Southern offers ways to accommodate commuter students
Commuter students can spend time in between classes in the commuter student lounge located in the Adanti Student Center.
Jossinet Ramos Vera – Special to the Southern News
For a college student, commuting back and forth can often become a tedious ordeal and if the student is not careful it can cause him or her to become disengaged with the college community. While students who live on campus have the option of going back to their dorms to sleep, study, or just relax while they wait between classes, commuters have to find a way to pass that often lengthy time. The Southern staff and students are constantly trying to find new and different ways to accommodate commuter students in the Southern community.
“Instead of worrying about the residents they try to incorporate everyone,” said Will Fisher, a freshman who after assessing the costs of living on campus decided to commute from nearby West Haven.
The most important element of commuting is an obvious one: transportation, being able to get to and from school. That is why at Southern, students are able to get the U- Pass, a free bus pass that is valid for unlimited rides throughout the fall and spring semesters on any of the CT Transit busses. The university also provides shuttle services that will take students to and from downtown New Haven, as well as Union Station and the surrounding shopping malls.
Commuters also have the option of enrolling in a meal plan. Instead of purchasing the all semester plan, they can enroll in the My Meals Swipe & Save plans and choose between 25, 50 or 75 meals per semester at a lower cost than the other available meal plans.
A popular option is the commuter student lounge. Located in room 15 of the Adanti Student Center, the commuter student lounge is a space where students can eat, study, and interact with other commuters while they comfortably wait for their next class. It is equipped with furniture, a TV, a microwave and snacks.
“I would say that it is a lot quieter in here, besides being plaza level where the food court is. Sometimes I would have to eat or study in one of the meeting rooms, so I think this is great,” said Raamuel Plair a senior who has always commuted and often takes advantage of the benefits of the commuter student lounge.
As is the case with almost everything else, there is always room for improvement. Onshouda Shaban, a sophomore, is a member of the Commuter Commission, an organization that looks to acquire more benefits for commuter students, “I feel like there are so many commuters on campus, that the resources don’t really meet their needs as much. For instance, there is only one commuter room, there should be at least a few more around campus,” she said.
Southern also encourages its commuter students to get involved either on campus or in the community. At a school that offers a variety of clubs and organizations, commuter students can take their pick at the more than 100 student organizations available. This is a sure way for commuters to interact with other students outside of the classroom.
Becoming involved not only helps commuters to become engaged in the college community, but it also allows students to gain experiences that are beneficial not just academically but in other areas of life as well.
Both Fisher and Shaban said they understand the importance of engaging in student life on campus. Last semester Fisher participated in the university’s intramural program, while Shaban was a member of the SCSU Biology club.
Whether it is a financially based decision, or just out of mere convenience, the fact is that many college students, instead of living on campus, decide to commute. Luckily here at Southern, the faculty, staff and other fellow students have worked hard to make the college experience an unforgettable one for residents and commuters alike.
Photo Credit: Jossinet Ramos Vera