Whether you’re a Cabrini professor heading down I-76, or a Cabrini student trying to make the train on time, the destination for these commuters is the same and so are some of the issues they share.
As a community, campus commuters have suggestions and complaints that could improve their group’s well-being as Cabrini rides these last two semesters into the sunset.
Price of gas playing a role
The problems commuters encounter are financial as well as communal. Over time, considering the price of gas in today’s economy, around four dollars per gallon in Pennsylvania, driving can put a hefty expense on anyone traveling by car.
Professor of business Management and Cabrini commuter Dr. Kathy Mantz said, “With the increase in gas prices I’m probably out an extra $200 dollars a month.” She added, “The challenge becomes, I have to take that $200 from somewhere else out of my disposable income, and now pay for gas. So that means I have less to spend elsewhere.”
She said the price of gas impacts the way in which one must budget each month. She said if she wants to continue to drive and work at Cabrini, she must make “compromises” for the extra money she’s spending on gas, for instance, taking money out of a food budget or certain bills.
Mantz suggests carpooling to split the costs of commuters who live close to each other. She said they could ride a bike if they are close or take public transportation if that’s a possibility. She said, “The other option is to take classes online, but we’re not an online university, so that’s really not too much of an option.
Mantz also said, “If you want to get active, write to your congressmen, man or woman, and find out why gas prices have to be so high, and what we can all do to bring those prices down.”
Finance professor Key Coleman points out the reason we see gas fluctuate everywhere at once is because it’s a “commodity”, one of the biggest in the world, so nobody is selling it for more or less. But he said the reason gas prices change amongst states is because of state taxes, which are decided by each state’s legislation.
Student life and commuting life
Cabrini student and commuter Bella Cipresso said she enjoys commuting because it allows her to have the “individuality” she enjoys from living in her own apartment.
Cipresso lives in Havertown. Her commute is 20 to 25 minutes, and she pays about $70 a week for gas. Although that is a large expense, she said the issue is the communication between on-campus activity and commuters. She said there is more of a “student life” in Conshohocken than there is on campus.
She said campus event planning is great, but the engagement isn’t there.
SEaL promoting help
SEaL is the center for student engagement and leadership. Their goal is to provide students with opportunities of involvement in the campus community. Bridget A. O’Donnell, the Director for Student Engagement and Leadership, said the department stands with commuters and provides many chances for their participation on campus.
She mentioned the importance of the commuter lounge. The commuter lounge is a space designated to the commuter experience, located on the bottom floor of the Holy Spirit Library. In the lounge commuters can interact with each other and relax in between classes. It’s home to commodities accessible to commuters for free use. For instance, a set of lockers can be found there as well as a fridge. These lockers can also be found in the upper lobby between Widener and Founder’s Hall. You can register for them at the SEaL department. She said it holds events for commuters at least once a month.
As for other events, O’Donnell said to keep an eye on your email, check out their social media page, and look around for their flyers which can be found all over campus.