by: Brianna Lugibihl
Bluffton University’s Student Senate placed commuter space proposal aside a month after its proposition.
In September, Student Senate President Matthew McCoy proposed designating a specific place for commuter students to keep their belongings in response to various commuters’ requests throughout the year. Senate debated locations and requirements, such as space, centrality to campus, and accessibility. At Monday’s meeting, it was not on the agenda.
Alex Lugibihl, a commuter of three semesters, supports the proposal. Last year, he not only slept in his car during inclement weather, but had his laptop stolen. He says, “If I had a place that was relatively central on campus where I could store things without going to my car, it would cut down on my stress and make me more confident in the security of my belongings.”
When informed that Student Senate had postponed progress, he stated, “Commuters often get treated like second rate students anyway. . . it is kind of unfortunate that we are being shoved aside again.” Lugibihl keeps his belongings in Mosiman when he is unable to go to his car between activities.
Alex Parker, a third year commuter, stashes his belongings in the library on days when he doesn’t have access to his family car. He said, “It would be nice to have a place to stay instead of being left to the elements . . . if you are a commuter student and you are stuck on campus, that’s on you.” He responds to Senates postponement stating, “I have accepted that I am like a second class citizen, so I have stopped complaining.”
Student Senate Treasurer, Charles Miller, says that “this issue of commuter representation has been brought up several times in Senate” and Senior Representative, commuter Jeremy Basinger, speaks on the commuters’ behalf.
Earlier attempts at a commuter lounge in Ramseyer Hall and Centennial Hall have both failed. McCoy guesses that it was overlooked. He says, “The vast majority of students are students that live on campus. Not that the campus doesn’t care about commuters, but there have been issues that have come up that a greater amount of students would benefit from.”
Lugibihl says, “It is already difficult to be involved in campus and it is difficult to see that just because we try to save a little money, we suffer for it.”
Bluffton University currently has seventy-nine full time commuter students versus six hundred sixty-seven residential students.
McCoy says the proposal will be revisited at end of November or beginning of the next semester.
Students may contact Student Senate at the Bluffton University Student Senate Facebook page or by talking to local student senators. Student senator profiles are located on the Senate bulletin board across from the bookstore in Marbeck Center.