Students enjoy the fresh air and lounge in the community commons at lunch on Saturday, October 9. (Lucy Puente/TCU 360)
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On Sept. 22, the TCU Student Government Association followed through on their announcement that the community commons would return to campus for students who want to escape their dorms and interact with others outside.

The community commons was optimized last year to adjust for the pandemic and consisted of outdoor couches, tables and a video wall arranged on the lawn of the campus commons and in Worth Hills. The space provided a comfortable student experience on campus, and it played an even more important role when classes were online.

“I loved the community commons last year. I used it a lot for classes, homework and spending time with friends,” said Roxy Ordione, a junior psychology major and resident assistant in Colby. “I use it less this year partly because it’s been so hot and partly because I’m a lot busier, but I still use it. I love the commons and was so glad when it came back.”

When students returned this fall, many were disappointed to find the amenities in the community commons were gone, but the plan was always for the space to return.

Read more: First-year experience at TCU

Student Activities decided it would be too hot to have the furniture outside at the beginning of the semester, said Brad Thompson, director of Student Activities. 

With the weather cooling off, many students say their favorite thing about the lounge area is being outside and getting out of their dorms. 

“It’s nice you don’t have to be crammed in your dorm. You can come outside and get fresh air,” said first-year student Nicole Koppy, a biology major, who used the space for the first time to eat lunch.

“I like that it’s outside. I feel like you don’t get to spend that much time outside here. You’re either doing homework or in classes,” said Emma Gwynn, a first-year biology major, noting that the time spent walking to classes doesn’t count for much. 

Socially distanced – the community commons provide an area for students to safely get out of their dorms and experience the TCU campus. (Photo courtesy of Madyson Buchanan)

Changes, availability and future of the space

The space has been updated to feature more durable furniture, which is one of the biggest changes in addition to removing the video wall in Worth Hills. Some students seemed to agree that the space was great, but suggested that music and more seating would be a nice addition.

“One time, I did almost come out here, but it was evening, so all the spaces were taken up, so I was like never mind,”  said Marlen Salcedo, a first-year speech-language pathology major, who was seated in the area. 

“Student Activities along with Student Government and Facilities are exploring options to make it a permanent installation for the future,” said Thompson.

TCU will remove the furniture on Nov. 29 to prepare the Commons for the annual Christmas Tree Lighting. Student Activities and the SGA are working to have the furniture back in the spring, most likely around March.

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