his past summer, commuter students had their taste of dorm life for the first time in NYU history. The Commuter & Off-Campus Student Services collaborated with the Office of Residential Life and Housing Services to host the optional Commuter Overnight Retreat for incoming freshman commuter students.
The Commuter Student Council, along with 18 commuter assistants, helped organize the event.
On Aug. 17, 150 freshmen checked into Hayden residence hall for the night and enjoyed receptions hosted by all of the undergraduate schools, presentations by Global Programs about studying abroad, optional Shabbat and Ramadan dinners hosted by the Bronfman and the Islamic Centers, a New York City biking excursion and a trip to the Hudson River Park.
Stern sophomore and student liaison for the Commuter Student Council, Rosario Giarratana, explained that the one-day commuter orientation offered in previous years was upgraded to an overnight stay to facilitate a feeling of community among first-year commuters.
“Too often, commuters are drawn into the trap of coming to class and then going home,”
Giarrantana said. “Not partaking in the many events and experiences at NYU.” “We found that this event, just by having the students spend a single night together, helped many commuter freshmen meet some of their first friends here at NYU in a similar way to how on-campus students are able to create some of their first friends when they move into their dorms,” he added.
While Commuter & Off-Campus Student Services offers many programs throughout the year that caters specifically to commuter students, the club now encourages a large percentage of the NYU population to also get involved in university-wide programs.
According to assistant director of the Student Resource Center, Paulina Abaunza, one of the Commuter Student Council’s advocacy plans for this coming year is to change the meeting times of the 300-plus NYU clubs to earlier in the day so commuter students are more inclined to join.
According to participating CAS freshman John Rezkalla, the retreat was nothing short of a success.
“Through interactions with other commuters, I developed a stronger sense of community with NYU and the commuter community,” Rezkalla said. “[The event] broadened my scope of life at NYU.”
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Sept. 10 print edition. Hannah Stern is a contributing writer. Email her at email@example.com.
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