The zippering of suitcases is all you hear on Friday’s on Cabrini’s campus.
During the weekends Cabrini’s campus has become desolate, a good percentage of the students have left the campus. Cabrini has become a “suitcase school.”
A suitcase school is a college where majority of the student body lives on campus, but during the weekends a significantly high number of those students go home.
There could be so many possibilities for why Cabrini has become a suitcase school, but let’s look at the elephant in the room which is COVID-19.
Colleges around the country have been affected by the virus. In Cabrini’s case, it’s noticeable in the decline in the student population.
Take a look at residence life on campus. Cabrini has two empty dorms on campus, Casey and Mcmanus, or three if you count Infante, which now houses Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS).
In terms of numbers in the fall of 2019, Cabrini had 861 students living on campus. This current semester has 650 students living on campus.
The decline in students living on campus can be attributed to a number of reasons, but for some students, it’s because there was nothing to do on campus during the weekends.
“Basically every weekend last semester I went home. There was nothing to do on campus on the weekends,” Meg Blum, freshman education major, said. “Since I lived so close I decided to become a commuter this semester because it wasn’t worth the money to live on campus anymore just to go home every weekend.”
That experience isn’t an isolated one, but it has been said by students all over campus.
“Cabrini’s campus severely lacks an exciting active student life and it clearly shows due to the fact that the majority of its students, including myself, go home every weekend. I am not a quick drive home, I have a 2-hour drive each weekend,” Megan McLoughlin, freshman nursing major, said. “That in itself says a lot that I’d rather drive 2 hours home each weekend than stay on-campus. I have yet to see any activities to be involved in on campus on the weekends.”
Because of COVID-19 during the 2020-2021 school year, a lot of the events that Student Engagement and Leadership (SEAL) would hold changed because of the COVID-19 guidelines.
Even student-run organizations such as Black Student Union held a welcome back dance for students with ICavs, Cabrini’s Step dance team.
“As someone who works in SEAL, I sympathize with students because their college experience is ultimately boring because Cabrini doesn’t have a lot to offer,” Malik Washington, junior political science major, said. ”It’s not a SEAL matter, it’s the university. SEAL can only do so much, Cabrini has to take the initiative to create more clubs and organizations for people of all backgrounds and cultures to make Cabrini more vibrant again.”
Hopefully, Cabrini will soon do something that will help combat the reality that it has become a suitcase school. This is to improve the experiences of the current students, but also needed as an important step to bring in future students who may want to live on Cabrini’s campus.