As one of Stanford campus’s main commercial hubs, Tresidder Memorial Union deals with throngs of summer patrons each day. Tresidder witnesses the annual exodus of undergraduate students and welcomes the homecoming of sweltering heat, sun-kissed skin, seasonal fireworks and inundation of campers, athletes, conference attendees and employees.
According to Stanford Store worker and student Emily Jusuf ’20, Tresidder experiences a larger amount of business than other times of the year due to the influx of summer visitors.
“[Tresidder] has a pretty consistent amount of traffic [during the school year,] but the traffic during the summer is insane,” Jusuf said. “If you go to Panda [Express] the lines never stop; they’re just constantly in a rush and it just keeps getting added to. I don’t see that during the school year. Not like this.”
Tara Callan, a shift lead at Jamba Juice, echoed this sentiment and emphasized how visitors tend to come in groups.
“There’s a bit of a problem with the summer camps,” Callan said. “We get these huge rushes. You just see a mass come. I had to close two nights ago, and we just had to stop taking orders, and people kept coming in. We had to stop and lock the doors with people in, and I was telling people ‘please don’t let the other group in.’”
Callan also attributes the disparities in traffic to the different demographics and their reasons for being on campus during the summer.
“I feel like everyone here is like on vacation or doing some sort of program, so they’re having fun,” she said. “ Plus, it’s hotter out, and they’re coming in more. During the school year, students will come in, but they don’t want to spend as much money.”
According to Jusuf, this is because most students prefer going to the cafeteria and spending meal plan dollars, which many Tresidder businesses do not accept.
“You can’t spend [meal plan dollars] at most of the restaurants in Tresidder,” she said. “Treehouse, CoHo, Panda [Express], Starbucks all require you to pay out of your pocket, and when people go out for food with their friends during the school year, we try to use up all of our meal plan dollars first.”
Even employees who don’t work in the central hub of Tressider are affected by the summer traffic. Rahul Patel, a finance associate for Stanford catering who works in the upstairs offices of Tresidder talked about the effect the influx of visitors has had on his work day.
“It gets noisy here.” He said. “It has been getting really loud, so that’s not the best.”
During the school year, the endless stream of bikers en route from building to building demonstrates arguably the most popular form of transportation on Stanford campus.
“Students don’t generally drive,” Jusuf said. “I know literally three students who don’t have a bike. There are more bikes on this campus than people.”
However, Patel, who works year round, noted that in general the campus is emptier over the summer.
“[Summer] definitely changes things,” he said. “There are a lot less people than there usually are and it’s easier to drive your golf cart. There are not as many bikers.”
As students leave campus, even the large parking lot wedged between Mayfield and Lagunita has emptied, possibly due to more student drop-offs rather than longer stays.
“It’s been a lot better parking during the summer,” Patel said. “I guess there [are] no students here besides the students who come for camp, and because of that, there’s a lot more parking available.”
Tresidder’s inaugural opening was 55 summers ago, and its workers have adapted to the changes in foot traffic that come with the seasons.
“It’s really cool to see the different types of people that come in,” Callan said. “I’d rather have this and be constantly busy than have nothing because it can get boring if you don’t have anything. So I’m actually really happy with this even though it can get really hectic sometimes.”
Contact Ashley Hitchings at ashitchings ‘at’ gmail.com. Contact Renee Hoh at Renee.Hoh ‘at’ gmail.com.