By, Mary Haley, Asst. Social Media Editor
Manhattan College’s Commuter Student Association (CSA) hosted a welcome back event on Wednesday, Feb. 1., to celebrate the return of the club after its hiatus since the spring of 2020. Commuters were welcomed with pizza and refreshments to commence a new semester, new members and new opportunities for commuters.
The event started with icebreakers for students to share their majors, graduation years and where they commute from. Students in attendance also discussed their favorite places to hang out on campus in between classes to get to know one another better. Many new faces were in attendance since CSA was not able to get together since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak.
Ayanna Horsford, the vice president of commuter affairs on student government, spoke with The Quadrangle on why these introductions are so important for the connection between commuters and the renovation of the club.
“I think the college already has a gap between commuters and residents, but then the commuters themselves don’t even know each other,” Horsford said. “I think during Covid this club kind of dispersed and nothing happened. So, in order to revamp the club, we need to revamp the commuters as well.”
Alyssa Kumar, secretary of CSA, and a commuter from the Bronx, spoke to The Quadrangle on why she took part in planning this event and why it is so important for commuters to get involved in CSA.
“It’s really important for commuters to be able to get out there and socialize because a lot of events are done at really inconvenient times for commuters,” Kumar said. “It’s really nice to have a space where [events] are a bit more directed towards them to be able to socialize.”
One of CSA’s main missions is to increase commuter participation in school events and get commuters more involved in campus life. Students at the event discussed the hassle of trying to attend MC events at inconvenient times, which can be a major setback for commuter students who try to engage in college life at MC.
As a commuter student living in the Bronx, Laisha Delgado, vice president of CSA, spoke on her experience being a commuter student at the college.
“I’d say [my experience] has been ok,” Delgado said. “[The college] could probably do more for commuters. I didn’t feel as involved, so that’s why I joined the E-board, so we could do more events for [commuters] and make [commuters] feel like they could experience some college experience.”
Carlos Santana, a freshman commuter, spoke on his experience as a commuter and what he thinks the club will improve within the college.
“The fact that [the college] is starting to give us more representation within the student government I think is a huge step forward,” Santana said. “Commuters get the short end of the stick half the time because a lot of other clubs start at difficult times [for commuters]. So, the fact that commuters are able to be here, [CSA is] able to negotiate for better schedules and times for events.”
CSA plans to make the club an open place for conversation on the struggles that commuters often have in college, whether that be commuting for night classes or engaging in college socially and meeting fellow commuters or residents. Although for now, CSA is focused on fun and casual social events for commuters to continue to get more involved in MC and to get to know one another.
“I think once you start there, then you have a better population of voices to speak to the greater challenges on campus,” Horsford said. “So right now [we are focused] on just getting together and then having those serious conversations later.”
As for ways to get residents involved, CSA is not exclusively for commuters, and rather encourages residents to get involved in these conversations and try to help bridge the gap between commuters and residents.
“If you have a friend who is a resident, you can utilize the guest pass… like while you’re waiting for an event that’s an hour later, you can go to your friend’s dorm,” Horsford said. “We definitely encourage residents as well to partake in the conversation.”