Planned Parenthood: how to take control of your reproductive health

Photo Credit: Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio
Photo Credit: Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio

Planned Parenthood has been in the news a lot this year so far. Last summer, controversial videos surfaced which showed, according to Vox, “Planned Parenthood [employees] discussing how the organization provides fetal organs and tissues to researches. The emergence of these videos resulted in backlash, both from the right and left side of the abortion debate, and the issue made it all the way to Congress. Since then, though the Senate voted against defunding the organization, some states have stripped Planned Parenthood of federal funding.

In February, Governor Kasich signed a bill into law that would defund Planned Parenthood and any other clinics that perform or promote abortions in the state of Ohio. Advocates for the health organization held protests and took to social media to voice their dissent. Still, many from the anti-abortion crowd supported Kasich’s decision, and those who stand against Planned Parenthood have made their voices heard as well. Some have even gone as far as to vandalize or set fire to clinics across the nation, from California to St. Louis and, recently, Columbus.

Students both for and against abortion have utilised #plannedparenthood and #istandwithpp in recent months, but how many students know what services Planned Parenthood really provides? The Planned Parenthood of Greater Ohio (PPGO) serves 68 of the 88 counties in the state, according to Marketing and Communications Director for PPGO Nicole Evans. The Athens location offers “a whole gambit of services,” Evans said over the phone, and the clinic is staffed with doctors and medical professionals who meet with all kinds of patients on an individual basis to talk about their own reproductive health. There is even a student organization, Generation Action, that works with the center to spread awareness on campus.EllisQuote
“We work really closely with them, we have advocates in Columbus and in Athens, and we help fundraise,” said junior and OU Generation Action president Cecilia Ellis. “They give us condoms and swag to give out to students on campus to spread awareness about safe sex, as well as all the services that Planned Parenthood provides for men, women, transgender individuals—just so people are informed.” Here are a few things you should know about the Planned Parenthood here in Athens.

 

Photo Credit: Kayla Beard

It’s not an abortion clinic

The Athens Health Center does not offer abortion procedures—though, upon request, they can refer patients to other clinics that do—but does offer a number of health services, including testing and treatment for Urinary Tract Infections. “It’s annual exams, it’s birth control … they’ve got everything,” Evans said. Cecilia Ellis agreed that STI testing and birth control are two crucial services that Planned Parenthoods nationwide offer men and women. “You can go in and talk about the different kinds of birth control; there’s the pill but there’s also all these alternate methods,” said Ellis. The OU junior said the clinic offers tons of information. “It’s also, like, a health clinic. So, you can just go in for, like, regular gynecological checkups or anything. Basically, anything you can go to the doctor for you can also go to Planned Parenthood for.” For a full list of services the Athens Health Center offers, click here.

It’s not that far away

The Athens Health Center is located at 1005 E State St, which is a two-hour walk from Chubb, but “it’s easy to get to,” according to Evans, and she’s right. The Athens Public Transit (APT) has a route that goes all the way down State Street to the Super 8 motel which, for those who don’t know, is pretty far from campus. Today, students can pay $1 to ride any APT bus and starting in July, all staff and students will be allowed to ride for free with their OU ID card.

 

Photo Credit: Dennis E. Powell for Athens News
Photo Credit: Dennis E. Powell for Athens News

All are welcome

“We service men and women. About 50% of our patients are men at the Athens Health Center,” Evans said. Although the center is not a free clinic, it is a space where students can go and find free condoms and lots of information. The clinic offers services to people of all genders and sexual orientation. “We really work with all our patients no matter where they are,” which includes people of varying economic statuses and education levels, Evans said. The clinic accepts a number of insurance providers as well, and even has a payment plan for qualified low-income individuals, so patients have access to “a myriad of services” from cancer screenings to testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases. According to Evans, the Athens Health Center is a place where patients receive high quality care at low affordability, as well as a safe space. “We make it convenient for students to come,” Evans said. “And bring friends, bring a partner, bring whoever.”Meader quote

It’s easy to get involved

Generation Action is the student organization on campus that advocates for planned parenthood. “[The organization] has been on campus, long before I got here,” said Ellis who got involved with the group two years ago as a freshman, “but it’s always been kind of small and under the radar. We’ve grown so much over the last year and with all the controversy surrounding Planned Parenthood, it’s been something that’s on people’s minds a lot and we’ve just naturally taken advantage of that.” On the cloudy Monday evening of April 11th, members of OU Generation Action were stationed outside of Baker Center signing people up for free STI tests.

