Drew Needs to Show More Love to Commuters 

by Nicole Giao Contributing Writer

4 mins read

As someone who recently went from resident to commuter, I can say there is a distinct difference between the culture of the two. As a resident, the entire campus is your oyster. As a commuter, you are limited to one specific parking lot and one lounge. 

Let me illustrate a day in the life of a commuter. You wake up and get ready for school. You leave the house one hour before your class begins just in case you run into traffic on the way. When arriving at school, you have two options: 1) hope the two parking spaces at the entrance aren’t taken, or 2) park your vehicle in the far left lot next to the DOYO. 

After you finish your classes, you either choose to stick around and study for a while or start the journey home. Your club options become more limited because most clubs meet in the evenings. The later the club meeting, the later you’ll return home. For example, if you attend a meeting at 8 p.m., by the time you arrive at your house it is 10 p.m. 

In addition to the meeting times and limited parking spaces, there are a couple other reasons to believe Drew doesn’t take their commuters into consideration. Commuter ID cards stop working after 7 p.m. So, if you possibly want to catch that meeting at 8p.m. in McLendon, you have to wait for a resident who has access to let you in. Leaving commuters to wait out in the dark is a concern for their safety. The least Drew can do is give us all equal access. 

I invite you to think about that for a second. Commuters are already separated based on their Drew ID card. It is true that the commuter lounge is one space where all commuters can choose to study together. But why prevent us from using lounges in the resident halls? Aren’t they all spaces to get our work done? Shouldn’t we be bringing more inclusivity to our campus? So why not start with the commuters? At a small school with a population of about 2,500 students, where 24% are commuters, there should be no separation.

I wonder if commuters have fewer privileges than residents because of how much a commuter pays to attend the school compared to a resident. Do residents receive more access because they pay more? 

The responsibility for the unfair treatment of commuters does not fall on the club leaders, campus security or student accounts. The responsibility falls on the institution. When Drew implements rules that discriminate between commuters and residents, it causes a subconscious shift in the students. So much that when asked you receive fairly different reactions to the question of whether you are a resident or a commuter.  Drew prides itself on being a close, tight-knit community but it doesn’t seem to include commuters.

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