Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

36° Evanston, IL
Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Old group returns to lobby for events, social facilities for NU’s stay-at-homers

Carrie Nieman dreads the response she always gets when she tells someone she is a commuter student.

“Everyone always says ‘Oh, that sucks!” said Nieman, a Communication freshman who commutes an hour to the Evanston Campus each day from Lake Forest, Ill.

Nieman is one of eight students that met Wednesday for the first meeting of Men Off Campus and Women Off Campus, or MOC and WOC, a joint campus group formed to further the interests of commuter students and to help them adjust to life at Northwestern. The group discussed initial plans to begin a New Student Week orientation for commuters and to lobby officials to create a lounge where commuters can spend time between classes.

Mary Desler, associate vice president for student affairs, said about 20 students choose to commute each year, and it’s hard for them to become active members of the community.

“The challenge to find meaningful ways to get involved is a real one for them,” Desler said. “I think the inclination is to go home at five and not come back.”

Getting involved in campus activities is one of the only opportunities that commuter students have to meet new people, group members said. Most of the students admitted their social lives are separate from NU — for the most part, they do not come to Evanston on the weekends.

“Some days it is like a nine-to-five job,” Nieman said.

The group focused on establishing its New Student Week presence at the meeting.

“We all agreed that orientation for commuters is pretty dismal,” said Weinberg freshman Chris Paolelli of Park Ridge, Ill. “A lot of commuters just write it off, saying ‘I’m not going to have a social life because I’m a commuter.'”

The idea for the group came to Paolelli when he went to an eye doctor who happened to be an NU alumnus and former member of the original MOC and WOC. It first formed in 1947 when an influx of students funded by the GI Bill caused a campus housing shortage.

Commuters now are provided with lockers, but the amenities end there, which is why groups members also will push for a lounge where they can relax or sleep between classes.

“A place to take a nap would be nice,” said Weinberg junior Mick Zelski of Deerfield, Ill. “I took a nap in my car once. It was not fun.”

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881
Old group returns to lobby for events, social facilities for NU’s stay-at-homers