“Every year, we have this event called Get Yourself Tested [GYT],” Ellis said. This was only the second year the group has held the event, but already GYT has grown considerably. “We have a health official here actually conducting the tests and helping people through the paperwork, tons of free condoms, cookies and tons of swag.” April is National Get Yourself Tested month, and the group’s first event just last year was a slow start to a promising tradition. “Last year we tested nine people in four hours and this year we’ve tested 40,” Ellis said. “We’ve done some hard core promotion in the last month and it’s been incredible!”

 

In the middle of her interview, Ellis turned her attention to a smiling woman in dark blue scrubs.
“We are out of tests!” the healthcare official from Planned Parenthood said.

“OH MY GOD! CAN I HUG YOU??” Ellis squealed, jumping out of her folding chair to double-high-five the nurse. It was 5:47pm, just three minutes before the end of their event.

“You all are amazing,” the nurse said. “Last year we did ten [tests], and then this year—”
She was cut off by unintelligible squeals, but they’d tested 45 people, more than four times the amount of last year’s event. The students really were passionate about their cause. “A big tip I would offer to freshmen is to get tested at least every six months, and not to be afraid of the results,” said Junior and group member Kayla Meader. “It’s always safer to know [you’re healthy] then to go on living without the knowledge.”

The group members stood in a circle, put their hands in, cheered “Generation action!” as they rose their arms, then settled into an energetic group hug.

“There’s a lot of support on campus for us,” Ellis said when she returned to her seat. “It’s really inspiring and heart-warming to see how much support there really is. [Sexual and reproductive health] is definitely something people are paying attention to right now which is great for the club because people are showing up to events like this.”EvansQUote

Shots in the dark: celebrating the best job on campus

WORK HARD

It was Friday night. The air was cold, but fresh. The night sky was clear and speckled with stars as I made my way toward High Street for the Front Room party. Every so often, coworkers of the Ohio University cafés get together for a night of building friendships and downing shots. These “Froom” (short for “Front Room”) parties are hosted by employees for their fellow employees. For the past two weeks, news of this semester’s party had been traveling by word-of-mouth through the café sphere. Unlike many parties, the guest list was not limited to a few choice friends of the hosts. All OU café employees were invited, and those who were “in the know” had tried to ensure that every employee had received their invitation.

“We work hard so lets party harder,” read the description on the Facebook event page with all the imperfect grammar of a casual invite. “Help us celebrate the best job on campus.” Brought together by a love of coffee and chill vibes, OU baristas jump at the opportunity to have fun with work friends outside of work. These people weren’t just work mates; there was something special about the bond café employees shared. They could relate to the stress of refilling the milk dispensers. They knew the pain and sorrow that a broken espresso machine could bring about. They understood the difference between a caramel macchiato and a vanilla latté (one is stirred, one not). It wasn’t an easy job, but working in the OU cafés was one of the most coveted on-campus jobs. The café employees knew this, they knew the real struggles of the café life, and they loved it.

As a Front Room employee, I had been invited to a few Froom parties before, but this would be my first and I wasn’t totally sure what to expect. All I knew, from anecdotes and Facebook, was that there would be at least 70 people and a substantial amount of Jell-O shots. The party had been a major point of conversation behind the coffee counter for the past week. Everyone was really excited.


THE EMPTY FRONT ROOM

It was around 9:30 p.m. when I walked up the sidewalk towards the cute, grey house with its porch lights on. Bass beats from the rap music playing inside could be heard from the sidewalk. A small crowd of unfamiliar faces mingled on the spacious front porch. I made my way up the faded wooden steps and was greeted by a young woman with a small frame wrapped like rugelach in a woolen blanket. I’d never seen her before and I began to wonder if I was in the right place. Trusting the large silver “36” nailed to the plastic siding of the house, I placed one hand on the front door and twisted the knob with the other. Rap music blasted through the door as soon as it cracked open, making the outside world seven decibels louder than it had been.

