The Loft

Matt Jauregui ’04, assistant director of conference services, recently became a mayor. He was elected by no one.

His position has nothing to do with city government. Jauregui is mayor of The Loft, an esteemed, desirable post on the social networking application known as Foursquare.

Foursquare is a location-based app for mobile devices, such as smartphones. Users who have downloaded the app can check-in at a location from a list of venues that the app lists. The LMU campus has more than 100 registered Foursquare locations, including Sacred Heart Chapel, the William H. Hannon Library, and Burns Recreation Center, and people have checked in to an LMU location more than 60,000 times.

Being crowned mayor of a venue is a top honor on Foursquare. To earn that title, Jauregui has had to check in to The Loft more than anyone else within a 60-day period. As an employee, Jauregui may appear to have the upper-hand in securing his position as mayor, but he denies it.

“I don’t have an unfair advantage,” Jauregui said. “I only work here once a week, and I make most of my check-ins as a patron.”

Not surprisingly, Foursquare involves — you could say encourages — an element of competition. Users receive points each time they check in at a location. They can track their scores, and their friends’, on a leader board within the app. Some venues even give prizes and discounts for being the mayor. Jauregui doesn’t receive any rewards for being mayor of The Loft other than accumulating points and the satisfaction of winning. He also competes for the mayorship of other venues on campus, including Xavier Hall.

“Being mayor of The Loft probably means I come here too much,” Jauregui said.

Maybe so, but there’s no doubt he has good reasons. The Loft serves about six kinds of beer that range from light to dark and that change from time to time. The Enegren Brewing Co., founded by brothers Chris ’06 and Matt Enegren ’08 and Joe Nascenzi ’06 in Moorpark, Calif., has been represented there. And a beverage called The Golden Lion, a honey blonde made by Bayhawk Brewery, in Irvine, Calif., is always on tap. Beer tastings also take place occasionally.

As a private club, the Loft is open to faculty, staff and alumni, and students who meet the state legal drinking age. Students have to show their I.D. to register, pay a small fee per year or semester, and pay for their own beverages. Jauregui said he wished that The Loft had been open while he was a student.

“I would have been here everyday when I was a student,” Jauregui said.