Being a commuter is no excuse for lacking campus involvement

By Freddie Fitzsimmons, Contributing Writer
Commuters at West Liberty University should become more active on and around campus. The common theme from students is, “There is nothing for us as commuters to do on campus!” As a commuter myself, I understand it is harder to get involved as we are not on campus at all times. 

I work a part-time job, play on the men’s golf team, and take 18 credit hours a semester. There are barriers we face as commuters, although that does not mean we have to go to class and do nothing else on campus.  
There are events on campus happening almost every day. If you take a stroll around campus, you will see posters for clubs, fraternities, sororities, and intramural sports.
“I just joined a sorority on campus and occasionally play bingo. It gives me a chance to get involved and meet new people,” said sophomore Abby Baranski. 
With winters being bad in West Liberty, it can be troubling to commute to class. A simple solution is to find friends on campus that live in the dorms. This will keep you active in the campus community life and experiencing the college lifestyle better. I myself have found and made friends that if the weather gets bad I have a place to stay overnight. 
In the upstairs of the union, there is a commuter’s lounge. WLU created it for the commuters to relax in between their classes without having to go all the way home. It offers couches, chairs, free coffee and even free Apple TV. 
“I have taken advantage of the commuter lounge from time to time due to it being a quite and good place to take a break,” said junior Hunter Travis.
I believe that the commuter lounge is not being taken advantage of by commuters. It is a small space, but a place where you can not only go to study or relax but meet other commuters and make friends. There have been times when I have met individuals I’ve never seen before and now wave to when I see them on campus. To make it a more popular place for students, WLU should make the first move and make the commuters lounge larger or move it to a larger location. 
“It could be made bigger and be moved to make it a more popular destination for commuters here at West Liberty,” said Travis. 
West Liberty often gets referred to as the “suitcase campus,” due to students commuting and everyone going home on weekends, but this article gives you five simple and efficient ways to branch out more on campus and get involved. 
As a West Liberty University student, what will it take for you to get more involved as a commuter? Is it a time frame issue or a not wanting to get involved issue? 
As a commuter and member of the men’s golf team, I understand not having the time. Clubs and organizations meet at certain times and those times may not meet your schedule. Don’t fall into the trap of “there is nothing to do up here!” Find something that fits your schedule and interests you, and then join it. We only get to experience college once, so have fun and get involved around campus. 
Make sure to know the who, what, where, and why. The internet is my go-to spot for that. Clubs and organizations could work out a guideline sheet per semester with all events and activities planned and post that on their social media so if this sparks interest for a potential member they feel a connection from the start. 
Updating your council, contact information, meeting dates, and even the organization’s purpose is very important when someone could be seeking an opportunity with you. An online presence can also track member involvement and can help conduct surveys based upon the next event or what members would like to do next.
This will give the members a chance to feel a part in the events planned, not just showing up to help out. Giving members the chance to express their wants will grow a stronger community and unity within the club or organization. 
Allowing the insight from all campus community will spread a bigger awareness and presence into what your purpose and goals are within your club or organization. This gives the community the opportunities and facts they are searching for when looking to help out or join a club or organization with those same values and purposes they have.
Photo Credit: Freddie Fitzsimmons