The living room was surprisingly empty, contradicting the volume of the music. There were couches, all different colors, along three of the walls of the square room. Along the fourth wall was the largest television set I’d ever seen in a college student’s living space. A narrow hallway led to the kitchen, bathroom and back of the house. A small crowd of mostly-unfamiliar faces congregated in the kitchen, beers and solo cups in hand. Someone’s mom stood by the kitchen sink, laughing and talking with a few college-aged girls. A small black speaker played tunes from someone’s iPhone on the dark countertop. Next to it, a bright orange drink cooler filled with punch served as the center piece for a group of girls all wearing black leggings, flowery tops and cross-body purses. A few more reserved partygoers sat at a massive wooden dining table, backs against the wall, watching the others mingle around them.

At this point, I didn’t recognize anyone. I made my way back through the empty living room to the front porch and closed the door behind me. The music immediately muffled. Breathing in the refreshing air, I thought about heading home. It was only 10 p.m.

A whole living room’s worth of furniture—a plum colored velveteen love seat, a pale blue linen couch, and a glass-top coffee table—were neatly arranged on the right side of the spacious front porch. I sat next to the girl with the blanket who had greeted me earlier. A thin boy with dreadlocks and a light brown complexion sat next to a blonde boy in a lavender button down and bowtie. They were clearly pretty high and deep in conversation.

“Do you work with them?” blanket girl asked, referring to the people I had yet to see. I told her I worked in the cafés but hadn’t found anyone I recognized. She nodded knowingly. She didn’t know anyone inside either. She, however, did not work in the cafés.

“There’s, like, three separate parties going on,” she said. She knew the two guys across from us from high school. “It’s his 21st birthday,” she said, motioning to the kid with the bowtie just as he brought a lit joint to his smiling mouth. “It’s just kind of a clusterfuck of a party,” she said with a shrug. The three friends chatted for a bit about old friends and shared experiences, laughing and smiling. Then, blanket girl revealed that she was not warm enough, bowtie boy put out the remainder of his joint, and we all made our way back inside.


HOW DRUNK PEOPLE MAKE FRIENDS

In the kitchen, I grabbed some water and took a seat at the wooden dining table, near the back wall of the kitchen. After about five seconds, the brunette next to me asked if I wanted to play a drinking game with her and her two friends at the table: a black-haired boy in jeans and a grey t-shirt, and another blonde boy in a button-down. The girl leaned over and told the blonde with the deck of cards that I would be joining them. I was surprised to hear that she knew me by name. I had worked with her before.

“I’m really good with names,” she said. Her name was Jenni George, and so far, she was one of about five people I had seen who worked in the cafés. “It’s really more people who don’t work here than people who do,” Jenni said of the party. This was not her first Froom party, though. “They’re usually a lot more exciting,” she promised. She was a senior and had worked with a lot of these people for the past four years. “This is my last run,” she said, twirling her finger in reference to the surrounding buzz as more and more coworkers began to fill the small kitchen. She smiled sadly. “It is terrifying” she said of being a senior. The years hadn’t felt like years at all.

For a while, Jenni and her friends showed me how to play a game called Ride the Bus—a drinking game similar to Blackjack. Then, a dense crowd of girls I knew quickly overtook the table, and Jenni and her friends left to mingle elsewhere. Cecilia Ellis shouted my name from across the table and the two other Kaylas in the circle snapped their heads in her direction. The new crowd of baristas was ready to play Flip Cup, another drinking game. Unlike the card game Jenni and her friends had set up, this game was more active and competitive. The table divided in two teams and the least coordinated members of the group were exposed as the game went on.

