The commuter lifestyle during a pandemic


Photo: Nick McAdam

Emmalyn Ylaya, Staff Writer

Within the Utica College community, some students prefer to commute rather than live on campus because they live close to campus with their families or to gain off-campus experience.   

As UC begins the semester all students, faculty and staff are required to follow some new rules and restrictions due to the ongoing spread of coronavirus. When entering campus, they will be using the Burrstone Road entrance only and show the campus safety officers their results of the Daily Health Screening. 

Some commuters have mixed feelings about the new guidelines they must follow on campus this semester.  Junior Tabo Bo, a commuter, doesn’t mind the safety precautions, but wants to get as much out of his college experience as possible.

“I don’t mind commuting because I get to spend time with family while attending college,” Bo said. “The only downside with commuting is not being able to have the college life as much as I would want to.” 

Bo said COVID-19 restrictions don’t affect his commuting. The only effect the restrictions have on him is the way social togetherness has changed on campus. 

“I feel like commuters should get involved as much as they can,” Bo said. 

With the amount of in-person campus events that happen throughout the semester, some commuter students are unable to attend some because of their living situations. 

Senior Audra Williams commuted one semester prior to commuting this semester. However, there were some days she wished she was a resident student on campus. 

“I wish I could live on campus some days for the simplicity of being able to be anywhere on campus in a short amount of time,” Williams said. “I think commuting can be great especially since I get to see my dog everyday.” 

Williams commutes from Clinton, a village not far from campus. She said the only thing that has an effect on her commute is the new check-in when entering campus everyday this semester. 

“Accidents or slower drivers is what can affect the time it takes to get to campus,” Williams said. 

Whether students are close to campus or much farther away from campus, the winter has had an impact for some students in the past. Some winter days there are snow storms where students can not arrive on campus in a timely manner or at all.

“For other commuters I would say they would just have to leave early in order to get to campus on time,” Williams said. “Especially when it’s snowing or the roads are bad where you can’t drive fast like you can on bare roads on sunny days.” 

Senior Joseph Quinn enjoys commuting since he grew up within the Utica area. 

“Utica College does a pretty good job of making commuters feel a part of the campus,” Quinn said. 

Quinn said he believes getting involved more with the college community helps to meet new people and put yourself out there. 

“It is definitely hard at first because you don’t know anyone and don’t live in the dorms,” Quinn said. “Joining clubs and organizations is the best way to fill that gap.” 

Senior Julia Brodock loves commuting because of the freedom she gets even when she feels like she missed out on college experiences. With the COVID-19 restrictions this semester, things have been tough when it comes to commuting for her. 

“COVID-19 restrictions ended up piling our classes on certain days so we aren’t constantly going back and forth to campus,” Brodock said. “This means that we are trying to go between on campus classes and online classes. Also trying to figure where we have to be.” 

Brodock said she suggests all commuters to not have too long of breaks between classes. 

“Long breaks can end up giving you too much free time that you won’t use wisely,” Brodock said.