Jaife Calil, chair for the Committee on Student Organizations (C.O.S.O.), goes farther than you might think to lend a hand to the 222 student organizations on campus – about eight miles every day.
This year, seven out of the 13 C.O.S.O. board members, including Calil, are commuters, and they are not just any members of the board, they fill such positions as Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary/Treasurer.
The 2008-2009 C.O.S.O. chair, alumna Samantha Gonzalez, was also a commuter. The year before, Elena Smuckler, chair for the 2007-2008 year and her vice-chair, Elizabeth Diaz, were commuters as well.
C.O.S.O. is the umbrella organization that oversees the 222 registered organizations on campus, ranging from cultural organizations such as United Black Students to service groups such as Alternative Breaks. They help new clubs get started and are responsible for Canefest, the annual organization fair at the beginning of fall semester.
Living off-campus doesn’t mean these campus leaders are out of touch.
“I think I am more involved than most residents because it’s harder for me to feel like a part of the campus community,” said junior Diana Abreu-Molnar, a commuter who serves as the Achievement and Recognition Coordinator for C.O.S.O.
Abreu-Molnar said she wants to “pay it forward” and help other people on campus get involved.
“I think it’s really important to be a part of the committee in charge of organizations on campus, because organizations help students channel their passions,” she said.
Calil agrees that getting involved is a good way to feel like a true member of the UM family.
“The only way to meet people is to get involved,” said Calil.
For commuters, feeling a part of campus life can be a challenge. Students who live on campus have roommates, floor-mates and resident assistants who instantly become their collegiate comrades. Commuters say even finding a place to hangout between classes can be tough.
But these challenges haven’t stopped these commuters from getting, as Calil puts it, a “college experience”.
“As a commuter you have to make your own experiences,” said Calil.
We could have an info box list of the seven commuters and their position or title:
Chair Jaife Calil
Vice Chair Veronica Alvarez
Secretary/Treasurer Maury Abascal
Achievement and Recognition Coordinator Diana Abreu Molnar
Achievement and Recognition Coordinator Jennifer Safstrom
Involvement Fair Coordinator Jennifer Del Toro
Constitutional Review Ariel Penaranda
If there’s room, the other six COSO board members are:
Organization Development Coordinator Leslie Elus
Marketing Coordinator Akshay Goyal
Advisor Relations Coordinator Monika Aneja
Registration Coordinator Shavon Whitehead
Registration Coordinator Ruchi Babriwala
Member-At-Large Jessica Taylor