by Michevi Dufflart
Manhattan College commuter students can typically be found eating, studying and lounging around campus in places like Kelly Commons and Cafe 1853, but this past Friday, some of these dedicated students were found in Jasper Hall’s backyard participating in Commuter Appreciation Day.
Commuter Appreciation Day, a newer tradition at Manhattan, is a day dedicated to giving back to commuter students for their hard work and commitment. Although Manhattan has a large percentage of residents, commuters make up about 30 percent of students and some commute more than two hours every day to make it to Manhattan.
On a good day, Amit Persaud, a freshman majoring in exercise science, commutes about an hour and forty-five minutes each day to Manhattan. He admits that the hardest part of being a commuter is having to wake up early and getting home late, giving Persaud a limited amount of time to do his work and catch enough sleep.
Noticing that the dedication of commuter students often goes unnoticed, the commuter student association organized a day for these students to be more appreciated. Last Friday, commuter students were invited to have free lunch in Locke’s Loft and were welcome to celebrate Commuter Appreciation Day with activities and food in the backyard of Jasper Hall.
The festivities kicked off at around noon and lasted for about three hours. Despite some light rain in the earlier half the event, several students still made the commute to Jasper Hall to eat ice cream, cotton candy, play classic carnival games, dance and even have the opportunity to become “American Gladiators” by jousting with pugil sticks.
Micaela Bishop, current vice president of commuter affairs and future student government president, was lending her hand during the event swirling sugary wisps into cotton candy. When asked about the event and what she hoped it would accomplish she said it’s “Something to give back for all [the commuters] dedication.”
In addition to cotton candy and ice cream, many students could also win prizes at the Lollipop Toss, tossing rings onto large lollipops or throwing bean bags at collapsible wooden cats at the Fat Cats booth. Some of the prizes included plush toys in the form of dogs and ninjas.
Regarding ninjas, some Manhattan students showed off their own ninja skills on the inflatable joust where only one student could be left standing. Many students participated in this activity, but not all jousted, some students went on the inflatable joust simply to enjoy a bounce.
Other than carnival games and jousting, many students also enjoyed the music, dancing to whatever song played and joining in on some line dances when the Cupid Shuffle and the Cha-cha Slide came on.
Although Commuter Appreciation Day shines a spotlight on Manhattan’s commuters, the event was open to all students. Amanda Lazkani, future commuter student association treasurer even noted that events like this unite everyone.
In addition to having this day, the commuter student association also held a day to give back to commuter students in the fall in Kelly Commons. During this day, commuters were encouraged to express their comments and concerns so that some changes could be enacted around campus.
Anna Rosario, future commuter representative said she looks forward to having more events like this and hopes to make the commuter student association more well-known on campus next semester.
She also emphasized commuter acceptance and said that these events and the commuter student association are around to “let commuters know we are a strong presence on campus and that there is a place for them.”