Kelvin Whitehurst ~ Copy Desk Chief

It wasn’t too long ago that the Lynchburg College campus was introduced to the beverages and foods of The Muse Coffee Company at Brewed Awakenings. In previous years, students held the Starbucks that resided in that space very dear to them, so when it was announced that it would be replaced, the student body felt a void and it soon found itself resurrected on campus.

On Monday, Sept. 26 at 11 a.m., students were invited to join in on the grand opening of Starbucks at On Common Ground (OCG). When I arrived on the scene to get interviews, the area was packed for El Si and the newly installed coffee shop, and as I proceeded to visit, it continued to have steady traffic.

Starbucks at OCG will have everybody’s favorite seasonal flavorings, like the Pumpkin Spice Latte and Salted Caramel Mocha.  Unfortunately, as of right now, there will not be an opening for Frappuccinos on the menu (blasphemous right?), but those are to be replaced by Island Oasis smoothies.

The grand opening featured free taste testing and the chance to win a free travel mug.

“We’ve had a ton of folks. Honestly a lot of college students don’t drink a lot of black coffee,” said Charlotte Galamb, the social media administrator of dining services, who assisted with the coffee taste-testings and raffle drawings in front of OCG. “We’re giving away travel mugs from Starbucks… It’s a great thing to have for fall, so a lot of kids are signing up. A lot of people are really interested.”

During my interview with Co-Director of Dining Services, Shaun Dearden, he was often stressing the importance of study culture at the Drysdale Student Center, I found our interview constantly interrupted by “thank yous” on his part as he thanked students for stopping by. Usually I would find it rude to be distracted mid-conversation, but I could see how sincere Dearden was; he meant every last gratitude.

Starbucks will be open for business from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Mondays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Fridays and 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Sundays. Let me repeat that: Sundays from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Students, if you don’t understand the significance of Starbucks being open on Sundays, let me explain this to you: the one day the Muse is not in operation, you still have the chance to get your coffee fix when you are last-minute scribbling out those papers for your classes.

Dearden’s goal for Starbucks at OCG is that it will bring a culture of students who would like to study or hang out at the Drysdale Student Center. As an observer and student myself, I never really saw Drysdale being used as a place to study or being used as a “student center”, I always viewed it as “a place to pass through for students to go to the school-provided eateries center.”

Coffee-drinking environments tend to magically attract a herd of studious people and banjo-playing hipsters. So mix that with our college campus and this new extension of Starbucks, and my prediction is that the Drysdale Student Center will become a last-minute student’s graveyard.