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The commuter conundrum

If the walk from the back of the Mabee Center parking lot is typical, you might be an ORU commuter.

While the reasons for commuting may differ between each student, some commuters chose this lifestyle to forego the cost of room and board.

“Commuting is a cost efficient option for my situation,” said Jessica Fuentes, a sophomore electrical engineering major.

However, the commuter life comes with its own struggles, starting with the sometimes unknown Commuter Lounge on the second floor of the LRC.

“Commuting  benefits are not well advertised, nor well maintained,” said Megan Case, a sophomore mechanical engineering major.

This lounge contains a TV, kitchen and seating for commuters. Commuter lockers are also available across the hall.

Case said the kitchen doesn’t have a lot of supplies and that the singular operational microwave causes a long wait on chapel days.

Others see the Commuter Lounge as a hub to welcome new commuters to their family.

“I hope for the present commuters to be open to new faces,” Case said. “And that we all begin to be familiar, because that makes the Commuter Lounge feel like home.”

Some commuters, like sophomore elementary education major Averi Lange, dislike the limitations on their student IDs, which denies access to the dorms.

“I have to text [my friends] to have them open the door for me or I have to knock and pray whoever is working the desk will unlock it for me,” Lange said.

For the first time this year, Student Association included a Commuter Student Orientation during ORU Arise, and plans to  continue this orientation for years to come.

“We don’t want to treat them [commuters] as if they are a subculture at ORU,” said Aaron Brown, director of Student Experience. “They are a part of it.”

In order to better the experience of the commuters living throughout Tulsa, SA representatives said they are working hard to plan events that will not only connect the students, but entertain and refresh them.

The first event is a graduate and commuter family picnic on Aug. 31 from noon to 5 p.m.

While the location has still not been announced, the picnic will include food, music, and sports activities.

“At the end of the day, we want [the commuters] just as  involved as our residential students,” Brown said.

For more information email SA commuter coordinator Ricardo Castaneda at

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