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Old Posted Dec 6, 2006, 7:57 AM
HX_Guy HX_Guy is offline
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 5,083
Students may study in Phoenix, but they're letting loose in Tempe
The concrete jungle isn't the party some expected
by Meghan Keck
published on Monday, October 30, 2006

Jaqui Schraeder came to ASU from Manhattan, the "city that never sleeps," so it's no surprise that the undeclared freshman is having a tough time adjusting to downtown Phoenix's bedtime - 2 p.m.

"Businesses are pretty much open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.," Schraeder said. "So when I get back from class, there's nothing to do."

Lack of late-night activity takes away from the college atmosphere in downtown Phoenix, driving many of the Residential Commons' 150 residents to Tempe.

Most students come to parties in Tempe on Friday and Saturday nights, said Schraeder, who applied to live on the Tempe campus as soon as a bed is available.

"We all try to find someone who has a car and go together," she said. "Otherwise, the shuttle back to Downtown stops at 10 p.m., so we have to find somewhere to spend the night."

Night activity downtown is limited to the Arizona Center, which has restaurants and a movie theater, said Jose Martinez, an accounting and finance junior.

Martinez said he moved downtown expecting a traditional college experience.

"You know the rumors you hear from friends - parties and having a good time at the dorm," he said.

But Martinez said he is disappointed.

"There is nothing to do but go to the same places or hang in someone's room and watch TV, and I get tired of going to the same place every weekend," he said.

Marketing freshman Neil Orvis said downtown's culture isn't something desired by most college students.

Living downtown because of limited Tempe residence-hall space, Orvis said ASU staff offers free concerts, museums and sporting events.

"But really, does a college student want to go to a concert or museum when they can spend it having more 'fun' on the Tempe campus?" he said. "I bet you nine out of 10 people living downtown would love to live on the Tempe campus. I'm missing out on college life."

Still, the lack of nightlife hasn't been all bad, Schraeder said.

"During the week we all hang around together, so it's a nice small community," she said. "Living in ResComm allows for closer connections much quicker than I think living on campus in Tempe would."

Schraeder credits her resident assistants with creating events to facilitate the close community, including the weekly Residential Commons political discussions she has attended.

Student activities have also included movie nights and an improvisation class, but many students weren't interested in them, said Siobhan McCurdy, a former Downtown campus RA.

"When some students' idea of fun is drinking ... it's no wonder that there wasn't always good turnout for activities that staff had planned," she said.

McCurdy said she is no longer an RA because she didn't enjoy the job but said that she has hope for Downtown student life.

"Even though Phoenix doesn't have a college atmosphere, we really do make ResComm feel college-like," she said.

It's really a shame that things are the way they are with nightlife downtown. It would be a disaster if the attendance rate at the downtown campus actually starts to decline due to students wanting a real college experience.
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