By now, you’ve probably been to the Student Union, and if you’re a commuter you might’ve even been inside a room called the “Commuter Lounge” within the Student Union. If not, I’ll describe it to you.
The Commuter Lounge is a small room with windows facing the Beanery. It’s right up the steps from the food court and has two entrances. When you enter from the food court side, you first meet two microwaves, which are very useful if you bring your own meals. Behind that section is a bulletin board with information about off-campus housing and Late Night events. There are several couches and comfy chairs in the central area with some coffee tables in between, and a row of tables along the back wall that act as desks for those who want a space to do homework.
If you walk in a little further, you’ll see an opening on the wall that leads to a kitchen area that currently has a broken microwave and a sink in it. In fact, the day I wrote this, there were free cookies atop the microwave. The walls of this area are made of about 100 lockers where commuters can place their belongings during the day.
According to an Off-Campus Student Services presentation, there are about 10,000 students that commute to UConn. With that number in mind, I’m going to list the pros and cons of the Commuter Lounge.
Pro: You have nice couches to relax on, or a secluded space to do your homework.
Con: Those couches are usually taken up, as are the desks.
Pro: You have lockers to house your bags during the day instead of carrying all of them around campus with you.
Con: Those lockers go quickly. 100 lockers to 10,000 commuters means you have to run to sign up for one.
Pro: Microwaves to heat up your food.
Con: They can get really messy. There used to be a supply of paper towels to clean it up, but food has just been everywhere lately.
Pro: Safe space to just be a commuter. Sleep if you need to, eat homemade food if you need to, etc.
Con: As said before, there really isn’t a lot of room in there to do much other than heat your food and leave. If you eat in there, it has to be quiet and not too strong-smelling or you will get looks because whatever smell is in there stays there.
I like having the Commuter Lounge. It’s really helpful on days where I just pack a can of Chef Boyardee and am off. But, there are some improvements that should be taken into consideration, especially since commuters make up a third of the population and we all have to share this one room. Perhaps a bigger space, with more room for all of us and our bags would be better than the cramped, easily smelly room we have now.
Hannah Desrosiers is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at email@example.com.