Written by Britty Gist.
Students have enjoyed an additional space to study and gather since the room attached to the on-campus Starbucks opened Feb. 2. Public Safety was given instructions to unlock the space for reopening, and there has been a noticeable increase in students frequenting the facility to study again.
At the start of the fall 2020 semester, plans were made and new furniture was bought to update the space, but due to COVID-19, the area had to remain closed to the public to ensure everyone’s safety.
Director of Campus Life Logan Light is responsible for and takes care of this room. Light said he was very excited to be able to open it up, even with a distancing rule and seating capacity, because it is a very valuable place for students’ daily lives, especially for those living on that side of campus.
Starbucks barista Taylor Howard has worked at the on-campus store for a year and a half and said that the rate of customers stayed pretty steady even with the lack of seating and the back room closed. She also said that she is happy to see things slowly going back to normal and she has seen students socializing more.
“I know the Harding students love hanging out in that back room, and I think opening it up while limiting the seating was a good decision to help slow the cases at the University,” said Howard.
Junior Anna Rachel Hite is a frequent visitor of the on-campus Starbucks and has visited multiple times since the reopening of the back room. She said she prefers to go out somewhere to study because it helps motivate her to be productive, but it also offers good opportunities to spend quality time with friends, even if it is just to read class notes.
“I am excited and hopeful that things will continue to improve,” Hite said. “If we all do our part to stay healthy and continue to be vaccinated, things can go back to normal. The Starbucks room opening back up is just a small step, but we can keep getting back to normal.”