You know you have seen it: Every Friday afternoon the mass exodus of students from our campus is readily apparent — the main parking lots are empty and the only times you see people emerge from their living areas is during mealtimes or to venture out to see a basketball game.
While this behavior is one not necessarily isolated to California Baptist University, it is definitely one that stands out at our school.
Resident students are often left to fend for themselves over the weekend, which is especially problematic for students who do decide to spend the majority of their free time on campus.
Food service on the weekends, particularly on Sunday, does not favor the on-campus student body.
While Saturdays offer students a chance to eat at all campus locations other than the Alumni Dining Commons, Sunday mornings essentially require a trip to the ADC for brunch if you want to eat on campus, and nights impel students into one of two options: an hour-and-a-half window where they can eat at the caf or a trip to Brisco’s.
It makes sense for eating locations such as Chick-Fil-A to close on Sundays because of company practice, but it does not follow that other locations should be closed, as well.
Issues like these only feed into the emptiness of campus over the weekend, rather than doing anything to solve the problem.
While we accept that our university is a commuter-friendly campus and that even those who live on campus are spending an increasing amount of time away on the weekend, there are a few things we believe need to change.
If CBU wants to become a university truly devoted to community, particularly on days beyond the school week, food services especially should be re-evaluated to determine their effectiveness for the student body. Similarly, events like concerts, drive-in movie nights and other community-oriented activities should not be limited to the academic week alone, but rather extended to include weekends.
While we do believe that CBU should accommodate the needs of commuter students, we do not believe our university’s devotion to student community should end after classes finish on Fridays — just as we believe that our student body should work just as hard to be intentional about on-campus community during the weekends, as well.