The Commuter Experience


A revived Commuter Student Association hopes to improve the campus experience for the more than one thousand Detroit Mercy undergraduate students who do not live on the grounds.

Brandon Tatar, president of the association, wants to make it easier for commuter students to get involved.

“I also want to make sure that the commuter students’ voices are heard,” said Tatar.

The challenges are different for commuter students, who must deal with traffic and often don’t feel like hanging around after class when faced with a long drive home.

Detroit Mercy officials would like commuter students to spend more time at the university during their typical four-year stay – to experience some of what it offers.

That’s why this year Detroit Mercy has resurrected the commuter group.

Adam Hollmann, assistant director of student life programming, advises the Commuter Student Association.

“We’re just trying to build the nucleus and the core group again,” he said. “This group was strong about four years ago, but it has been inactive for the past several years. Now we are re-starting it.”

There has always been a lot of focus on activities for resident students, he said.

“But we don’t really talk a lot about what we want to do for a commuter student,” said Hollmann.

The association is holding once-a-month meetings where students can come out and talk about their experiences as commuters, about what they like at the university and what they want to see improved.

A survey is also underway.

The purpose is to have hard data about what commuter students actually want.

The results will be shared with administrators and presumably could bring about changes.

Tatar has also created a public Facebook group called The Ride Share, where students who want to car pool can connect.

“This is for any students looking for a different way of transportation,” he said.

Tatar hopes that commuter students will take advantage of the organization and the potential it has to offer.

In addition to Hollmann, Tatar is assisted by vice president Kelly Diabese and secretary Jorge Acevedo.

One of the group’s longer-term goals is the creation of a commuter lounge.

If you would like to be part of the association, come to its next meeting on March 15 at 1 p.m. in C&F 138.