Saturday, August 17, 2019

Vernon Social Center Opens and Offers a New Campus Space


Contributing Writer

Two weeks ago the click of the lock on the entrance door of Vernon Place was consumed by the rhythmic ticking of the hammers renovating the new Vernon Social Center. A couple of days later almost all the exterior work was done. Those living in Vernon could finally catch a glimpse of what the new Vernon Social might look like in full operation.

In terms of architecture, the old Vernon Social Center was not easily converted into a cozy and comfy social place. Old photos of the Vernon Social Center show a large open floor. And generally a dance floor is either occupied by many or nobody. The new interior distributes this space into smaller and classier corners and sections. In the new Vernon Social Center you can choose from high stools against a counter for a pub-like feeling, comfy sofas and sitting chairs by the fireplace that resemble a welcoming living room, and freshly manufactured wooden chairs on the porch around the building to relax in during warmer nights. In front of the stage, you have the option of experiencing a spacy (but not disturbingly so) auditorium with rectangular matrasses on each sitting level. Depending on your needs, Vernon Social offers one of the best places to hang around, socialize, or study on campus.

On Saturday, September 7 the Vernon Social Center was officially opened. Along with the students who contributed to the Vernon project, other staff members, and the Trinity Bantam, President James F. Jones cut the ribbon at the main entrance to allow the remarkable stampede of students to invade the new social space. President Jones emphasized the need of a common space on campus where college students can spend their off-class hours.

The Vernon Social Center opening included free tank tops for the first 100 guests and a wide variety of finger foods. Inside, bacon coated shrimps, roasted garlic, filled tomatoes, and slices of delicious meat welcomed the visitors. The menu then expanded to chocolate covered peanuts, cupcakes, and torched marshmallows served on fork. It occurred to the guests how smoothly Vernon Social could fit into any urban context ranging from Amsterdam to Tokyo.

Mr. Hughes, the caricaturist was kept busy with a line of students waiting to be drawn. Right after he set himself to work, a decent queue piled up on the side of his canvas stand. From the expression on the bystanders’ face, those sitting in front of the stand could deduce how hilarious the outcome would be.

Meanwhile, fire juggler belly dancers occupied the open area in front of the main stairway. All sitting places on the stairs were occupied, and mesmerized eyes were following the glowing curve of the torches.

A couple of feet away, tucked into the corner where the southernmost side of Vernon Place and the Social Center’s glass atrium met, a photo booth was set up.

At 1 am, the noise from Vernon Social oozed away into various corners of the campus. Living at Vernon Place makes the Social a second home. In terms of studying, students will soon be sitting on the sofas brooding over their textbooks and class notes. Amidst the studying, when a friend comes along, there is always an extra chair to offer for a great evening.

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