Thu. May 30th, 2024

Last Wednesday, Nov. 6, was the grand opening of the Commuter Center: the first ever dedicated space for commuter students, located in the front part of the Frederick Douglas Lounge on the third floor of Sykes. A year in the making, the Center was initiated by student Rambassadors of the Off Campus and Commuter Student Association (OCCA) who were concerned that commuter students did not have a specific location on campus to come together and meet other commuter students. With the goal of getting commuters to feel connected to campus and university life, the new Commuter Center represents a place for students to create a sense of community regardless of where they live. I attended the ribbon cutting on the sixth to see for myself what the new Commuter Center is like.

During the introductory remarks, President of OCCA Riley McGowan said, ‘I hope you all come to find this center as your home away from home.’

The ribbon cutting ceremony drew in tons of students and faculty to the new space. During the introductory remarks, President of OCCA Riley McGowan said, “I hope you all come to find this center as your home away from home.”

President Fiorentino followed by acknowledging the hard work and persistence it took to make the Commuter Center a reality and ended with, “We are delighted to have it as a dedicated space for commuter students.”

Sandy Jones, the Senior Director of Off Campus and Commuter Services (OCCS), who helped manage the project, said that, “71% of West Chester students are commuters,” and that, “the Commuter Center will serve as a place for commuter students to access information and resources that are relevant to their success at West Chester University.”

The Commuter Center is spacious with modern decoration and walls of windows that let in plenty of light. The cozy lounge has almost everything you could want or need; there are a couple large work tables, a television and gaming system with Netflix, a food prep area, a nap area with beanbags, a charging station, a coffee maker, a microwave, board games, sofas, lounge chairs and cubby shelves to allow you the chance to unwind in between classes.

The printing room on the third floor is also extremely convenient to have next to the Commuter Center. The space certainly as a homey feel to it. When walking into the Center, there is an immediate cozy, coffee shop quality to the space with plenty of room to sprawl out on the floor or lay down on a nearby couch. With all the Center has to offer, the space is definitely better suited to commuters’ needs compared to other study lounges on campus.

The cozy lounge has almost everything you could want or need; there are a couple large work tables, a television and gaming system with Netflix, a food prep area, a nap area with beanbags…

Prior to the Center’s creation, the third floor lounge was considered a quiet floor. The Center does not have any noise limits, but students interested in a quiet space can go to the upper floors of the FHG Library.

McGowan explained that the Commuter Center was made for commuter students, but anyone is allowed in and commuter students are encouraged to feel comfortable enough to bring their friends or family along to the new space. Commuter students are automatically a member of the OCCA and anyone is welcome to come to their events — some of which will take place in the Commuter Center. Students with questions or concerns can find OCCA at Sykes 214 or can call/text at 484-402-6260.

Assistant Director of OCCS Maggie Holroyd described the Commuter Center project as truly a collaborative effort and involved the help of student Rambassadors, OCCA, OCCS and the president’s office to name a few. The creation of the Commuter Center really is a fantastic accomplishment. With such a large commuter presence at West Chester, this new space is a step in the right direction.

Maria Marabito is a third-year English major. MM883631@wcupa.edu

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