Trail Blazers in the Park
Katherine Daniel ~ Editor~in~Chief
During the week of Feb. 18-22, the Office of Commuter Student Services will be hosting Commuter Association Week (CAW) 2.0.
“The Office of Second-Year, Transfer, and Non-Traditional Student Programs decides on the Commuter Appreciation Week (CAW) events by talking with students regarding what they would like to see and by researching ideas. Some of the events we have done over the past few years have become traditional events that commuter students look forward to,” said Jonathan Fries, Director of Second-Year, Transfer, and Non-Traditional Student Programs.
On Monday, there was Donuts and Coffee on the Dell, on Tuesday, there was Cocoa with Commuters at the Hobbs Sidewalk, and on Wednesday, there is a Commuter Lunch.
For the rest of the week, the schedule is as followed: on Thursday, there will be Soup2Go at the Hobbs Sidewalk from 1:30-3:30 p.m., and on Friday, there will be Trivia Night at 9:00 p.m.
“Commuter Appreciation Week is always something I look forward to, as do many of our students. I am also excited for the events that our Commuter Student Association are planning later this semester. They will be doing a craft event on March 7, 2019 for St. Patrick’s Day and a board game night in April,” explained Fries.
Additionally, progress is being made with the new Commuter Lounge, which will be renamed the Commuter Student Center.
“The name is changing from Commuter Lounge to Commuter Student Center because this space is more than just a place to hangout in between classes as the current space is. This space has specific study rooms for students to use that are in the process of being built. It will be a place for events such as some of the Commuter Appreciation Week events and the Commuter Student Association events, as well as a place that the Commuter Student Association can host their monthly meetings. The goal is for this to be the hub of commuter student events and activities,” said Fries.
According to an email sent by the Office of Commuter Student Services, “We are in the process of constructing a space for the new Commuter Student Center. This space will be located right behind Schewel Hall on Vernon Street, which will be more central to the commuter parking lot and the central part of campus. The new space will have two separate study rooms, lounge space, and a kitchenette.”
“I’m most looking forward to the new Commuter Student Center being the hub for commuter student events and activities. The goal is for this space to be used for studying, commuter student events, and an area for commuter students to congregate. The new space will have specific study rooms just for commuter students, high tables, couches, TV’s, computers, printer, and a few other amenities that will benefit commuter students to take advantage of,” said Fries.
President of the Commuter Student Association, Katie Bradley, added, “I am most looking forward to having a designated area where commuter students can hang out or study that is closer to campus. I believe that students will actually take advantage of this awesome opportunity since it will be closer to campus and the commuter parking lot. It will also be a great place where the Commuter Student Association can host their events for students.”
Overall, Fries’ goal is to provide commuter students with as many opportunities as residential students have.
“Commuter students make up large percentage of our campus community. It’s important that they have a space they can go to in-between classes, meetings, or job. This space allows for them to have a place to relax. Residential students have the option to go back to their room to study, eat a snack, make a lunch, or watch TV. For our commuter students, who drive an hour or more to campus, going home to eat lunch or study in-between classes isn’t an option. It’s important that we make sure they have a place to go on campus that can be their home away from home when they have down time on campus,” he said.
Bradley agreed, saying, “It is important that commuter students are provided the same opportunities because we pay the same tuition and student activities fee that residential students pay. The events that are planned on campus are not commuter student friendly, meaning that they are planned when commuters have already left campus for the day and they very rarely return. The commuter student parking lot also makes commuter students feel that they are not treated equally. We do not live close to campus and are unable to walk to class, but residential students can. Hopefully, the creation of the new commuter lounge will be a step in the right direction to creating a commuter friendly atmosphere.”