Commuter Link Hosts Appreciation Event for Students

The Commuter Link is a space meant for commuter students and offers amenities such as a kitchenette, snack bar, printers and a study area. Commuter Appreciation Day took place on Jan. 15 at the Commuter Link, which is in the 1103 building, Room 105.

The setup at the event included multiple stations with goodie bags, snacks and activities in order to promote mindfulness and calmness. One of the activities was the use of a light therapy lamp to combat seasonal depression as well as information about the benefits of light therapy. Some other calming activities included mindfulness glitter jars and scrapbooking. They also had grab and go breakfast and recipes for meals that can be made in mugs.

Cristina Laviano is a collegiate advisor at the Commuter Link as well as a senior criminal justice major. She spoke about the services that the Commuter Link provides.

“We just want to make spaces for students that are non-traditional,” Laviano said. “The [Commuter Link] focuses generally on commuter students, and we do activities for them, give them a place to store their food, give them lockers, and have tea and coffee.”

Helen Nguyen is a first-year diagnostic ultrasound major. She has been commuting since fall quarter.

“As a commuter, I have to wake up an hour early just to get to school,” Nguyen said. “It’s hard to make friends when you’re a commuter and you can’t stay on campus to hang out with them.”

Nguyen has become friends with other commuter students at the Link. Nguyen also spoke about the conveniences that the Link provides, especially after class.

“The Commuter Link gives us food instead of having to take out money from our pockets,” Nguyen said.

Merry Ruat is a collegiate advisor who has worked for the Commuter Link for two years.

“We do about four activities per quarter,” Ruat said. On top of that, we have recurring events. For the fall quarter, that was Toastier Monday—a breakfast where we provide toast, then students can come in and have that every Monday. This quarter we are doing Cereal-ously Monday.”

As a collegiate advisor, Ruat helps commuter students with problems. Ruat mentioned one common issue that commuters have encountered is carpooling.

“Some students would want to carpool, but there is no resource to guide them or for us to provide them with,” Ruat said. We try to come up with a carpool form to fill out. Then we will try to see if another student is also looking for the same thing and even lives in the same city because, in order to carpool, they would have to commute from the same area.”

Aerielle Deering is a junior sociology major. She sees herself as a non-traditional student because she is a commuter and a transfer student.

“At my last school the resources were a lot more like, ‘Oh, hey, look at these resources, take advantage of them because you’re paying for them.’ [Here] it did take me a little while to know about [commuter resources].”

Deering spoke about her experience with student social life and some of the difficulties of it as a commuter.

“I think that there’s not very much awareness among the student body.

It can feel a little bit lonely because I feel like everyone kind of needs each other,” Deering said, “Living on campus and in those groups, it’s definitely a lot harder to get into a social circle.”

Deering also reflected on how the Commuter Link and other spaces with similar resources supports students like her on campus.

“[It’s a place] for you to feel at home on campus if you live farther away, and you need a place to get some coffee or just relax without being able to go all the way home.”

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