commuter lounge

A Campus Home for Commuters

Commuter students arriving on campus in January may have noticed a few changes to their lounge on the second floor of Jenks Library. “We were able to do some updates to the lounge during the long break,” Dean of Student Care Terry Charek said. The updates include valance curtains on the windows, winter coat hooks, a bulletin board and a three-stage water filter on the sink.

While these may seem like relatively minor improvements, it can be easy to forget that just eight months ago, this lounge didn’t exist at all. Over the summer while most students were away from campus, a construction crew revamped what used to be Director of the W.I.L.D. Semester Scott Barnett’s office and an old storage closet into a much-needed lounge for commuters.

The idea came about last year when members of the Student Venues Council, led Megan Azadian ’16, heard about the challenges that commuter students faced without a “home base” on campus. Working alongside Dean of Student Success Chris Carlson, Vice President of Student Life Jennifer Jukanovick and the Gordon College Student Association—with support from the Development and Finance Offices, as well as Barnett (who agreed to relocate his office)—Student Venues Council turned the concept into a reality.

The commuter lounge was designed with a fridge, microwave, couches and lockers for a safe storage space. These amenities that residential students might take for granted, commuter students have always gone without—until now.

“I took on this project knowing very little about how many people are behind the scenes of the many amenities students have,” Azadian said, crediting a team of Gordon staff. “I am glad to have been a part of marking the lounge and I hope that students utilize it and find a moment of peace there in the crazy moments of school.”

The students certainly have. Now, across from the hall from the Jenks archives, you can find commuters sharing a bite to eat between classes, storing uniforms for sports games, and relaxing in their own designated space in the heart of Jenks.

“I used the commuter lounge every single day last semester,” Caroline Dally ’18 said. “It was exactly what we needed as commuters. We don’t need to carry our food or all our heavy books to every class anymore. We have a place to relax if we needed to stay late. I believe that it helped me and many others feel part of a community on the Gordon campus by offering a small space to connect.”

“I’m glad we were able to give our commuter students a place of their own,” Charek said. “I love walking past the lounge and seeing a half-dozen commuters chatting, relaxing and studying in comfort!”

By Sierra Elizabeth Flach ’18, communication arts and English language and literature (creative writing)