A home base on campus for commuting students

Videography by Nicole Crados

 

By Maria Villafana 

Students who live on campus can go back to their residence hall between classes, but where do you go if you’re a commuter student?

UIC’s Commuter Student Resource Center, in 245 Student Center East behind the Wellness Center, provides a place where students can unwind and meet other students, study or find information on topics such as using public transportation.

The center has lounge and study spaces, which can be reserved for groups of up to eight students, a kitchen with microwaves and freezers, lactation rooms, showers and lockers. Students should bring their own towels and supplies if they want to use showers.

“The commuter center is my home away from home,” says Maheen Zaidi, who travels to UIC from Glen Ellyn.

For early morning commuters such as Brooke Buxton and Jake Janowski, free coffee is a nice benefit.

“We use the lockers, wi-fi, and the comfortable seating area,” said Buxton, who commutes from Wheaton. “We come to the commuter center a lot.”

Other programs include informational workshops on topics such as staying healthy, saving money, car maintenance and more. Visit the center’s website to view upcoming workshops.

Students working on laptops

Kevin Moller (left), senior in civil engineering, and Michael Glassner, sophomore in biochemistry, work in the Commuter Student Resource Center. Photo: Joseph Horejs

The center’s staff knows that it can be stressful and confusing to get acquainted with Chicago’s public transit options or funding a place to live. Information is available on transportation schedules, U-Pass procedures, off-campus housing and renters’ rights.

Other programs focus on helping students unwind, such as the  “Take your Professor to Lunch” program, which encourages students to chat with their professors at the center and enjoy a complimentary lunch. Game days include Wii on a projector, board games and puzzles. Movies are shown throughout the day.

The center is open from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday.

• Maria Villafana is a junior in communication. Reach her at mvilla60@uic.edu

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