A look at your campus at 6 p.m.


White Hall

The air ventilation system hums throughout the first floor of White Hall. Down a long corridor, orange classroom doors are swung open into the hallway. In one half-empty classroom, several students slouch in their chairs as a 30-something professor fires questions at them. Several students raise their hand to answer and seem somewhat interested, despite their sluggish posture.

The drab gray walls and bright rows of fluorescent lights hanging from the ceiling give the hallway a dingy look. Moving down the hallway, a trash bin that rises up to one’s waistline stands firmly against the wall. It overflows with white paper scraps that are nonchalantly crumbled.

The melodies of what seem to be a symphonic orchestra fill the hallway. Seconds later, an automated voice bellows out, “A introduction to proven strategies used by teachers …” The voice quickly fades. The “conductor” of this orchestra was merely the instructor of the class turning down the volume on the video her students were watching.

A sense of quiet pervades the hallway once again, save for the staccato of a pair of heels in the distance. The sound becomes louder and more rhythmic until a woman around 20 years old appears from around the corner.

She steps firmly yet quickly; every step she makes seems purposeful, like that of a soldier. She munches on some pretzels as she makes her way into a nearby classroom.

Trevor Ivan

Rockwell Hall

A glass room encompasses dozens of silhouettes. Maybe only a quarter of them are real people — young women are scattered around tan dress forms, fleshy heads, arms and hands within a gathering of decapitated, textile sternums.

One of them shoves her Wendy’s bag aside and nearly trips in the tumbleweed of discarded thread and fabric scraps at her feet. At the table, she maneuvers her ruler, trying to understand the pattern.

The smell of the air, already warm and rank with burning fibers, grows worse when the women are ready to go to one of the industrial-strength irons. Squinting and using rulers, they measure folds and remove wrinkles before moving on again.

Sweating and one step ahead, others sit at their creaky little chairs and continue wheel-walking the needles of the industrial machines over the pieces of their jackets.

The sweatshop-style machines hum loudly when the girls press their feet down a little harder. One wrong stitch forces them to sigh, cut the fabric loose from its cotton anchor, rip, rip, rip and try again until it is perfect.

Ally Melling

Stopher Hall

Rebellion lurks in this dorm room.

A beer-pong poster is proudly hung above one bed, only to be outdone by an Animal House poster above the other.

“I should be writing a paper,” Allie says as she clicks away on her computer.

“I should take a shower,” Brittany says as she checks the status of her friends on instant messenger. Her hair is tied messily on top of her head.

“Is it warm out? I think I am gonna shut the windows and just let the air work,” Allie says getting up from her computer.

Instead, she plops into the green lounge chair at the opposite end of the room and swings her bare feet onto the turquoise ottoman.

“I just need to relax, and then I can write my paper,” she says.

The rug beneath the ottoman shines pink, blue, green and purple, mocking the dreary white walls. Above the black futon, which is littered with sparkly pillows, are homemade countdown posters for each Ohio State football game played this season.

“I can’t wait for the weekend,” Allie says, staring dreamily at her posters.

Brianne Carlon

Student Center basement

Someone must have taken the frenzy and stress from the busy school day, melted most of it away, and funneled the rest into the clacking of cue sticks against pool balls and the hissing sound of the espresso machine.

There is yellow everywhere — but not an imposing, bright, invasively sunny sort of yellow &mdash a warm, dull yet inviting yellow that makes the room cheery and relaxing. The walls are yellow, the lights beaming down upon the wooden floor around the coffee counter are yellow, the small dim lights that hang over every other table — all yellow.

A college buzzword is “chill.” At this hour, everything about the caf‚ is “chill.” The noise in the café is muted, to some extent, simply by nature, as if everyone is speaking with a silencer in their mouths and listening with pieces of cotton in their ears. Bits of chatter erupt every now and then from a corner booth where four male students have huddled.

The click-click-click of a laptop keyboard is soothing, in a way. And the espresso machine goes “hisssss,” louder and louder before it halts abruptly. Six o’clock and all is relaxed in Jazzman’s Cafe, as silence begins its reign over the evening and the day’s tensions escape in the steam of piping hot espresso.

Abbey Stirgwolt

The Hub

Empty tables, light conversation and short lines are an odd contrast to the hustle and bustle of a typical afternoon in the Hub.

The smell of hamburgers, Chinese food, french fries and onions permeate the air as lines slowly fill with hungry students.

The clank of metal spoons against large, black skillets and the hiss of steam can be heard coming from Jump Asian Express.

Some students juggle backpacks and key chains. Others listen to headphones.

A long line forms at Quiznos, as usual. Students chat quietly in line, while others pace back and forth, either from boredom or hunger.

An older man with gray hair and glasses walks around with a spray bottle of disinfectant and a cloth. He sprays the tables and wipes them down with big, sweeping motions. Methodically, he moves from table to table with the sharp smell of rubbing alcohol trailing behind.

Jennifer Mussig and Jennie Hardenbrook

The Field

It was too sunny and too loud.

At 6 p.m., the field behind Taylor Hall is a mishmash of militaristic mumbo-jumbo. Shouts pierce the air.

Young athletes switch between jumping jacks, Frisbee and a series of other flailing, jerky gestures. Aside from bystanders, nearly all on the field are wearing fatigues or a gym outfit capped off with orange vests.

Most keep step to a persistent whistle or a fast-paced, out-loud count.

Periodically, they break into team chants. Deep voices ring across the field and draw stares from passersby.

One voice resounds above the rest: “If you want water, go get it!”

