Navigating a new school can be a challenge for many new students, but few will face an interior layout as complex as the one braved by Drexel students with classes in the historic Main Building. Aptly named for its many purposes as a joint space for classes, the performing arts, administrative office spaces, and more, the architectural marvel at 3141 Chestnut Street is known for its sweltering temperatures twelve months out of the year, ornate Great Court, and twisting hallways that are notoriously easy to get lost in.

A little too easy for one freshman who found himself stranded overnight this past Fall term. We had the opportunity to sit down with the student to hear about this harrowing experience.

“It was like a labyrinth,” said the student, who requested to remain anonymous. “No, it was really like a labyrinth. The floors were rearranging in front of me. At some point, a Sphinx came out and started asking me riddles.”

The student reportedly spent forty-five minutes searching for “Curtis Hall” on Google Maps the night before his very first class in Main, anticipating a separate building. When Main Building was the only address to come up, the unnamed student figured he’d just head there and ask someone for directions. 

“I thought it might be some sort of test,” the student explained. “Every time I followed an arrow it led me somewhere else. And then I really took a wrong turn, and the signs disappeared. I turned around to retrace my steps and I couldn’t recognize which way I came from. Then, my phone died. The outlets in the classrooms didn’t work.”

That’s when this student’s nightmarish stay began. Missing his class was only the first of his problems — surviving overnight on nothing but water from the ancient water fountains and crushed granola bars stuffed in the bottom of his bag, the student eventually gave up and took shelter in a classroom.

“And there were so many classrooms. Like, what are all these spaces being used for?”

The student’s roommate awoke the next morning with concern and called for help. The police found the missing studenthim around seven in the morning that day. When asked for a comment, his rescuers told the Rectangle that this isn’t the first time something like this has happened in Main.  

It isn’t all bad news for our frazzled first-year, though. The traumatic evening inspired the student to write a truly subversive essay titled “Five Nights at AJ’s” loosely based on his experience, which received nomination for publishing in “The 33rd” by his ENGL 101 professor. 

The administration sent an email out last week vaguely referencing the incident and informing concerned students they would be hiring personal directional escorts starting in Fall of next academic year. When asked why they wouldn’t just put more signs up, an administrator told the Rectangle, “We always have stood by our belief that the best way to handle something is the most complicated way, so we’re going to apply that same logic to this very sensitive and unfortunate situation.”