During the United States senatorial nomination of 1858, Abraham Lincoln stated that “a house divided against itself cannot stand.” One building on campus, the Philadelphia House, proves this statement to be somewhat true. The Philadelphia House, located on 34 E. Frederick Street, now houses what is known as the Commuter Student Lounge. Originally comprised of two row-homes, Millersville University removed some of the connecting wall between the residences, thus creating a comfortable lounge area for commuting students to go to between classes for both studying and social time.
Just recently, MU Class of 1987 alumnus David Chavez visited the house and its present students. During this visit, he recounted some of the changes from his time at the university. One of these included that half of the house was originally designated for students, while the other half was used for veterans, including an office.
Within the house are three common areas for group activities and various smaller rooms for private study sessions. A kitchen is available to prepare and store lunches, with both microwave and stove use. There is an additional refrigerator with drinks available for a small fee, which goes to the Commuting Student Association (CSA).
Not only does the Philadelphia House provide a space which feels like home, but it also provides a chance to meet a diverse group of students common interests. After transferring from Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC), senior Juan Carlos Morales discovered the Philadelphia House through fellow commuter student Justin Benson. “It seems laid back and inviting, not intimidating or imposing,” Morales stated. “It seems like a nice place to hang out when I have the time.”
Some of the group activities which the CSA has coordinated include “Commuter Family Breakfasts,” movie nights, video gaming tournaments, pumpkin carving, ice skating and the occasional Nerf gun battle. Though there are many students who do not know of this house’s existence, this spot is a great place to meet and get to know fellow students who must brave the snow storms and vehicle trouble which always seems to prevail for the typical commuter student.
Another important event which takes place each spring is the peer election process for the positions of CSA president, vice president, treasurer, and secretary. This year’s council includes President Kris Finkley, Vice President Derek Borigo, Treasurer Nolan Meyers, and Secretary Nick Landis.
Each spring, students vote to elect the following year’s council and those who are elected are able to use their experiences as additional material on their resume. When asked how the Philadelphia House benefits students, Secretary Nick Landis stated, “It allows commuters to be more sociable on campus. I know a lot of commuters just go to class and go home.”
Additional perks of going to the Philadelphia House include the use of Wi-Fi, perfect for any laptop use, be it for academic or gaming purposes. There are also two parking lots close to the house, though the chances of getting a parking spot depends on how early students leave for their classes. The first lot available is Boyer lot, which is located behind the Francine McNairy library. The larger of the two lots is located behind the Student Memorial Center on Shenk’s Lane and lies parallel to the Philadelphia House.
The Philadelphia House is available to students from 8 a. m. to 10 p.m., and is closed during the winter and summer sessions. In between classes, make some time to find this building and its students, and become part of the diverse experience that is the Philadelphia House!