The Middle Ground

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Photo: The Middle Ground

As you step through the massive tower doors of Barrett you have a choice: Head north and enter the library proper, or head south and cross into an espresso bar to grab a cup of coffee first. Starbucks products are sold in the café/study lounge—The Middle Ground—which is managed by the college food service, Aramark. The Middle Ground—named by students—is a hip and high-tech coffee house complete with granite counter tops, comfortable chairs and tables for study or conversation, six computers for checking e-mail and four more for general use—all in a wireless environment—and a plasma television for watching sports and news. The “Bean’s List,” a menu board that hints at its academic setting, lists every coffee and tea drink known to young adults as well as sushi, specialty salads and gourmet sandwiches.

Outside of the residence halls, the Middle Ground is the ONLY space on campus open to students 24 hours a day, seven days a week, a major attraction for today’s nocturnal collegians.

Photo © Robert Benson