Commuter Spaces in Unexpected Places

by Alex Chin on January 26, 2022

Commuter Spaces in Unexpected Places

by Alex Chin on January 26, 2022

As a younger commuter student, I was accustomed to driving to campus early in the day and leaving extremely late. Sometimes I wouldn’t get back home until after midnight, as I was busy spending time with my friends in the handful of lounges around campus—mainly, the commuter lounge and Heinz lounge.
 
The commuter lounge is an amazing space located on the ground floor of Heinz. It’s kitted out with a kitchen space and a joint lounge area, furnished with comfortable couches, tables, and a few televisions.  The commuter assistants were always sociable and present to hang out and relax with fellow students. It was a lovely area for commuters and their friends, and it was quite possibly better than all the resident lounges combined (in my humble and certainly not biased opinion). Other nights, I would be able to crash in a guest room, which were oftentimes utilized by commuters for late nights.

Alex and friends eating in the commons

 
With COVID and the pandemic, these places were changed to accommodate in-person schooling. Nowadays the commuter lounge is used for COVID testing, and the guest rooms are closed for the foreseeable future. Because of this repurposing, commuters have temporarily lost their access to Heinz and its lounges. As a fourth year, I’ve made it my goal to find a new hangout place, and I believe I’ve found some very strong candidates.

Currently in first place is the second floor of the Commons.  It’s spacious, with plenty of tables and chairs and amazing natural light during the day. I’ve taken to this new setting for most of my meals and study time, as well as leisure time with my friends. We’ve been able to eat group meals in the Commons with no trouble.  An added bonus to the second floor Commons is the game room, which houses comfy chairs and a multitude of entertainment options, from video and board games to air hockey and pool.

COVID might have uprooted my old haunts, but I’ve managed to find new ones with ease. And now I’m really down for the challenge of discovering even more gems in unexpected places and making new memories with my friends.

- Alex Chin

For those with access to Oak Summit Apartments, there is another hidden gem within its halls.  In my second year, many of my friends lived in the C building of Oak. C lounge is the designated lounge for that particular building, and it’s where the majority of our second year hangouts happened. It’s where we spent our Halloween and Friendsgiving. It’s also where we parted ways at the beginning of COVID.  As of this semester, it’s a mostly quiet space that has been left pretty untouched. I imagine that’s because many of the students on campus are relatively new to Arcadia and its common areas.
 
COVID might have uprooted my old haunts, but I’ve managed to find new ones with ease. And now I’m really down for the challenge of discovering even more gems in unexpected places and making new memories with my friends.