SDSU commuters find their place on campus

by Christine Whitman, Senior Staff Writer

Time spent at San Diego State can be a difficult experience, especially for commuter students, but the Commuter Resource Center can change that.

Freshmen commuters don’t live in on-campus housing like many fellow first-years, making it more difficult to create lasting friendships. These students commonly move into off-campus apartments and houses together after freshman year, creating a larger gap between the groups of students.

According to the SDSU Student Life and Leadership’s commuter life website, more than 85 percent of today’s college students don’t live on campus.

It’s not uncommon for those students to go to school and straight home without creating any meaningful relationships with teachers and other students.

This trend becomes more likely when students don’t join any organizations or participate in opportunities for involvement on campus.

But being a commuter student seems to have an upside for civil engineering sophomore Alan Llamas.

“Commuting has its perks, like home-cooked meals, free housing and a comfortable living space,” Llamas said.

Political science sophomore Courtney White believes there are both advantages and disadvantages to being a commuter student.

“Being a commuter was difficult because if I was late for class or for a test, there wasn’t much I could do, whereas people who live on campus could just run to class,” White said. “The advantage was I was able to go to more places, (whereas) others who lived on campus were stuck there unless they took the trolley or bus.”

Commuter students also have the opportunity to form relationships through their general education courses without participating in any outside activities.

The Commuter Resource Center, located on the second floor of the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union, gives commuter students a place to relax between classes and connect with other commuter students.

“The Commuter Resource Center was designed by students to be a valuable part of the new Student Union,” said Tyler Aguilar, Associated Students vice president of external relations. “I’m so proud to see the success of center and the continuous improvements that have been made to serve commuter students and make them feel connected to campus.”

The center is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Friday. Inside, there’s a large seating area, T.V., copier and multiple microwaves to fit all of students needs.

The space is quiet, making it a great place for students to study for upcoming exams.

Students with a valid Red ID can use the center as a resource to fine-tune resumes and social media accounts, as well as learn test-taking tips.

The center also holds workshops, mentor programs, orientation sessions and career fairs to help commuter students to connect and discover valuable information.

SDSU faculty strives to create a strong sense of community through programs that help commuter students to find their place on campus.

Some of these include intramural sports, Greek organizations and community service opportunities.

No matter what it’s being used for, the Commuter Resource Center is a valuable resource and should be used more frequently by students.