to all students for posting, and no permission is required for hanging flyers. Maintenance of the kiosks is fairly simple, involving the removal of all flyers at the end of each semester.