Photo by Ryan Brinkman | Photo Editing by Haley Hoidal
Transferring from Sophia University in Tokyo during COVID-19, junior Art major Hikari Matsumoto began her Pepperdine journey during the spring 2021 semester from her bedroom in Japan. Although she had planned to participate in an exchange program with her previous university, she decided to transfer to Pepperdine after COVID-19 altered her study abroad plans.
“I was looking for a small private school with a suburban setting and a limited number of Japanese students,” Matsumoto said. “Pepperdine was the best choice for me.”
After moving to Malibu for the first time, however, Matsumoto said she was surprised by Pepperdine’s location and some of the inconveniences of living on an isolated, hilly campus. More importantly, she was surprised by the lack of dining options.
“It would be helpful if we can get breakfast, snacks or drinks at Seaside instead of walking all the way down to the Caf or Starbucks,” Matsumoto said.
Matsumoto said she often finds herself grabbing food from the salad bar in Waves Cafe due to an extremely long wait during busy lunch and dinner hours.
Although she likes the salad bar, Matsumoto said she believes food should be more accessible for everyone.
“I rarely see people using the Seaside kitchen,” Matsumoto said. “If anything, there should be a store there to provide food for a lot of students [in Seaside].”
On the occasion when she goes to buy her groceries at Whole Foods in The Park at Cross Creek, she uses Pepperdine’s shopping shuttle. Matsumoto said it is difficult, however, to find her way around.
“The shopping shuttle is a little bit confusing too,” said Matsumoto, who does not own a car. “I cannot find any information about where the exact bus stop locations are.”
The shopping shuttle website lists points of interest but does not specify the exact location for pickup. Therefore, getting back on the shuttle may pose some challenges to some users, Matsumoto said.
Matsumoto said she once had to wait in front of Whole Foods, but the shuttle never showed up. Luckily, her roommate was able to come pick her up. She said with there being no exact shuttle stops, it is hard for first-time users to familiarize themselves with the service.
Since she enrolled at Pepperdine in spring 2021, Matsumoto said Seaver did not consider her a new student, making her ineligible to participate in NSO. Matsumoto said she missed out on learning about various campus resources and meeting community members.
Matsumoto said she believes creating a store near Seaside will not only help her access food more easily but will also be an opportunity to meet new people.
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