Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Monday, January 22, 2018

The 'obvious' questions about navigating AU, answered

A guide on meal swipes, AU shuttles and more

The 'obvious' questions about navigating AU, answered

As an incoming freshman, finding your way around AU’s campus and figuring out how to pay for meals can leave you with a lot of questions. That’s why we assembled this guide on how to navigate AU’s campus with common questions we’ve heard from incoming students and even returning upperclassmen.

Where are the AU shuttles? Where do they take us?

One of the first things every freshman learns about AU is that the shuttle system is your lifeline to the outside world. Want Chick-fil-A or Burger Tap & Shake? You’re going to need to ride the shuttle. Want to go night monumenting for the fifteenth time? That shuttle is your best friend; or, when it doesn’t show up for 20 minutes, your enemy.

The Blue Route shuttle stops at Letts-Anderson Halls, Kogod, Nebraska Hall, Van Ness, the Washington College of Law, the Tenleytown-AU Metro stop and on the back side of Kerwin Hall. The Red Route shuttle goes to those locations as well, but also to Spring Valley building, northwest of Massachusetts Ave. So if you don’t want to make the 10 to 15 minute walk down to your class in Spring Valley, catch the red route. But don’t make the mistake of riding the red route if you want to get to the Metro stop as soon as possible.

Last thing: don’t forget to say thank you to the driver as you step off the bus. They work hard to get students where they need to go, so make sure you show your appreciation.

Where can I use my meal swipes?

You can use your meal swipes at P.O.D. Market, Subway, the Terrace Dining Room (TDR), P.O.D. Mini Market, Pi & Fry, Elevation Burger, Global Fresh, Freshii and Einstein's Bros. Bagels. Unfortunately Megabytes, a student-favorite cafe near Bender Arena, does not accept meal swipes.

What’s the difference between Eagle Bucks and Dining Dollars?

Dining Dollars can only be used on campus at these locations. With Eagle Bucks, you can use them on or off campus at these locations. Spend them wisely, they run out fast -- especially if you order takeout too many times and run out before November.

Kerwin Hall? Where is that?

The School of Public Affairs building. Upperclassmen know it as Ward Circle Building, but in June, the Board of Trustees voted to rename it “Kerwin Hall” in honor of former AU President Neil Kerwin, who stepped down in May.  

Where is MGC? Why is it important?

MGC stands for the Mary Graydon Center. It’s the center of student life at AU and is home to some of the most prominent offices at the University, including the Academic Support and Access Center, the Center for Diversity and Inclusion and the Student Activities office. It’s also where you can find food options like TDR, Einstein’s Bagels, Freshii, Elevation Burger, POD Mini Mart and Pi & Fry.

MGC is also the connection point to many of the offices you will visit throughout your AU career. In order to get to the Butler Board Room, the Career Center or the Office of Campus Life, you’ll probably take the elevator in the middle of Bender and MGC. The easiest way to access it is through the entrance next to the Megabytes cafe or outside the bookstore.

A number of student organizations also have offices in MGC. It’s likely you will end up on the second floor if you’re interested in joining student government or a student media group. The building also houses classrooms and rooms for student groups to hold meetings.

What does 'T' in front of a room number mean?

It means terrace level, meaning the lower level of the building. Think of it like the building’s basement. And if you notice that a classroom number is a single digit -- Hurst is well known for this -- it likely means your class is located in the basement of the building as well.

What if I have a physical disability that makes it difficult to climb stairs to a classroom?

Several campus buildings do not have elevators, namely Hurst, which houses science labs, and the East Quad Building, which is part of the School of International Service. If you are unable to climb stairs and have a class located on an upper or lower floor in these buildings, reach out to the Academic Support and Access Center (ASAC) for help. If you are eligible to receive accommodations, the center will work to ensure that your class is moved to a more accessible room.

Where exactly is Asbury?

Asbury is located south of Bender Arena, across the road from McKinley and “the beach.” There you can find AU Central, the office that deals with student accounts, financial aid, registration and Veterans benefits.

My professor wants me to visit the SOC Equipment Room. Where is it?

The SOC Equipment room is on the lower level of the Media Production Center (MPC), which is located to the left of Beeghly and to the right of the Jacobs Field.


This guide might not answer all of the questions you have about navigating AU, but don’t stress, you will start to get the hang of it in no time.

mcarrasco@theeagleonline.com and hsamsel@theeagleonline.com


Never miss a story.

Get our weekly newsletter in your inbox.