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Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Life + Arts

Confronting student commuter challenges


Commuter Student Services gathered traffic, parking and other resourceful links to create a new commuter website, hoping to overcome common issues shared by the 85 percent of students commuting to campus.  |  Monica Tso/The Daily Cougar

Commuter Student Services gathered traffic, parking and other resourceful links to create a new commuter website, hoping to overcome common issues shared by the 85 percent of students commuting to campus. | Monica Tso/The Daily Cougar

Students’ struggling to find parking spots is a prominent issue that has caught the attention of the Division of Student Affairs as the staff launched a new comprehensive commuters’ website in May.

Commuters represent 85 percent of the undergraduate population, and they encounter unique challenges during their drives to campus, including rerouting to avoid traffic and locating available parking lots.

The Commuter Student Services Department in the Dean of Students Office is designed to identify and address these issues. Assistant Dean of Students Alison Von Bergen discussed the revamped commuter website.

“Our primary purpose is to ensure that the needs of commuter students are acknowledged and addressed by our campus community,” Von Bergen said.

A student survey was developed to meet commuter needs, and common themes consisted of parking and availability of information.

The Commuter Student Services website gathers existing and new resourceful links.

“By working in conjunction with other offices and departments at the university and in the surrounding community, we hope that this website will serve as a one-stop shop for commuters,” Von Bergen said.

Helpful tools on uh.edu/commuter include traffic updates, parking maps and weather services.

Commuter Student Services also offers information on campus hot spots for socializing, studying and dining under the “Spaces and Places” tab as an attempt for commuters to utilize campus facilities and enrich their campus experience.

Accounting junior Sherri Quach said she faces daily challenges as a commuter.

“The biggest challenge I have to face is the horrific traffic,” Quach said.

“I had no idea resources were available on the Commuter Student Services website. I’ll definitely have to look into that.”

Although UH has multiple student lots and three garages, students continue to face parking problems.

Mechanical engineering sophomore Hunter Greene can utilize the website’s parking availability maps to avoid parking difficulties.

“On some days, finding parking on campus is next to impossible,” Greene said.

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