Despite Ypsilanti’s heated temperatures, students at Eastern Michigan University enjoyed a day out in the sun during the school’s Commuter Cookout event on Sept. 5.
Organized by EMU’s E-Dining and Campus Life, the event aimed to connect commuter students to the university’s on-campus experiences.
“When talking to students on campus, we’ve noticed that many commuters just come and leave after classes,” Greg Richards, director of marketing for E-Dining, said. “Part of the college experience is the unique environment that campus activities create, so we wanted to put together an event that shows commuters just how much we want them to feel part of that and the EMU community.”
The event featured food, games and prizes for its attendees. Some of the games included were human size battleships, hula hoop ring tosses, and basketball. In addition, EMU’s credit union brought out their Cash Cube where students could win cash prizes.
Ali Al-Qadi, a junior at EMU, is experiencing his first-year commuting to university. He was pleased with the cookout organized for commuter students.
“It's a good idea to show that you support commuters,” Al-Qadi said. “Probably since a lot of people commute to campus. And they're providing a lot of good info so I think it's been a really cool event. I think it was set up and organized well so I appreciate that as a commuter.”
Each table at the cookout provided information for commuter students to learn more about events happening on campus.
“All are welcome at this event, however, we are centering the information we're giving out specifically to commuter students,” Sara Bamrick, coordinator of Campus Life engagement and activities, said.
Olivia Smith, another student who attended the event, appreciated the event being in the day, a convenience for her and other commuter students.
“For events on campus that can be nice for, you know, people on campus. But for a lot of commuters, when it comes to evening events especially, we want to just go home and have dinner,” Smith said. “We're not staying on campus for too long after our classes. It can be really nice to have events like this where the school is acknowledging that. It shows that the school wants to help all of our students, not just our students living on campus.”
For many of these commuters, driving from and to the university’s campus isn’t always easy.
“Coming all the way from the city of Detroit to Ypsilanti has been crucial,” Charles Blackwell, a commuter student at EMU, said. “Especially knowing how bad the winters always be in Michigan. So this event is nice and well deserved. Show the commuters some love, have something for us so that we feel like we’re included on campus.”
For more information on upcoming EMU campus events, visit Campus Life’s calender.