Living in a ghost town

GVL / Emily Frye
Grand Valley State University campus on Sunday May 7, 2017.

Emily Frye

GVL / Emily Frye Grand Valley State University campus on Sunday May 7, 2017.

Drew Schertzer

Students pack the libraries and study areas to cram before final exams. Then, they finish their classes, and most pack up for a summer at home. But some students will be staying on campus this summer as student employees and athletes and for the purpose of taking classes.

Grand Valley State University’s campus might seem deserted as building after building closes. However, the South E Living Center on the Allendale Campus and the Winter Hall and Secchia Hall on the Pew Campus persevere. Together, they will house about 325 students this summer, according to Kelly Hughes, marketing coordinator for housing at GVSU.

“Affordability, location, support and safety are the primary benefits to living on campus this spring/summer,” Hughes said.

Additionally, 896 students are working on campus this summer, according to the Student Employment Office.

Why would these students want to stay on campus? Mike Scott, a GVSU student staying on campus, said he enjoys his independence.

“The idea of college is to start getting comfortable on your own,” Scott said. “Staying over the summer gives you a head start. You’re on your own for the first time fully.”

This summer, Scott is working an internship and taking summer classes.

Another student, Austin Wills, stressed the importance of taking classes over the summer.

“I’m taking anatomy over this summer to help me catch up in my major,” Wills said. “Staying on campus for classes is a must if you want to graduate on time.”

Wills said the summer is the perfect time to retake classes, focus on one or two classes or to get ahead for the fall semester. Scott shared a similar thought process, saying students should take classes over the summer if they are able to.

Athletes use the summer as an offseason to train and tone their skills. Zack Crawford, GVSU men’s lacrosse player, has been recovering from a shoulder injury he suffered earlier in the season. He said the summer is a great time to heal back up. He started reconditioning his shoulder the day after finals ended.

“Athletes have to train to keep up,” Crawford said. “You can’t stay competitive if you don’t train year round.”

Crawford said his goal is to be back and ready for the practices leading up to fall ball, a series of lacrosse games in the offseason.

There were 577 student athletes at GVSU last semester, and it isn’t known how many will be staying over this summer.

Scott thinks the opportunity and time can be taken to see what life outside of the house is like. Wills was a strong believer of taking classes to stay on schedule. Crawford allotted the time to train for his sport. Hundreds of other GVSU students indulge in these activities to pass the time and to enjoy the summer sun.