Where did everyone go?

When Friday evening finally rolls around at California Lutheran University’s campus, it is a stark contrast to the hustle and bustle of the rest of the school week that has just passed. All of the life on campus seems to have come to a halt, to be resumed and revived Monday morning. Most of the eateries on campus have shut down for the weekend, some offices on campus have closed and won’t reopen until Monday and most importantly, the resident parking lots begin to clear out and end up little more than a ghost town.

I am currently in my third year as a student and resident at Cal Lutheran and like many other residents I did not have a car on campus for much of that time. Throughout the week, this was not an issue. There were plenty of places for me to eat or pick up a snack around campus including the dining commons, the Centrum, the Purple People Eater and Jamba Juice. When the weekends hit however, I was suddenly out of luck with places to eat. The dining commons closed at 6:30 p.m. on the weekend while the rest of the places to pick up food were shut down for the entire weekend.

This issue affects me even though I am a native of Southern California and spends many weekends away from school and at my home, but even more so it affects out of state students and others who cannot go home. Junior Kelsey Ng is originally from New York and has become lonely during most of the weekends that she has had to stay on campus.

“When I did not have a car on campus and I wanted to attempt to eat a decent meal over the weekend,” Ng said. “I had to rely on slivers from other students.”

This does not seem like a normal university practice. Do other campus’ Jamba Juices close on weekends or do their dining halls have weekend hours longer than 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.? Curiously, it seems that students leave campus over the weekend because the school shuts down so much but others think Cal Lutheran seems to shut down because many of its residents leave campus over the weekend.

“I am sure we are closed on weekends because of how empty the campus ends up,” said Jenny Kotlyar, a junior who works at the Jamba Juice on campus. “I think if more students ended up staying on campus more often, the administration would take this into consideration and probably consider changing the hours of most things on campus.”

All in all, it seems to be that by the school attempting to save money and closing important on-campus eateries and other services either completely or early over the weekends, they are driving away their on-campus residents. This causes students to look elsewhere to take their business, even when they would be willing to deliver specifically to the university. Fortunately the new campus Starbucks has been an important first step in resolving this issue. When Cal Lutheran finally realizes this and starts up normal hours for their various dining areas, this weekend ghost town will come alive again.



Amber Rocha

Published October 8, 2014