The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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The Chronicle’s View: Commuter students need to care about U, too

Despite the efforts of administrators to alter the nature of the U, it is still predominantly a commuter campus.

A significant portion of U students live off campus and commute to school daily. A smaller, but also significant, portion look forward to more than one hour of commute every day.

Commuter students have a much more difficult time becoming involved in U events, as they spend much less time on campus. Compound that difficulty with a part-time or full-time job-something many U students juggle-and there just seems to be too little time in the day to care about the U.

This poses a serious problem.

Research has indicated that involvement in campus activities is beneficial to nearly every aspect of a well rounded college education. Students who have a hand in campus events and their planning and execution have, logically, a greater vested interest in their school.

An inability to assimilate and become a part of one’s university can be detrimental to the development of leadership skills, local cultural awareness and often promotes scholastic apathy in students.

It is about time the U embraced its commuter mentality.

Admittedly, the U is not Brigham Young University. In fact, the U is very, very much different from the Y. Good. Fine. The U is an independent entity, and though BYU fans have been touted as rabid and boisterous, it is myopic to assume that the same type of enthusiasm cannot be generated on the U campus.

While Provo is more of a college-centric city than Salt Lake City-being so much smaller than SLC plays a part in that, as does the fact that the predominant faith of its residents just so happens to be that of the university-Salt Lake residents have just as many reasons to be proud of the U.

The U’s football team is earning legitimacy points on a weekly basis, thanks in large part to head coach Urban Meyer’s re-evaluation of the team’s dynamic. The U’s on-campus events, like Crimson Nights, have been wildly successful, despite the U’s commuter-campus nature. The U’s research facilities are new, expensive and impeccable.

The U is an impressive school and can only get better with the inclusion of commuter students into the on-campus event equation.

U officials need to start accommodating commuter students by planning activities during the hours when more students are on campus.

If U administrators and program coordinators are serious about increasing student enthusiasm and attendance at events, they should make a move to embrace the U’s unique commuter/non-commuter student blend, rather than alter it.

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