‘Suitcase’ school reputation debated

A student walks to her car preparing to go home for the weekend, a common problem that clubs on campus are trying to prevent with weekend activities.By Adrienne Stazzone

On any given weekday at Rider, students can be found hustling to and from class, grabbing a meal at Daly’s, studying in the library, or working out in the Student Recreation Center.
After a full week of following a routine, it is safe to assume that the entire campus looks forward to a fun and relaxing weekend where the stresses of class and work can be put aside.

“The week is always so busy, so I like to use the weekends to catch up with my friends that I don’t see all week,” said junior Alicia Cordero, a resident advisor in Ziegler Hall.  

However, what students do when Friday finally rolls around varies. Sometimes referred to as a “suitcase” school, Rider has a number of students who choose to go home once the weekend arrives.  

“It takes me about a half hour or so to get home, so I ended up keeping my job at a dance school in Hillsborough, N.J.,” said freshman Brianne Bergen. “I leave school after my last class and work Friday night and all day Saturday.”

While some students are motivated by the prospect of earning money at a job they are comfortable with, others make the decision to pack up and head home in order to see family, friends, boyfriends or girlfriends.  

Despite the number of students spending the weekend at home, others opt to stay on campus. Many feel as if they’ll risk losing opportunities for fun.

“When you go home all the time, you miss out on doing things with your friends on campus that are spur of the moment, like a road trip or a girls’ night out,” said Cordero.  

Numerous campus organizations make an active effort to get the students who stay for the weekend involved. This past month, SGA and the Student Entertainment Council (SEC) have sponsored engaging weekend events such as the Bronc Buffet.

Jenny Benack, president of SEC, enthusiastically supports the group’s efforts to keep the weekend population active.  

“SEC events are a great way for students to relax and have fun outside of the classroom. There is almost always something going on; you just have to look for it,” she said.  

Recently, SEC hosted “SEC in the City” weekend, which included an all-day bus tour through New York City.

“I’ll take advantage of trips, like the Sex and the City Bus Tour,” Cordero said. “Plus, Residence Life puts on programs so you don’t have to spend money to go find things to do.”  

While some students choose to participate in on-campus events, others view the weekend as the perfect time to kick back and relax.

“My friends and I will spend a day chilling out and watching movies or playing video games,” said senior Josh Chave. “Not every weekend has to have some big event to get me to stay on campus. I can have fun just socializing.”

The student body at Rider is diverse in a number of ways, and the issue of staying on campus versus going home for the weekend is just one reflection of that. Ultimately, the span from Friday to Sunday is adjusted according to preference and personality. Everyone is simply searching for a pressure-free outlet.  

“I look forward to just being able to take a break from classes,” said
freshman Amy Crowe. “I can relax and have a good time with my friends.”

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