WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., Aug. 25, 2015 — There’s a new lounge open on the Hilltop campus, one designed specifically for commuters. It was unveiled at an open house from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. today.
“This is our first designated space for commuters and it features resources to help our students who don’t reside here on campus. Things like finding a job on campus, tutor assistance and special programs suited to their perspective are a few of the outreach programs planned. Plus we have fun activities that we hope our commuters will enjoy like joining an intramural team. The lounge will be a good place for commuters to meet and make friends or work out rides, and other needs to make the whole student experience better,” said Campus Activities Coordinator Kate Billings.
Formerly an office space, the commuter lounge is conveniently situated on the second floor of the College Union building, just off the quad.
“This lounge was our attempt to better serve a student population that wasn’t targeted in any specific way. There wasn’t any complaints or demand for the lounge but we are being proactive and want to assist our commuting students in the same way that we reach out to resident students,” Billings explained. Billings works in the housing and student life office and is well aware of student needs and habits. She is now in her second year of the activities position and enjoys her work with college students.
One of these students is Commuter Assistant Jessica Truax who now works in the lounge. Truax is certain that the new space will be popular.
“It’s nice for students who commute and come to campus for class, then sit alone in the student union between classes. That can feel intimidating. Coming up here to the new lounge is homier and you can get stuff done,” Truax said. Though she is living on campus this year in the Commons apartments, Truax lived off campus in Wheeling last year.
“Last year I didn’t know a lot of other commuters. This really helps out,” she said.
Since over half the student population at West Liberty resides off campus, either at their family home or in off-campus housing like the nearby Fowler Apartments, the Commuter Lounge should prove to be a busy place.
“All of our programs are open to commuters but we want to serve this specific student community more, so they know they have a place where they can go and find the resources they need to get their questions answered or just connect to the University more,” Billings said.
“Just like we have evening residential programs on wellness and other topics, we want to run similar programs for commuters at a time that works for them,” said Billings.
One of the upcoming programs will be on a topic that would interest just about any commuter — car maintenance!
The cozy lounge also has Wi-Fi, television, two computer stations and comfortable seating. It will be open from 10 – 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.
For more information, please contact Billings at 304.336.8580.