The Cove was overflowing with food, music, energy, commuters, and massages. Yes, massages. Commuter Connection held their first rather large event of the semester, perhaps in all of Vanguard commuter history. This past Thursday Commuter Connection coordinator, Rachael Lund her staff of student workers hosted the Commuter Cove Take-Over. Commuters were invited to enjoy free massages and lunch via taco bar from 11:00am to 1:00pm on October 10, 2013.
After enjoying a plate of tacos, chips, and salsa Vanguard commuters were treated to 10 minute neck massages from American Institute of Massage Therapy students.
Being such a small tight knit school community, commuter students at Vanguard can often be forgotten or left out of the loop. It’s not that commuters are a problem or disliked it just happens to be that those on campus have a direct contact relationship with the Resident Assistants (RAs). The job of the Resident Assistant is to live in the same facility as their peers while being their main source of communication and connection to events and how to make their life and stay at Vanguard a much easier one. Unfortunately when one does not live on campus they do not have that immediate communication and they tend to lose connection. Those living on campus can learn about events through their RAs or from friends whereas the commuter doesn’t have this advantage.
In prior years commuters have been left out of the loop although attempts were made to include commuters through formation of events, it has not been all that successful. This school year brings something new to commuters, this is Rachael Lund’s first time leading Commuter Connection and we have already seen changes. Lund hopes to bring an end to out of the loop commuters.
Since Lund has started this year commuters have had weekly and sometimes daily events. Lund and her student workers send out weekly newsletters to commuters to inform them about upcoming events, both commuter and non-commuter affiliated through email. Commuters can now meet up on Mondays and have lunch together, thanks to Commuter Connection.
“As far as relationally, we are trying a new thing with students, we have two students right now, that are called Commuter Assistants and they are kind of like the idea of a Resident Assistant. However they oversee a bigger group of people,” Lund said. Commuter Connection is currently focusing on the incoming freshman class and because they now have commuter assistants getting commuter students plugged in will become easier. Commuters will now have a point person to feel free to ask questions and events and messages will travel to commuters.
The Commuter Cove Take-Over was a success and brought many commuters out; trays of chicken, beans, and rice began to run out within the hour. Student commuter and junior at Vanguard, Jessica Carranza said, “I think it’s a great way to bring commuters out. In my three years here I have never heard or been to anything like this. I didn’t even know who the commuter representatives were.”
By next fall Lund and student staff workers hope to have a Commuter Cohorts program set up. The Commuter Cohorts program will put 25 commuter students together and place them in three classes together making commuter connection inevitable. In the meantime events are just fine and it seems things are looking up for commuters at Vanguard now that Commuter Connection exists.