By April Federico | Features Editor
Members of the Commuters in Action (CIA) student club have been pushing for a commuter lounge since 2012; after five years, their wish has finally been granted.
Although they are a minority group on campus, commuter students still make up about 20 percent of the student body. While residential students have dorm rooms, common rooms, and apartments, commuter students have always lacked a private place to retreat to in between classes.
Located on the lower level of Stonewall IV near the commuter lot, the new lounge boasts comfortable chairs, couches, tables, and a TV. People have also begun to hang up recent flyers on the entrance as well as inside the lounge so that the students have access to the same programming advertising as resident students do.
A party to celebrate the official grand opening of the lounge was held on Friday, Sept. 8. Together President Donald J. Farish and sophomore Amelia DeMelo, the president of the CIA club, cut the ribbon at the ceremony.
“The message to commuter students is that you are welcome, you are part of the campus, we want you to be here,” Farish said in his speech. He reflected on his own experience as an undergraduate student commuting, noting that he wished he’d had access to something like a commuter lounge.
“We didn’t decide to come up with this idea of a commuter lounge–we needed it,” said senior Alyssa Bouchard. “Much like dorms are needed on campus, a commuter lounge is needed to make us commuter students feel welcomed to stay on campus.”
Another senior, Adam D’Arcangelo, echoed her sentiment, saying that the lounge is expected to be a nice, quiet space for students to do their homework and study.
He added that it will also be “a safe and reliable place for commuters to call home on campus.”
CIA organizes events that help commuter students become better acquainted with the campus. In addition, they organize off-campus events, like attending to Celtics and Bruins games, laser tagging, and hosting various fundraisers.
“I still have a social life on campus and made friends by getting involved in things like Commuters in Action and playing intramural volleyball,” senior Lauren Ferreira said of her experiences as a commuter and member of the intramural team.
“Getting involved in campus life is easy even if you don’t live on campus; it’s a great way of making friends.”
Graduate student Brittany Brogno agreed.
“It was usually hard to find a space between classes that wasn’t the library, and even that is usually too full… the commuter lounge is necessary because of the space issue,” she said.
“You shouldn’t be made to feel that you are second-class students on our campus,” Farish assured commuter students at the ceremony, “You are a major part of this university, and we want you to feel involved.”
DeMelo expanded on the need for a space to hang out between classes.
“This is a place we can call home even when we are not at home,” she said.
Bouchard added jokingly that one might walk into the commuter lounge to find quite a few sleeping students.
Although it is the “commuter lounge,” resident students are also welcome to hang out and make use of the room.
Photo courtesy Scott Yonan.