Commuter students discuss difficulties with getting involved on campus

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Being involved on campus can influence a student’s overall college experience, but some commuter students say it can be difficult to get involved and to access what is available to students who live on campus.

“Sometimes you feel left out of the activities on campus,” Lena Salameh, a senior chemistry major, said. “You want to stay and enjoy time with friends and students, but you need to get home safe.”

Bad weather, travel times and parking are all factors that can change the way commuter students experience college.

“Even if I leave my house on time, then it’s a struggle to get to class (on time) because of parking,” said Anna Brewer, a freshman safety technology and engineering major.

Brewer said she has not had the opportunity to explore campus and meet students outside of class because of her commute and other responsibilities. She said she has to carry 18 class hours while juggling a family and a home.

“Students on campus just have to focus on their work and a small space to care for,”Brewersaid.

Not all commuter students have the opportunity to utilize as many of the resources Marshall offers as other students because of difficulties getting to campus or finding parking, but some commuters students said they have been able to utilize some of these resources.

Maddy Parker, a senior elementary special education and political science double major, said resources such as Marshall’s Office of Advocacy and Success, Rec Fest and the Student Organization Fair have allowed her to have “the same opportunities as a student who lives on campus.”

Utilizing the resources available to students is what Parker said makes Marshall feel like her “home away from home.”

“Marshall tries their best to get commuters involved,” Salameh said.

Still, some commuter students want campus life to be more accessible to their needs. Issues like parking, weather restrictions and event times/club meeting times are what some commuters said need to be addressed and modified.

Housing provisions during inclement weather and excused absences specific to commuter students “since a portion of commuter students are also mothers and fathers” are suggestions that Salameh said could improve commuter students’experiences. 

Makaylah Wheeler can be contacted at [email protected]

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