“Queso and Questions” with the Commuter Student Association

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Katherine Daniel ~ Editor-in-Chief

The Commuter Student Association will host “Queso and Questions” on Thursday, September 5, 2019, in the new commuter lounge.

     Program & Advising Coordinator for Second-Year, Transfer & Transition Initiatives, Brennan Gourley, sent in an email on August 25, 2019, “Eat chips and ask questions! Join the commuter student association for Queso and Questions in the new commuter lounge!”

     Vice President of the Commuter Student Association, Rachel Garnett, said, “This is my first year serving on the executive board for the Commuter Student Association. Queso and Questions is Katie’s brainchild, as well as the other perfectly-crafted punny events, and this event is having its debut September 5, 2019!” 

     “Queso and Questions will be held in the white building on the corner of Vernon and College Drive, the location of our new lounge! We will be serving chips with salsa, Queso, guacamole, and other dips that our commuters have requested. The executive board will host a panel consisting of myself, our president Katie, our secretary Cassandra, and our SGA Delegate O’Shea Nowlin. The floor will be open to any commuters who would like to participate, but it will be a very laid-back gathering, mostly focused on chatting and eating,” said Garnett.  

     Garnett also added, “This event means that I am able to meet new people, make friends, and listen to our commuters on campus while trying my best to give them the experience they want and deserve. It makes me happy to think that I could help commuters de-stress or make new friends at our events and meetings.” 

     Director of Second-Year, Transfer & Transition Initiatives, Jonathan Fries, sent an email on August 28, 2019, stating about the new commuter lounge, “Greetings and welcome back!  This has been an exciting summer at the University with plenty of construction. I wanted to give you a quick update on the Commuter Student Center (Lounge) construction. The new Commuter Student Center will be located on the corner of College Drive and Vernon Street, behind Schewel Hall.”

      “It will not be open the first few days of classes because the construction company is still completing some work to the building and there are a few items that need to be installed before it can open. Below are pictures of what it currently looks like. The space has two study rooms, refrigerator, lockers, microwave, a Keurig, and more,” Fries continued about the new commuter lounge.

     Garnet said, “The lounge has been a work in-progress for the past year, and it is coming together!”

      Fries also stated, “Finally, mark your calendars for the first commuter lunch of the semester which will be Wednesday, September 18, from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.. We will also celebrate Commuter Appreciation Week (CAW) September 16-20, 2019. We appreciate your patience and if you have any questions, please let me know. We will send another email out to all commuters once we know the day it will officially open.”

     The Commuter Student Association is also hosting more events throughout the semester. Garnett said, “We have Queso and Questions coming up on Sept. 5, 2019, Make S’mores Friends on Oct. 4, 2019, Pajama Partea on Nov. 22, 2019, and Coloring and Cocoa on Dec. 13, 2019.”

      The Commuter Student Association also has a new executive board. On May 7, 2019, election results came out with the commuter student association election for the 2019-2020 school year. Katie Bradley was named president, Rachel Garnett was named vice president, Zeus Payne was named treasurer, Cassandra Matthews was named secretary, O’Shea Nowlin was named SGA Delegate, and Rachel Garnett was also named On-Campus Delegate.

     As the new Vice President of the Commuter Student Association, Garnett has some new ideas. Garnett said, “One of the things I love most about this organization is our ability to communicate about new ideas and put them into action. Katie suggested we set up a donation box for victims of Hurricane Dorian, so I made a flyer and purchased a box to place in the Commuter Lounge for those willing to donate. I have considered doing a commuter of the month, where one lucky commuter would win a prize and be featured on our Instagram. I have also considered painting a mural in our new lounge by recruiting artistic commuters to help. Something new we will be implementing this year is polls, in order to better understand our commuters and what they would like to see from our organization.”

     The University of Lynchburg percentage of undergraduate commuter students is 25%, while the residential undergraduate percentage is 75%. Fries said, “For the most part, all graduate students are commuters, unless they are doing online courses or are a graduate assistant that has housing as part of their graduate assistantship. For example, a graduate hall director would not be a commuter student.”

     Garnett added, “I am honestly blown away by what the school provides for us. I know the school tries their best to appease our wishes concerning parking, and we understand how trying these issues may be. I am definitely appreciative and couldn’t ask for anything more! Jonathan Fries and Brennan Gourley are especially helpful and are always willing to help us achieve our vision.” 

     For information about what the Commuter Student Association does, contact Katie Bradley at bradley_kl@lynchburg.edu or https://www.lynchburg.edu/undergraduate-admission/new-students/first-year-programs/commuter-students/.