We are proud to have students from the region choose Mercyhurst University, the North East campus and represent our local communities to the resident students. Often people emphasize the differences in the commuting and residential college experiences.
As first-year students, however, both groups share a great deal: the goal of succeeding academically, the need to fit in with campus culture, and the desire for lasting friendships. We urge commuters to use fully the Mercyhurst services and opportunities for study and socialization. Commuters have a home away from home in our Student Union, where many commuters congregate.
A significant factor in a successful commuter experience is the amount of time the student spends on campus. This is critical in the first year. Sometimes commuters resist attending events or participating in the co-curricular setting, especially when those activities compete with your time dedicated for working, spending time with your family, and studying.
However, these activities are essential because they are designed to connect students with each other and to the important resources of the university. Once classes have begun, commuters can enjoy the routine of attending classes if they extend their time on campus. Rather than driving home after a class, the student can enjoy a quick lunch, a workout in the fitness center, or focused study time in the library.
Student Government coordinates and hosts a variety of commuter outreach such as free lunch on the run and events like Commuter Day. There are family-friendly events in which students with families are encouraged to participate including movie nights, homecoming, Midnight Madness, Winter Fest, Spring Fling and the end of the year festival.
Commuter Connections pairs first-year commuter students with "seasoned" second-year students called Commuter Assistants (CAs) who provide support, advice, and camaraderie during the new students' first year. CAs work hard to ensure that first-year commuter students adjust to life at Mercyhurst University and have positive and constructive college experiences.
CAs serve as mentors and as valuable resources. Each CA will keep in contact with his or her commuting first-year students, help them navigate the University setting and get involved on campus. CAs hold office hours in the Student Union during the week so that they are accessible to answer questions that commuter students may have. CAs are equipped with the most up-to-date information regarding campus events and news so they stand ready to assist any commuter student that may need their guidance!
Q: How are Commuter Assistants and first-year commuter students matched?
A: Whenever possible, we match CAs and first-year commuter students based on major, interests and common activities.
Q: What is the time commitment?
A: First-year commuter students are able to commit as much (or as little) time as they would like.
Q: What can I expect from my Commuter Assistant?
A: You can expect to be contacted by your CAs at least once a week with information on upcoming events and student involvement opportunities. Your CA may contact you by phone, e-mail, text or on social networking sites.
Q: What are the benefits of the program?
A: As a participating student, you will have access to a knowledgeable second year student who can serve as a resource for any questions you may have about Mercyhust University and college life. You will also have someone to accompany you as you get to know the campus community and all that’s going on at our campus. Lastly, you will enjoy special programming for the Commuter Connections group throughout your first year.
Q: Does it cost money?
A: The program doesn’t cost money. The only cost is your time and commitment to becoming an engaged member of our campus community!