For many students living in on campus residence halls, the end of spring quarter also means the end of living in Cheney until the following school year. But for the students who continue to live and work in Cheney throughout the summer, an entirely different face of this small town in Eastern Washington comes to life.
It’s fairly common, after outgrowing residential hall life, for Eastern students to find a place to live in the town of Cheney that is not school-sponsored but leased by a private landlord or real estate company.
The difference between these homes or apartments and the residential halls is that most off campus living is usually attached to a lease that lasts throughout summer and is indeed a binding contract. This means students have two options for payment: pay rent at a place you’re not living or stay in Cheney for the summer.
Staying in Cheney for the summer makes sense to many upperclassmen who have been in the area long enough to have developed contacts for summer jobs and internships. These are also the same people who would rather not move back in with their parents.
So what do you do when it’s your first Cheney summer?
Last year was my first summer with an apartment leased through the end of August, so I spent quite a bit of time in Cheney when I wasn’t out enjoying other summertime fun. I will be staying here again this summer, but now I feel a little more prepared.
Those who are new to the Cheney summers need to realize that this town is completely different when the majority of the students have left. Including the weather, Cheney in the summer is like night and day when compared to the school year.
The first thing anyone unfamiliar with Cheney summers will realize is what the residents of Cheney are actually like. Someone might catch a glimpse of this during the spring, but for the majority of the school year, the harsh winter keeps most Cheney locals inside.
Once summer rolls around, it becomes apparent that this town is much larger than just the students of Eastern. Just go to any lake or park in the area, or simply ride your bike around town, and you will see the numerous non student Cheney residents enjoying a town without being bothered by dumb college kids.
I’m from the west side of the state, and before coming to Eastern, I had little to no experience with the Inland Northwest. It is a much different culture than I am used to, and one that might take a little adjustment.
The best advice I can give to anyone unfamiliar with Cheney culture is get to know hunting and fishing equipment. Nothing will impress a Cheney local more than talking about the fishing reel you use or the rifle you shoot.
Another important thing to remember is that Cheney belongs to the locals, not Eastern students. During the school year, we are just guests in Cheney, and, come summer, students are greatly outnumbered by Cheney locals.
Many of the people in this town have lived here their whole lives and have seen generations of Eastern students come through, so it is best to respect their seniority, especially when living here over the summer.
I don’t have anything against Cheney residents; I actually have a lot of fun in the hot Eastern Washington sun. This article just serves as a warning to students about to spend their first summer in Cheney, letting them know that they’re about to experience Eastern in a whole new way.
So get ready for some 100 degree weather, backyard barbeques, days filled with swimming and an entirely new population of Cheney foreign to those spending most of their time on campus: This summer is going to be righteous.