An event on campus Wednesday gave commuter students a chance to get their Bengal ID cards, PPE kits, and, if they’re new to Buffalo State College, a T-shirt and photo taken before classes start next week.
Over 500 students took advantage of the commuter welcome drive-through in Lot G-22, with lines of cars extending out to Grant Street at times during the event.
It was a good way for commuters to get everything in order before classes begin. Freshman biology major Taniah Inman said she decided to take classes this semester in order to jump right into college and finish her degree in four years. Coming to campus for the drive-through was her first in-person experience on campus.
“It’s great,” she said. “It was definitely helpful to see everything, and just be on campus.”
The commuter welcome event came together after traditional, in-person events on campus were canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic, said Luke Haumesser, associate director of student leadership and engagement (SLE). It’s one of the ways the college is supporting commuters this semester.
“It’s a great way to still keep the momentum going into the year and have our commuter students welcomed and feel like they’re part of the Buffalo State community,” he said. “We want to make sure commuters feel connected to campus early, and that they know that outreach does exist. We want them to know that they’re part of campus, and there are opportunities to get involved.”
Cars line up in Lot G-22 for the drive-through event on Wednesday
Sara Hillman, a junior political science major from Albion who usually lives in the residence halls, decided to commute this semester, as she has a family member at home who is at greater risk of complications from the virus, and she didn’t want to take any chances when it came to COVID-19. While the transition has been somewhat stressful, she’s been happy with the work Buffalo State has done when it comes to commuters.
“Having most of the classes online is helpful,” she said, noting that she has one hybrid class, and works with SLE.
Hillman has also been pleased with how the school has communicated with students during the pandemic.
“Buffalo State has done a great job with that,” she said.
Commuter students can stay up to date on what’s happening through the commuter Listserv, Haumesser said. SLE has a number of events planned this semester for commuters.
“We're going to send a weekly newsletter to commuters on events on campus and different things to do,” he said. “In addition, we are going to be doing a lot of virtual programming on our website through Student Leadership and Engagement.”
A number of virtual events, like webinars, bingo, trivia nights, and e-sports, will be available to students. SLE is also doing a biweekly “spin-to-win” game on Instagram live, where students can tune in to win a prize.
“If students log on while we go live on Instagram, they can win a prize by playing the spinning wheel,” he said. “If you ain’t spinning, you ain’t winning.”
Peyton O’Brien transferred to Buffalo State as a business major from another local college. She appreciated the chance to pick up her ID and PPE, and the new T-shirt she received for being new to Buffalo State. She’s excited to get the semester started.
“Buffalo State has been really considerate to new students,” she said. “It’s been a lot more informative than my former school.”