Western Washington University’s Patio

Sunset over Bellingham Bay

In the summer I came to Western Washington University’s campus to tour it and to decide whether I really wanted to attend school in the fall. Throughout the day of the tour I was bored out of my mind, I wondered if this was what college really was. Having to walk around the sprawling campus on a rainy day, looking wearily at all the buildings, it was hard to believe I would have a good time attending school in one of the northernmost cities in Washington. Finally at the end of the day my father and I walked by the Performing Arts Center and stood on the patio. I walked to the edge, looked out over Bellingham Bay and seeing the beautiful sunset, finally decided, “Yes this is where I want to go to school.”

Sculpture Next to Patio

The Patio outside of the Performing Arts Center located on Western Washington’s Campus is a beautiful little hangout spot. It has benches to sit and relax on, a large sculpture for your viewing pleasure, and the best view of Bellingham Bay on campus. It is why I fell in love with this school and is a place I go to relax. If you are looking for a scenic view when you are looking for a school, this could be a school to check out on your search. But the Patio isn’t perfect. In fact, there are many small issues with the patio and not very many people hang out there, especially in the winter. Still there must be some way to draw more people to want to spend time on the Patio.

During the winter, hardly anybody is out on the Patio. Some are there eating lunch, some are just walking through. But nobody is just chilling with their friends. I have been there almost every day for the whole of this yeah and can promise that people generally don’t spend more than 10 minutes in the area. It doesn’t draw people in. This could be because of the cold, as it is outdoors, but I think more importantly it is the lack of areas sheltered from the rain and the small number of benches to relax on. Being in Washington State, it tends to rain quite a bit, without cover people get wet and cold. If more than 10 people want to spend their time there they are forced to either sit on the ground or stand. It would be easy for the school to add some chairs to the area, and even some covered tables and benches where people could eat their lunch and enjoy the view. There are many ways that changing the area could result in a mort utilized space. These changes could positively affect this area and make it better for all students at the school. Asking Students who I found at the patio what they would like to see added, most said they “would like to see more” (Dwayne Tran) places to sit and relax. Others told me that they “love the view but don’t feel like they can spend a lot of time” (Albert Chen) there. People need to feel like they can spend time here comfortably, and be able to relax. Only then will you get more utilization out of this space.

Even though the Patio has these shortcomings it also has its strengths. It is still a very calm and serene place where people can go to study. Its view is probably the best in town, you can see the sun setting over the bay and the boats and factories of Bellingham, all in one picturesque place. Not only does it have a beautiful view, but it is also close to the Viking Union one of the best spots for food on campus. What more could a college student want? I love this place and will probably continue to love it until the day I graduate. Without the Patio I would have had a hard time deciding on this school.

The Patio is a beautiful place. It has much that you might want. Even though the Patio might have its shortcomings, it is still a deciding factor in choosing this school. The view is amazing and its close proximity to food on campus makes it an ideal hangout spot. I love this school, but I love it even more because of the patio.

Formal Dinner held on the Patio
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