In previous years, “The Set” was the center of student life and activity. Now the once popular student hangout has become somewhat of a ghost town.
Each student has a differing opinion about the dwindling number of Set goers; however, the consensus is the same. The hoopla has undoubtedly died.
“I think the Set is extremely watered down compared to when I got here in ’99,” said Malik Miller, 23, a senior political science student from Detroit.
“People have become disenfranchised with student life,” Miller said. “I think metaphorically, the Set used to embody who we [students] are socially.”
As a result of several influences, students no longer flock to the Set looking for a sociable atmosphere.
“Parking isn’t convenient to just drop by for an event,” said Saundra Inge, associate director of student activities.
The all too familiar parking situation on campus is one reason students see very little of the Set aside from passing through to get to class. Parking is so scarce and far from the Set’s central setting. Therefore, few people will make it a point to visit the location just for the sole purpose of a casual encounter.
Inge also offers a few other rationales for the decreasing number of students on the Set. The growing number of students forced to move off campus because of dormitory shortages is a big hindrance. Less time on campus leads to less time on the Set.
Inge shed light on another issue contributing to the Set’s loss of social magnetism. Tuition increases are causing more students to have to work while attending school. The end result is a diminishing social setting.
In past years, the Set had a reputation that preceded itself. Known for its lively Fridays filled with people, music, food and vendors, the Set had an allure that was highly talked about by many.
“Before I got here, my friends told me it was the place to be,” said Adrienne Harris, 18, a freshman pre-law student from Maryland.
“It didn’t really fulfill my expectations,” Harris said.
In the fall of 2001, the destruction of the roof over the bus depot affected the Set and continues to do so. The impact of a delivery truck destroyed the TalTran bus terminal roof causing it to collapse.
The bus terminal is presently undergoing reconstruction.
SGA president Andre Hammel said, “Currently the construction is an eye soar but surely once it is complete, it will result in the beautification of campus.”
Hammel added that students should not lose interest in “The Set”. He mentioned the upcoming Greek weeks where fraternities and sororities promote campus involvement in activities held on the Set.
Hammel said once the terminal is up and running everything ought to go back to normal.
Yolanda Reid can be reached at Ysreid82@aol.com