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Commuting at the Ville: What's available for you?

Commuting students make up a large portion of the student body, about 32 percent of students reside on campus while an overwhelming 68 percent are non-residents, according to Maureen Feller, administrative assistant of planning, assessment, and analysis.

These commuters have a number of available amenities that they can take advantage of to make their stay at Millersville University a more satisfying, pleasant experience.

First of all, according to Rita Miller, associate director of housing and residential programs, commuting students are entitled to the same services as resident students. This includes meal plans, student organizations, the bus service and health and counseling services.

In addition to the mutual services provided for residents and commuters, commuting students also have full access to the Philadelphia House, which serves as the commuter lounge. This is a full house with a kitchen, two bathrooms and multiple sitting rooms.

Students waiting to pick up the bus of George Street. Photo by Christian Shuts.
Students waiting to pick up the bus of George Street. Photo by Christian Shuts.

“It’s kind of nice that they have a little place here where you can have lunch,” said Freshman Jason Snavely, a commuting student.

Tyler Groff, a freshman, also enjoys being able to bring lunch, which is more cost-effective than buying lunch on campus, and relax while watching movies in the commuter lounge.

“I enjoy the community that’s created by this place,” added Groff.

Miller finds that most students view the commuter lounge as a “homier” atmosphere than other options.

Limited parking is often an issue that commuters face. However, according to Miller, parking concerns have been reduced due to the addition of the parking garage near Gaige Hall, making commuter students feel more welcome on campus.

The parking pass that signifies an MU commuter. Photo by Christian Shuts.
The parking pass that signifies an MU commuter. Photo by Christian Shuts.

Of course, there are disadvantages to commuting to MU.

“Some commuting students feel that the connectedness between the university and commuter students could be better,” said Miller.

One of the larger disconnections students feel between themselves and MU itself are meeting schedules for student organizations. Most student organizations hold meetings at night, whereas many commuters try to schedule their classes so they can leave campus early instead of staying up late at night for a meeting.

According to Miller, this prevents many commuters from getting involved in the student organizations available to them.

Miller also believes that students who are commuting from home, rather than from a close spot just-off campus, do not get the same connection. Living closer to campus allows for students to be more involved in actual campus events and life.

“Commuters from home are still socially integrated into their home environment,” said Miller.

While there are advantages to commuting, such as not having to pay for housing, there are disadvantages, such as not being an integral part of student organizations. Either way, there are amenities provided for the commuting students at MU.