Confessions of an Uber driver: What do students really think of UCCS?

Feb. 29, 2016

Alexander Nedd
anedd@uccs.edu

It’s not every day you’re offered a free ride around school in exchange for a selfie and your opinion. But that’s exactly what several students were given while waiting in line for a shuttle bus.

As a journalist, it’s my job to make the voice of the people heard. A future reporter needs to know how to talk to people, and Uber helped me to develop those skills. My customers talk about anything, and for that one ride, I’m all theirs.

I decided to combine my love of journalism while using Uber to my advantage. I sought the answer to one question: what do students really think of UCCS?

The answer was only one free ride away.

Students were eager to talk about the place they spend most of their time, each sharing how UCCS first attracted them and their goals.

“It was my first choice; a few of my friends go here too,” said junior mechanical engineering major Nick Stalzer.

“(I like) seeing a lot of people that I actually know,” said sophomore elementary education major Sarah Pascarelli.

The campus’ location is also an advantage for students.

“It’s about an hour away from my house which is nice. It’s close to home but far away,” said Kylie Koetter, a nursing major and sophomore.

“It has the potential of being a pretty big school in Colorado, if they already aren’t,” said junior marketing major Hector Vazquez.

Meeting other students has a positive impact, even changing students’ perception of the campus.

“When I first got here I was like ‘No, everybody just goes here,’ but that’s not true. I’ve met so many people here, traditional students and non-traditional students. I’ve learned so much from the nontraditional students here especially,” said junior Spanish major Jahlysa Wilson.

UCCS has also grown in size over the last five years, a move most students agree will have a positive impact for the future.

“UCCS is growing, it’s saying that (we) can be the place to come out and have fun. It used to be we study, we go home, but it seems that we are trying to push past that,” said Wilson.

“I’ve seen a lot of changes, with new buildings; I don’t even know what that is,” Stalzer said, while passing the Academic Office Building.

Emma Browning, sophomore nursing major, said that even with the growth, the campus support for students hasn’t wavered.

“I love how supportive the campus is with the students,” said Browning. “I can go back to other professors and still talk to them and they will help me.”

That doesn’t mean there aren’t setbacks, including the common complaints of slow Wi-Fi and parking.

“I wish parking passes were cheaper but I understand why they are as expensive as they are but more parking would be really nice,” said Browning.

“I hate the Wi-Fi, because I live on campus and I deal with it 24/7,” said Koetter. “It’s slow honestly.”

But while each ride was different in both destination and character, one universal theme was agreed on by all: you can’t beat the view.

“When I think about UCCS, I think how beautiful it is,” Pascarelli said.