When Rider students say that this college is a “suitcase school,” it upsets me. Weekends on campus are what you make of them; it is your job as a student to choose whether or not you want to get involved. When I chose to attend Rider as a senior in high school, I knew I wanted the most out of my college experience. Waking up each day only to go to class, eat at the dining hall and then go to sleep was not an interest of mine. I wanted to be involved with the campus community and organizations. I have to admit I was worried that I would find myself bored on the weekends with nothing to do but watch television. However, I have never had that problem. I surrounded myself with other students who wished to stay on campus. Although I did not have a car at school until this year, I always found something to do.
In the middle of every week, each Rider student receives an email labeled “WEEKEND WARRIORS.” Within this email, students are able to learn of campus events taking place from Thursday through Sunday. This may include sporting events, Bronc Bingo, Rider Pub nights and off-campus trips, with transportation provided, sponsored by the Student Entertainment Council (SEC). Since freshman year, I have looked forward to these emails because they give me an idea of what I can do each day of the weekend. Recently, the SEC sponsored the Second Annual “I Love College Party,” which proved to be a success. Usually in October, a trip to Six Flags Great Adventure’s Fright Fest is provided. I attended this trip last year and had a blast. Also, an excursion to see a Broadway or off-Broadway play is provided each semester. Although there may not be an event scheduled each weekend by the SEC, they do a wonderful job keeping students from going home by offering a variety of exciting events.
In addition to the weekly emails, joining a club and/or organization is another possibility. As a member of Alpha Phi Omega (APO), I have service events each weekend that I am able to attend. Joining APO was one of the best decisions I have made in college because I am now able to help others with my friends and have fun while doing it. There are several other Greek organizations that make weekends at Rider enjoyable as well. Some may say that certain clubs only meet during the week, so most students are still without something to do on the weekends. However, by joining a club you are able to make new friends. By making new friends, you can have your own fun. Certain campus events may not interest you, so you and your friends can find something else that is entertaining for everyone.
I also know several commuters who drive to Rider each weekend in order to spend time on campus with their friends. Being a commuter is not an excuse to stay home on the weekend. Weekends at Rider should be fun for everyone. Remember that college only lasts four years, and a quick four years at that. Try your best to enjoy your time here and choose not to go home on the weekends.
Junior English major
Printed in the 9/18/13 edition.