Students commuting via train do not mind the trip

Michelle Shnayder – Copy Editor

On any given weekday, a small group of students will gather outside of Morrill Hall with their backpacks, waiting for the shuttle to Union Station. These students are a subset of the university’s commuter students: they take the train to and from school daily.

When a prospective student chooses to attend Southern, they are presented with a variety of housing options. Students may choose to live in an on campus residence hall or live off campus and commute to classes.

While the many commuter students have cars, some students take the Shoreline East train to school. According to its website, the train runs seven days a week through Connecticut, into New York.

Sterling Roberson, a senior, business marketing major, is a commuter student who said he is dedicated to getting to class, regardless of how arduous the journey is.

“I commute from New York City,” said Roberson. “I wake up every day around 9 a.m., but I don’t have to leave my house until 11:30 a.m., because I catch the 12:04 p.m. train four times a week.”

Roberson said that his train ride is almost two hours long, but he happily takes this journey.

“I love Southern, and it’s worth it,” said Roberson. “My friends go here, and the business program is really good, so I couldn’t pass that up despite the travel time.”

Roberson said that he experienced a train delay recently, but he still does not lament not living on campus and not having a car.

“I had a train derail two weeks ago, which made me late for class,” said Roberson. “But I would still say I’m happy to be living at home, and the train is faster and cheaper than a car.”

Roberson said he is grateful that the off campus shuttle brings him straight from Union Station to Morrill Hall.

“I take the shuttle to and from the train station daily,” said Roberson. “It’s not bad because it comes every day, and it’s pretty regular. It saves me money on Uber.”

Unlike Roberson, Justice Diaz, a junior, commuter student, is not content with his experience, because he does not like the journey of getting to class.

“Being a commuter is actually kind of upsetting to me, because it is inconvenient,” said Diaz. “When I get up in the morning, I feel the urge to skip class because I don’t want to embark on a journey.”

Diaz said, despite his less than ideal living situation, it is relatively easy and painless for him to get to school.

“The trip itself is pretty easy,” said Diaz. “I get on the train in Guilford, and I get off in Union Station. I have no complaints about the train or the conductors.”

Some commuters need more than just the Shoreline East to get to school each day.

Sapphire Gontarz-Durfee, a sophomore, English major, is a commuter who has had a multi-step journey to school for over a year.

“I take both the bus and the train, because I need both to get to school,” said Gontarz-Durfee. “I have done that since the beginning of freshman year.”

According to Gontarz-Durfee, she has experienced problems with the Shoreline East schedules and conductors.

“Shoreline East trains are not very reliable; they are usually late,” said Gontarz-Durfee. “As far as conductors go, I’ve had them scoff at a U-PASS before.”

Despite her grievances, Gontarz-Durfee said that the U-PASS, a card allowing access to trains and busses state-wide for state school and university students, has helped her a lot.

“The U-PASS is very cost effective and easy,” said Gontarz-Durfee. “I save six dollar a day on the bus alone.”

Gontarz-Durfee said she relies on cooperation with her professors to always be on schedule.

“Class is a challenge for me and a source of anxiety,” said Gontarz-Durfee. “If I get out even a little late, I miss the bus and the train.”


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