The ambivalence of students favorite spots


Bellla Weintaub

Students crowd the G-square area while forming long lines in front of Flippin’ and Chipotle, many spending their whole lunchtime in the locale.

From G-square to Wildwood, students provide business while causing disorder at the popular hangout spots. The student crowds during open lunch and after school undoubtedly demonstrate the popularity of the shopping centers.

While students thoroughly enjoy the privilege of open lunch, often complaining when it is threatened to be revoked, some have noticed the blatant annoyance with students’ behavior.

“I mean, it’s understandable for these minimum wage workers to be unhappy with the chaos we cause, especially during the crowded times. I can see where we need to improve, but that won’t make me stop from going,” sophomore Julia Corriveu said.

These spots are thought to be strongly intertwined with the student culture. It is entirely unique to the WJ experience, as no other school frequents the ‘famous’ locales. WJ’s unofficial Instagram accounts highlight the cultural significance by posting inside jokes that only appeal to this student body. Many students relate to the jokes highlighted in @wjaffirmations, such as the long lines to buy food due to the spots’ popularity, or to the mistake of “throwing the receipt away.”

The competition for customers between local and national chain establishments is an ongoing conflict that can be clearly depicted (on a smaller scale) at the G-square and Wildwood centers. Both Flippin Pizza and Piccoli Piatti, which are smaller and locally based, have been in great camaraderie with students. Piccoli has recently collaborated with the Italian Honors Society by donating some of their profit and gladly welcoming any WJ customers. Alongside, Flippin acknowledges that their business strongly relies on students, saying that the turmoil is ultimately for the best.

Larger businesses such as Giant and Starbucks don’t have the same appreciation, though it’s not the worker’s fault for not feeling such connection with customers when the de-personalization is part of the large corporate experience. When two different Giant employees were questioned, they respectfully declined quotes.

“We’re usually busy here, with or without students. Though there have been complaints from other customers about the noise,” an anonymous Starbucks employee said.

The ambivalence and juxtaposition of positives and negatives the student customers bring is an ongoing question with no clear answer.

“I guess the way is just to be more respectful as individuals to have a better reputation as a collective,” junior Livia Thomazi said.