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Student Blog: Plugging in as a Commuter Student

Approximately 1,000 students commute to SEU’s campus for classes and comprise about 22% of the total student population. In order to best serve this growing group of students, a team of student leaders is selected every year to be on the Department of Student Experience’s Commuter Life (also known as C-Life) team. This team puts on fun and exciting events to ensure that commuter students’ college experience is both enjoyable and memorable.

Commuter Breakfast

Every month, the Commuter Life team prepares and serves a delicious on-the-house breakfast, to which all commuter students are invited. The team rents out an upstairs salon area at the heart of campus and decks out the room with themed decorations. Food and drink at previous breakfasts have included bagels, pancakes, sausage, fruit, granola bars, coffee and juice. This casual atmosphere provides a relaxing place for commuter students to connect with other off-campus students and to hang out and grab a bite to eat before or after morning classes.

Commuter Beach Day

Every spring, commuter students are invited to go on an exclusive, all-day beach trip with the Commuter Life team.A field trip offers a great way for commuter students to get to know one another and to take a fun-filled break in the middle of the semester. Transportation, lunch, snacks and sometimes keepsake tank tops are provided. Given Lakeland’s ideal location between both coasts, the group has the option of visiting either. Heading out early in the morning, students travel to where the ocean meets the sand and enjoy a day of riding the waves, making sandcastles, playing beach volleyball, getting a tan, picnicking and so much more! The day usually ends with a trip to a local ice cream shop before hitting the road back home. This tradition of a field trip offers a great way for commuter students to get to know one another and to take a fun-filled break in the middle of the semester.

Commuter Chapel

One of the greatest aspects of Southeastern’s community is the emphasis on spiritual development. Myriad chapel services are offered throughout the school year, and commuter students are invited to each. Once a semester, a special chapel service is held just for commuters and hosted by the Commuter Life team. These services feature a guest speaker, chosen from among SEU’s prestigious faculty members, as well as student-led worship. Those who attend can expect to be warmly welcomed and encouraged in their faith.

An Insider’s Look at Commuter Life at SEU

A firsthand perspective by SEU student Abigail Roe

I have been a commuter student since my first day at SEU. I have always commuted between 35 and 45 minutes to get here. Southeastern recognizes that a significant number of its students are commuters and has worked hard to make sure all of us are safe and taken care of.

For me (and my parents), security is a top concern, especially when I am walking back to the parking lot after an evening class or event. As our parking lots have expanded with the university, SEU has made the effort to place emergency call stations in the newest parking lots. Also, security guards are always willing to gives rides to students to and/or from the parking lot after dark. Lt. Richard Davis, who oversees security at SEU, is responsive, accessible and deeply concerned about student safety. He is committed to protecting all students and recognizes the unique concerns commuter students have.

Southeastern also offers several different commuter meal plans so that we can grab lunch or dinner at Tuscana Ristorante with our on-campus friends or faculty members. I have enjoyed many lunches with faculty members andI have found that being a commuter gives me a special voice and perspective that is essential to the Southeastern journey. countless times of fellowship and conversation with dear friends at Tuscana. On the other hand, for those days when I bring a lunch, a microwave and tables are available for this purpose too.

Commuters blend seamlessly into the culture of SEU. While it might take a bit of extra effort on the part of the commuter student at first, the family that is Southeastern is always eager to embrace and engage commuters. Faculty and staff members — who are, for the most part, commuters themselves — make a special effort to include commuter students. I have found that being a commuter gives me a special voice and perspective that is essential to the Southeastern journey. For example, did you know that last semester Commuter Life won Southeastern’s annual Battle of the Dorms competition? We have a role in the life and culture of SEU that is uniquely our own yet beautifully integrated into campus life.


Krista Rogers

Organizational Leadership, Class of 2016
Hospitality coordinator for SEU Honors Program
Business advisory board liaison for SEU Enactus