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Commuting students adjust to disadvantages

April 15, 2015

Being a commuter in today’s college environment is much different than it was a few years ago.

Most commuters travel about an hour or less to attend UW-River Falls, and with only 41 percent of students living on campus, what does the rest of the student body do to get to class on time?

Gabe Moony, a commuting student, drives about 20 minutes, along with fellow student Matt Brisk who drives about an hour to attend classes.

Moony, who drives from Ellsworth, Wisconsin, says parking gets a bad reputation around campus due to people getting tickets in odd manors, but he disagrees with this general assumption.

“Parking is not as bad as people make it out to be,” Moony. “It is pretty easy once you just find a spot.”

Brisk agreed with Moony and even added that he hasn’t had a ticket yet, but he had one issue with on-campus life for commuting students.

“I have nowhere to put anything. If I have any breaks I don’t have much to do or anywhere to go, and I have to carry and lug around all my things for an entire day’s worth of class, not to add anything I’m doing after,” Brisk said.

Students do have options, as the UWRF website has a link dedicated to giving commuting students ideas of what to do while in-between classes that include game rooms, study tables, a computer lab and even lockers. These lockers just need a padlock brought by the student. So why do commuter students not know of this?

Being a part of campus has its perks but students who travel sometimes don’t even know what is available for them on a day-to-day basis. All this information can be found on the university website.

Moony said that the modernization of universities does have its benefits.

“The nice thing about being a commuter is how everything is online these days on D2L,” Moony said. “If you do miss a class because of work, you can always check D2L and get the material that you miss, it’s not how it was like 10 years ago.”

Brisk agreed, as he has had no issues with any teachers not updating D2L or not emailing him back, but he did say that on-campus organizations don’t appeal to a large audience of students that are commuting because they might not be able to help.

“I’m a part of clubs at home,” Brisk said. “I’m a community resident at home. We might not have a dairy club at home, but the UW Extension will put on stuff, and I may not be with people my age, but you can still find those people to meet with that have the same interests.”

The Student Voice will be running several commuting stories over the next month in an effort to discover how commuting affects the campus and community.