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Hey, listen man - you gotta fight the power, you know what I'm sayin'? You gotta keep fightin', you gotta keep spreading the word...yo man, it's not easy goin' against the grain. I know that man. But you gotta be strong. Fight with me, man. We can win.
Morale was low at Wheeling Jesuit University, then named Wheeling College, in 94 A.D. After three slave rebellions that were brutally crushed by the Mecha-Pandas, Immortal Jesuit Emperor Fed Acker Huang was concerned that his people were becoming wise to his plans of complete domination. Fearing that his Domus Aurea would not be completed on time, Fed Acker Huang initiated a number of low-cost, temporary solutions to the questions of loyalty on campus. With the failure of "Brocolli Night" at The Benedum Room, Huang reluctantly okayed a plan telepathically communicated to him by Bizarro Patrick Stewart and ordered the founding of Common Grounds.
At first, Fed Acker Huang relented by allowing Common Grounds to be the only place on campus where slaves could purchase fresh water out of their savings accounts. In this way, Common Grounds was successful in its goal of improving slave morale. Leadership of Common Grounds continued in this manner until the takeover of Dschinghis Khan two hundred years later. Eager for a place to hawk their prized Turkish coffee, the Protectorate immediately converted Common Grounds into a coffee house/harem. Both worked very successfully; unfortunately, the harem was closed by Father Little due to his concern that it was "icky".
Parkhurst Industries swooped in and seized control of Common Grounds from the Protectorate estate in 1992. They brought with them their legacy of overpriced food and began to sell miscellaneous edible items in addition to the coffee. Besides food and drinks, Parkhurst attempted to sell suitcase bombs as novelty items. Although this move was received well, demand for such items decreased when a section of Common Grounds was bombed in the middle of the night.
The name "Common Grounds" came to Fed Acker Huang while he was playing with an ouija board. In actuality, the name that Huang was given was "c3omgonrr7und5s", which looked close enough to its current name, in Huang's illustrious opinion. Since every person who has suggested a name change has been forced to eat the beating hearts belonging to family members before being hanged, "Common Grounds" has stuck. The WJU Handbook frequently insists that "Common Grounds" is a pun, but the WJU Handbook is almost always wrong (for example, on page 6, it asserts that "2 + 3 = 46").
Since Common Grounds is the closest approximation to a coffee shop on Wheeling Jesuit University, it often attracts lowlifes associated with disenfranchised political ideology who relish in having hoagies thrown at them every Tuesday and Thursday night. More disturbingly, attempts have been made to introduce poetry reading as part of the nightlife associated with the establishment. According to Lundius Superbus, ex-president of WJU, "I almost crapped myself when I heard that these assholes were planning to turn my coffee shop into a damn hangout for poufs". He had four random Literature majors executed pre-emptively to counter such action.
The Young Democrats attempted to seize control of Common Grounds in 2004, but they were no match for the Door That Never Opens in front of the coffee shop that is closed at night.
Common Grounds, currently located in Swint Hall, has seen patronisation drop significantly after the abolishment of the harem. Since then, efforts have been made to spice up the coffee shop for the sake of making it a place where human beings might actually want to go. In a campaign to make Common Grounds for "friendly", Parkhurst removed the proximity mines and security cameras in the shop, although the barbed wire remained. This helped increase customer flow to a small degree. Common Grounds held gladiatorial fights until human rights activists complained about the high entrance prices. A mud wrestling pit is expected to be installed by 2007.