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Tips to make the commute better

Road rage

Class starts in 20 minutes, and you’re 20 minutes away – if you disregard speed limits. However, there’s a car plugging up the left lane, doing 60 beside a car doing 60 in the right lane. You begin tailgating. Your right hand balls into a fist. Your middle finger begins separating from the pack.

You’re close to what some people call “road rage.”

The American Automobile Association says that although motorists are justifiably angry after being cut off or cursed, they should react amiably. This will be difficult the first few times, but it will eventually become an automatic response.

Just as it is dangerous to make eye contact with an angry dog, don’t make it with an angry driver. According to the AAA, this can turn an “impersonal encounter” into a “personal” one.

Anger Management Blog recommends switching to soothing music. Turn off the techno, homicide rock or rap, and tune to classical music for a few minutes.

If an angry driver appears to be following you, use your phone to contact the authorities or locate a safe place where many people are around. Above all, Anger Management Blog says, “DO NOT drive home!”

And, most importantly, give yourself plenty of time to reach your destination. Leave a few minutes earlier so you can relax during your commute. However, don’t relax in the passing lane.

– Joe Gartrell

Parking concerns

Commuter lots are some of the biggest parking lots on campus, but they cause some of the biggest controversy.

Good commuter parking spaces are a rare commodity on most days, especially Tuesdays and Thursdays, the days when the most commuters come to campus.

Parking Services Manager Randy Ristow said he understands the troubles of commuter students trying to find a space.

“We realize most true commuters are driving some distance, and they have another job,” he said. “Time is a concern.”

Ristow said the commuters need to understand the problems Parking Services has.

“Everybody can’t park in the first row,” he said. “Somebody is going to have to park in the last row. And sometimes that last row is the next lot over.”

Parking Services issues about 5,500 commuter parking permits for about 2,400 commuter spaces on campus, not including Summit East and the Allerton ballfield lot.

Senior art history major Megan Hauser said she’s not upset with the way Parking Services handles the commuter parking lots on campus.

“They at least try to get them relatively close (to classes),” she said. “I think the walk is usually shorter than if I was in a dorm.”

But there is some relief on the horizon.

With the demolition of Terrace Hall planned for this summer, the plan is to replace the building with a commuter surface parking lot that will add about 150 to 175 parking spaces. That’s in an area Ristow said lacks parking availability for commuters.

– Kelly Mills

Commuter student group

The Commuter and Off-Campus Student Organization sponsors activities and represents students’ concerns in various committees. The organization has information on its Web site, coso.kent.edu, about various student concerns, including information on legal issues, parking and being a tenant and also apartments for rent.

More than 100 registered student organizations serve students interested in anything from biology to Greek life. The Campus Life Web site, www.kent.edu/campuslife/studentorganizations/, has a list of every registered organization and its contact information.

Jared Speer, senior aviation management major who commutes from Massillon, said he recommends spending time in the commuter lounge in the lower level of the Student Center. He also suggested that to get involved, commuter students may need to be a little bit outgoing.

“You don’t understand something in a class?” he said. “Ask someone; Join a study group or start your own. Most of the time I find that I actually learn more than (I do) sitting in class.”

Speer said commuting can be both a reward and a struggle, but it depends on how a student chooses to handle his or her situation.

Speer agreed that although a little bit of schedule juggling may be necessary, commuter students have the same opportunities to be as involved with organizations as on-campus students.

– Erin Hopkins

Best Campus Hangouts

The Student Recreation and Wellness Center, located at the intersection of Summit Street and Ted Boyd Drive: “You can get a workout in and eat at the Summit Street Caf‚,” said Roxanne James, junior hospitality management major. “They have the best wraps. I like one with chicken and ranch.”

Rosie’s Cafe, located inside Tri-Towers: “They’re open forever, and you can buy groceries and good food,” said freshman journalism major Kelsey Washburn.

Jazzman’s Cafe, located in the basement of the Student Center and inside the library: “It’s a great place to get a cup of coffee, meet friends and even study,” said senior education major Jamie Barber.

Dorm lounges: “I like the bridge lounge between Centennial A and B,” said Kim Naso, sophomore recreational management major. “It’s nice because you can play pingpong, study or watch a movie with a bunch of people from the dorms.

Pete’s Arena, located in the basement of the Student Center: “They have really good breadsticks, and you can smoke down there,” said Jamie Blank, junior integrated health studies major.

– Audrey Wagstaff