Because sometimes you just want to hang out.
Walk through Hamilton “Ham” Center at any time of day, and you can find students playing ping pong, shooting pool, checking their mail, grabbing a bite to eat and meeting up with friends.
Ham Center is the student union building designed by I. M. Pei with cafeteria, deli, game room, convenience store, tech and meeting rooms, a band room and various offices, including the Gender and Diversity Center and headquarters for student government (New College Student Alliance).
The recently renovated Ham Center also features the Black Box Theater, created in 2010. The flexible space seats approximately 75 people and has its own control booth for sound and lighting. Movable stage platforms make it possible to adapt the space in a number of configurations, from seating in the round to conventional theater style. True to its name, the windowless space offers the opportunity to present works in near-total darkness. Intended first and foremost as a creative space for students, the theater is used selectively for public events, including New Music New College. The theater lobby incorporates a new art gallery space in-the-round for displaying student work.
The New College Bayfront is one of the most treasured campus spots, especially for sunset watching over Sarasota Bay. It's a great place to look for dolphins, watch pelicans, sit in a tree, enjoy a picnic or have class outside under the Camphor tree. The Bayfront is an ideal place to “get away from it all” without ever having to leave campus.
Four Winds Café
The Four Winds Café is a student-owned and operated gourmet coffeehouse and vegetarian eatery created in 1996 out of a student thesis project. It is affectionately known as “The Barn” because of the building’s previous use on the old Charles Ringling estate. It is located along Dort Promenade, the main bricked path through Bayfront Campus. With indoor and outdoor seating, the café regularly hosts student art exhibitions, public talks, musical performances and other events.
Palm Court is where it all happens. When it opened in 1965, planted with Royal Palms, this courtyard was officially enshrined in student documents as the “Center of the Universe” and has remained a popular student gathering spot for parties and events.
Palm Court lore has developed its own vernacular. “Walls” are weekly social gatherings where students roll out speakers to blast beats, hang out and dance the night away under the palms. “COUPs” are large Center of the Universe Parties for special occasions such as Halloween or graduation. COUPs are like walls, but bigger and with more decorations.
This grassy space in front of Pritzker Residence Hall plays hosts to numerous bands and events throughout the year. It’s a great place for meeting friends, hula hooping, reading a book, hula-hooping while reading a book or participating in the Air Band Competition.
The newest edition to our campus is located just over the Pedestrian Bridge that connects Pei and Bayfront Campuses, between the Academic Center and the Jane Bancroft Cook Library. Wait for friends on one of the built-in benches under the trees or meet up on "The Lawn," a sunken green at the base of the Four Winds Sculpture.
The Bike Shoppe
“We fix bikes ‘cause we like it ... and it's a great way to pick up a date.” The Bike Shoppe is the oldest continuously running student organization on campus. Volunteer students help fellow students with squeaky brakes, squeaky chains, seat adjustments and flat tires. They service unicycles, bicycles, tricycles, quadricycles and other such non-motorized vehicles for students, faculty and staff on campus. They also create and maintain New College Community Bikes.
Beyond these major spots, students also hang out at the Sailing Club, lounge around by the outdoor pool, play a game of kickball on the softball diamond or challenge each other on the oversized, outdoor chess board.