Today: May 29, 2024

Free lunch provided for commuters

Lexi White- General Reporter

Students were lined up all the way down the Adanti Student Center hallway to get a free lunch. Commuter Services provided free tacos, churros and beverages to all students who wanted to indulge in a zero-expense meal.  

Ashley Perez, a graduate intern for the Office of Student Involvement, loves to help host these once a month lunches for students. The Office of Student Involvement and Commuter Services come together to make this afternoon full of free food the best it can be.  

“This is just a place for all students to just get together, talk and eat,” Perez said. “I know some commuter students do not have the commuter meal plan, so this is also a good way for them to get food in between classes.” 

Photo: Lexi White

Commuter Services can host this endeavor every month thanks to the funding from the student government. They then reach out to Sodexo Catering and create a menu that can feed about 150 students. Finally, Sodexo arrives on campus with a truck full of delicious food and sets up the event an hour before it begins. 

“This benefits all students because college students love anything free, and they can build a community on campus,” Perez said.  

Psychology major Heather Rae Gaydowe, a sophomore, is a commuter assistant for Commuter Services. Gaydowe is a commuter herself and thinks that events like this help other commuters navigate life on campus. 

“I like to help encourage other commuters to stay on campus as long as possible because there are so many opportunities for engagement and connection,” Gaydowe said. “I try my best to remember everyone’s names so that they can always come up to me on campus and just talk.” 

One fact that Gaydowe pointed out, was how the university is a big commuter school. According to the US News & World Report, commuters at the university make up 71% of the student body.  

One commuter who attended the luncheon was communications disorders major Payton Pelletier, a freshman. She thinks there are many positive and negative sides to being a commuter on campus.  

“I think the biggest pro is saving money,” Pelletier said. “The biggest con is the hour commute that I have and how that alone time in the car can really take a toll mentally.” 

Like Pelletier, many commuters think about the financial aspect of schooling, whether that be with housing or even meal plans.  

“Being able to come here and not spend money on lunch takes a weight off my shoulders and makes the transition of coming to college a little bit more stress-free,” Pelletier said.  

Nursing major Darcy Pena Pineda, a freshman, was another student who attended Commuter Services’ luncheon. She came to the event to support her commuter friends. 

“For commuters, I feel like this puts them on campus a bit more,” Pena Pineda said. “As a resident, I see this as a time to bond with my commuter friends.” 

Another student at the luncheon was sports management major Josue Campos, a junior. He came to this event because he is a commuter himself and wanted to see what the atmosphere was like.  

“Events like this make us feel so much more included just like everybody else on campus,” Campos said. 

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