Mississippi College

Student Hangout Space Opens at Alumni Hall

April 3, 2013

As April showers drenched the Clinton campus, Mississippi College students watched TV shows like “NCIS,” sipped cups of Starbucks coffee, and did a little studying.

It was Day 2 for the new student hangout space at Alumni Hall, and so far, all the buzz is positive.

“I’m super excited about it,’’ said MC junior Micheal Walley of Waynesboro. After grabbing his Starbucks, he joined friends to chat in the newly-revamped room equipped with a big-screen TV and three smaller models. “I hope people don’t study that much,” he said, with a smile.

Renovations of the university’s former bookstore space began months ago, and on April 2 the doors finally opened for students to curl up to relax between classes, watch TV, eat giant cookies, see friends and check their Twitter accounts.

President Lee Royce and Vice President for Administration and Government Relations Steve Stanford toured the new site Monday, and liked what they saw on opening day.

“We are extremely excited about the space and are addressing other needs in order to enhance student use of our Alumni Hall, Hampstead’s and the Piazza area,” Stanford said.

MC leaders will make their assessment during the remainder of the spring semester concerning the best use of the facility’s space when the fall term kicks off in August. At the moment, it will operate seven days a week, and keep its doors open as late as 2 a.m. Doors open at 6 a.m., two hours before students rush to 8 a.m. classes.

MC staff member Teresa Pannell is helping monitor activities at the hangout space, and is getting a thumbs up from students.

“They like it,” she said. It provides a much-needed common area for the MC men and women to get together and talk, Pannell said. “It’s a good thing.”

MC sophomore Jarrud Mayes, 19, of Baton Rouge, La., expects the place will be packed with fans around the big-screen TV to watch NCAA Final 4 basketball contests on Saturday and for Monday night’s championship game in Atlanta.

“This is nice,” said Mayes, who plays on the defensive line on the Choctaws football team. “A lot of people can come in, chill and hang out. I really like it.”

Some of the students, like Parker Threadgill of Memphis say they would like to see the place stay open 24/7. Others spoke of adding to the atmosphere with beautiful artwork and photographs.

The room will include space for table tennis games and a small enclosed meeting room.

At Tuesday’s opening, members of the MC men’s soccer team, including Josh Barrera of Houston, Texas, Daniel Lang of Jackson, and Fredy Banuelos of El Paso, Texas were glued to international soccer matches on the big-screen TV. “We plan to come here a lot,” Lang said.

Based on the steady stream of student traffic for the first two days, the new hangout space will stay busy. Nearby are new offices for “The Collegian,” “The Tribesman” and other student publications.

Photo: MC junior Micheal Walley of Waynesboro drinks Starbucks coffee at the new student hangout space.

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