Currently, there is no place offered to commuters to store their supplies for school. Commuter students rely on storing items in their vehicles or lugging around large backpacks.
According to an article on the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics website, “The extra weight can distort the natural curve of the middle and lower back, causing muscle strain.” The lack of a commuter space on campus has not always been the case.
During a recorded interview, Director of the Burrage Library, Judy Fales, said,
“We used to have a big non-trad club and they had their own area in Mott, like a whole break room thing that they could go to between class,” said Fales.
Fales stated that the group of non-trad students were able to address the board of trustees with non-trad and commuter issues.
Fales said that the non-trad group grew smaller as its members graduated, until there were no members left, but the library offers space to accommodate commuters needs.
“I’ve always encouraged commuters to come here because I didn’t want them living out of their cars and feeling like they couldn’t doze off comfortably and safely. Here we have a lot of cushy furniture, so I always want the commuters and non-trads to use us as a base,” said Fales.
Fales said that she is retiring in May but would love to create a safe place for commuters in the library before she does.
During a recorded interview about what could be done by students to create a space for commuters, Jason Meadows, associate dean of Student Engagement said, “Once they [commuter students] get the student club back up and running, they could work with the physical plant to see what kind of resources we can find; sometimes we can find new resources. it’s all about students asking and just saying this is what we need.”
Meadows encourages students to find a way to connect and bring their concerns to the SGA (Student Government Association) via general session and “allow the SGA to be the voice for students and help that student group navigate what they need on behalf of the students and also for the college.”