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Vacant area has potential to be student hangout

By Samuel Hebestreit

Every campus has that one spot where students love to hang out.

The vacant grassy area between the University Dining Hall (UDH) and the library has the potential to be a great student hangout. But for now, it is only a field.

Students and faculty say the grassy area could be much more than what it is.

“It’s sort of underutilized,” Bellarmine President Dr. Susan M. Donovan said.

Anthropology professor Dr. Frank Hutchins said: “You’ve got the quad, but beyond the quad there isn’t a whole lot of space, open space. You’ll see 12, 15 geese wandering around, but beyond that, it’s not really used.”

Proposed changes to this vacant area are strictly in the idea phase. There is no plan, no budget and no official movement to make this happen.

Gathering input from students and getting students involved in deciding what should go in the field will be a vital part of making this area one everyone would enjoy.

“I definitely think student involvement would be important to even figure out what to do because I think if students know whether they’d go to that space, and if they went to that space, what they would plan to do on that space,” Donovan said.

Bellarmine gives a significant number of daily tours on campus. Visitors want to see the educational side of BU, but the social aspect is just as important.

“A lot is based on just how much energy’s moving around campus. You don’t necessarily get a feel for it when everyone’s sitting in a classroom, but when they’re out in space and they’re talking and interacting,” Hutchins said, “I think it would be a positive thing for anyone coming here, parent or student.”

The ideas of what could possibly go in the vacant grassy area are plentiful.

“I think maybe some benches and some tables for sure. Maybe some outdoor games set up out there for anybody to come by. Then, definitely some places to sit on the grass, like some picnicy type vibes,” BU sophomore Starr Amar said.

Art students are often seen outside in the quad drawing various things; however, they are not seen in many other places outside on campus.

“I think it’d be really cool if there was an area for the art students to go to draw,” graduate student Sydney Gandy said. “It’s fun to draw in at the quad, but it kind of gets old and it kind of would be nice to have a bigger space to go and draw things and maybe draw some scenery.”

Although the area is vacant, its beautiful landscape is undeniable. It also has features most overlook.

“I think it’s like a natural auditorium, like an outdoor auditorium. So having a stage at the bottom by the tree where that concrete slab is would be really nice,” communication professor Dr. Shawn Apostel said. “So, professors can use it to lecture, or the theater department could use it for outdoor Shakespeare or something like that.”

Donovan said she also envisions a stage in that space. “You know, that one piece there looks sort of like a stage. So, you sort of wonder if it should be a stage and what kinds of things could happen,” she said.


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