By Erin L. Berry
Welcome back!! You are now in the second half of your semester. I hope that your spring break was restful and peaceful and that you are refreshed and reenergized to attend to your "academic grind" once again.
In our last Commuter Corner, I provided you with some realizations that I had while endeavoring through campus which I hope was helpful. In this issue, I decided to change it up a little bit and inquire with the main source. I had the opportunity to speak with Sharon Glaster who is the Program Coordinator of Programs and Special Events in the Office of Commuter Affairs and Community Services which is located in The Wiseman Center in office suite 137 at Bowie State University.
While speaking with Glaster I learned a lot of information about how her department is working to "bridge the gap" between commuter students and on-campus life. When I inquired with Glaster about the objective of her position, she said, "I think it is two fold because I serve the office of Student Life and we bring programs and special events to the university, but now because of re-vamping, I also work with Commuter Affairs."
During our interview, I expressed my concern for feeling disconnected from the campus ---- as I know other commuter students may feel as well --- and asked Glaster about ways that the Office of Commuter Affairs and Community Services is working to dispel this feeling. Glaster admitted that, "Bowie State is predominately a commuter campus and because of this, it is important that programs are developed to serve the needs of commuter students so that we can dismiss these myths."
One event like the Commuter Breakfast is one where students can network and eat breakfast while expressing their concerns and suggestions about the campus and Bowie State community. Other program that have been implemented are the awareness programs and forums where commuter students are encouraged to share their experiences, ideas and thoughts with others in hopes of making the commuter student experience more beneficial. Another service that is offered to commuter students is assistance with off-campus housing, parking and community information that is updated continuously at: http://www.bowiestate.edu/CampusLife/wiseman/commuter/ .
This website also includes information about transportation alternatives as well.
Other events that commuter students can get involved in are the novelty events where students can interact with others while participating in a group project or social event. These events are usually put together through the Office of Student Life. For a listing of upcoming events that are going on throughout campus, check out: http://www.bowiestate.edu/about/events/
As far as programs that are in the works for the Office of Commuter Affairs and Community Services, Glaster said, "We are in the process of updating our Commuter Newsletter and developing a way to more effectively reach the commuter community through Facebook, and e-mail listservs in hopes of serving the Commuter community more effectively."
Ultimately, Glaster encourages students to get involved through asking questions, making suggestions and being proactive.