OPINION: Commuters and community

 

There is a certain stigma that comes along with identifying yourself as a commuter on Malone University’s campus. We are not greeted with an outright disapproval

Matt May is a senior communication arts major.  (Photo by Kaitie Fox 2012)

from the on-campus dwellers, but there is a unique tension that is created when commuters venture into the residential domain.  Malone is often characterized by its deep sense of community and belonging, something that is felt acutely by the residence hall  members, but unfortunately, it can be stifled for the commuter population.

The dynamic that I am describing is, of course, an overgeneralization; there are always exceptions to the rules. However, I do  think it is crucial for the sense of community and identity to expand past the carpeted walls of Malone’s dorms and into the Malone community as a whole.

The relationship between commuter and resident must be reciprocal in order to succeed. Just as I would encourage residents to  open their doors and “homes” to the commuter population, I would equally encourage the responsibility of the commuters to step  out and make a commitment to connecting with those who are opening their doors.

As a resident in Gurney for three years and experiencing off-campus living for my senior year, I can confidently say that the  strength and uniqueness of Malone University stems from the individuals who attend. The communal atmosphere of Malone is  integral in attracting new students and retaining current ones. My desire is to see that atmosphere transcend outside of the residence halls and into the commuter population.

 Matt May is a senior communication arts major. He is also the commuter director for Student Senate.

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