Over the next hour, the amorphous group of strangers and work mates played multiple rounds of several different games involving ping pong balls and strategic shouting. People came and went, popping in and out of their favorite games and taking breaks to refill their drinks and mingle with newcomers. About halfway through the second game, Cassie Metzger lowered a plastic Kroger bag filled with multi-colored Jell-O shots into the intense game circle and hands rushed in from all directions, taking multiple shots at a time. Cassie was barely visible through the crowd of semi-sober partygoers surrounding her. The speakers on the counter blasted everything from Diplo to Kanye West, but somehow the music seemed half as loud blended with the sounds of six-to-eight twenty-year-olds screaming at each other. Finally, after the umpteenth round of Boom, the table was empty.

Pre-party Snapchat courtesy of Cassie Metzger


HIP HOP AND WALLFLOWERS

I made my way out of the kitchen to the living room. Along the way, I brushed past the boy with the bowtie from the porch. “It’s my birthday in three minutes” he said with a dazed grin. In the living room, which was now full of people dancing and catching up, it was almost a completely different party. People seemed more coherent. Friends made eye contact and annunciated their words. Still, everyone seemed to be smiling. Then, DJ Khaled’s “All I do is Win” tumbled out of the speakers and everyone went nuts. We all knew all the words.

“Happy Birthday!” A voiced squealed at the other end of the room. Bowtie boy was latched in the embrace of an overjoyed, short young woman. Though there was no clock on the wall, we now knew it was after midnight.

Standing next to me along the wall by the massive TV was McKennah Robinson. Though she was a junior, this was McKennah’s first year working in the cafés. While she did know some people, McKennah found that most of the partygoers were strangers to her. “I wish I would’ve started working here sooner,” she admitted. While she agreed that everyone was nice, it was difficult to have a good time around so many unfamiliar faces. “A lot of these guys have been working together since freshmen year,” she said. It was easy to feel left out, but it was fun to just watch people, she said. She and another coworker had bet on who would be hooking up with whom that night.

On my way to the bathroom, I ran into Cecilia Ellis again. Another junior, this was Cecilia’s first Froom party as well, and she seemed to be having a good time. “I didn’t know what to expect,” she said in an interview later. “I did not see the Jell-O shot attack, but I did manage to snag a few shots.” Unlike McKennah, Cecilia didn’t feel as disconnected. “I feel like I knew almost everyone!” she said.


A PARTY’S LAST BREATH

Back on the porch, as the early morning minutes passed, a larger group of friends had gathered to smoke cigarettes and gossip about the most irritating events that had taken place inside. Someone’s younger sister was throwing up. Someone’s older sister wasn’t sure where her brother had gone. Someone else had said something to piss everyone off. The smell of smoke seemed appropriate as the porch-dwellers attended their own party of deep breaths and relaxed smiles. This was where overheated partiers came to recharge or power down.

The night was cooling off and the party was simmering down. It was about 2:30 a.m. when Cecilia decided to head out. “It was definitely peak excitement earlier on in the night,” she said. There were a lot of hugs and cross-room-shoutouts as people made their departures. The kitchen floor had developed a sticky film, so walking toward the sink felt like walking along a giant strip of upturned duct tape. I sipped my water by the counter, taking in the dozens of empty red cups; the damp, punch-colored paper towels which sopped up spills everywhere; the empty grocery bags that had once contained Cassie Metzger’s highly anticipated Jell-O shots; and Cassie herself, who now stood with a few other remaining partiers, connecting her own phone to the now-abandoned speakers. Her Jell-O shots had been a huge success. She had made a tradition out of making large quantities of shots for her coworkers and had promised over 300 for the party. She’d followed through on her promise in various flavors and colors. There’d been 311 shots in total. “Used two handles of vodka,” she said proudly. When she’d entered the party, people were practically mauling her: a sight she’d warned me about at work the week before. By the time I’d caught up with her, the shots were gone. She wasn’t the least bit surprised. It turned out, baristas loved shots of alcoholic Jell-O as much as they loved their shots of espresso.

One could say there wasn’t much difference between a Froom party and any average college party, but such a conclusion would miss the point. The fact that Froom parties exist at all, that they happen annually, that they have a reputation, makes these gatherings a little different from the typical college “rager”. The fact that so many people—–some best friends, some perfect strangers—–can come together to play games and sing along to Fergie’s “Fergalicious” at the top of their lungs is a testament to the sense of community that exists between the baristas of OU. That thing which we all share in common, that we all have the best job on campus, is the thing that makes these parties a little bit special.

