by Ein Huie
Living off-campus is a crucial part of the college experience. There is a lot for you learn about yourself, about living with others, and about organization in cleaning, planning, and trying to map out exactly how many minutes you have to wake up before your 8 a.m. class to get there on time.
At Whitworth, most juniors and seniors live off campus in either a university-monitored Theme House, or in a leased house near the university. Students who live off-campus (besides theme houses) are not expected to follow the same rules as they did when they were in the residence halls. Having an off-campus living experience can be a great chance in life to decide what your individual values are and what values you want to carry into the future with you.
However, there seems to be a consensus that on-campus life is not easy to jump back into. Many of the programs on campus are designed, purposefully, for those who live in the residence halls. A few times a year, ASWU puts on campus-wide events that are for all undergraduate students, but for the most part it seems to stop there. When off-campus students go to campus, there are a few places that they choose to spend their time: the UREC to work out or play intramurals, the library to study, or the Mind & Hearth to study and socialize with other off-campus students that congregate there. But what else is there beyond that?
If the Mind & Hearth is full, where can off-campus students go between classes to just hang out and lounge around? I believe that Whitworth should offer another location on campus for students who want to just lounge about on campus that doesn’t have an academic tie to it (such as the library). I believe that it could be helpful to have a spot on campus, whether that be a new building or re-purposing some space in the HUB, where students can lounge around, play ping-pong, play pool, play video-games, study if they want or use the space for whatever they need at that time. Since on-campus students have the residence halls to go to for these fun activities, I believe Whitworth should create a space equally interactive and enjoyable for off-campus students. In short, off-campus students would benefit from having an interactive space where they can go to meet up with friends on campus and use in between classes that doesn’t have studying associated to it. This way, they won’t have to go back to their houses to fill the short time between classes. Also, they won’t have to squeeze into a table in the Mind & Hearth to socialize only to bother the people next to them who are trying to seriously study.
Contact Ein Huie at firstname.lastname@example.org