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The voice : Fayetteville State University student press. online resource (None) 2006-current, November 01, 2012, Image 11

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OFF CAMPUS BUT ON THE CLOCK By Rasheena Scott ?Many students dream of living off campus and at FSU that dream is alive. There ;are as many as 3,000 commuters at FSU, ! according to Leland Davis the president i of AUTOS, an organization geared to off campus students. While living off campus offers a plethora of benefits, it also pres ents sveral social, academic and finacial challenges. Approximately 86 percent of college and university students nationwide are de fined as commuter students, according to Commuter students may live with their parents, or share an apartment with a roommate off campus. Commuters often walk, ride bikes, take public transportation, or drive to campus to attend classes. Most spend little additional time outside of the classroom on campus. There are many reasons why students chose to live off campus. Some commuter students chose to live off campus be cause, they may have competing respon sibilities outside the academic classroom, such as family and work interests. For those students who are working full-time, raising a family, or caring for an elderly parent, campus residency is not a viable option. Also, commuting may be economi cally beneficial because many commuter students cannot afford to live on campus. Despite residing off-campus, most com muter students have high academic aspi rations and a strong commitment to learn- ; ing according to “I love it, I have to pay bills but it’s worth it”, says Michelle Lowry a 23-year-old se nior and Papa John’s delivery driver, who made the transition as a junior. On the flip side commuters often find it dif ficult to attend school functions and social engagements and, as a result ,find it dif ficult to make friends. Commuter students often miss out on opportunities to “con nect" to the university and other students. “The disadvantage about staying off cam pus [is that] most of them are not knowl edgeable of student activities that occur on campus. Even though there are email notifications sent out, students neglect to look at the information, and [don’t] partici pate. There are so many opportunities on campus such as clubs and organization, which many off campus students don’t know about,” said Davis. The benefits of off campus are tempting, “The cost of tuition is cheaper, and stu dents can cook their own meals” explained Davis. “You [also] don’t have to worry about having a roommate you don’t know and you can’t trust, [or having] to make sure you hide your belongings,” Davis added. Rent may range from $500 to $900 in the Fayetteville area. Gas can run a commuter up to 40 dollars a week or more depend ing on the car. In addition to rent and gas, groceries can cost more than $150 every couple weeks. Although you don’t have to pay room and board to the university or pay for a meal plan, living off campus can be costly. Most students who live off cam pus have to find a job whether they like it or not, like Teniqua Smith, a 21-year old junior who lives off campus and has been a sales associate for two months. Full-time employment may damage stu dent performance, for example, 55 percent of those students working 35 or more hours per week reported that work has a negative effect on their studies, according to State University of New York at Brock- port. Furthermore, 40 percent of students working full-time reported that their jobs limits their class schedule; 36 percent re ported it reduces their class time choices; 30 percent reported their jobs limit the number of classes they take; and 26 per cent reported it limits access to the library. According to Smith and Lowery they both work 35 hours weekly, which make them full time workers. Smith said she feels like she is constantly traveling from home, to school, and to work. “Sometimes it can be quite a challenge. You have to learn how to manage everything,” emphasized Smith. Perks aside, students may want to con sider all possibilities before they decide to make the big move. “Have a plan first; don’t just jump in on something because it sounds good. Also, make sure you will be able to manage it all,” Smith said. lA U T O S By Dwayne Watson Achieving + Understanding -i- Towards + Off-campus -i- Students=A.U. T. O. S! Always moving for the commuter student here at FSU, AUTOS is far from a car club! The purpose of AUTOS club is to assist the commuter student in achieving an authentic college experi ence. Just coming to school and going to class, then back home won’t cut it! The AUTOS club hosts, plan, and organize free (that’s right FREE!!) events for the commuter students’ enjoyment, including frequent informative events happening on campus. They strive to encourage academic progress and promote leadership amongst the commuter students, who would usually miss such opportunities. The next meeting will be on Tuesday, Nov. 20 at 2pm in the RJSC room 235. Interested in joining AUTOS? There is a $10 membership fee but it’s well worth every penny! Adviser: Ms. Pamela Smith 672-1387 President: Leland Davis Vice President: Meosha McCormick Secretary: Andrewnikka Alvarado Assistant secretary: Kelly Whitted Treasurer: Adrienne Reid N iz: o O C/D PQ 3 U 11

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