When you wander around campus, you may find yourself chuckling at the quaint and curious monikers that USC consistently slaps on building after building. They appear to do this with no regard for what most students, unversed in campus history, might assume they mean. Here are a few of my favorites.
Argue Plaza — After I finished laughing to myself about Monty Python and debate club jokes I could make here, I looked up John C. Argue, the plaza’s namesake. Besides being a USC booster and a pretty cool guy, he was a lawyer.
Bogardus Courtyard — Totally named for Emory Stephen Bogardus, who founded SC’s Department of Sociology and School of Social Work. Most definitely not because Bill and Ted got lost trying to find it. Bill: “Dude, I can find the class building anywhere! It’s like it sunk into a whole in the ground!” Ted: “Bogardus, dude.”
Bovard Auditorium — The name makes me think of cows. As if we students are but cattle to the administration. They lead us inside to be fatted with their ideals and then sacrifice us to the gods of the real world.
Cafe 84 — Have you seriously never wondered where all the other cafes are? What about Cafe 69, where the food sucks and the service blows? Cafe 42, which serves up enlightenment and drinks with a punch “like having your brain smashed out by a slice of lemon wrapped round a large gold brick”? Cafe 34, where… never mind.
Egg Company (EGG) — USC’s very own combination interactive media lab and poultry farm, where selective breeding, gene therapy, and advances in slingshot technology are very close to making “Angry Birds Live!” a reality. Ideally positioned to eliminate some chauvinist pigs from the Row.
Fluor Tower — Many kinds of towers are named according to their constituent parts, from human towers and The Towering Inferno to marshmallow towers and Tower of Power.
Thus, if you hear about floor tower before you see it, you imagine… a tower made out of floors!
How… original. Then, when you do find out how to spell it, you think that it was sponsored by toothpaste.
Hubbard Hall — A secret headquarters for the Church of Scientology. All of Spielberg’s visits to USC are a ruse to let Tom Cruise get on campus and indoctrinate new followers.
Little Chapel of Silence — Massively popular, this inconspicuous sanctuary inspired a hit Broadway musical, whose score features nothing but rests.
Lyon Center — The roommate who claims to go to the gym three times a week may just be lyon to you. The exercise facility disguises an underground bloodsport arena, the CircUSC MaximUSC. Students face off against each other in gladiatorial combat, and the unlucky idiots who bring themselves before SJACS are thrown to the tygers and lyons.
Mudd Hall of Philosophy — Get down and dirty with the greatest minds the world has ever known. Tonight only: Existential Bikini Mudd Wrestling Title Match!!! Challenger Sexy Sartre Battles Champion Negligee Nietzsche!!!!
Pardee Tower — Misleading. No parties I ever heard about. …Of course I would have heard about them! People invited me to lots of parties! Lots of parties…*sniffle*
Stonier Hall — Fire Safety lives in this building, which is permanently a-blazing. It makes sense that the guys who give permission to light up would quickly go from “stoned” to “stoner” to “Stonier”.
Got suggestions for others? Let us know in the comments!