BY MIKE STROMME
College life is tough. The stress of obtaining a post-secondary education is a tall task on the best of days. First, there’s classes, then assignments, then tests, quizzes, mid-terms and exams. On top of the academic stresses of college, many students have to juggle a part-time job, social lives and possibly a relationship with a boyfriend or girlfriend. Sometimes, these responsibilities can be overwhelming.
That’s why Conestoga Students Inc. offers a couple of stress-free environments at the Doon campus where students can just come and relax, take a load off and forget about their troubles for a while. Located in the A-wing on the Doon campus, both The Den and Sanctuary offer a stress-free space for students to relax, socialize with classmates, play video games in The Den and even have a drink or two in the Sanctuary.
Overlooking the Sanctuary, The Den is always filled with students from many different programs with a variety of hobbies and interests. On any given day, The Den will be filled with students participating in a variety of different activities. At the corner table, there’s a group of students playing Magic: The Gathering. Huddled around a television is another group of students playing FIFA 16. In one of the separate rooms, some other students are streaming The Office on Netflix on a laptop hooked up to a 50-inch television screen. There are many ways students can unwind after class, or to kill time in between classes, in The Den.
A rather large desk is its focal point. During the day a CSI staff member will be working there. Students can show this person their ONE Card in order to “rent out” an assortment of equipment that includes, but is not limited to, gaming consoles (including the necessary controllers and games), HDMI cords, decks of cards and many other entertainment items that students can borrow free of charge.
“I like how you can just walk up here and nobody really judges you,” said protection, security and investigation student Emily Hunt while she and three of her classmates blew off some steam following a big test by playing NHL 16.
“It’s a laid-back environment. You can just chill and not worry about studying for a little bit,” said Hunt’s classmate Justin Taylor.
Below The Den is the Sanctuary, a popular student hangout. The Sanctuary, or Sanc for short, is a cafeteria, study hall, bar and a venue for live entertainment all rolled into one. Students come here to study, socialize and every Tuesday and Thursday, have a couple of drinks. Students can even get pizza for $2 a slice every other Tuesday in the Sanctuary’s cafeteria.
“Everybody comes here, all kinds of students from different programs. Beer on Tuesdays and Thursdays help, as does cheap pizza, and it’s a comfortable place,” said Matt Howell, a broadcast journalism student who graduated in June.
Allen Bezeau is a former broadcast-journalism student who came with a group of his friends to the Sanctuary on a frequent basis. When asked what makes the pub days there so appealing, he said, “(It’s) all the people that come, you get a different crowd every day.”
In addition to the laid-back atmosphere and tapped kegs, the Sanctuary plays host to a lot of CSI’s student events. Last year these included Conestoga’s Got Talent, air hockey tournaments, video game tournaments, Mellow Mondays, Free Food Fridays and various frosh week activities. CSI has also hosted many after-hours events in the Sanctuary for students of legal drinking age such as a country night, a toga party and a Halloween party.
College is a stressful time in any student’s life. However, good friends, video games, cold beer and a place to get away from things for a while can make the stresses of college a little more manageable. So head to The Den and the Sanctuary for some fun and frivolity.