Point counter point: What’s wrong with a commuter campus? (A lot – Frost)

What is a commuter?

Some might argue a commuter is simply somebody who is unable to live near the U or spend much time at the U because of other responsibilities. But they really love the U anyway. I have a different viewpoint. A true commuter is seemingly a student who drives to class and drives home. Period.

These commuters have no particular love for this school. The argument is that they make no contribution whatsoever to our community. In fact, if someone from the Park Building mailed them a diploma today, they’d be perfectly happy never coming back.

These people might think that they love the U, but they’d be wrong. One simply can’t love something for which no sacrifices are made.

There are students who live miles from the campus and still manage to make a contribution to campus life. They work for ASUU, join LDSSA, volunteer at the Bennion Center or write for The Chrony. There are commuters who show up to events where no grades are given. There were commuters from Ogden, for crying out loud, who were seen at the last Crimson Nights.

I would argue that these people aren’t traditional commuters at all. These students have spent so much of their time here that they might as well be living at the dorms. They have sacrificed their time and money, knowing nothing they do in the extracurricular realm will be tacked onto their degree when they finally walk across that stage.

So why are we trying to get rid of the “commuter campus?” Because it is not conducive to creating a sense of community, and community is an essential part of the college experience.

Study after study shows that students who have a better time in college are more likely to become attached to their alma mater and give donations as alumni. Now do you understand why the administration wants to move beyond the commuter campus stigma?

Former U President Bernie Machen once told a friend of mine that roughly 90 percent of alumni donations come from alumni who were in the greek system. Of course, 30 years ago, the greek system was three or four times as large as it is now.

So 30 years from now, when the current 1,000 or so greeks who are currently at the U have graduated and gotten jobs…we are supposed to provide 90 percent of donations to this school by ourselves? Is he serious?

Yes, I suppose he would have had to have been serious. Can one picture a man who couldn’t even bring himself to drive back to the U for a free party? Or, having brought himself to mail the U a check to get the softball team new shoelaces? Please. That man will probably still appeal for a reimbursement of his athletics student fees-because he never went to a single game.

To argue that the U should try harder to appeal to these people is ridiculous. The vast majority of commuters-the ones administrators and student leaders are trying to “encourage”-have no desire to change. I have watched student groups bend over backward to get these people come to something (or anything), but nothing will ever be good enough. Because they’re “busy.” The fact is this: Everyone is busy. Saying that “I can’t participate in anything because I have a job/kid/spouse,” is having made the unfair assumption that you are the only person in the world who has to deal with these things.

There are thousands of students who have worked their butts off to balance classes, jobs and family-and still try to make their college experience worth it.

It’s for these students that the U works to create a stronger sense of community.

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