Commuters Have Mixed Feelings on Commuter Appreciation Week


Caitlin Carney, Staff Writer

At the University of New Haven, the campus is almost 50% commuter students and many students know of their struggles with parking, but this past week the Center for Student Engagement, Leadership and Orientation (CSELO) put on Commuter Appreciation Week. This week aimed to help commuters feel more welcomed at this campus as well as appreciated.

Commuter student, Olivia Quagliani said, “I think the university does a great job recognizing commuters and making sure we feel at home even though we don’t live here.”

Quagliani is involved in the Psychology club on campus as well as a sorority, Chi Kappa Rho. Quagliani finds it very easy to get involved at the University and even though she is a commuter, she feels as though she spends most of her time on campus participating in events for the school.

This week featured various meals for commuters, as well as games and a Commuter Bash on Thursday. At every day of events, commuter students were able to learn more about getting involved on campus. In addition to this, commuter students were able to win free prizes. These free prizes included water bottles, emergency car kits, gas gift cards and much more.

Freshman commuter student, Justin Galarza, attended the commuter breakfast on Monday morning and was thankful to get something to eat. Galarza said that at the events he went to, “commuters were just sitting eating and on laptops.” Though the week aimed to appreciate commuters and bring them together, Galarza still felt very distant from his fellow commuters. Galarza also attended the commuter bash and said that it was “more of a chill thing” and that it was not a very exciting event.

Another commuter student, Meredith Narowski, is a Junior at the University who also transferred to the University. Narowski has said that getting involved on campus is how she grew to feel welcomed at this school. She is involved in the Chargers Marching Band as well as Kappa Kappa Psi, a co-educational Fraternity on campus. Narowski said, “without these organizations and the amazing people who welcomed me into them, I would probably still feel alone and without any friends.”

While commuters had varying experiences throughout commuter student appreciation week, they all agree on the incredibly real problem that is parking. Commuter student, Kyle Markey, lives very close to the University and because of this he likes to come and go; however, he finds that if he leaves campus it will take him a long time to find parking when he comes back. He explained that he loves the freedom he feels due to his ability to leave campus whenever he likes, but he said, “I hate trying to find parking when I come back to campus – it could take forever.”

While the university continues to try and include commuter students, many still feel the strains of participating on campus without a place to park.