Commuter students reflect on their campus experience

While commuters may not be footsteps away from their classes like those that choose to live in the residential colleges, many argue that there are a lot of overlooked perks that come with living off campus.

For commuters with cars, they cite the ability to explore the city at their leisure as an added benefit to living off campus. Kira Quintana, a freshman at UM, said she believes “the mobility and freedom a car gives you is truly a blessing, especially when you are in such a vibrant and lively city like Miami.”

Kevin Fernandez, a junior that commutes to campus from Miami Lakes, says that he has always found UM to be “very accommodating towards commuter students.”

Commuter students involved in the Association of Commuter Students (ACS) at UM have access to their own lounge and lockers to store their things on the second floor of the Student Shalala Center.

Another perk to commuting, Fernandez said, is the ability to save money and go home for a nice home-cooked meal.

Isabella Aires, a junior commuter student, offered insight into the negative aspects of living off campus.

“Sometimes extracurriculars forget that we are commuters and don’t always have the luxury of living on campus, where meetings are,” Aires said. “This is even worse when meetings are during weekends or late night hours because you either have to stay on campus really late or drive long distances in traffic.”

She stressed the fact that commuters are “sometimes forgotten” by student organizations. To her, they often assume that everyone lives on campus or has easy access to the UM grounds when that is not necessarily the case.

But Marcos Serur, a commuter and senior at UM, says that he has had a very positive experience as a commuter and that he does not find it hard for to remain involved in UM activities, such as the quidditch team.

“I have my own car. I’m able to move around quickly and change parking spots around campus. I can go to any meetings, helping me stay more involved.”