Brenton Student Center appears to serve two purposes – to satisfy the need for grease and fatty foods at the grill and deliver mail to students. The classrooms upstairs are sometimes occupied and Student Development is nestled away behind the rows of mail boxes and is used more by faculty and staff members than the students the center was built for. Between the ketchup-stained tables in the grill and Student Development is a desolate area known as “the lobby.”
The sun shines onto the worn-out gray carpet and a lonely tree stands. Besides a few couches and coffee tables, the place is vacant. Rarely will you find more than one student at a time reading the paper or watching the big-screen TV, which has no remote – is television even worth watching if you have to get up and change the channels manually?
Everyday students dart through this lobby to get their mail or head up to the grill. Their pace is quickened when various groups on campus hold fundraisers or attempt to raise awareness on certain issues. I’ve found the key to avoiding these groups is not to make eye contact, because once it is made, there is an obligatory head nod and at most the sympathetic, yet apathetic reply, “Looks interesting. I’ll check it out later,” or “I don’t have any money on me, I’ll stop by tomorrow.”
I’m not saying either of these responses are untrue because the only plastic most of us carry is our student ID and/or have $2.75 to our name and some of us run on a tight schedule and only have a few minutes between classes, meetings and other activities.
What’s the key to slowing down students while in BSC? Food, and preferably something sugary and free. And if you want students to acknowledge your efforts you may have to bribe them with a cookie or some candy. It’s amazing how much more interest is shown when food is offered. After all, it’s rude to take a cookie and run.
I’m not saying every student on campus is this apathetic unless sweets are involved, but it is a trend I have noticed over the last couple of years. We want to care and we should, but unless there is some incentive or something in it for us, even if it is just a ‘fun size’ Snickers, we just don’t have time.