Feb 122003
 
Authors: Adrienne Hoenig

Elizabeth Puente has no idea how many people come in the Lory Student Center everyday.

Puente, a sophomore restaurant and resort management student, works at the Campus Information Services desk in the student center.

“I’d say at least 500, probably more,” Puente said.

According to Lina Saldarriaga, graduate marketing and public relations assistant for the student center, she is not even close.

Every year and a half, the student center has a “Traffic Count.” They spend two days, usually a Wednesday and a Thursday, keeping track of the flow of people into the building. The two final tallies are averaged to give them an idea of how many students, faculty and staff members make their way through the student center every day.

“We just count how many people we get in, hour by hour,” Saldarriaga said. Last year’s number showed a surprising 12,700 people traverse the student center walkways daily.

“Last time we saw almost half of the student population,” she said.

Puente was surprised. Even more amazing, she said, were the number of people at the student center in the earlier hours. She volunteered to count people at 7 a.m. Wednesday.

“It was surprising to see how many people came so early actually,” Puente said.

Jamie Pierce, a junior accounting major, also volunteered to be a traffic counter on Wednesday. Pierce frequents the student center because she works for the Business Office. Still, she was bowled over at the volume of people in and out of the building.

“That’s way more than I thought,” Pierce said. “It’s really surprising.”

Volunteers are stationed at each of the 10 entrances to the student center and they hit a counter for every person that walks through the door.

“It’s not complicated,” Saldarriaga said. “All they have to do is hit the clicker every time someone comes in.”

This year’s traffic count started Wednesday and will continue today. Saldarriaga said she is looking forward to the outcome.

“It’s something that is kind of fun,” Saldarriaga said. “We’re going to see what number we can come up with this year.”

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