Commuter life gets a fresh coat of paint


Cristian Orellana

Photo credit: Cristian Orellana

Gracie Wise

Driving to and from school can take a toll on the typical Loyola commuter, but the Office of Student Affairs has added a new commuter assistant program and renovated Satchmo’s lounge to help make campus a better home away from home.

The commuter association recently received office space where five commuter assistants will now hold office hours.

In the same way that resident assistants help on-campus students, commuter assistants will now act as resources and guides for groups of 25 to 30 students from the incoming freshman class, according to Zach Bracey, assistant director of campus recreation.

Bracey said he thinks it will be helpful for commuters to have someone with experience as a commuter to look up to and go to for advice.

“They could show them the ropes and guide them and answer any questions they have,” Bracey said.

Allison Carlisle, commuter assistant and criminology junior, said she thinks the program is a good way to help students transition from high school to college.

“I knew how hard it was for me the first year,” Carlisle said. “It’s kind of confusing if you don’t always know where to go or who to go to.”

Currently, commuter assistants are using GroupMe to stay in contact with their individual groups of students and help them navigate the first semester of college. Carlisle said she hopes the assistants will bring their groups to events happening on campus to get commuter students more involved.

In addition to the commuter assistant program, commuters were also welcomed back to school with an updated Satchmo’s lounge.

All of the kitchen equipment in the lounge was removed over the summer, the walls were painted black and a logo sign was written over the stage to update the space.

Satchmo’s lounge allows commuters to hang out when they are not in class. There, they can play billiards, foosball and video games, according to the Office of Student Affairs’ webpage.

The organization gave the lounge a makeover because they wanted to make the space homier, according to Bracey. He acknowledged that most commuter students stay on campus all day and need a space to call their own when they do not have access to a residence hall.

“We felt like moving them to Satchmo’s because it’s important to have a space for them to go hang out and socialize when they’re not in class,” Bracey said.

Amy Waguespack, commuter student and criminology senior, said she was happy with the updates to Satchmo’s.

“It’s so much better than it used to be, and it’s more open too,” Waguespack said.

Bracey said that the association holds late night events to expose all students––commuter and non-commuter––to the space. Commuter assistants will hold slam poetry and open mic nights as well as movie and game nights throughout the year in Satchmo’s.