Tips, tricks for commuter students

Ashley Purnell

The college experience differs between students who live on campus, and students who commute from home. However, there are many ways for commuters to connect with the campus and make their time at Kent State much easier.

With over 23,000 undergraduate students and over 200 organizations to get involved in, Kent State’s campus can be a daunting place. Commuters make up nearly 80 percent of the student body, which means their involvement on campus is important to many of these organizations.

For students commuting this year, here are some tips and tricks to help get by and feel more connected to campus.

1. Get involved on campus 

With 200 over organizations on campus, multiple sororities and fraternities and other events that take place throughout the year, there is a lot to choose from to get involved.

Many events around campus are free for students, such as movies at the Kiva, all sporting events, theater performances and most organization’s events. A lot of these events often provide free t-shirts, sunglasses and other kinds of merchandise.

For commuters, the Center for Student Involvement hosts commuter events almost daily. To learn more about upcoming events, visit the CSI office located in room 226 of the Student Center.

2.  Give yourself time getting to campus

A problem that occurs with a lot of commuters is getting stuck in traffic or not being able to find parking which then makes them late to class.

“You know days that you are running late seems to be when you hit every red light,” said Rebecca Kapler, the assistant director of the Center for Student Involvement. “Give yourself more time because if you are running late, something is usually going to go wrong.”

When commuting, Kapler suggested always allowing a couple extra minutes to get to campus. Especially during prime-time class hours, Kent streets can get very congested with traffic.

3. Park in properly designated areas

Parking is often a common problem at Kent for commuter students. Almost every day, students complain about not being able to find a parking spot, or receiving a ticket from parking services.

“I always see people parking just close to their class without a pass, which sucks because I bought an expensive pass and never have a spot to park in,” said Audya Williams, a sophomore commuter student who transferred to Kent State this year. “My commute is 30 minutes, but I leave usually an hour before my classes just to make sure I have time to park and get to class.”

Parking in your designated lot will save you from getting a ticket. Kapler also suggests that parking where you are supposed to park will end up saving time.

4. Attend the monthly commuter forum meetings

Every month, Kent’s Commuter and Off-Campus Student Organization (COSO) hosts meetings where commuters can go and learn about upcoming events as well as present their problems to the executive board and other campus professionals.

“We would love to have more people are our meetings, and we usually have someone in our office during the day to answer questions for commuters,” said Nick Crawford, the executive director of COSO. To learn more about COSO, visit their website.

There is also a biweekly commuter newsletter that gets emailed out to any commuter who opts-in to it. The newsletter highlights upcoming events, which take place almost every day and during times that are more convenient for commuters. To subscribe to the newsletter, email Kapler at [email protected].

Ashley Purnell is the commuters and apartment life reporter. Contact her at [email protected]