Quincy University commuters share their perspective

Commuters at Quincy University recently shared their experience of navigating campus throughout the past year, and talked about participating in other activities on and off of campus.  

Cassie Phillips, a commuter from Coatsburg, Illinois, describes the changes of school and COVID-19 protocol.

“I think the hardest thing for me has been changing my schedule to match the new time and my level of motivation,” Phillips said. “My schedule has changed to one class in person and the rest online, which is nice in a way because I don’t have to drive into Quincy as often. However, it hasn’t helped my motivation while at home.”

Taylor Klusmeyer, football player and commuter from Mendon, Illinois, expresses the difficulties of navigating downtime while on campus.

“I would say the hardest thing is just finding a good way to spend the time between classes and practice,” Klusmeyer said. “Most students can go back to their dorms and relax but it’s harder for a commuter to relax. It’s also hard to be prepared for everything with COVID-19 around. All sports are in the spring and stuff is constantly moved to accommodate all teams.”

Outside of school and football, Klusmeyer also helps out at home.

“I live on a farm with my parents and I routinely help out almost every day that I have time,” Klusmeyer said. “It really gets hard to plan out what you are doing in a day when things are changing so often.”

Phillips also divides her time among other activities on and off campus.

“I work in the Student Success Center as a student worker,” Phillips said. “I also help with QU Football by being a filmer. I film practices and games. Outside of school, I am a door greeter at Madison Park Christian Church. My sister and I are planning a church camp for our hometown church. Outside of work and school, I love various activities like hiking, listening to music, and hanging out with family and friends.”

Phillips noted that trying new things and new ways to communicate with friends has helped her mental health through the past year.

“I tried to keep myself busy, which is the advice I would give others,” Phillips said. “I didn’t let COVID-19 win in affecting my mental health. Do things for you.”

To help commuters, Phillips encouraged QU to have more manageable times with events.

“One thing that I feel like they have done already is added more space to the commuter lounge, Phillips said. “I felt like it was a very needed remodel, and I’m glad they took that into consideration.”

Klusmeyer also touched how commuters struggle with the timing of events on campus.

“It seems like they plan stuff but never tell anybody about it until the day of,” Klusmeyer said. “Then, nobody shows up, and commuters can’t make it because they don’t know about it.”

At the beginning of 2020, QU introduced a house system to help include students. It includes new students, commuters, and transfer students. Undergrads are expected to be assigned to a house by 2023, and will remain a member of that house throughout their time at QU.

In a press release, Christine Tracy, Ed.D., touched on the goals for the future of the student experience.

“For the past several years, QU has been striving to make each residence hall a place where students feel included and welcome, and we have also worked to make QU a great place for commuter students,” said Tracy.  “The house system is our next big step to ensure that all QU students succeed and thrive, whether they live on or off-campus.”

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