Editor's Note: This is the first story in a series that will explore what happens at various locations on Penn State's campus at 3 a.m.
The HUB-Robeson Center sits in the center of the University Park ecosystem, allowing thousands of students, staff and visitors to pass through its doors and enjoy the multitude of restaurants, classes and activities available daily.
But at night — it’s a whole other world. Gone is the familiar hubbub of countless conversations, footsteps and music, and in its place is an unexpected silence, infrequently punctuated by the hum of a distant vacuum cleaner.
This is the HUB at night.
After the crowds have gone home and even the Starbucks is closed, a few stragglers find comfort in the newfound peace and quiet.
“During the day it’s packed, pretty lively and loud. At 4 a.m., its empty, pin drop silence, you feel like you’re the only one awake in the world,” Sanjana Saji said.
Saji (senior-business management) is among the select few on campus that takes advantage of the HUB’s late night tranquility. She goes there to study after everyone else has gone home.
“I can sit where ever I want, it’s a lot quieter, less distractions and people,” Saji said.
Zihao Wang also appreciates the lack of distractions, especially during midterm season.
“Usually the HUB is empty [at the middle of the night] … it’s more convenient,” Wang (senior-biological engineering) said.
While other spots around campus may offer more IT support and have late night staff in order to help with research, the HUB’s open spaces help some students focus on their work more effectively.
“[I] generally don’t like going to the library, is just too close and compact,” Shivani Rathod said.
Rathod (senior-biological science and health professions) prefers the HUB for this reason, and doesn’t like the cramped feel of the stacks late at night.
Although a short walk away from the majority of the housing areas on campus, some upperclassmen who live off campus still prefer the HUB as their primary study venue.
“[I] can’t focus in my apartment, [the] library’s too quiet for me, the HUB’s a nice medium, it’s not too crazy,” Nina Matulis said.
Matulis (senior-forensic science) who lives off campus, still regularly makes the commute, and is in the HUB “a couple days a week.” Matulis prefers the HUB over the library because of the wide variety of food options available, several of which are open late.
Many underclassmen who have the luxury of on-campus dorms also said they prefer the HUB for late night study sessions.
Dorms are “usually too loud or too distracting, you see someone you know” according to Will Wilson.
Wilson (freshman-plant sciences) has found the HUB to be one of the premier study spots on campus, especially when his peers in East Halls stay up all night.