Take Back the Lounge

I have fond memories as a bright-eyed first-year, ready for community living in Seattle University’s largest freshman resident hall, Campion, and getting to know other C(h)ampion residents. I attribute the lounge areas as one gateway from where my inner social butterfly emerged.

It’s where I found other “New Girl” or “The Walking Dead” fans that reserved the area to watch the latest episodes. Some exam weeks were spent going floor-to-floor in search of an open spot to write my papers, taking comfort by others also stressing out.

Lounges are beneficial for a new student—a gathering spot, a place to bump into strangers that turn into acquaintances (and sometimes friends) by bonding over details of food, movie, or even fashion choices. Blessed are the freshmen that do not know the impact of a lounge because those days are gone.

This year’s overflow of on-campus residents led Housing and Residence Life to accommodate the influx by converting lounges into crammed “quadruple dorm rooms.” These residents get to keep the kitchen and TV the lounges came with, while paying the same price as a double room, but I foresee the inconvenience it can cause when it’s on one side of the room. Learning to live with one (or two) other people is already enough, I couldn’t imagine being thrown in with three other strangers in what is essentially one big room.

Though creative and (thankfully) temporary, this should be a wake up call for the university to not only plan on expanding the university, but to make sure the campus can accommodate more students. It’s time for more residence halls and off-campus transitioning support—and to get beds out of the lounges.