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Connecting with Commuter Students

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Being a commuter student can be difficult, especially during snowy Minnesota winters, when the driving conditions are poor, and nobody wants to venture outside. Here at CSP, over 66% of our on-campus population is made up of commuter students, and we strive to make them feel welcome on campus.

Recently, CSP’s student life department hosted its first commuter luncheon to support the inclusivity and sense of belonging of commuters within the CSP community. Students were encouraged to RSVP for the event on the Comet’s Connection website, though all who showed up were welcomed to listen to the presentation and enjoy lunch with other commuter students. A total of 38 students attended the first luncheon, along with several faculty and staff mentors who were there to facilitate discussions. Even CSP’s new president, Rev. Dr. Brian Friedrich, was there to meet students and provide a brief blessing.

The luncheon consisted of speeches from commuter students who encouraged everyone to get involved and build relationships with other people. By participating in campus activities, commuters can feel more connected to the CSP community. After the quick presentation, Jake Wakem, Assistant Director of Residence Life, asked questions to create discussions between the students and faculty members. The conversations revealed aspects of everyone’s life story, making it easier for students and staff to relate with one another.

When asked about the importance of getting commuters more connected, Wakem said, “My role is to identify groups, individuals, and demographics on our campus that have tons of potential. I see that potential in our commuter population, and I want to do everything possible to capitalize on it. Some of my most impactful interactions, stories of resilience, and successes have come from our hard-working commuter students. Campus culture is changing, and CSP students are doing more and more. CSP is changing; CSP is growing, and we need to grow with it.”

It can seem hard to get involved on campus when you don’t live there, but CSP does its best to make it easier for commuter students to feel like a part of the community. One way for commuters to get involved is to look at the different events and organizations on the Comet’s Connection website. It lists all the organizations that students can join and events happening on campus, such as meetings, theater productions, workshops, and a variety of other fun activities. Another way to find out about events is in the emails from the Concordia Activities Board and the Commuter Connection newsletter.

The student life department has plans for more commuter specific events, including another luncheon that will happen in March. So if you are a commuter, keep an eye out for those events through Comet’s Connection and make sure to read through the Commuter Connection email newsletters to join.