The Commuter Student Association (CSA) will be partnering with Mustang Activities and Programming (MAP) to co-host the second annual Commuter Sleepover on Nov. 8 at 6 p.m. for commuters and residents of Stevenson University in the Rockland banquet room.
This event showcases the resident lifestyle in one night and will include bingo, crafts, trivia, movies, and more. It will provide commuters with the opportunity to meet more people, said Jenna Womack, associate director of student activities.
Womack took over CSA in the winter of 2018, and has implemented changes that would further develop the club. One of the changes made was finding a space or office area that the club can use. Womack said this space is necessary for commuters to find access to resources and hold meetings.
The goals for CSA are to make commuters feel more included and valued and connect them with opportunities and resources. In addition, they want to host more commuter-friendly events, which include activities during the hours that commuters are already on campus for classes, according to Womack.
CSA currently has one leadership position, the commuter assistant. This role is held by junior Makaria Martin. It requires her to serve as the liaison between the Student Activities office and commuter students in order to collect ideas, organize, market, and direct events.
Martin said this leadership position allows her to help prioritize commuter students and make them feel more involved. As CSA continues to settle into its new role, Womack said she would like to develop an executive board for the organization, but is not able to at this time due to a drop in interest.
To increase interest and spirit in CSA, Womack and Martin work to include commuters into the planning and preparation of events. The Homecoming bonfire involved commuters to help set up the event. Womack also said she is working with club members to figure out what Mustang swag they would like to have to further promote and increase CSA awareness and school spirit as a commuter.
Martin and Womack reached out to nearly a thousand commuter students through emails that market events and announce the weekly activities on campus. Womack said there are about 15-20 active members who attend their meetings and events. Martin and Womack agreed that when planning an event for commuters, it has to be heavily marketed in order to bring a crowd.
Gayla Booker, an active member of CSA, is a first-year student at Stevenson University majoring in psychology. During Booker’s orientation at the school, she connected with CSA and has been going to the meetings ever since, according to Martin. From the meetings, Booker said she has gained a mentor to help her adjust to college and connect her to resources. She added that she always looks forward to going to events on campus and being involved, and CSA has made it easier for her.
Strong marketing for CSA is helping to attract more interest, and the club has gained the attention of other commuters like sophomore ice hockey player Ryan Patrick, who tries to attend events. Patrick said timing is an issue for him and his friends when it comes to these events, but he would love to be more involved when he has the chance.
Womack, Martin, Booker, and other CSA members have been brainstorming new inclusive events for commuters, who can look forward to being on a team for Relay for Life, a foundation event, and commuter family dinners. The hope is that these events will bring everyone together and make new connections, said Martin.