Temple, in the past, has had an overwhelming percentage of commuter students. For a school that features commercials of its students running happily down a basketball court and totes the phrase “Temple students. They’re just smarter,” the pride seems to be reserved for those who pay the $6,000 to live on campus.
In 2000, 78 percent of the student population lived in non-University sponsored housing. In 1998 and 1999, it was 82 percent.
Strides in on-campus renovations have been made. Anyone who’s been here since 1998 can recall a different Temple — one without shiny, red tiling and looming T’s on every new facade. Those students remember when the Student Center had a Taco Bell.
Now, there are additional perks to attending Temple and more being promised every semester. That is, more perks are being promised to the on-campus students.
With well over 50 percent of the student body made up of commuters, what has the University done to extend a hand of thanks to commuters for dishing out thousands upon thousands of dollars in tuition, books and tacked on fees?
Doughnuts and coffee offered once a week 7:30 a.m. in the lobby of the new Student Center. Supposedly it lasts an hour, or until the coffee runs out.
Sound good? Not really. The coffee goes fast and the doughnuts even faster. But, if the first morning class begins at 8:10 a.m., then who is commuter coffee actually for?
In 1996, commuter coffee was held from 8-9:30 a.m. when there were 16,805 graduate and undergraduate commuter students on Main Campus, which roughly represents 85 percent of the student body. At this rate, by 2006, commuter coffee will be at 4 a.m.
Some people say that non-dormitory residing students leave campus after class and it’s their fault for not socializing. But, given that all the activities are either in the evening or so early in the morning there’s actually parking on the streets, what exactly would the motivation be for staying between the time when class is over and the beginning of the actual event.
Commuter students aren’t asking for a lot — a little respect, a little courtesy, something more than a couple doughnuts and generic coffee. We’re not asking for Starbucks, rather a little consideration and thought on the University’s end. Instead of one morning of commuter coffee, why not five? Why just doughnuts? Why not have Muffin Mondays? Danish Tuesdays? Fresh Fruit Fridays?
It’s just a thought — something for the administrators to chew on as they finalize the plans to build a gold fireplace in the new dorm while the commuter students are freezing on the platform waiting for the train.