On any college campus today, obviously excluding those with no green plots, you will find dusty or muddy paths worn across the grass. You will also find undergraduates who will complain incessantly that every green space on campus is in the process of being paved.
I, too, as an undergraduate, bemoaned the asphalt attrition and consequent vitiation of verdancy. I blamed it entirely on the administration and on insufficiently energetic groundskeepers.
Of course, I was wrong. Oxford, Cambridge, and the other British universities have had it figured out for a long time. You want nice, tidy, grassy quadrangles? Keep the undergraduates off them, with signs to start and afterward with dogs. And this even though the climate in Britain is rather more congenial to vegetation that of the States.
The complaining undergraduate ought to be able to realize that he is a cause and not a victim. Walking across grass wears it down. If the grass is already dying, do not walk on it. If you see an incipient path, make sure it does not become established. It will add ten seconds to your walk to class, but you're late anyway.