It is 10:24 am in the DB food court on campus. The tables and chairs are organized in a linear pattern, and the food displays are being neatly set up by employees. Single items are slightly out of place, like a crumpled up napkin lying just near the opening of the trashcan. This forebodes the rampage of students soon to come at lunchtime. They will come trampling through at approximately 11am as classes let out and be gone at approximately 11:15 leaving significant evidence of their presence behind them.
But right now at 10:24 there are only a few students scattered intermittently through the upstairs and downstairs seating portions which juxtaposes the busy stimuli around the area. TV screens flash the different menus above. Life-size posters of Subway foot-longs and Hawk Wraps scream “choose me, choose me!” The poignant colors of the food station logos grab and pull your eyes to each one. They are each so individually striking, yet the vibrant yellow hue of the Subway station does not easily mesh with the school color maroon of the Hawk Wrap station.
It is approximately 10:45 now, and as lunchtime approaches footsteps begin to sound more hurried, pots and pans begin to clink, and the heavy exit door starts to click open and closed more often. Two students sit down facing each other at the end of a long table and begin to work on an assignment. Another student hurriedly walks in, hair dripping wet as if fresh from a shower, and stares at her laptop screen with great focus. A few professors cut through the dining area, lanyards clicking with each step. It is almost time for classes to change, and let’s not forget it is almost time for lunch.
It is 9:30pm in the upstairs portion of the student center on a Wednesday evening. Outside of the banquet halls, typical club meeting locations, pictures of Jesuits and detailed historical accounts of Saint Ignatius line the walls which is fitting seeing as the student center is the heart of the campus and the Jesuits lie at the core of the founding of this particular university.
Funny enough all of the students look past the history lining the walls as they walk up the stairs, make a sharp right turn, and go forth their club meeting destinations. A club meeting lets out of the banquet hall on the right and groups slowly emerge from the room. Fraternity boys slowly walk down the hall in their squads to the President’s Lounge down the hall for their chapter at 9:30pm. All the boys are wearing either hats or logos portraying their greek letters. Girls and boys of the co-ed service fraternity wait outside the doors of the banquet hall on the left and create small talk with their friends. Others of this organization go directly into the room and find a seat without saying a word, but looking rather drained and as if it was past their bed time.
And yes since it is 9:30pm many of the students look as if they are ready to fall asleep. Lucky for them there are many suitable options in the upstairs of their student center. For example, a red fabric armchair is nestled in a corner beneath a window as well as a black leather couch sits adjacently. Another likely contributing factor to this general sluggishness is the excessive heat. As students emerge from up the stairs they all seem to immediately be hit by the wall of heat. One student emerges from up the stairs and says to her friend immediately, “Why is it so hot?” One of the girls standing in a group outside of the banquet hall waiting for her meeting to begin says, “Oh my god I can’t deal with this heat for an hour.” One of the fraternity boys says to friend, “Dude why is it so hot up here?” An executive member of the service fraternity strives to take initiative and says, “How do we turn this down because I can’t find the box? Should I call public safety?”