Last November, I discovered some potentially upsetting news while I was helping the Commuter Student Association prepare lunch for students at Drury. I overheard that the commuter lounge in Weiser may not be available to students in the next year and that it would be turned into additional locker rooms for our athletes. I will admit, I wasn’t very pleased upon hearing this rumor.
But, I did some investigation and discovered that while this idea is a possibility, it’s just a conceptual plan. Commuter students like me will not have to worry about it anytime soon.
However, during this time while I was looking for answers about the future of the space, it made me reconsider its importance. For those of you who don’t know, Drury opted for a commuter lounge for a couple reasons.
First, we got the lounge because we found out that commuter students didn’t feel like they had a place to hang out. So back in 2011, Drury asked commuters in a survey if they’d be interested in having a lounge for studying, having meetings, eating lunch, and just killing time in between classes. Commuters were in favor by 83.6%.
Second, we also found out from the same survey that 77%.9 of commuters felt like they missed out on social life at Drury. With the lounge, that could be changed. The space allows events to happen during the day (because commuters aren’t usually on campus at night when other events are), like CSA’s monthly lunches and Treat Tuesday.
Overall, the commuter lounge creates a better campus experience. I think it’s important for commuter students to feel a sense of belonging at Drury and to not miss out on the social aspect of college (which happens often).
It seems that the opening of the lounge did some good for commuters. A year after the lounge opened, Drury received some positive results on the use of the lounge and commuter social life. In 2012, 63.8% said they used the lounge and 67.8% said they went to the lounge to attend events that CSA organizes, like monthly lunches. Others said they used the lounge to eat lunch and to study.
Here’s the bottom line: I hope Drury keeps the commuter lounge around.