Commuters need a hang-out

As early as next fall, ASSP wants to put into place a commuter space, where commuter students "can go hang out and feel like they have a place on campus of their own," according to Commuter Senator Jade Ingmire.

This space would have limited enrollment and be open during normal business hours on campus.

"This is not a space for all commuters, there would be restricted enrollment," says Kathleen Braden, the dean of students.

"There will be input from the ASSP as to who will be allowed to enroll based on specific criteria." These criteria may include how far the students are commuting, what year they are in school, and how many classes they have.

The senate has heard proposals from Braden and some students regarding the creation of this commuter space and the plans are still pretty tentative.

ASSP President Bri Clark is involved in planning.

"Basically I have put together a team of current commuter students, some of whom are commuter senators, to act as an advisory group throughout this process," she said. "They are helping to answer the questions: Where should a collegium be on campus? What should the collegium look like? If there is a limited enrollment to the program, which students should have precedent?"

Braden said that the space would be modeled after Seattle University’s Collegia program.

According to Seattle University’s website, "the Collegia provides beautiful and welcoming ‘home away from home’ environments for commuter students where basic needs of food, shelter, security and a sense of belonging are supported."

The commuter space is one that would provide snacks, games, computers and other items of use to commuter students.

The commuter program would potentially put on events specifically for commuter students, in an effort to make their time at SPU more enjoyable. Events may include special dinners or outings that are just for commuter students.

There are a variety of locations being looked at for the collegium. Seattle University gave some suggestions to Braden. These suggestions included the space: being central and not too far from food, having the ability to install kitchenettes and being big enough to put in a variety of couches, desks and other useful items.

Seattle University has six different collegiums, based on the interests and majors of the students. Their program is a free service.

At Trinity Western University, there is a similar program for commuter students. It has one space and a yearly fee.

ASSP hasn’t decided if students will be charged for use of the commuter space.

To pay for the space, funds would be taken from the ASSP and the SPU community.

The staff at the collegium would be student workers, providing more jobs for SPU students.

In addition to a possible commuter space, there is a Commuter Student Union being formed. This will provide services to commuter students and help plan activities for non-residents, according to ASSP’s e-newsletter.

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Title: Commuters need a hang-out | Author: Nicole Tajima | Section: News | Published Date: 2003-12-03 | Internal ID: 3660