Satire: Fly the Villanova Skies: Gondolas On Campus


Sky gondolas line the sky in amusement parks like Six Flags.

Isabella Ledet, Staff Writer

Imagine that it is a rainy morning at 8:30 a.m., and one’s schedule says to head to the fourth floor of Tolentine Hall, but they are in the lobby of St. Clare Hall. Time to trudge all the way across campus in shoes with questionable waterproofing and an old umbrella that has seen better days. Getting soaked is inevitable.

Until one remembers the gondolas.

I am not talking about the gondolas that little men in striped shirts row around in Venice, Italy. I am talking about gondolas like in Disney World or that run up the sides of scenic mountains; enclosed boxes with windows sailing through the air attached to a cable in the sky.

These are the things we should have in order to connect West Campus and Main Campus.

It is far-fetched, I know. But would it not be incredible to step into one’s own floating box and be transported right over the Spring Mill Road bridge and delivered to Tolentine like a package? It would certainly be a magical way to arrive to class.

I originally came up with the concept of connecting West and Main by gondola as a joke, but the more I thought about it, the more I could picture gondolas as a solution to getting across campus. Gondolas are efficient to get from one place to another and are safe in terms of the number of failures. I would imagine the most difficult part of having gondolas at Villanova would be their installation. Where would one get on? Where would one get off? Where would the poles go?

Allow me to lean into the absurdity. Just beyond the Fedigan/Tolentine guard booth, perhaps in the center of the Tolentine parking lot, a platform would be constructed where one would climb some stairs to reach the top. At the top, one could hop on a gondola after someone else has exited. The gondola would rise into the air, soaring perhaps 60 feet over Spring Mill Road, and would follow its cable path over the train tracks, over the bridge and along the outer edge of the West apartments. Outside of St. Clare would be platform similar to the one near Tolentine. The gondola would approach, and students would exit, transported safely to the back corner of West in just a few minutes. The poles would simply be installed where the road is not, and they would be tall enough to support the gondola’s safe flight over to West Campus.

While being able to fly across campus would be incredibly amazing, I understand that this would be a nearly impossible feat. My purpose in writing this is not to seriously suggest gondolas — which would cost an exorbitant amount of money and would save only a small population a fair amount of time —  but rather to open everyone up to using their imaginations on campus. Take a moment to lean into the absurdity of any thought. The future could bring anything. Gondolas could be cheaper and easier to install. We could have teleportation devices where one can simply materialize outside of any classroom just seconds before class begins. A drawbridge could be installed over Lancaster Avenue connecting the Commons to Pit. Reimagining campus is like an exercise to reimagine the world, so have some fun.