Commuter Column: Education just one part of life for commuters

Going to work, participating in class, and helping out at home. For many commuters, life at Rider is just one part of a busy schedule.

The day of most commuters starts with getting to campus, either Lawrenceville or Westminster. Most drive to class alone, but others do take public transportation or carpool. No matter how they get here, traffic is always an issue, particularly for those who take Interstate 95, I-295, I-195 or Route 1. These roads are especially bad during both the morning and evening rush. The traffic that we face on a daily basis is just the tip of the iceberg of commuter life.

Work, internships and/or co-ops are often another component of the average commuter’s life. Many work on campus, maybe in the Student Success Center or at the Student Recreation Center, or off-campus at local businesses. This part of the day generally occurs after, or sometimes before, class and on weekends. Work, in any form, is difficult to manage in addition to classes, but it is simply another facet of a student’s life.

Extracurricular activities such as a sport, club or organization are other components that some overlook. In the Student Government Association Senate on the Lawrenceville Campus, there are 13 commuters, including the Association of Commuting Students (ACS) vice president. The president of the freshman class commutes. Commuters are represented in nearly every organization on campus, with the obvious exception of the Residence Hall Association. Some Greeks are also commuters.

The ACS is the sub-government responsible for commuters. At meetings, the focus is largely on making sure members know what will occur on the campus that week because the organization understands that members may not be on campus because of off-campus responsibilities. However, there may be events that slip under the radar. The recent nomination of new members to the Community Standards Board, an organization that dictates many aspects of on-campus life for all students, resident or otherwise, occurred without commuter representation.

Both commuters who live with their families or with roommates offcampus are expected to participate somehow in keeping their household running smoothly. Chores, paying bills, etc. are yet another part of many commuters’ lives. Also they may be involved in their local communities, a factor that may not exist for most resident students.

Residents of the Lawrenceville and Westminster campuses do have their own lives, which probably involve some balancing of school, work and/or home life, especially the students who work off-campus, student teach, etc. But for a commuter student, this balancing act must be done on a daily basis. Anyone know how to juggle?

-Jess Scanlon,

Sophomore journalism major

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