Commuters feel the love in their special week

Students enjoyed taking selfies in the Volkswagen set up outside the Commuter Lounge on Wednesday.

Photos by Lydia P. Robles / Slideshow

Stephanie Reynoso’s gratitude is yet another example of why the Commuter Lounge is so important.

“When they interact with us and ask us how our day is going, I just want to say thank you to them for always including us,” the Grand Canyon University junior said. “I know a lot of people are appreciative of the food because it really helps us get through the day sometimes.”   

Commuter students once again enjoyed food and fellowship during Commuter Appreciation Week, which used a Halloween theme to attract crowds of attendees, new and old. The events included:

  • Tuesday: “The Addams Family” was the inspiration for a day to celebrate the commuter family. Every attendee made their own trinket potions that contained glitter inside.
  • Wednesday: The theme was “Scooby-Doo.” The commuter logo came to life parked outside the Commuter Lounge with a Volkswagen that served as a photo booth. Representatives from Alumni Relations were there to connect with future graduates.
  • Thursday: It was ghostly gathering with white chocolate-covered strawberries and Rice Krispies treats, all in the shape of a ghost.
Social media is another way the Lounge connects with commuters.

The result? Sophomore psychology major Itzel Barrera said it best:

“It makes me feel like I’m home. It means a lot because commuters tend to feel like outcasts – I just go to class and then I leave. It is really hard to get involved.”

The Commuter Lounge is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays and also has stepped up its social media presence. The Commuter Life team checks direct messages on Instagram (@gcucommuters) hourly.

It already is producing positive results. Callie Vancuren, director of the connections team,explained how it connected two students.

“At our recent giveaway, there was a person who said, ‘I don’t have a ton of friends to go with,’ and another person responded, ‘I don’t have any friends, either. Let’s go together.’ So they are coming to an event together.”

Pizza was one of the giveaways ... of course.

The bonds between the commuter team and students go both ways.

Amari Gladding, assistant director of commuter events, said of Commuter Appreciation Week, “Seeing how much strength they have to come to campus every day … we see the hardships you go through, sitting in traffic, looking for parking, and we just want to give you love and give you guys a whole week to celebrate with you guys.”

Jenna Sandviken, a commuter in her first year as a Commuter Life team member, put it in more practical terms:

“It’s nice to know that there is a fridge to keep your food cool. I was lugging around an ice chest with me. There is a place on campus to rest, eat, connect.”

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Related content:

GCU News: Commuters embrace their 'home away from home'

GCU News: Summer school students chill in Commuter Lounge

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