The commuter outreach program is designed to help students that commute to campus feel like they are still as much a part of the college as the residents are. However, some of these events are way too easy to miss. These events range from peanut butter and jelly day and bingo to late day in the zone, and they encourage the commuters to come together to get a “full college experience.”
A great deal of students that are commuters try to create a schedule that allows them to go to Shepherd as infrequently as possible. If one outreach event happens on a Tuesday, and that’s the only time it will happen the entire month, students that only go to school Monday, Wednesday and Friday missed out on the only commuter outreach activity. Peanut butter and jelly day, for example, only happens one day a month and for only three to four hours. The late day in the zone, which is the commuter’s substitution to late night in the zone, happens once every few months as well. I realize it may be expensive to run these events, but considering a substantial amount of Shepherd students are commuters, our tuition money is probably more than enough to pay for more of these events.
The commuter outreach program could be a lot more flexible with its events and there could definitely be more of them. An easy remedy to this could be just simply making the outreach events once every two weeks or at least alternate the days from a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule to a Tuesday and Thursday schedule to satisfy all commuters that don’t commute to Shepherd every day.
Also, a bigger variety of commuter outreach events could be created. Not everyone likes peanut butter and jelly or bingo. Some events could help explain different aspects of campus life that some commuters may not be familiar with. After all, that’s what the events should be all about.
Some students believe that just because there is a lack of outreach, students can still take matters into their own hands to become a part of the community. Sophomore Megan Emery said, “If you are going to put yourself out of the loop, then that’s where you’re going to stay. If you want to be an active commuter, just get out there and be involved.”
Whether you are a commuter using the outreach program and its events to meet friends or if you attend them by yourself, just remember: if you feel like college is too big or daunting for you, you’re more than likely not alone. Go to bingo day and start a conversation with someone, or the next time you see a person sitting by his or herself in the Ram’s Den, invite him or her to come to your table.