Opinion | Urbana remains superior to Champaign


Sydney Laput

Columnist Vidhi Patel argues that Urbana surpasses Champaign when it comes to a more quiet and peaceful lifestyle in addition to having cuter cafes and hang out spots.

By Vidhi Patel, Columnist

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Urbana and then Champaign. Even the person that named the University knows Urbana is the superior town to the chaotic and capitalistic Champaign. 

Urbana is quiet and peaceful, the most conducive to learning and a classic college life. The Main Quad is one of the biggest players of Urbana, with a concentration of educational buildings and fun bowling nights in the Illini Union for your weekends. No one is planning their living situation with the desire to live close to the UI Ice Arena, but everyone wants to be near the Main Quad. 

Campus’ most attractive features are also found in Urbana. The nature in the Japan House and architecture of the Bardeen Quadrangle put the littered sidewalks of Green Street to shame. Who would want to risk getting hit by dangerous cars when crossing Green Street when they can frolic through the flowers in campus’ only arboretum, or enjoy the perks of the funds put into the engineering buildings?

Urbana has plenty of classic food spots, like KoFusion and Espresso Royale, which are substantially less crowded than the loud drunk food spots on Green Street. There are also really cute cafes for studying or hanging out with your friends. Caffe Paradiso is one of the prettiest spots on campus, where you can sit and enjoy your coffee and a pastry while surrounded by gorgeous lights and decorations. 

Admittedly, Champaign has more food options overall, but Urbana is more friendly to smaller businesses instead of a row of international fast-food chains. Green Street, with Panda Express, McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Target and Dunkin’ Donuts all within two minutes of each other, is a model of the worst American stereotypes.

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Even in terms of housing, the undergraduate dorms are mainly in Urbana with the exception of the Ikenberry halls. Although the Ikenberry dining hall carries the appeal of Champaign dorms on its back, the general consensus is that no food can beat the PAR dining hall. Where else will you find stir fry made just for you from meal swipes? Not in Champaign. 

Despite the bars being located in Champaign, Urbana has The Canopy Club, where at least there’s good entertainment while you’re packed together with hundreds of other people in one sticky room. When did Joe’s Brewery or The Red Lion have Fall Out Boy or Snoop Dogg perform? All Champaign has to offer is illegal alcohol consumption and corporate regimes.

The high-rises towering over the businesses in Champaign are not nearly as welcoming as the apartments in Urbana. The modernity of buildings such as The Hub or Tower at Third comes at the price of comfort and coziness. 

Champaign is just too crowded for anyone to enjoy for long periods of time. Sure, maybe on a Friday night you can walk through the commercialized streets and find some pretty good boba, but the comfort of Urbana will always be superior. 

Although the average student probably could not say where Urbana ends and Champaign begins, there is a clear winner in this debate — and it is not Champaign. 

Vidhi is a sophomore in LAS.

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