Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

Quiet won’t last: The students are coming!

August 9, 2006


Need an oil change? A haircut? A moment of peace?

Get it now.

Thousands of students will return next week to Kansas University, ending the tranquil summer months and the ability to jet across Lawrence at will.

"Bring 'em on," said Nicholas Beck, general manager of the local Juice Stop chain. "That's what I say."

KU residence and scholarship halls open Sunday, and fall semester classes begin Aug. 17.

Lawrence public school students begin returning to class on Aug. 16 with the regular schedule for students in first through 12th grades beginning Aug. 17.

Gone will be the quiet days of summer, which will be replaced with heavy traffic on major thoroughfares and longer lines at some businesses. And good luck finding a parking space on Massachusetts Street on the first pass.

Moving trucks are a common sight in early August in Lawrence as Kansas University students return for the fall semester. Gabe Holcombe and Liam McNamara moved boxes and furniture into their apartment Tuesday morning. KU classes start Aug. 17.

Moving trucks are a common sight in early August in Lawrence as Kansas University students return for the fall semester. Gabe Holcombe and Liam McNamara moved boxes and furniture into their apartment Tuesday morning. KU classes start Aug. 17.

"I don't dread it and I don't rejoice," said Kris Fancher, a Douglas County resident who has grown used to the annual change. "I just deal with it."

Businesses welcome the onslaught.

"It gives me something to do - other than standing around," said Brian Papa, cook at Pyramid Pizza, 701 W. Ninth St. "I make better tips when they're back."

Now is the time to get an oil change, said Brendan Sullivan, owner of Meineke Car Care Center, 2535 S. Iowa.

"We're a little quieter," he said. "We have a huge pickup in the fall."

There's a calm before the storm at Images Salon and Day Spa, 511 W. Ninth St., according to receptionist Helena Peter.

Once the students return, patrons should try to make appointments in advance rather than hoping to get squeezed into the schedule on the day they call, she said.

And patrons at the Juice Stop downtown should expect to see crowds - not just from college students, but the junior high teenagers who flock to the joint after early dismissal on Wednesdays, Beck said.

"That's when it becomes a madhouse," he said.

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Several business owners said they beefed up their staff to deal with the crowds, rather than make customers suffer long waits.

Sunflower Broadband, which is owned by The World Company, brings in extra staff and has other employees work longer hours to keep up with calls and new orders for cable, Internet and phone service, said Joe Ryan, director of sales and support.

"It's really business as usual, but it's on steroids," Ryan said.

The rush began in late July and continues into August, he said. This Saturday will be a busy time inside the Sunflower lobby with customers in line, Ryan said.

Ryan suggested customers who want to miss the rush make their orders online or come to the office before 10 a.m.

"The student population has a different daytime (schedule)," he said.

Coming Saturday

Look for the KU Edition - a look at student life, academics, sports, entertainment and more at Mount Oread - inside Saturday's Journal-World.

Year-round residents are used to the influx of students each August. Some make slight changes to their routines to deal with the inflated population.

"I have to leave earlier and watch more closely to how I'm driving," said Marina Reever, a Lawrence resident. "Not everyone is paying attention, so I have to pay attention."

But some students don't know what the fuss is about if traffic is busy and businesses are lively.

"That's the Lawrence we know," KU sophomore Sarah Weltner said.


whitney_jane 11 years, 5 months ago

I always make plans to avoid Target, Wal-Mart, Bed, Bath and Beyond and the 15th and Iowa intersection on this weekend.

