Rogers student center is used for many things, like student services, the learning lounge, and the testing center, but the real center of the student center is outside in front on the steps.
“I come here all the time to meet friends and see the people that walk by,” said Seedy Collins, a TJC sophomore.
Collins is a communications major and the self proclaimed “life of the party” in front of the student center.
She moved here from New Orleans to attend school at Tyler Junior College. With a background that includes DJ’ing at clubs and an internship at a local radio station, her personality and outgoing nature are obvious.
“When I’m up here we talk about people, in a good manner,” said Collins.
There is always a few people hanging out in this area, usaually, the crowd is largest during the cafeterias open hours, shortly before they open, and shortly after they close. Rashonda Cumberson, a sophomore and criminal justice major, hangs out at the student center a lot.
“Being out here with all these people has the college atmosphere, you really feel like your in college hanging out here,” said Cumberson.
Rogers is at the center of the campus, and could be considered a vibrant social area. With the student activities office inside and all the amenities the center offers students, like ping pong tables, pool tables, and multiple TV’s, it accommodates any taste. The majority of students do not spend time in the center, but outside.
“When the weather is good, it’s nice out here. It looks good and you’re not all kooked up inside,” said Cumberson.
With the a large number of people gathered and the diversity they all bring, there is an added chance of confrontations.
“People know around here if you fight, your getting ticketed or expelled,” said Collins
Both Collins and Cumberson admit they have never seen a fight since they have been spending time in front of Rogers.
They both also agree that the scene is usually mellow and everyone gets along fairly well. There is still the worry that most of the people that hang around Rogers, are not students.
“People that come up here that don’t go to school here are not a problem, as long as they don’t cause a problem,” said AJ Brown, sophomore.
Brown came up to TJC to hangout before he was enrolled into the school. He would come to spend time with his friends that did go here. His spending time up here influenced him to attend TJC for a degree in Radiology.
“I think if you don’t go to school here, then you really don’t have any business here,” said Cumberson.
What Cumberson, Collins, and Brown do agree on is that there has to be something done about the bees. None of them admit to being stung, but anyone out at Rogers for a short time will notice honey bees flying around. Although, there is one thing making students uncomfortable being in front of Rogers and it’s not the bees.
“It’s really annoying walking in front of Rogers and constantly getting hit on,” said Claudia Shaw, sophomore.
Shaw claims that her friends and fellow students will park farther away from their classes so they don’t have to walk in front of the student center.
“Those people don’t think about how uncomfortable it can make you feel, even unsafe,” said Shaw.
Shaw was with her father signingup for classes last fall. They both passed in front of Rogers where a large group of students were hanging out. After seeing the group and hearing their conversations, Shaw’s father insisted she carried a can of pepper spray on her key chain for protection.
Although there haven’t been any formal complaints of students being harassed in front of Rogers, the fear of it happening remains.
Even with this lingering possibility of confrontation, Rogers still remains the social epicenter it is, even with ideas to make it a more entertaining and inviting place for all students.
“There’s a lot of talented people here, and it would be cool to have somewhere for them to display their talents. Out here would be a great place for that,” said Collins.