Blur The Bricks

randomgirlforJOURassignment
“I’m in an Intro to Photo class and for this assignment we’re just learning to change the aperture and get photos to have different depth-of-fields. I’m doing Publication Design but we’re just, like, required to have a general knowledge of other fields as well. I’m trying to get the ivy to really stand out and kinda, like, blur the bricks if I can.”

The Study Sanctuary: Alden’s Oasis of Solitude

Of all the study hot-spots on Ohio University’s campus, there is one place where even the most easily distracted can find focus. Whether you need a quiet place to read, a clean table for your study group, or just a warm corner where you can be completely alone, the fifth floor of Alden Library has a lot to offer students.

12249979_10208439288846204_2251771625989930086_n
The most frightening likeness of Ben Franklin I’ve ever seen.

When the crowded mid-day escalator rides in Baker have made you hate people, head to the fifth floor of Alden. There, the five or six students separated by space and silence will not bother you. If you climb the short staircase from the fourth floor and push through the heavy double doors at the top, you will immediately see the elevators and wonder why you’d climbed the stairs at all, but you will not regret the trip. Home to the Dean’s office and a large, terrifying Ben Franklin doll, the fifth floor is populated by sturdy wooden desks equipped to seat four-to-five students a piece. Short bookshelves seem to be placed haphazardly between laptop-engrossed students and metal filing cabinets line a couple of the walls. On an average weekday afternoon, you may find a couple of students seated near the wall of windows, reading in the natural light. Though just about every student will be wearing headphones, the floor is pleasantly quiet. If you need a quiet corner of campus, the fifth floor is a great place to take a nap or cram for an exam.

The fifth floor also houses the Archives and Special Collections, as well as the library’s collection of government documents, making it a good spot to finish a research paper. The tables are usually clean, the chairs are fairly comfortable, and unlike some of the other floors in Alden, the fifth floor features both men’s and women’s restrooms. If you are like most introverts and you just need a quiet place to finish your afternoon power smoothie, the fifth floor of Alden just might become your favorite place on campus.

What to order

Here are a few things worth trying next time you’re at the Donkey, Brenen’s or Court Street Coffee:

  • You can try a Chaider at Donkey for $3.95 (for a small), a hot chocolate for $3.05 (small — $3.55 for soy option) or any herbal tea for $4.25.
  • The organic black bean salads at Donkey are $2.85 each (one size).
  • You could get a hot chocolate at Brenen’s for $2.75 (small). A cup of potato soup would be $3.75 (smallest size).
  • If you visit Court Street Coffee, you could try the Mayan Mocha for $3.75 (small) and a latte, either Red Velvet or Vanilla, for $3.25 (small).

Donkey, Brenen’s, Court St. Coffee jolt java junkies

The hardest decision students must make during their time in college has nothing to do with choosing their major or making career plans. For students who spend hours upon hours of time on campus, the most important decision they will make is where to buy their coffee.

This may sound like an exaggeration, but the truth is that coffee is an integral part of the college experience for many people. Some don’t start drinking coffee until they get to school. Some can’t function without their morning latté. Even tea lovers and pop drinkers can agree that caffeine is what keeps the college engine running smoothly (maybe aside from something along the lines of “hard work and dedication”).

Athens is the perfect college town: a place where people from all different backgrounds can come together to bond over their love of knowledge and coffee. Court Street is home to so many different shops, eateries and personalities. There are a lot of options for where to fill your OU travel mug, but the culture of a coffee shop is much more than just who has the best macchiato. Students and faculty visit these shops to fuel up on caffeine as well as study, eat with friends and colleagues, and attend shows.

Donkey Coffee, Court Street Coffee and Brenen’s are three of the most popular places to enjoy the full coffee shop experience. Each shop has its own personality, a fan club of regulars who will support it over the others, and at least one unique feature to pull people in. The differences between the shops are what make the regulars so loyal to their café of choice.

