The place to hang out
Looking for a place to take a break from the books and chill out for a while?
One answer might be the Student Lounge, located on the third floor of the Commons Building (COM 322).
Now in its third year at its current site, the Student Lounge is not just a place to hang out – it’s THE place to hang out, according to Mindy Kinnaman, manager of student life and leadership development.
“In the three years it’s been open, the number of people attending the lounge has been growing every year,” she said.
The lounge’s brightly colored walls and geometric furniture create a “you-don’t-have-to-study-here-if-don’t-want-to” feel. A ping-pong table and a foosball table add to the vibe.
Three large flat-screen televisions (updated just this summer) can be used with the gaming systems. And don’t worry. There’s no Xbox/Playstation turf wars here. The Student Lounge has both (with brand-new consoles to hold them) and a mix of the newest games for each.
“We get advice on what games to buy from our advisory board,” Kinnaman said. “They make sure we have the newest and most popular games available to check out.”
The lounge also has a Wii system. Video games and ping-pong paddles are available for checkout from student employees stationed at a desk adjacent to the lounge. These employees, called student engagement ambassadors, also act as hosts/hostesses and social directors for the space.
Leila Jacobs, student life coordinator, said her favorite part of her new job as supervisor of the lounge is working with student engagement ambassadors.
“The ambassadors take their jobs incredibly seriously,” she said. “You would think that as students themselves, they would be too busy to care about what happens (in the lounge). But they have a real investment in how it works and what’s going on in that space.”
Jacobs took over duties of the lounge in June, though she had worked in the Center for Student Involvement for a year prior.
“I’m not planning any big changes to the lounge,” Jacobs said. “If it isn’t broken, why fix it? But I would like to see more types of people frequenting the lounge and more people trying it out.”
And while she said she loves the video gamers, she’d also like to see a little more traffic on the old-fashioned board games also available for checkout at the desk.
“We’ve got Apples to Apples. Who doesn’t love a good game of Apples to Apples with their friends?”The Student Lounge is open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Thursday and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday during the weeks classes are in session.