SGA involves commuters

The Commuter Chat and Chew, sponsored by the Student Government Association (SGA), began a discussion about creating a comfortable environment for commuters to nd friends and get involved on campus.

FMU has a large population of commuters, and commuters often find participating in clubs and events difficult.

The event took place on Nov. 10. There was a table of refreshments and a raf e for a $25 gift card to the Patriot Bookstore and an FMU decal sticker.

Freshman mass communication major Caleb Reeves won the raffle.

The purpose of this event was to review a survey that SGA distributed among 65 commuter students. The survey was conducted on Sept. 24 in the breezeway, and it consisted of ve questions. The questions addressed common problems that clubs have when planning commuter-friendly events, such as when the best time and place might be to accommodate more commuters. According to the survey’s results, a majority of commuter students spend their free time between classes in the library before going home each day. The second most popular venue for commuters to congregate is the University Center.

Guests and SGA members discussed the small sample size for the survey presented some problems in analyzing the data behind it. Members of SGA plan to distribute another survey to more commuters so they have a better representation of the commuter population.

SGA Secretary Glennie Tanner said events like this one are important if FMU wants to boost its commuter involvement in student life.

Events like this can help build involvement and help develop qualities like leadership.

Junior psychology major Areoni Flegler, a commuter who attended the event, participates in student life despite not living on campus.

“I thought the campus was boring, so I live off campus,” Flegler said. “Commuting has enhanced my participation on campus. I want to do things on campus so I won’t be bored.”

Flegler’s commute takes about 15 minutes, and she tries to stay involved with events on campus. She said she found enjoyment and an escape from boredom when she began participating in events on campus.

During the event, guests and SGA members discussed the factors that might have caused the low turnout to the event.

“It might have just been the wrong day,” Tanner said. “On Tuesdays, classes last longer and people are ready to get home.”

The event started at 4 p.m., which is later than many commuters are willing to stay on campus, even on a weekday. SGA decided to work towards nding a more suitable time and adding more appealing incentives for attending the next commuter event. They will also conduct a second survey before the next event so they can better understand the wants and needs of commuters.

Members of SGA said they hope commuters will form a community and help new commuters adjust to college life. SGA said they want to help commuters create a club where students can get together, participate in campus life and utilize the opportunities that FMU’s campus provides.