TV Lounge: Hidden Gem in the Student Union

By Cal McNellie

As students enter Hillsdale College’s Grewcock Student Union, their senses are immediately overwhelmed. The fire at the center hearth is roaring. The smell of fresh caffeinated creations from A.J.’s Cafѐ floats through the air. The chatter of Knorr Dining Hall fills the space with conversation and debate. Every corner is filled with joy, contentment, and the shared passion for learning. This is especially true in the southeast corner TV lounge. 

Walking through the south entrance of the Union, you will immediately approach the TV lounge on your right. Red carpets, leather seats, and dark wood tables fill the room along with a massive screen. The room has large entrances on both sides but feels enclosed because of the walls that separate it from the surrounding common area. In this sense, the lounge is fully part of the Union but also its own space. Students can study or have more private conversations while still enjoying the Union atmosphere. It is this special setup that creates a uniquely versatile space for all students to enjoy.

Depending on the time of day, the lounge takes on several different uses. At lunch, a passerby may notice students relaxing between classes, eating a grab-and-go sandwich, or watching ESPN. This space is a favorite of the College’s student athletes, and it is very common to find them here. After classes and dinner, the lounge becomes a popular spot to take a break between table tennis games, small study groups, and homework. The lounge also serves as a venue for many events throughout the school year. Campus clubs often show movies and speeches pertaining to their cause or event. The Student Activities board also makes use of the lounge for events like The Office marathon and presidential debate watch party. The variety of uses of the lounge space makes it a staple of the student experience at Hillsdale College. 

“I don’t have one favorite memory as much as a lot of small laughs, conversations, and happy moments,” senior Gavin McKenzie said. “We as students definitely take the lounge for granted and don’t realize how often we use the TV room.” As an off-campus student, McKenzie doesn’t spend as much time in the Union as other students, but he doesn’t feel any less at home during his time there. “I like to think of it as the hub of the Union.” 

Though only a small, unassuming corner of the Union, the TV lounge is an important part of the student experience at Hillsdale College. There are very few places on campus that serve so many purposes and impact the student body on a daily basis in the way the lounge does. Classrooms and libraries are certainly important for their specific uses, but this corner of the Union is important to highlight because of the variety of roles it plays. Part of the mission of Hillsdale college is the complete, well rounded growth of the individual. The TV lounge, though small, is a perfect embodiment of this concept. 

Calvin McNellie, ’21, studies finance and politics. He resides in Cleveland, Ohio. A member of the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity and the Hillsdale College football team, Calvin’s interests include politics, fitness, woodworking, and jean shorts. He considers himself extremely blessed to be a student at Hillsdale College and a citizen of the greatest nation in the world.

Published in April 2021