Do not forget about commuter students, what makes UCCS what it is

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March 07, 2017

Eleanor Sturt

esturt@uccs.edu

     Last fall, and again this spring, enrollment records have been broken and students may be hopeful that the campus will continue to expand with it.

     As UCCS becomes a larger school, some students might also be hopeful to see a more traditional university and the perks that kind of campus offers.

     During the Student Government Association debate held on March 1, presidential and vice presidential candidates responded to questions regarding resident and commuter student life at UCCS.

     Vice presidential candidate Ashley StClair explained that SGA’s main goal should be to expand student life on campus.

     Presidential candidate Joey Vijayam and vice presidential candidate Kennedy Watson, his running mate, emphasized growing student life through clubs and organizations as well.

     With 1,650 beds available to students on campus, that makes only 14 percent of UCCS students on-campus residents.

     While moving the university closer to a more traditional college experience is a good aspiration that may attract more out-of-state students, we should not forget who makes up about 86 percent of the student body: nontraditional and commuter students.

     Proposals from SGA candidates to focus in SGA’s funds and efforts solely on a small percentage of students are ignoring the greater student body.

     While the typical “college experience” of meeting new friends, going to social events and getting involved on campus is important, it’s not entirely vital to one’s success as a student.

     Ultimately, we’re here to get a college degree for a career that will help us grow as people once we graduate.

     Funds for clubs, organizations and events on campus need to stay focused on accommodating the variety of students on campus, and supporting the differences in each student.

     Part of growing our minds and learning new perspectives means meeting new people.

     Expanding our point of view to include different narratives involves hearing people from all walks of life give their opinion. This could be from the freshman president of a sorority who lives on campus to the 30-yearold single dad who’s going back to school to fi nish his degree.

     UCCS should be helping students who have responsibilities both on and off campus alike. Commuter students often have responsibilities outside of school, including familial obligations, full-time jobs and some even attend Pikes Peak Community College simultaneously.

     Students who attend UCCS are not getting the same experience as a larger university such as CU Boulder.

     At UCCS, we should not attend to get the full “college experience,” and we should not be forcing something that is not there.

     But a broader sentiment with this idea rings true.

     While the typical “college experience” of meeting new friends, going to social events and getting involved on campus is important, it’s not entirely vital to one’s success as a student.

     Ultimately, we’re here to get a college degree for a career that will help us grow as people once we graduate.

     In our efforts to make the school a better place for residents, do not disregard the individual experiences of commuter students who have, and will continue, to be the centerfold of this university since 1965.

     UCCS is a school that was built for commuter students, and this vision should n

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