The West Bank's counterpart, the East Bank, is a definite change from the smaller and more intimate home of the University's Arts Quarter and the Carlson School of Management. The East Bank is the largest area of the University of MInnesota's campus and is home to the majority of the buildings. In the center of the East Bank is the Northrop Mall, the main green space and a nice intersection within the campus. It's the perfect place to enjoy the campus on a nice day and it is where many students eat their lunch or study in-between classes. A variety of clubs meet there often; the juggling club is a weekly staple.
Coffman Memorial Union sits at one end of the Mall and could very easily be defined as the heart of the University. It's a another great place to study, get some food, or even take a nap; it also hosts many different musical events in the basement, known as the Whole, and other interesting events around the year. On the second level of Coffman is where a lot of different students groups have office and study spaces, including many of the University's Student Cultural Centers.
At the other end of the mall is Northrop, an auditorium and one of the oldest, most recognizable buildings on campus. Currently under construction, the New Northrup will be open in the Fall of 2013, boasting a revitalized auditorium, extra study space, new offices, and a cafe.
Along with many old and new buildings, the East Bank is the home of two museums, the Bell Museum of Natural History and the Weisman Art Museum. Both of these museums host a variety events that enhance the community of the Twin Cities, as well as increase opportunities for students at the University of MInnesota. For myself, I have recently joined the Weisman Art Museum's Student Tour Guide program, which is a great way to become educated and involved in the art gallery world.
In addition to everything else, there are a lot of little things on the East Bank campus that add to the lively atmosphere. The Knoll Area, a second green space, is a nice, hilly corner of campus right on the edge of Dinkytown and a beautiful place to enjoy lunch or hang out with friends. On Wednesdays from July to October, there's a farmer's market on Church Street that sells fresh fruit and vegetables. Around the East Bank there are many different offices that have study spaces or hold small catered events over the lunch period.
A variety of different coffee shops are on the East Bank, catering to any caffeine needs that may strike sleep-deprived students. Walter Library and the Recreational Center are also on East Bank, along with the U Card office, the post office, and a host of other random, helpful facilities. The resources on and around East Bank are what make this part of campus so alive and quite necessary to U of M students; they make our lives easier, allowing us to properly focus on our education.
Although specific buildings often hold specific kinds of classes, the East Bank is a place where all students will intersect, making our Big 10 school seem close-knit and very connected. In a nutshell, the East Bank is a lively and thriving part of campus that is constantly bustling with student life.