Voices: ‘You can’t sit with us,’ where to go for commuters on campus 

Category:  Opinions
Tuesday, September 12th, 2017 at 12:58 PM

Officially, the number is 70 percent. 3,673 out of 5,247.

Whether they live in College Park, or drive 25 minutes from Erie, Edinboro University has identified over half of its student population as commuter students. It would make sense then, to have a central location, specific to commuters, where students could relieve their aching shoulders, store lunch, or heat up dinner before a night class.

However, in a puzzling move, the “in-renovations” sign that has been scotch taped to the door outside the commuter’s lounge on the second floor of Pogue since the Summer of 2016 came down as the Student ID office moved in earlier this year. Without warning, the university made the decision to remove the commuter’s lounge, leaving students on their own to find other lounges on campus that would suit their needs.

The university seems to have lost sight of the fact that commuters are just as much students as those who live in the Highlands. We commute for a number of reasons, not because we are not concerned about the education we receive. The university obviously cares about providing accommodations, why else would an Office of Student Affairs exist, so that students can receive a quality education. So why does it put the needs of commuter students last?

Commuter students have one request. And that is to have a shred of land on campus to claim ownership of, so that they can rest easy in class knowing that the soup they brought to campus isn’t slowly seeping into their backpack.

What’s frustrating about this situation is that the university felt no need to notify commuting students of the commuter’s lounge closing. Even worse yet, as they examined the state of Edinboro and how to make it a better school, over the summer, no time was found to simply equip a small room with a few tables, a refrigerator, a microwave and some chairs.

The suggestion from the administration that I spoke to about the issue was to utilize the library or Ross’s 24-hour computer lab. The definition of a commuter’s lounge is a place to relax between classes, and safely store any belongings. The library, and most definitely a computer lab, is not that place. Until the needs of both on-campus, and commuter students are equally met I find it hard to see commuter students feeling any sense of school identity anytime soon.

Having to spend what precious free time I have between classes salvaging my chemistry notes from tomato soup certainly doesn’t make me feel more like a Fighting Scot.

Shayma Musa can be reached at voices.spectator@gmail.com. 

Tags: opinon, parking

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