Megan Geldien, a sophomore, visits Donkey Coffee, 17 W. Washington St., about once a week. She grabs a drink then finds a place to sit and get some work done. She describes the atmosphere at Donkey as “cozy.”

“It’s a good place to focus and have a quiet place to study,” Geldien says. As she studies, Geldien usually sips on a chaider, which is a combination of chai tea and apple cider. The chaider is her favorite drink, but she gets coffee from time to time. “I like getting the coffee here because it’s a local place. They participate in fair trade. It’s an all-around good deal.”

Sitting in Donkey Coffee is a lot like sitting in someone else’s grandmother’s house. Comfy chairs and couches can be found alongside wooden table-and-chair sets that seat two to four people. This is the place you come to for your soy hot chocolate and organic black bean salad. When you get your order “for here” at Donkey, you will receive your snack or beverage in reusable ceramic dishware. Artwork from local artists hangs on nearly every inch of the paneled walls of the shop. In the back lounge, there is a bookcase full of board games. Of all the shops on Court Street, Donkey is possibly the most talked about. Students and faculty rave about the cool vibe and friendly faces found there.

Maddy Stees, a sophomore and self-proclaimed regular at Donkey, says the place has an “organic” vibe. “There’s just no bullshit about it,” Stees says. “It’s got just a really great college-coffee-shop vibe and the people there are just really, really fun and some of the goofiest people I think I’ve ever met.”

At Donkey, you may encounter a barista wearing a kilt, and if it’s not too busy, someone behind the counter will probably be singing. The shop has a way of making its customers feel comfortable, especially when it’s cold and snowing outside and you are tucked in a corner chair by the window, sipping organic herbal tea.

Donkey is known for its open mic nights on Thursdays as well as other performances that are frequently hosted in the back lounge on the first floor, where there is a small stage and a fair amount of sitting room for show-goers. Geldien appreciates these performances, especially the music nights on weekends.

Where Donkey Coffee is inviting and cozy, Brenen’s (38 S. Court St) is classy and perhaps a bit intimidating.

If you’ve never been before, Brenen’s has a way of making the new customer feel out of place. Maybe it’s the green and black color scheme, or the look of the dark wood floors, but there is a very hip feeling about the shop. When you first walk in you might think, “I am not cool enough for this place.” But the people behind the counter will be especially nice to you. If you look lost they will smile. After about the third visit, once you’ve had a chance to sit down and get settled, you will realize that, actually, you fit right in.

Brenen’s doesn’t feature a lot of elbow room during busy hours. The small tables and chairs are narrowly distanced in a food-court-style setup, and although there is not a lot of space to work with, high ceilings and large glass windows give the shop an airy, open feel.  Several large menu boards advertise various specialty drinks and, at the back counter, food options. On an average day, you will find people stationed in front of their Macbooks, headphones in, clearly focused. Some small groups of about two or three will be chatting over soup and sandwiches. The place has a classy feeling, like the cool coffee shop you might see in a movie. And even if you find the buzz of the place too distracting to study, you may still want to stop by for the best hot chocolate you’ll ever taste.

Erin Belka, a junior, visited Brenen’s one afternoon to meet with a friend for lunch. She was drinking from a Court Street Coffee cup. “I went to Court Street before class [because] it’s close to Copeland,” Belka said. She and her friend agreed to have lunch at Brenen’s because of the soup and sandwiches served there, and Belka hadn’t finished her morning coffee before arriving. But she said she comes to Brenen’s every once in a while, and she does like their coffee. She even brought her parents to Brenen’s for lunch during Parents Weekend one year. “A lot of professors recommend it,” she said.

There is definitely a belief that Brenen’s is the professor’s coffee shop. Nick Paumgaertel, a Brenen’s employee, said the customers actually are about “half and half” (professors-students). “But compared to other places to eat, I see more professors and faculty here. I think it’s ‘cuz the owner is friends with a lot of them.”

According to Paumgaertel and a lot of OU students, the coffee isn’t really what draws people to Brenen’s. A lot of people come for the food. Kate Blyth, a regular customer and student, said the reason she chose Brenen’s was because, on that particular day, they had potato soup, “and they have free WiFi.” Of course, Donkey offers free WiFi as well — it just wouldn’t feel like a coffee shop if it didn’t.

