By Rachel Poe and Nick Peters
Opinions Co-Editor and News Co-Editor
On Tuesday, the Commuting Students Association (CSA) held their first ever town hall meeting to discuss initiatives for this upcoming year in addition to fielding suggestions from commuters.
CSA’s current projects include providing feminine hygiene products in on-campus bathrooms, making sure all the water fountains are working properly to eliminate water bottle waste, starting subway shuttle hours at 8pm instead of 10pm & expanding service to the 4-train, and creating a better system for commuter parking. The beauty of most of these initiatives is that they’ll not only drastically improve commuter life on campus, but benefit the community as a whole.
CSA asked the community to offer suggestions that would improve on-campus life for commuters. The major concern that came up during the town hall was that, past a certain time, either getting home safely or staying on campus proves extremely difficult. The campus pretty much shuts down overnight, which hurts those who have to travel to school academically and socially. One student described how he had to sleep in McGinley one night because it was too late to head home, and he was locked out of staying in any of his friends’ dorms.
An idea proposed would give commuters a 24 hour lounge where they can stay, or even limited access to dorms, especially the dorm lounges, many of which are unused by Fordham students.
The topic of making guest passes more easily accessible for commuters was raised. Fordham’s policy currently makes it impossible for someone to get an overnight guest pass the same day. As college students, complications arise, whether they be home- or school-related. Even planning ahead 24-hours is often unrealistic.
An idea suggested giving a preference to commuter students in obtaining guest passes since they are equal members of the Fordham community, not outside friends and family. Commuters often feel deterred from participating in Fordham events such as Spring Weekend, as guest passes are severely limited during this time and often taken up by non-Fordham students. Further, during finals week no residents are allowed to get guest passes, which extends to commuters. It was suggested that commuters could get a special exception for guest passes during this week so that they can properly utilize campus resources like the library.
The question of getting an RD for commuter and off-campus students also came up. Students who do not live in a dorm technically do not have an RD that they are assigned to, causing problems. If a student gets documented by Fordham for breaking a policy, they are assigned a random RD to meet with, which causes hiccups, as they have to find a way into a dorm to meet with said RD. In addition, they will have a less personal relationship with this RD, and might feel their case less cared for. Further, an RD is also a person that students can turn to for various complaints and to settle issues. This mediator role that RD’s have is something which non-residential students are in need of, and are sorely lacking.
The first CSA town hall was a resounding success. The town hall provided a voice to an oft-neglected subsection of the Fordham population. Students enthusiastically discussed CSA’s proposed changes, providing valuable feedback and new ideas. Hopefully, CSA continues these town halls, as they could do a lot of good for many students and bring the Fordham community closer together.
If you are a commuter student and want to get in touch with CSA with any further suggestions, questions, or concerns, their email is firstname.lastname@example.org.