Higher Grounds is repurposed

Ashley and Spencer Cook perform at “Open Mic Night” Nov. 20 at Higher Grounds. Elisabeth Barnes (left) and Tessie Herbert were part of the audience. Photo by Morgan McCririe

By Justine Espersen

With the closing of coffee shop Higher Grounds this semester comes a new place for Grand, Howe and Stadium residents to fellowship exclusively.

Students living in the aforementioned residences can now hold events there, as long as a resident assistant (RA) is present.

“Originally we started out by using Higher Grounds as a place to hold weekly RD and RA meetings,” Grand RD Bethany Knight said. “But Dean Webb wanted us to utilize it, so he gave us access to it.”

Since the property was already owned by ONU, it was simply handed over to the RDs and RAs of the three complexes.

The location and facilities provided allow easy access without having to purchase new appliances or seating.

“The facility really allows a lot of possibilities as there are two stories and a full kitchen that we have access to. It also has all the tables, and games it had when [the coffee shop] was open,” Grand RA Aubrey Dee said.

The first big event the students had this semester was “Open Mic Night,” where over 70 people gathered in the upstairs room of the coffee shop.

“We served caramel apples and popcorn and had two hours of poetry, music and dramatic reading,” Knight said. “It was a great opportunity, because it drew out some residents that usually don’t participate in bigger school activities.”

Since the “Open Mic Night,” students have also hosted several birthday parties at Higher Grounds.

In addition, Higher Grounds hosted a “Grand Christmas Party” this week, as well as had Christmas cookie-making contests and stations for the girls to eat food and do crafts.

Higher Grounds is meant to become a meeting space, an area where the residents can come together and relax.

“I think the idea is to really have a facility those [resident] buildings can use as a unique ‘hang out’ location since we do not have a building like the [Olde Oaks’] Treehouse,” Dee said.

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