A coffee shop is designed to meet a number of needs.
By D.A. WILKINSON
VINDICATOR RELIGION EDITOR
YOUNGSTOWN -- Eboni Bogan is making her idea come to life.
The Youngstown State University junior is starting a coffehouse so students and others can enjoy fellowship and entertainment.
Bogan, a student intern for Protestant Campus Ministry, said she had the idea and the Rev. Kathryn Adams, the ministry's director, got behind it.
"TGIF: An Alternative to the Bar Scene," will debut from 8 p.m. to midnight Friday in New Beginnings Outreach Ministries on Wick Avenue, in the former Pilgrim Collegiate Church adjoining the YSU Campus.
The church also houses the weekday "House of Love Cafe" that is starting other after-hours events for Christians.
Here's the purpose: "TGIF," of course, stands for "Thank God It's Friday." But that thought might not come to the minds of Christians who face a weekend without a place to go.
The Rev. Mrs. Adams said students complain about a lack of events on campus, although she noted YSU officials say they offer events but students don't come.
Bogan said coffee shops on or near campus close early, leaving those who want to hang out little choice but to hit the bars.
There may be problems at bars, such as underage drinking, and cover charges and prices students might find steep, she said.
The coffeehouse will feature music, including Infinite Squad on Friday. Plans include performances by Christian rappers and rockers.
Brogan said the coffeehouse will meet a number of needs.
U It's free to YSU students with free coffee, which helps students on tight budgets. There's a $3 fee for nonstudents until 10 p.m., when the cost goes up to $5. Security will be provided.
U Youths age 16 to 17 will be admitted because they, too, don't have many possibilities for entertainment.
U It can minister to those who have problems or questions about Christianity.
U The coffeehouse can also offer socialization for campus residents from other states who may be extremely isolated. Bogan said she can relate to the feeling from the time she attended college in Pennsylvania.
"Some of these students are like orphans," she said.
U The coffeehouse's hours also help make it an after-dinner option for students on a date, she said.
When it's open: The other dates for the coffeehouse are Feb. 15, March 22 and April 20. She's also organizing a "Valentine TGIF."
Bogan said closed activities would be held at another location for YSU students each month to give them a second option for socializing.
Bogan is searching for musicians who want to participate. To contact her, call (330) 743-0439 or e-mail ysuTGIF@yahoo.com.