The recruits break from their game, stop to tie their shoes and jog to the trees where they’ve lined up backpacks and purses. They pat one another on the backs and shake hands with the opposing team.

All around, black and gray squirrels hop to and fro, pausing to burrow with forepaws and occasionally to stand gnawing a hard-earned nut. One runs perilously atop the wire fence surrounding the tennis courts.

Over the telltale green stripes signaling a freshly mowed lawn, gnats swarm in the glare of sunlight. Somewhere, a clock tolls the 6 o’clock hour.

Kate Bigam and Adam Milasincic

Black Squirrel Radio

Walking into the studio of Black Squirrel Radio, it appears as more of an office than a radio studio.

Desks line the walls with mailboxes for the respective managers of the station. A marker board, most likely used for posting announcements, is strewn with messages such as “I love this marker” and “I (heart sign) BSR!”

The Killers’ 2004 hit, “Somebody Told Me,” is playing in the next room as two of the station’s managers teach a new disc jockey the ropes of how to play songs and make playlists.

The studio looks so dimly lit that it makes you wonder if the only thing standing between the studio and pure darkness is a small, dying lightbulb, like a horror-movie villain’s room.

The disc jockey sits with feet up on her chair as she goes through potential songs to add to her list. The manager points out to her the new feature for Black Squirrel Radio’s Web site, a Web cam, but she seems uninterested.

As if to prevent too much visual stimulus, the office has a few evenly spaced posters from albums released years ago, such as Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Californication” and Janet Jackson’s “All for You.”

The studio, on the other hand, is full of odd ’90s records hung up on the wall, as well as posters from bands that haven’t been popular since the rap-rock boom of 2000. Judging from how many holes are in the wall, it looks as if posters have preceded posters more than a few times. The few autographs on some of the posters, such as Queens of the Stone Age, Boy Hits Car and Our Lady Peace, all appear to be from years back with usual cheesy autograph quotes like “Thanks a lot!”

Much like the autographs on the wall, the radio station appears to be a thing of the past. The directors and DJs smile as they go about their jobs, but the out-of-date posters and awkward obscure records seem to unintentionally represent a studio that’s decorated to look as though something is still going on, but, on a closer look, appears to have faded with time.

Andrew Gaug

The Library

A group of four girls, all wearing Kent State hoodies, stand outside. They pass around a blue lighter. They don’t speak to each other — they all converse on cell phones.

Inside, the library seems calm, but it feels stressful. Students do their homework quietly, letting out exasperated sighs every once in a while. Some rub their eyes, others hold their heads in their hands.

A man in a sleeveless shirt, gym shorts and a backward baseball cap inserts money into a FlashCard machine. He listens to music on his iPod; the heavy metal blasting from his headphones is audible to anyone near him.

In the computer lab, the man joins about 50 other students. No one talks, except for one man on his cell phone sitting next to a sign that reads: “Please enjoy your cell phone conversations outside the lab.”

The lab monitor pays no attention, and neither does anyone else.

The constant click of the keyboards is not loud, but extremely noticeable. Every so often, someone swipes his FlashCard at the print station. Beep. A document prints.

A cute woman in a black track suit with white stripes taps her foot on the ground. Her document prints, and she analyzes it. She sighs deeply and throws it into a blue recycle bin. She heads back to her computer.

Kurt Jakub and Eddie Dilworth

The Rathskeller

A cloud of smoke lingers over this basement hangout. Almost everyone in the place is smoking or with someone who is. There is an ashtray at every table, and although they are empty, they are stained with ash and tobacco. The tablecloths have remnants of ash on them.

Four friends talk and sing in the next booth. They barely pay attention to ESPN playing on the nine TVs around the room.

A redhead shouts, “I love Guinness commercials,” as she lights a new cigarette. She is wearing her black sunglasses. Her two male friends get up and rack up the balls for a game of pool.

The cracking of the cue ball is heard throughout the entire room. A guy wearing a Cheerios T-shirt sinks his first shot. A Budweiser light shines dimly on the faded blue felt of the pool table.

One bartender puffs on the same cigarette that seems never to burn out. He inhales slowly, deeply, and a gray cloud constantly circles his head. He puts his cigarette down, for only a moment, when leaning in to talk to one of the seven men who sit scattered around the bar.

Another bartender paces from one side of the bar to the other, stopping from time to time to chat with one of the men. They both look bored. The few people there are drinking from Coke cups. Not many are sipping from clear cups filled with beer.

The area is dimly lit and the mood relaxed. There is no mid-day chatter or late-night excitement. The dingy brick walls are decorated with Kent State memorabilia and jerseys. The air is stale and has the faint smell of old pizza.

Amanda Stanley and Tiffany Ciesicki

Prentice Shop

Guns N’ Roses’ “November Rain” plays from the speakers.

A student employee in a yellow Kent State polo sings along with the lyrics while restocking the chips and salsa. Students enter and leave the brightly lit shop. A fan blows on the line of people waiting to check out their TV dinners, candy and pop.

In the hallway, a blonde woman dressed in pink pajamas waits for her food in the microwave. Her friend sits down in a booth and opens up her wrapped sandwich. The beeping sound of the microwave echoes into space. The blonde woman joins her friend and they silently start eating.

A tall man checks out his bottle of apple juice with the friendly cashier. He glances back at the womens’ booth, which causes them to giggle. The back of his white T-shirt states in black letters “…unfinished business.”

“You can say that again,” the blonde teases. The other woman nods, but quickly looks away when the man walks past their table.

In the background, Axl Rose finishes his song, but the words hang frozen in the air.

Everybody needs somebody.

You’re not the only one…

Charlotte Muller