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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Mapping Hawk Hill

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ILLUSTRATION: CASEY WOOD ’23/THE HAWK

We asked first-year students at St. Joe’s, who have never attended a pre-pandemic campus, and only know it as a place of masks and brown paper dinner bags and tents and often empty common spaces, to capture the campus from their perspective. 

Our ask is based on Bloomberg CityLab’s Coronavirus Map Project, which was published in June and features maps that people all over the world created to document their city, neighborhood or home spaces as impacted by the pandemic. 

Of the more than two dozen maps we received, we find first-year students grappling, as they do every year, with trying to get to know their new home. We see sunrises and study nooks and running paths. We see exhilaration and loneliness, desires for connections and the relief of solitude. We see students coming to terms with a semester on Hawk Hill like no other, but still finding their way. 

If you’d like to contribute a map to our series, please contact Giana Longo ’22, Features Editor, at [email protected] for submission guidelines.

By Owen Moelter 24: 

Being a lifelong athlete, I have never enjoyed sitting around my house doing nothing, knowing I could be outside doing physical activity. Before coming to St. Joe’s, I found my escape from the pandemic in my daily runs. I was able to break free from the confines of my home and enjoy the outdoors around me without a care in the world.

When I moved into my dorm in McShain Hall, a cramped 14-by-10-foot box, my need to get out only grew.

Before coming to St. Joe’s, I found my escape from the pandemic in my daily runs. I was able to break free from the confines of my home and enjoy the outdoors around me without a care in the world.

Once again, my escape was doing the runs that St. Joe’s men’s track and field coach Mike Glavin sent out for off-season training. I started out with short, 30-minute runs to get me back into running shape, exploring the campus and discovering new routes along the way. As I regained my running form, I moved up to longer six-to-seven-mile runs, breaking out of the boundaries of campus, further exploring into the surrounding community. 

One weekend, I sat down, mapped out a 10-mile course on my phone, and went out to run it. As I traveled from Lower Merion to Bala Cynwyd and across the Manayunk Bridge, I embraced every minute of the hour and 20-minute run along the Schuylkill River Trail, down Martin Luther King Drive and back through the Belmont Plateau in Fairmount Park. 

This map is much more than just a map. It is the embodiment of my evolution as a runner through my exploration of new areas.

Running through Philadelphia that day inspired me to create this map because running is one of the most important parts of my life. This map is much more than just a map. It is the embodiment of my evolution as a runner through my exploration of new areas, and I cannot wait to get back out and find even more routes to explore.

Moelter is a biology major from Doylestown, Pennsylvania. He is a member of the St. Joe’s men’s track and field team.

Owen Moelter’s Map

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