If you are a student at Radford University, then you are probably aware of
a distinction about the campus area that only Radford students know about
and can relate to. This distinction is used when giving directions to frat
houses, late-night meals and the location of that Slurpee that seems to
taste so much better at 3 a.m. I am referring, of course, to the "light"
and "dark" sides of campus, otherwise known as the "7-11" and "Deli-Mart"
Since Radford's campus is laid out in a triangular shape that is bordered
by 3 roads, nicknames for the two most-used sides are necessary. Using the
most popular convenience stores on each corresponding side is one of the
easiest ways of describing them. However, in recent years, students have
started referring to these two sides of campus as the "light side" and the
"dark side" of campus. What makes the "light side" light and the "dark
First, the "light side" is more well lit than the other side; there are
more street lights, and many bright, local establishments line Tyler
Avenue. Also, the university buildings on that side of campus are mostly
residence halls, which remain lit throughout the night due to students'
amazing capacities to stay awake all night. After talking to some students
who live on and off campus, I have found that many people believe that the
"light side" plays host to more parties and is more fun in general,
especially since most of the Greeks have their housing on that side.
While the "light side" of campus is more luminescent, the origin of the
"dark side" title stems from the same logic. There are few street lights
in the blocks past Adams and Jefferson streets. Also, there are mainly
academic buildings along Adams Street, so there isn't much light coming out
of them at night. People often equate the "dark side" with being quieter.
Most people who live on the "dark side" say that they enjoy the quieter
atmosphere more than anything else. Other students complain that they
don't feel as safe on the "dark side" because of the lack of street
lighting and the recent death of a local resident this summer.
It looks as if these nicknames fit their respective sides of campus well.
Since the street names are the same on both sides, it's quite convenient to
have these extra terms to help people find their way to apartment
complexes, parties, restaurants or any other location near Radford
University that they might need to visit. However, it seems that among the
four different nicknames, the most commonly used references are "dark side"
and "7-11 side."