Commuters are known for their lack of involvement in extracurriculars. They have lower attendance for nighttime social events such as Karaoke, as well as special events like CAPE’s Legendary Concert.
However, commuters may not be as absent from campus events as the residential community believes. Are on-campus students falsely stereotyping commuters? Do commuters and residential students share more in common than they might think?
Attending Social Events at Night
Campus events allow students to be social and hang out with their friends after a school day. However, commuters often fail to attend social events at night due to travel.
Many commute for times ranging between thirty minutes to an hour. This drive usually takes away from a commuting student’s college experience. On average, commuters will only stay on campus until 8pm at the latest; although, there are exceptions to this rule.
“I go to events on and off campus,” said Commuter Lounge Manager, Lucas Frazier (‘22). “Events like Big Money Bingo and CAPE trips are a go-to.”
Other commuters had similar viewpoints, such as Christopher Constan (‘22).
“I go to a lot of the events around campus,” said Constan. “Big Money Bingo and Glow Casino are a go-to [for me].”
However, there are still commuters who do not attend these social events at night.
Meanwhile, residential students attend a variety of night events because they have easier access to opportunities.
“I usually go to Karaoke. That’s [what I do most] of the time; I’m pretty busy at work,” said Amelia Mosnicka (‘26).
“I try to go to events where I can. Oftentimes I try to see what’s going on and what catches my eye,” said Austin Nevins (‘24) “[I’m especially fond of] Bingo events.”
Similar to commuters, there is still a small portion of residential students who do not participate in social events. This is often due to prior commitments.
“I go to work once my last class ends and I come back to my dorm when events are already done. I would like to go to the events but work and schoolwork kind of get in the way of that,” said Hannah McClaughry (‘26).
Commuters are presumed to not participate in clubs. This is due to commuters being unaware of when clubs meet. However, there are still a minority of commuters who participate in clubs.
“I am involved with Phi Delta Theta, but other than that, my involvement falls under Greek life,” said Constan.
Unfortunately, even some commuters who know club schedules cannot attend the meetings due to other commitments.
“I personally am not in any clubs at the moment. With being [the] manager of the commuter lounge and other outside-of-school activities, I haven’t found the time to join a club on campus this year,” said Frazier.
Residents organically participate more often in clubs. This creates a stronger sense of community because they are surrounded by peers who share a common thread.
“I’m in one club, [and it is] ASCD [the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development]. I went to one event, and I think it’s important to get involved in clubs involving my education major,” said Mosnicka.
“The only club I’m in right now [is Student Air Traffic Controllers Association], but I’m trying to join the Aviation Club, as well,” said Nevins.
Alike commuters, there are residents who do not participate in clubs because they cannot balance the extra commitment in their schedule. Without this consideration, their grades may be at stake and their hobbies will not be enjoyed.
“At the moment, I have a lot on my plate between class [and] homework, work, my two music lessons, and chorus,” said McClaughry.
Commuters may not be known for spending a lot of time on campus; however, they tend to gravitate towards residential students, becoming acquainted with peers in their courses. Not to mention, there are more residential students than commuters as many students live far away from campus.
“I am involved on campus, so I have quite a few resident[ial] friends,” said Frazier.
“[I have] a lot of residential friends,” said Neil Guttman (‘25), “which is really convenient because, if I want to meet after work and stuff, they are always free.”
Meanwhile, there are commuters who stick with only commuters because they have a strong similarity to each other.
Residents tend to have a larger circle of friends, often leaning towards ‘their own breed’ because there are fewer commuters to become kindred with.
“All of the friends I made here live on campus, and I met them during the move-in week. I have a [difficult] time [chatting with] people I don’t know already, so making friends is hard,” said McClaughry.
There are still a minority of residents who are friends with commuters. Unfortunately, friendships between on-campus and commuting students do not always involve frequent communication.
“I have a friend of mine who’s a commuter off-campus, but I don’t see him too much because we’re in different programs,” said Nevins.
At the end of the day, it’s evident that commuters have plenty of similarities with residential SNHUdents. Something to remember is this: commuters are students, too.