Students fight orientation venue change
Milkshakes, dim lighting and student performances are just a few of the highlights of the Ground Zero Performance Caf√©, where the new student orientation socials have been held for the past three years. For the next generation of Trojans, however, the social will be moved to Tommy‚Äôs Place, and some students aren‚Äôt happy with the change.
Ground Zero served as a temporary location for the social while the Ronald Tutor Campus Center was under construction. The Topping Student Center hosted the event before it was torn down.
‚ÄúWe will be moving the social back to Tommy‚Äôs Place,‚ÄĚ said Thomas Studdert, director of orientation. ‚ÄúTommy‚Äôs Place has always been tradition and all we are doing is moving the social event back to its original location.‚ÄĚ
Some students, however, have developed a sense of attachment to Ground Zero. This sentiment has led Ari Oh, Ground Zero‚Äôs coffee bar manager, to start a petition to maintain the location of the orientation‚Äôs social event.
‚ÄúIt is part of the USC experience,‚ÄĚ Oh said. ‚ÄúThe petition was created to show support for Ground Zero.‚ÄĚ
Jessica Roldan, a freshman majoring in biology and psychology, said she is upset that the event is being moved to Tommy‚Äôs Place.
‚ÄúI like Ground Zero‚Äôs atmosphere, it kinda gives you a hang-out spot,‚ÄĚ Roldan said. ‚ÄúTommy‚Äôs Place isn‚Äôt really a place to hang out, it‚Äôs just an event spot.‚ÄĚ
Some students find Ground Zero to be more suitable for new students to meet one another.
‚ÄúI feel that Ground Zero is more loungey, chill and comfortable,‚ÄĚ said Madison Klinghoffer, a sophomore majoring in international relations. ‚ÄúI‚Äôd probably be more comfortable at Ground Zero because Tommy‚Äôs Place seems more like an awkward room.‚ÄĚ
Organizers hope to obtain 1,000 signatures from the many students who feel connected to Ground Zero, but so far only 102 have been secured.
‚ÄúUSC will certainly give consideration to students‚Äô opinion if all 1,000 signatures are obtained, but the decision to make the location change has already been finalized,‚ÄĚ Studdert said. ‚ÄúWe will consider what our current students want, but it is about what our future students need.‚ÄĚ
In the past, the social featured a DJ and a dance. The new student orientation social will now be run by USC Spectrum and will offer a variety of shows. Depending on their orientation session, students will see anything from a club atmosphere, a comedy show or a music performance, according to Studdert.
Laura Rodrigues, a freshman majoring in architecture, said the orientation event should stick to the same format because it is a good environment to meet other new students.
‚ÄúWhether or not the event is at Ground Zero, the theme should be the same because dancing lets you bond with people, while watching a performance distracts you from meeting new friends,‚ÄĚ Rodrigues said.
Some students worry about what will become of Ground Zero when new students are not officially introduced to the venue the moment they set foot on campus.
‚ÄúI don‚Äôt care if they move it,‚ÄĚ said Cristina Stan, a sophomore majoring in international relations and economics. ‚ÄúBut I love Ground Zero, so I think it would suck for them to lose money from freshmen not buying milkshakes since it is out of the way and hard to stumble upon.‚ÄĚ
Some seniors think that despite the appeal of Ground Zero, it is not the best venue to hold orientation events.
‚ÄúI don‚Äôt think it matters if the orientation social is at Ground Zero or Tommy‚Äôs Place,‚ÄĚ said Daniel Kim, a senior majoring in biology. ‚ÄúFor my orientation they took us to explore L.A. Location doesn‚Äôt matter, but the events should let you interact and build long lasting relationships.‚ÄĚ