Off-campus, adult students find a place at Kent State

Lauren Frankovich

COSO helps commuters fit

Matt Maynard, junior aeronautics major and member of Commuter and Off-Campus Student Organization, helps out in the COSO office during the week.

Credit: Andrew popik

Many commuter students complain about parking as one of their concerns. But not Matt Maynard.

The junior aeronautics major doesn’t mind getting a little bit of exercise on his way to class, but he does mind feeling isolated on campus.

“They gear so many things toward people living here, and it makes you feel separate from everyone else,” he said.

Kevin Hallsky, freshman economics major and a commuter, said he also feels isolated on campus.

“You can’t help but feel you aren’t a part of the community on campus,” he said.

Maynard said another disadvantage of being a commuter student is how much time he spends driving.

“I spend an hour a day driving, and that’s a big chunk out of my day,” he said.

Commuter students need to become involved in organizations so they don’t feel isolated on campus, Hallsky said.

“Too many commuters go to class and leave,” he said.

Hallsky said he decided to join the Commuter and Off-Campus Student Organization to help pass time between his classes. 

Eric Lyon, COSO president and freshman exploratory major, said COSO is a nice resource for commuter students. People on campus do not always think of commuter students because the campus was designed for residence students, Lyon said.

“We’re trying to get people to know we’re 75 percent of the campus community,” Hallsky said.

COSO organizes Commuter 101 for incoming commuter students. It is part of the orientation program designed especially for commuter students.

“It makes them realize the commuter body is larger than they think it is,” Lyon said.

COSO helps build a community on campus that encourages commuter students to become involved, Hallsky said. It also helps keep them informed on housing and parking. “It makes the Kent State experience more enjoyable,” he said.

Maynard is also a member of COSO and said he decided to join because he had class with another member.

Hallsky said COSO publishes an apartment guide and hosts coffee hours throughout the semester for commuter students.

COSO helps commuter students by holding events for students and having an open door, Hallsky said. “The door is always open. Don’t be afraid to stop in,” he said.

Contact transportation reporter Lauren Frankovich at [email protected].