Uncategorized

On-campus organizations foster commuter involvement

The dorms are not the only hub for a true college experience.

“Most commuters get involved because they want to have the most real college experience,” said Bibi Yasmin Moghani, chair of the Committee on Student Organizations (COSO).

About 25 percent of engaged student leaders on campus are commuter students, according to Danielle Howard, director of the Department of Orientation and Commuter Student Involvement.

Commuters get involved to this extent because of their familiarity with the university as South Florida natives, according to sophomore Dariel Fagundo. It also helps them from being excluded from a complete college experience that is often equated with residential life.

“Since commuters stayed at home, they want to immerse themselves at UM and get involved,” he said.

Without a dorm on campus, commuters tend to congregate in the International Lounge located on the second floor of the University Center. The Association of Commuter Students (ACS) and La Federacion de Estudiantes Cubanos (FEC) offices are located in the I-Lounge, and they help commuters adopt a social and cultural life at the university.

Commuters have solidified their foothold as leaders in organizations, such as Student Government (SG), FEC, ACS and programming boards such as COSO. Commuters have also worked as resident assistants and academic fellows in the residential colleges.

For example, former SG President Nawara Alawa and newly-elected SG Vice President Justin Borroto are commuter students. Commuters have a tradition of being part of SG executive boards and administration, addressing concerns such as parking and campus involvement.

The Department of Orientation and Commuter Student Involvement emphasizes building relationships and networking opportunities among commuters.

Junior Elan Aleman said that the department does a good job in presenting itself and the opportunities available for commuters through programs such as Great Start.

Great Start is a weekendlong, pre-orientation program that takes place in the summer.

It is designed to promote and emphasize college adjustment and campus involvement opportunities for first-year commuter students.

“Great Start is the pivotal motivation for some of us to get involved,” Moghani said.

UM is one of a handful of schools nationwide that has a department that focuses on the needs of commuter students.

About 21 percent of commuter students are active leaders in universities across the United States, according to an article in US News and World Report. The low percentage is due to the fact that major universities are located in small cities and do not have many options for freshmen.

Universities in larger cities, however, such as Marquette University, Indiana State University, University of Pittsburgh and Stony Brook University, usually offer commuter student services. Like UM, these services include a lounge, commuter assistants and programs to help students get involved on campus.

July 11, 2013

Reporters

Kevin Rodriguez


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

After this past University of Miami football game, coach Mark Richt said the crowd came alive during ...

The attorneys for University of Miami men’s basketball coach Jim Larrañaga expect indictments to be ...

Few could have imagined this scenario coming into Saturday’s University of Miami football game at ho ...

Alex Cora’s success hasn’t surprised Miami Hurricanes baseball coach Jim Morris. Cora, according to ...

A six-pack of Canes notes on a Thursday: • Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz has an interesting theor ...

Univeristy of Miami’s Wynwood Art Gallery holds its annual faculty exhibition featuring thought-prov ...

From a game simulating how whales navigate to a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, the U showcased some of ...

A new mobile game called Blues and Reds, now available worldwide, aims to help researchers study int ...

A major Lancet Commission report, a three-year project headed by UM’s Professor Felicia Knaul and co ...

With a $6.8 million NIH grant, the UM School of Nursing and Health Studies and FIU Robert Stempel Co ...

Behind a historic performance from senior Olga Strantzali, the University of Miami volleyball team b ...

Thirty years ago, the 1987 Hurricanes achieved perfection. This weekend they are back where it all b ...

As a Hurricane Club member, you are invited to participate in the 25th Annual University of Miami Ha ...

The Miami women's tennis team opened play Friday at the ITA Southeast Regional Championships Pr ...

The Miami soccer team will conclude its 2017 home slate Sunday against Notre Dame and recognize its ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.