The University of La Verne is caught in an identity crisis and commuter students are paying the price.
It is understandable that the majority of students commute to La Verne, since it carries a heftier price tag than public California colleges. Since most students stretch their financial aid to cover the cost of tuition, living on campus isn’t in the cards for most students. We are, based off the ratio of students who live on campus, it is clear that we are a commuter school.
According to numbers provided by the housing office, approximately 950 of La Verne’s 2,753 traditional undergraduate students live on campus.
So why, since this is so obviously a commuter school, are commuters and non-traditional students left out of the loop when it comes to on-campus activities?
Take the fall club fair – it took place on a Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. One would hope that the club fair was not solely intended to involve students who live on campus. Plenty of students have a desire to contribute to and gain enrichment from campus organizations. That said, why hold the event midday during the week? If anything, students who live on campus have more availability to, well, be on campus. Students with traditional off-campus employment will have a hard time being able to participate in activities mid workday.
Every month the Toilet Paper comes out with events and for a lot of off-campus students it can feel more like a long list of events that commuters are excluded from because it seems tailored to on-campus students rather than inviting and involving those with non-traditional schedules.
To make the events more accessible for all types of students, CAB and ASULV should plan some events between the hours of 4 and 7 in the evening. Night students who work full-time will be able to attend campus events after work and before their night classes and the captive audience of on-campus students will already be present.
The only events that seem widely accessible are the movie nights held in the lobbies of different dorms. Unfortunately, for anyone over the age of 21, hanging out in the lobby of other people’s dorms just feels well, creepy.
If ASULV truly “strives to create quality experiences, programs, and services which are responsive to the needs and interests of the campus community” then they need to begin looking at the practicality of the timing and style of their events for non-traditional and off-campus students.
Instead of catering to the on-campus students, activity boards like ASULV and their subgroup Campus Activity Board really should do more to help all students feel involved in their campus.
While CAPA students are locked out of campus activities, the lack of an invitation for commuter students does not have any logical reason behind it. Whether it is apathetic student planners who can not see past their own schedules or lifestyles to bring in non-traditional students, or a conscious effort by the University to scrub their commuter college reputation, it is not working.
We all know the value of an invitation, it should be offered in earnest. The greater involvement of all types of students in campus activities can only serve to enrich those activities and allow for greater engagement and investment in our campus community.