Newhouse Insider: Hidden Gems — This Really Is A People’s Place

I remember my first day like it was yesterday…And yes, I did also go yesterday. 

SU’s Best Kept Secret

As I approached the double doors, I heard Photo ID by Remi Wolf  playing in the distance. There it was, the People’s Place. Right in the basement of Hendricks Chapel —  in the heart of the campus — is the student-run cafe that had landed a spot on my must-try list of SU campus eats.

Darasha Singleton

(Quick backstory on the SU campus eats list: It is a list of places that I put together to eat on campus in between classes. I’ll share more on that at another time.) 

It suddenly seemed like everything was still. It was warm and cozy, and I stood in a place of comfort. This actually took me by surprise. I went in frantic to shoot a practice package at the student-run cafe for my News Reporting course. I was worried they wouldn’t have time to speak to me and I would be out of a story. Instead, I was greeted by manager Chloe Crookall, the sweetest soul, wearing a Black Lives Matter shirt. Her co-workers, full of life, danced around in the back while she pointed out who was who. 

After I spoke with some student employees and customers, I could tell it was not just the products they had to offer, but it was the all-around vibe.

After I got the footage for my package (that I didn’t even do), I hung around long enough to see a shift change. As one student danced out, another one danced in. Even that amazed me. As each new student employee came in, they greeted each other with a temperature gun to the forehead, making sure to follow COVID safety guidelines. 

I was not sure what I wanted so I pondered for a while. I sat in the big, brown chairs that sat at a perfect angle to the menu. I’m not a huge coffee drinker, but it was okay because they have so much more to offer: hot tea, apple fritters, and croissants just to name a few.  As I sat and gazed at the menu, I finally decided on what I wanted. I got a hot chocolate with vanilla soy milk and a cinnamon raisin bagel with cream cheese. This very quickly became my usual. 


We have Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks and many other cafes on campus, but this by far is my favorite. The great prices also make it a plus. My usual only comes to be about $2.25. 


A tradition (which I hear may be changing soon) is that they only take cash. At first, this was hard for me because I don’t really carry cash any more. It’s not that I don’t like cash, but cards, Apple Pay, Cash App and things like that are just so convenient. From that day forward I would intentionally try to get cash, and then keep it in my book bag to create a People’s Place cash stash. It’s been working out pretty well. 

I even told my other grad peers about the place and that they should really check it out. But hey, don’t blame me for their obsession! I look forward to visiting People’s Place every week. I would go every day, but not all my classes are in-person.

Follow Darasha on Twitter: @DarashaS