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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Students crowd Tucson with personality

    It’s like putting palm trees in the desert. The tropical plants may clash with cacti and dry riverbeds, but their unique characteristics provide eye-catching accents. Students from all over the country make their way to Tucson for school every fall, and then settle into the quiet desert city like the palm trees that surround them.

    More than 37,000 students swarmed the UA campus at the end of August, and more than 11,000 of them call a state other than Arizona home. In a city with a million residents, the Wildcat migration has a major influence.

    “”It’s nicer in the summer because the college students and snowbirds are gone,”” said Alli Sertich, a physiology junior. “”There aren’t as many people, making the city quieter and calmer.””

    Sertich lives in Oro Valley and knows how Tucson changes from summer to fall.

    “”When students come back for school, there’s a lot more traffic and longer waits for restaurants,”” she said.

    Alex Jones, a pre-business junior from the Foothills, agrees: “”I like Tucson in the summer better because there’s no waiting for anything and it’s easier to get around.””

    He admits there are some things missing after school gets out each May.

    “”The social scene dies completely,”” Jones said. “”Business dies down dramatically and picks up again in August.””

    Alumnus Andy Clinch has worked at Frog & Firkin for four and a half years, and has a different take on summer business.

    “”We had a lot of business this summer. It was an older crowd, and I think the bad economy brought them in to forget their problems.””

    Business junior John Klier spent the summer working at the popular restaurant Sauce and for Copy Technology Services in the Arizona Health Sciences Library. “”We would only have about four or five people working at Sauce in the summer, and as soon as the sorority girls got back for rush we were slammed.””

    Klier felt the same way at CTS.

    “”We were understaffed for the dead summer, but as soon as students came back it was chaotic.””

    Klier struggles with the return of Tucson traffic as well. “”I like living here when school is in session because it’s more exciting, but traffic does get crazy. It’s even hard to walk around, let alone drive.””

    Students from outside Arizona feel like they have plenty to offer the city besides newly busy roads.

    “”The California style and culture influences a lot of students in Tucson. Out-of-state students bring money and different cultures to the city,”” said Derrick Manni, an Italian studies senior from Newport Beach, Calif.

    Bryan Davis has lived in the Sam Hughes neighborhood for 15 years.

    “”When I was in the grocery store at the end of August, I could tell school was back in session because it was so crowded,”” the 32-year-old alumnus said. “”You have to be more patient.””

    As for whether or not he appreciates the extra company in Tucson, Davis said it’s a tough choice.

    “”It’s hard to say which I prefer, because it’s a trade-off with hot summers or traffic,”” he said. “”I’d say (I prefer Tucson) with students here because the city is more energetic and vibrant.””

    “”Tucson is slow-moving without students around,”” said Morgan Hare, a communications senior from New York. “”We bring personality and diversity. It’s a good place to meet people from all over the country.””

    Chicago native and journalism senior Chris Reed said Tucson wouldn’t be the same without the Midwest culture mixed in, too.

    “”I think people from the Midwest bring different attitudes, lifestyles and viewpoints to Tucson. We bring a fresh enthusiasm for the great weather and the desert environment. Most importantly, we bring an unrivaled loyalty for U of A sports. Midwest kids fill up the Zona Zoo.””

    The UA is a melting pot for students from all over the country. Whether you like the palm trees or not, Tucson wouldn’t be the same without them.

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