Welcome Week has come and gone, and with it, the freshmen’s integration into the rigors of Drexel’s fast paced lifestyle, after coming from the lackadaisy of high school. For most, it was enjoyable enough. Who could forget the memorable performance by the illustrious Benjamin Franklin period actor, huzzahs and all? A figure of independence and national pride reduced to a sub tier memetic epithet? I can see no better means of ushering in the future leaders of industry.
Perhaps, for the dorming students, the transition has been smooth. Luggage has been deposited into plastic tubs and bunk storage suites. Friendships have been forged, either among dorm-mates or within the many major-specific learning communities.
But these luxuries, sadly enough, are not afforded to Drexel commuters. We lack room advisors to divulge upon us crucial or important information. There’s no down time to mingle amongst peers once the day is done. Of course, we have brief gatherings where our nomadic bunch huddle in the conference rooms to meet for the scant minutes that exist between the hours of conflicting schedules. A group chat can only do so much as compared to the after-hours bonding that exists among campus residents.
Now, that’s not to say that the commuters were completely ignored. Commuter centric events were present, most definitely — dinners, ice breakers, the works. But after that, for the most part, they all vanished to their own cloisters of acquaintances. If you were lucky enough to make a connection in the 30 seconds in which you divulged everything short of a social security number, then you can rest easy. But if not, then your options become limited.
A commuter’s life is that of the transient vagabond, longing to cling to some group or coalition, a place they can feel welcome. Many of my friends, for example, are residents, whom I’ve met over the course of my classes. But how can I, with an hour and a half of hushed whispers in a lecture hall, ever hope to compare to the presence of a roommate? There are micro-societal ecosystems that thrive within residence halls. There’s nothing stopping people from reaching beyond the commuting borders into other Drexel communities, but at the end of the day, we’re stuck going back to our houses, while our peers get to return to their dorms.
The answer as to why this travesty has been allowed to pass is due to a single, simple fact: commuters are a minority here at Drexel.
Shocking, I know. Throughout history, the lesser in number are always pushed to the wayside of bigger and better things not meant for them. This complaint may come off as less of a call to action and more of the infantile gripes of a SEPTA rider, but let me pose this scenario: Say Drexel can’t accommodate us, in all of our scant numbers, for one Welcome Week event. Who cares? It’s just one day. But who knows what else might be lacking in the Drexel experience? Majors that fall outside of the STEM fields become more and more isolated, ostracized. Those beyond the bell curve are left in the dark, deaf to the welcomes meant for ears other than theirs.
Welcome Week may have been strong in welcoming the majority of the Drexel student body, but it felt lacking overall. So, in eager anticipation for the 126th class, it is my hope that the commuting inclined students are given better means of forging lasting relationships on a level equivalent to that of their residential peers. Or more simply put: if inclusivity is a Welcome Week priority, the festivities should be more suited for the minority.