The Conversing Commuter: CAs give off-campus students a say

By Jess Scanlon

If residents have an issue in their daily life, they can go to the Residence Hall Association (RHA) to attempt to resolve it. But what does a commuter student do in the same situation? Go to the Association of Commuting Students (ACS), of course!

Dorms on campus are run by Resident Assistants, better known as RAs. They handle many issues that may arise in the residence hall environment. Similarly, commuters have a Commuter Assistant (CA). Functioning in much of the same capacity as an RA, a CA is there to help students with any issue they may come across in their daily lives here. However, there are obvious differences between the two, simply because of the lifestyle differences of resident and commuter life.

There are fewer CAs than there are RAs because fewer students choose not to live on campus. An RA serves as more of an authority figure, while a CA is more of a resource since students are beyond the jurisdiction of ACS after they leave school. RAs also serve more students, as every wing of a dorm has its own RA, while a CA caters mostly to freshmen and transfers — the first-year students.

Just as the RHA has been set up to help our resident community, ACS exists to do the same for our commuters. This organization exists to give commuters a voice on campus and to help them become more involved by making them aware of events on campus. Among these are the Awareness Fair in September and Sustainability Day this week. There is also a strong emphasis on community service such as going to Mill Hill next week for Halloween and the Relay for Life this spring. It is also simply a place where commuters can go to talk about any issues that may arise, just as students do at RHA meetings. This organization attempts to get people involved so they can be more active at Rider.

The college experience takes place inside and outside the classroom. Inside you learn about various subjects, such as the Han Dynasty in a history class or the conjugation of verbs in a foreign language class; outside you learn life lessons such as how to be responsible, how to work well with others and basically how to be an adult. What is the point of even coming to college unprepared to learn both? These are supposed to be the best years of our lives; why not embrace them, regardless of where we choose to live? Yes, we should take advantage of this time because we will never have the same opportunities again once we graduate. This is the purpose and the mission of ACS: to give the commuter community a voice here on campus and to help them get involved, so that these may truly be the best years.

Association of Commuting Students holds its weekly meetings on Mondays at 4:30 p.m. in BLC 257.

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