The Decaturian is Millikin's student-run newspaper. The opinions reflected may not be those of Millikin as an institution.

The Decaturian

The Decaturian is Millikin's student-run newspaper. The opinions reflected may not be those of Millikin as an institution.

The Decaturian

The Decaturian is Millikin's student-run newspaper. The opinions reflected may not be those of Millikin as an institution.

The Decaturian

Where have all the Commuters Gone?

As a commuter who spends most of my time on campus, I have never felt like we have had a home on or around campus. From what I have observed over my time at Millikin the non-commuters will have a dorm or apartment to go and hang out by themselves or with friends. 

Where do the commuters get to go and hang out if no one else is available? 

Well, when I started at Millikin there was no space for us commuters to hang out in or get to know each other. I heard about a space before I attended Millikin. I would soon find out they took away the space due to the lack of commuters. 

So where have all the commuters gone during our time on campus? 

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In previous years, many of us would hang out under the shilling stairs, much like Harry Potter’s cupboard under the stairs. The staff would get to know us because we were always there. If we were not on one side of the staircase then we would be on the other. 

We would often get stared at and asked if we had any other places to be. Sometimes we would get asked if we even attended classes. Yes, would be the answer but we come back here when we are done. 

We had no space to be loud, nowhere to get to know each other, and overall, a place to be goofy around without others hearing us. If we wanted a space to hang that had walls, then we would find a classroom that was empty and hope no other classes were coming soon. 

A non-commuter would never know the struggle of looking at the campus calendar to see what rooms are booked for the day. 

After a year at Millikin Campus Life gave us a space that was supposed to be our home. When we finally got a commuter lounge, it was exciting because we had a space of our own. We thought this place was going to be our home. We no longer felt like we were small fish in large pond trying to fit in. The commuters started to see light at the end of the tunnel, or so we thought.  

Everything changed once we were in the space because they took away the TV from the room. We quickly learned that would be sharing the space with all of the student organizations on campus. This is their storage space where they can walk in and hang out as well. Anyone can reserve that room so the organization can use that space for their meetings although there is an ID access-only room. 

What does that show the commuters if anyone can just take over their space because they don’t have anywhere else to go? There are many other rooms and buildings where people can hang out in the room that has most comfy chairs or in the middle of campus. Where have the commuters gone during the time their own lounge gets reserved out? Sometimes we leave campus, search for a quiet room to talk in, or we have to be a mouse that cannot speak.  If we so much as squeak, then we get guilted into leaving because we are interrupting their meeting. 

It took months after months and emails after emails to get a microwave plate for a microwave so our food would be cooked evenly. Now, I am a pro at cooking food without a microwave plate. 

If it took that long for just a few of the commuters to get a plate, how many commuters do not even know we have a room for us to hang out, do homework, or even talk in?

The true question is what does this show the commuters?

This shows us that we feel like we are the stepchild of the campus or sometimes afterthought. I do not know many other commuters who are not in my student organization or friend group. As a commuter, I have been told so many times that we want you be part of this campus or asked how we can grow the commuter community. One thing that I have almost noticed is those are just words because nothing ever follows through.

So where have all the commuters gone at the end of the day…

The place that we actually call home and feel like we can be ourselves with no one judging us.

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About the Contributor
Kaitlin Dickey
Kaitlin Dickey, Writer
Physical Education Major  

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