By Joergen Ostensen
The Commuting Students Association (CSA) hosted a town-hall discussion on Monday, where they laid out which initiatives they plan to focus on this year.
Seven commuting students attended the town hall to give feedback and raise any questions to the three panelists from the CSA senior board. The three panelists were Farida Ahmed, FCRH ’19, president of CSA’s senior board, Victoria Puscullo, FCRH ‘19, the vice president and Nick DeBellis, FCRH ‘19, the treasurer.
The panelists said CSA is hoping to make Fordham a more commuter friendly community.
CSA’s possible initiatives include having a commuter-only level of the parking garage, a more accessible commuter lounge, a Ram Van shuttle service run to the 4train and tours geared for prospective students who plan to commute.
During the panel discussion, the CSA representatives said it is important for them get feedback, so they can be more in touch with the needs of students.
Puscullo said the town hall was successful because students were able to learn more about what CSA is doing to represent them, and similar events have not been as effective in the past.
“I think it was an effective first initiative,” Puscullo said. “This event seemed to go a bit better than last year.”
DeBellis said that it can be difficult for commuting students to attend events like the town hall.
“It’s an uphill battle sometimes with some of these events,” he said. “It’s a challenge but we’re trying our best.”
According to the panelists, CSA has had some successes in the past couple of years, as the administration installed microwaves and lockers for commuting students.
Ahmed said not much has changed for commuting students in her four years. According to her, CSA has been advocating for residence halls, like Faber, to be opened up to commuters for at least as long as she has been enrolled.
“Nothing has really changed,” she said.
Puscullo said Fordham has been helpful, and she hopes that CSA’s work will benefit future commuting students. She said small improvements, like the installation of microwaves, are part of the longer-term vision of CSA.
“I think those are small steps to a greater goal,” she said.
DeBellis said the main objective of CSA is to make the commuter experience as similar as possible to the residential student experience.
“That just means making [commuting students] feel involved and a part of a community,” he said.
Puscullo said she and the other members of CSA are always looking for feedback from commuting students. She said that in order for CSA to do its job, it needs to know issues are affecting students.
“We want to hear from you, we want to know what your opinions are and what issues you’re having,” she said. “We’re representing you guys, so we want to hear from [commuting students].”