RICHMOND, Va. — While studying for an upcoming test in the open air of Virginia Commonwealth University’s famous Compass Plaza, junior engineering student Samantha Mayer noticed that something was amiss.
“It was the shadows of the buildings falling across the compass that first piqued my interest,” she told The Peedmont in an interview yesterday. “The direction of the sunlight didn’t match up with what the compass indicated as east and west. From there it was a simple matter of pulling out my phone and opening the built-in compass app.”
It was then that Mayer discovered that the brick “compass” at the center of VCU’s Monroe Park campus does not, in fact, indicate true north. “I was pretty shaken up,” she confessed. Fortunately, few students at the school rely on Compass Plaza for a sense of direction, since the technology has been rendered largely irrelevant over the past decades.
Mayer complained, “I’m here to earn a degree in engineering and they couldn’t even take out a compass while constructing a permanent facsimile of a compass that is walked over by thousands of students every day?” Though distressed, Mayer said she would still be completing her studies at VCU and that this did not affect her overall opinion of her program. She concluded, “I mean, honestly, it was probably the art school’s fault.”
When reached for comment, the VCU administration stated that they had no plans to revise the decorative brickwork.