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

Three-point defense isn’t enough of a weakness for the Miami Hurricanes to call it a full-fledged Ac ...

Shaquille Quarterman waited less than 24 hours after Michael Pinckney announced he was returning for ...

A six-pack of Canes notes on a Wednesday: ▪ Two highly skilled receivers who ended last season frust ...

Whenever quarterback Tate Martell hurls a football to University of Miami slot receiver Mike Harley, ...

Manny Diaz is the dealer. The pusher. He is good at this. Really good. And what he is selling, we ar ...

The Liaison Committee on Medical Education approved plans developed by the Miller School of Medicine ...

Activist Claudio Rojas was featured in a documentary film, “The Infiltrators,” which is critical of ...

Associate professors William Pestle and Kathleen Sullivan Sealey traveled with students over spring ...

Muslim Students of the University of Miami will hold a prayer service at 12:45 p.m. Friday at the La ...

The theme of the 48th annual Women’s Commission Breakfast keynote address, delivered by Dean Laura K ...

The fourth-seeded Miami women's basketball team opens NCAA Tournament play on its home court fo ...

Make no mistake about it – the college paths of this dynamic Miami offensive duo are as stark in con ...

University of Miami redshirt sophomore Alicia Blagg captured the first NCAA postseason recognition o ...

 It is hard not to think of Miami's Amy Deem when you think of trail blazers in the track and f ...

Friday will be the Breast Cancer Awareness Pink Game, while Saturday is Bark in the Park. ...

TMH Twitter
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.