C.O.S.O. aims to bridge commuters, campus life

Meghan Bogardus

Organization plans to grow membership

Just looking at the number of residence halls on campus, it’s easy to see how one might assume that on-campus students are the majority.

However, this is far from the truth.

“About 80 percent of students (at Kent State) are commuters,” said Andrew Deckert, assistant director of the Commuter and Off-Campus Student Organization.

C.O.S.O. is an organization that focuses on the interests of such students. It has been around for a few years, but is still not known to many students.

“Last spring semester, C.O.S.O. just dropped off the radar,” Zane Powell, C.O.S.O.’s executive director, said.

Powell said the main focus of the organization this semester is to build their board of directors and recruit students for the organization.

Deckert, who commutes daily from Akron, said he believes the organization can make life on campus more appealing for commuters and keep those students from feeling left out.

“I think C.O.S.O. is a voice for the students to the university,” he said.

While C.O.S.O. has not come up with a set schedule yet, Powell said they are planning on focusing on the main interests of commuters: transportation, parking and housing.

“We want to form a couple of programs around those ideas,” he said.

Deckert said the university as a whole could help commuter students feel the college experience by making events more appealing to those students.

Chelsea Knowles, a sophomore managerial marketing major, who commutes from Hudson, said she believes the university is lacking in events targeting students living off-campus.

“You feel as though the university values residents more,” she said. “I think it’s important to make commuter students feel a part of the campus.”

Knowles said in the way of events, it would be helpful if they were at “friendlier” times of the day.

She said often times events are held after 8 p.m., when some commuters are already at home.

Also, Knowles suggested that the university create a place on campus specifically for off-campus students to go in between classes with a refrigerator and microwave for those students who buy food on campus and don’t have a friend’s dorm to go to.

Deckert and Powell said the organization’s main goal this semester is to get commuters and off-campus students involved on campus.

C.O.S.O. will be sponsoring events for the Adult Student Center’s Adult Learner Week in October and holding monthly coffee hours.

The C.O.S.O. office is in Room 120G of the Student Center.

Contact student affairs reporter Meghan Bogardus at [email protected].