Most students come to CUA looking to expand their interests, meet new people, and experience all the situations college sitcoms promise us. And maybe for a semester or two people will go to a few new club meetings and try a couple of different restaurants in a part of the city they haven’t been to yet. But once they establish a solid friend group and routine, everything becomes regular. The regular bar on Saturday night (with the regular drink order), the regular brunch spot that’s close to campus on Sunday morning (Sunday afternoon if we’re being realistic), the regular midweek run to Chipotle when the group wants to go “out” for dinner (or maybe the Shake Shack at Union Station if people are feeling adventurous).
On campus, it is easy to sense the disconnect between students on both a social and academic level. Friend groups are noticeably oriented around clubs, teams, or majors. This could possibly be attributed to our clear academic disconnect on campus. Not only do our nine academic schools not interact, but even departments within schools don’t connect. The drama department doesn’t go to the music school productions and vice versa, the art and media studies departments fight over equipment, and The Busch School stays in its own world.
This precedent continues beyond our 176 acres. Our campus is, as a whole, anti-social. When we do dare to escape campus, it’s to the same three bars, where we inevitably see fifty or more of our classmates (if you know which night of the week to go). Daytime adventures usually land us fulfilling an Instagram checklist of sorts (most notably of which is standing in front of the heart covered wall at Union Market).
Surrounded by the vibrant, up-and-coming neighborhoods of Brookland and Eckington, there are plenty of local restaurants, businesses, and art destinations to explore. However, we typically choose to take the metro, within a five stop radius, to places that we are used to going to instead of branching out past Menomale and past Brookland’s Finest.
CUA was recently featured in a Washingtonian article that praised our proud university for upholding D.C.’s identity as a college town. However, it seems that our college “town” does not extend past the confines of Michigan Avenue.