Cabrini offers many areas to sit on campus including the library, Dixon Center lobby and Jazzman’s Cafe. However commuter students do not have a place to call their own. Since I arrived at Cabrini last year I’ve been searching for a place to relax that is quiet, comfortable and meets the needs of commuters like myself.
40 percent of the students enrolled at Cabrini are commuters. That is close to half of the campus population. Unlike residents we cannot walk back to our dorms for some quiet time and after a long bus, train or car ride, I think we deserve a place to eat our lunch and work on our homework without too many distractions.
Currently it seems that Jazzman’s is the place where a lot of commuters hangout but it is quite loud most of the time and there are limited outlets available.
As many of you have already heard, the RAC is closing and we are still unsure what it will become. I have heard talk about it becoming a new commuter lounge, public safety or a residents hall.
The RAC was once considered the unofficial commuter lounge but was underutilized by commuting students. The reason for the RAC being underutilized could be due to the fact that it is a large distance away from where commuters park. Most commuters park in Founder’s parking lot so walking around or through Founder’s Hall to get to the RAC may not be worth it to students. I did not know the facility existed for a long time after I transferred into Cabrini.
However once I found the RAC I felt it combined all of the great qualities of the other lounges on campus, including a refrigerator and couches.
Though we are unsure what the RAC will become, commuter students are still without a place to call their own. But what does the perfect commuter lounge look like?
Here are some essentials that I believe should be available in a commuter lounge:
As a commuter with an endless amount of food allergies, I always carry a lunchbox full of food. Whether I have snacks or a full dinner I carry it around campus all day. When the RAC was open, students would use that refrigerator to keep their food cold until they came back for it. Though Jazzman’s does have food available, those who pack their lunch need a place to store it.
Plenty of Outlets
We carry a lot of electronics with us during the school day. Phones, laptops and tablets, while necessary and convenient, tend to lose charge quickly. If I have a lot of time between classes I usually spend time on my laptop or phone. There are only a few sweet spots in Jazzman’s with outlets and unless you get there early, or wait for someone to leave, they can be difficult to come by. A commuter lounge should have multiple outlets as well as a charging station for phones.
Couches and tables with chairs
Yes, I believe both couches and tables with chairs are important. Both Jazzman’s and the RAC have chairs and couches and I believe that is the best way to go because they serve different needs. Tables and chairs are for times of focus like studying or doing homework as well as for eating. Couches are for relaxing, being comfortable and watching Netflix or playing a game on your phone. To be a great lounge, students should have the opinion to choose depending on their need.
Food and beverages are necessary for any lounge. Whether you forgot to grab a water while you were home or are in the mood for a mid-day snack, a vending machine is easy and convenient. There should be both a snack machine with salty and sweet treats as well as a beverage machine with sodas, waters and other beverages like iced tea.
Finally, a television is an additional luxury that I think would be appreciated by commuters. Early in the morning when you just arrive for school, during homework breaks or just looking to pass the time, having a television would allow students to watch the news, television shows and movies. It is also common to use the television as background noise while doing homework or scrolling through social media. It would also be useful for students who have devices, like Chromecasts, so they can plug in and watch their own Netflix.