Best Place to People Watch: Norris University Center

February 23, 2023

In the beginning of Winter Quarter 2019, heaps of exhausted students in immaculate dresses crumpled throughout the halls of Norris University Center, loudly and tearfully debriefing their ongoing sorority rush experience. Picking up strains of juicy gossip on my way in and out of The Daily newsroom every day that week, I — a self-aware busybody — knew that I had found my place. Not within the Greek system, but around Norris. 

Norris is THE place on campus for people watching. The brutalist, open-concept construction ensures that even the most private of nooks on all three floors are extremely visible. Think the echoey couch area on the second floor landing, the dramatic blue cubicles near Norbucks and the extremely camp bowling-themed booth next to 847 Burger.

Its central location and ample supply of caffeine makes Norris an easy spot for the loudest of casual meetups, though sometimes I wish the theater majors would suddenly forget. 

People don’t choose to study at Norris unless they want to be seen. The moderators of @northwesterngarb, an Instagram account dedicated to student streetwear, regularly feature those who flaunt their fashion sense around the building.

Lemonade Mouth had the basement. Gossip Girl had the steps of the Met. And for Wildcats with a reputation to maintain and a penchant for distraction, Norris will always be prime territory.

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Twitter: @ilana_arougheti