With food as the focus, Brenen’s is a bit different than the average coffee shop. If the cozy-coffee-nook vibe is what you’re after, Court Street Coffee (67 S Court St.) is more your speed.

Michelle Frantz visits Court Street Coffee an average of once a week. “I love Court Street because I’ve never tried a drink from there that I don’t like,” Frantz says. The Mayan Mocha, which is like a regular mocha but with cinnamon and almond flavors, is her favorite beverage, hot or frozen. “They have a lot of options, especially with drinks that have more unique flavors than the average cup of coffee.”

The Mayan Mocha may be one of the most noteworthy beverages served at Court Street but it is not even advertised on the shop’s menu. The neat list of beverage options posted on the store’s website is identical to the one hanging on the wall behind the short, crowded countertop inside. This list is simple, and not all-inclusive. But some of the most creative beverages one could order from this small café are not posted on the menu. Instead, large posters featuring each beverage and the unique flavor combinations manifested within them are posted all around the shop. Some of these posters hang on the wall in sleek glass frames like movie ads and others decorate the base of the main counter, much like wallpaper.

Court Street Coffee is one of the smallest coffee shops on Court Street, located across the street from Chubb Hall and next door to Copeland Hall, home to the College of Business. Coffee-lovers who spend a lot of their time in Copeland stop in to Court Street to grab something classic like iced coffee or a fancy specialty like the Red Velvet latté. There is not a lot of seating in the little shop. About five tables in the aisle at the back of the store can seat somewhere around 10 people, then there’s a couch and some soft chairs in the front of the store, a high counter with bar stools on one wall, and three more tables to the left of the main counter. There are a couple seats just outside the building for those days with nice weather. If about 30 people go to study in Court Street Coffee, there will not be room for anyone else to sit. For this reason, some find that Court Street is the best place to study.

Lizzy Knapp, a senior, likes to come to Court Street to study if she can score one specific little table in a corner of the shop. The corner table is behind a wall so she can’t see anyone in the main part of the shop; it’s not completely isolated, but still closed off enough so that she feels productive. Knapp prefers the atmosphere of Court Street to other coffee shops. “It doesn’t feel super crowded, or like there’s too much going on on the walls that I could get distracted [by],” she says. Also, “the WiFi is better here.”

If you can find a place to sit, Court Street is warm and welcoming. The atmosphere is calm enough, even during the rushes, that you can focus on your work. If you have a big exam coming up and need a change of scenery from the library or your dorm room, something about the vibe at Court Street is super motivating. Perhaps it’s the orange walls or the sound of the espresso machine, which is never more than a few steps away.

Probably due to the limited seating options, a lot of people sweep through Court Street on an average day, but most grab their drink and leave. Something about the shop, though, keeps the same people coming back. For some, it’s the location — near College Green, next to Copeland, across from Chubb. For others, it’s the quality beverage that they can’t get enough of, or perhaps the new specialty they’d like to try.

Lindsey Cohagan, a senior and regular of Court Street Coffee, has never been to Donkey. “People think Donkey is the best atmosphere,” she says. “I like sitting here.” Cohagan says she prefers to get her coffee from Fluff, which is closer to the end of Court Street, but she visits Court Street Coffee regularly for her vanilla latté, “mostly ’cuz it’s next to Copeland and I’m always in Copeland.” Like Knapp, Cohagan also has a favorite seat in the shop: one of the small tables along the wall in the very back of the shop. Since it’s located in the back, in a hallway behind the main counter, she doesn’t think a lot of people even know the seats are there. The table is big enough to sit only two people, or one student with a lot of books.

Of all the places to get coffee uptown, Court Street is the least likely to disappoint. They have so many different beverage options, from fancy mochas to sweet smoothies. If you want to try something unique one morning, or are just looking for a quick stop on your way to class, Court Street is the place to go. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you like, there is definitely something on the menu for you. And, like Frantz, you might find that you like just about everything they serve, on and off the menu.