SGA sets Commuter Appreciation Week


The UVa-Wise Student Government Association wants commuters to feel as much a part of campus life as residential students, so the organization has declared November 11 as Commuter Appreciation Week.

Nate Rasnake, the SGA public relations officer, has experienced college life as a residential and a commuter student. The SGA simply wants commuters to have more opportunities to enjoy all aspects of campus life, he said. Holding a variety of activities to reach out to commuters is a first step, he added.

Brett Hall, a senior senator, agreed. Hall has driven to campus from Coeburn for four years, but he is also heavily involved in college activities. Commuter Appreciation Week has his full support, especially since he spearheaded the event.

“It’s something we’ve worked pretty hard on,” Hall said. “We’d like to make it happen every semester.”

Hall joined the SGA because he had the nagging feeling that he didn’t exactly fit in with the residential students. He decided the SGA was the place to find a solution.

“I want to make commuters feel comfortable getting more involved here if I can,” he said. “It’s tough being a commuter. You drive to campus and can have several hours between classes, and you often don’t know what to do with that time.”

Commuter Appreciation Week will include four events that will take place on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, Hall added. A free breakfast for 200 commuters is set for Nov. 13 from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Commuters must have a coupon to present in Smith Dining Hall for the complimentary breakfast, sponsored by Chartwells, and tickets can be picked up in the SGA office in the Slemp Center.

A forum featuring Professor Rachel Tighe, Whitney Wells and Dean Jewell Worley will also take place on Nov. 13 at 1 p.m. on the first floor of the Slemp Student Center. The forum will address issues commuters face, what other colleges have done to increase commuter involvement, and what students like or dislike about driving to campus.

Commuter Appreciation Week wraps up with drawings for prizes sponsored by the UVa-Wise Bookstore on Nov. 14 and Nov. 15, Hall said. Commuters who attend the breakfast and the forum will get their names entered in the drawing five times for each event.

“We want to show commuters that we appreciate them, and that we know it is often more difficult to drive to class than it is for students who can simply walk to class,” Hall said.