Traditional school aspects can create community

Sept. 15, 2014

Audrey Jensen
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You don’t have to live in the dorms to have a great college experience.

But the increase in on-campus housing and students who live on campus will help create a vibrant community, no matter your housing location.

With each freshmen class, there seems to be a greater awareness of events on campus. The Office of Student Activities and other organizations come together to create a community of students.

Each year there seem to be more students wanting to attend events, performances and other student activities.

It’s often difficult for a commuter student to feel a part of the “membership” at UCCS. A commute to and from school while living off campus makes it harder to get to know other students outside of your classes due to only being around when you have classes.

I was a dedicated student during my freshman year at UCCS. I went to classes, I worked and I studied. That was my schedule. It seemed that on-campus activities were only meant for people who lived in the dorms.

Once sophomore year started I realized that I wasn’t going to be involved in the college community unless I made an effort to do so. I met many other students that were in the same boat. I started attending different group gatherings on campus and decided to apply for The Scribe.

I learned that once you make the effort to be involved on campus and meet other students, it will happen.

If you want to meet students and be involved on campus, research and become aware of current events. The Club Fair and Mountain Lion Connect can aid you in finding clubs, organizations and other events worth attending.

Do not fall into thinking that you are alone. Making friends in college is not just handed to you when you live off campus, so push yourself to meet other students.

The on-campus student population will continue to grow as more and more dorms are added. Although living on campus is costly and not everyone can afford it, moving toward a traditional college campus could help motivate students that commute to school to become involved.

“Research indicates that students who live on campus have significantly more social interaction with peers. This connection with peers is important because many students will leave a university if they feel disconnected and marginalized from their community,” according to David Johnstone on the George Fox University website.

This research exemplifies the need for commuting students to involve themselves in traditional college activities. Feeling connected to others at a large university is an important part of the college experience and will help your self-esteem and your future.

“A recent national survey of over 260,000 freshmen and seniors at 523 four-year colleges and universities, found that students who participate in collaborative learning and educational activities outside the classroom are more satisfi ed with their education and are more likely to remain in college,” Laurel Rosch wrote in an online article.

If you never decide to join the campus community outside of classes, your experience will falter. The traditional campus that UCCS is moving toward will only help involve you.