By Kimberly Chinchilla
South Gate Center recently opened a new center inside the campus called the Student Lounge in room 118 next to the main entrance.
The Student Lounge offers an open space for students to gather, relax, study in between classes, in groups or if you simply want to grab a coffee and play a board game.
Students are greeted by pops of wonderful colors as they enter the spacious room. They have access to school essentials such as white boards, markers, pens, pencils, highlighters.
Many deans, faculty and staff voiced support for the creation of a casual space for students.
Students also championed the lounge, especially South Gate campus alum Jennifer Estrada. Estrada directly participated in the lounge’s completion. She said she always felt that the campus needed a dedicated space for student activities and kicking back.
“We want [students] to come to South Gate, we want them to be comfortable, to not only have their academics met, but also their student activities met” Estrada said.
The set-up of the room was intricately designed. There are round tables for study groups, comfortable chairs with attached desks students working on their own and couches welcome those wanting a power nap.
Both Estrada and a colleague were behind the design layout of the lounge.
Estrada said the furniture was donated from different campus offices. “At some point we are hoping to get new furniture [added] for the students,” she said.
Estrada said the coffee table was purposely chosen because it feels more comforting. “We want to make sure that students feel at home in some way,” she said.
The thoughtful details are important to her goal of building a community.
“In [the lounge] students will also see two particular burgundy chairs, they’re more comfortable and face each other. Sometimes, you just want to share a cafecito [a cup of coffee],” Estrada said.
Evelin Valladares, a current student, was visiting the lounge for the first time. She was intrigued and also utilized the white board for her Anthropology work.
Valladares said that while she usually goes to the Writing Center or Library to study, she prefers the greater privacy available at the newly opened lounge.
“I will be coming here more often,” she said.
While the space can be used for relaxing and studying, the Student Lounge will also host activities. On March 21 from noon-1pm, they will stream “The Mandalorian” season three, episode one, Followed by episode two on March 28 from noon-1pm.
On Thursdays, they will stream “The Last of Us” starting with season one, episode one on March 29 from 2:30pm-3:30pm.
Each show is less than an hour long, so it is perfect to watch while you are waiting for your next class to start.
They also have a bulletin board with lots of community events happening in the South Gate area inside the lounge.
While the South Gate campus might be far away from the main campus, the campus shuttle offers students rides to and from each campus.
“We are working toward hearing what students would like to add to the room and, if it’s within our means, then we can do that, too” said Estrada.
Faculty and staff along with ASU are planning a hard opening which will include snacks and a “dope layout” said Estrada. However everything is still in the works.
As of now, they are open Monday through Thursday from 8:30am-7:00pm and on Fridays, the hours vary.