Moving all that stuff in the heat will be horrible. Thankfully, I've graduated! No more moving in August!

mom_of_three 11 years, 5 months ago

Target and Wal-Mart were packed last weekend with returning students.
I was almost ran over by a recklessly driven grocery cart!!

theDudeAbides 11 years, 5 months ago

That's what makes this a great town. Sure it makes things a bit more hectic, but it keeps all of us young. Enjoy the students!

jayhawk0105 11 years, 5 months ago

I agree with theDude...The city of Lawrence wouldn't be as great as it is without the students. Besides the fun and outgoing spirits of students, think about success and academics. Just think, if there weren't students, there wouldn't be top scholars or amazing projects adorning the city and Lawrence would be about as uneducated and fun as Manhattan.

dlstrohm 11 years, 5 months ago

I'm glad to hear some of you appreciate the University and its students. I cannot stand residents that complain about the traffic and students when they live in a college town. Some complain about the traffic and people as if this was the first time it has happened. No matter when you moved to Lawrence, you knew what you were getting into so quit complaining.

prioress 11 years, 5 months ago

"The city of Lawrence wouldn't be ......." Good points, jayhawk0105. Without KU, Lawrence would be Ottawa or smaller. The university and our proximity to JOCO mall shopping are Larryworld's greatest assets.

bmwjhawk 11 years, 5 months ago

Jet across Lawrence at will? HA HA. I don't think I've ever done that in the daylight hours.

Linda Endicott 11 years, 5 months ago

Er... Not that it's the same as the noble Kansas University, but Ottawa has a university of its own, and we deal with the sudden influx of college students every fall, too.

No biggie. It happens, you deal with it.

bmwjhawk 11 years, 5 months ago

And Pamplona, Spain has a bunch of bulls running through its streets one day a year. Just be thankful that you don't have to deal with that.

mom_of_three 11 years, 5 months ago

I moved to Lawrence when my husband was a student. We lived in the 9th and Tennessee area. We didn't notice the traffic problems and congestion until we moved to the Prairie Park area. Maybe it was because we were older or becoming parents, but it always seems August is more congestive and crazy than other times of the year because of the moving trucks and crazy parent cart drivers.

cork 11 years, 5 months ago

You haters need to suck it up. Lawrence would go out of business if it wasn't for the students.

trinity 11 years, 5 months ago

lol, yup-you can really tell the kids are back! :) some of these comments are testimony to it.

i for one like the bustle-but then again i don't live there, hahahaaaaaaaaaa.

cork 11 years, 5 months ago

PS... I'm not a student. I just work downtown and it's amazing how much slower business is during the summer. If it remained like this all year I have no doubt that most of the businesses would go under.

Calliope877 11 years, 5 months ago


I don't mind the students coming back. It's entertaining to watch drunk frat guys run down the street naked.:)

Jillster 11 years, 5 months ago

I don't notice as much of a difference the past number of years as I did when I first moved to Lawrence back in the 1980's (to attend KU, by the way). I don't think quite as many students leave town during the summer as used to.

Curtis Lange 11 years, 5 months ago

I love the people that complain about the college students. Without KU and those students, Lawrence would be nothing.

mom_of_three 11 years, 5 months ago

I don't see too many hateful, whining or complaining comments, except the ones about avoiding Walmart this weekend.

alm77 11 years, 5 months ago

Wal-mart should be avoided anyway.

I just hope we get our central air fixed before the parties start in our neighborhood. Nothing like trying to sleep with the windows open when 100 college kids have congregated two doors down.

All this just means we're closer to the start of Basketball season!!!!!! Yippeee!!

: )

bmwjhawk 11 years, 5 months ago

Stop whining about the whining. Bunch of whiners. Were it not for whining, this wouldn't be an article and the comment section of the website would be useless.

People who whine about whiners are worse than the whiners themselves. Get a life. There's already several posts about the whining. Read the other posts before posting. You're redundant

So, what do you think about people who whine about people who whine about whiners?

GardenMomma 11 years, 5 months ago

Thanks for the chuckle bmwjhawk, I am glad I don't live in Pamplona, Spain.

I don't mind the students either. I just avoid shopping while they are getting settled in. Once the rush to get settled is over, it's really not a big deal.

Wilbur_Nether 11 years, 5 months ago

bmwjhawk moaned to all the whiners out there "You're redundant." Not only is this true, but their points have already been made, too.

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