Campus and chill: a guide to the best hang-out spots at WSU Pullman

One Evergreen columnist lays out the best places on WSU campus to study, hang out, including small lounges and libraries



The Bookie Cafe is located in the Compton Union Building. Columnist Emma Ledbetter says the space is not as crowded as other lounges within the CUB. This is a great place for people watching.

EMMA LEDBETTER, Evergreen news editor

If you’re new to campus or haven’t been here in a year and a half, you may be overwhelmed by the thought of finding a place to hang out on campus. With so many people and buildings, it can be hard to find a comfy spot but not too crowded.

Lucky for you, I’ve compiled a list of a few of my favorite places on campus. Check these out and remember this is not an exhaustive list. If you don’t find your “place” here, just keep looking.

Compton Union Building

The CUB is an obvious choice for a study/hang out spot. With that in mind, you may find yourself fighting for a seat mid-afternoon on any weekday. You’re bound to see many other students no matter when you go, but you can avoid peak hours. Beat the crowds by going on the weekend, in the early morning or later at night. 

I personally like spending time in the Bookie Cafe because it doesn’t feel as big as the main floor study lounge. There is still good people-watching, but I don’t feel so overwhelmed by the sheer number of people around me. 

There are also some great study spaces upstairs near the student resource centers. You can reserve meeting rooms as well, which is great if you want to meet with a small group of people while minimizing interruptions.

The Spark: Academic Innovation Hub

The Spark is another popular choice to hang out. It is one of the newest buildings on campus, so the study spaces and furniture are very modern. Starbucks is also a big draw. 

Lounges on the upper floors are usually less crowded than the main floor, but they do attract a lot of people who are waiting for a class to start. 

Be warned — the Spark gets loud when classes let out. If you need quiet to focus or are on a Zoom call, this probably isn’t the place for you. Go during class periods (instead of between them) to avoid interruptions.

Smith Center for Undergraduate Education

The CUE is one of my favorite spots because it has the Cyber Cafe on the first floor and the Atrium on the second floor. Both are great spots for people-watching if you’re into that (I am).

The CUE does not have a ton of seating like some of the other places on campus. However, most people sit there while waiting for classes, so if you want to find a spot to sit, wait until classes have just started and you’re bound to find something. 

The CUE also has several professional student centers on the top floor. These are great spaces to use, especially if you are pre-medicine or pre-law because they are quiet and usually not crowded. 

Todd Hall Atrium

By now you have probably noticed a theme. I like places with easy access to food. Well, that’s a must for long periods of studying. 

Todd Hall is another great choice for snack-inspired studying because it has the Atrium Cafe. I had the best chocolate chip cookie of my life there, no exaggeration. 

This is a popular spot, so if you’re trying to avoid the crowds, go during class periods or early in the day. Expect to have a lot of people walking by you on their way to or from class.

Chinook Student Center

I love the Chinook. And not just because Freshens is right there, though that is a plus. 

The Chinook has plenty of study spaces, lots of comfy seating, and it is often quieter than some of the other popular spots on campus. You can also reserve private study rooms, which I think is a big advantage. 

Holland/Terrell and Owen Science Engineering libraries

The libraries are great because they are almost always quiet. Do not go here if you expect to have a long-winded conversation with multiple friends. Instead, put your headphones in, crank your favorite study music and let the knowledge fill your brain. 

A downside to the libraries: they are not close to food sources. Plan to bring your own snacks or take a study break to go forage.