Commuters, Get Involved on Campus

Evan Atkins, Writer

Students who commute to Buffalo State College may be missing out on free services, designed to help them succeed, that are provided by the Student Leadership and Engagement (SLE) office.

Luke Haumesser, Associate Director for Student Leadership and Engagement, has been working to engage students, especially commuting students, in on-campus events and activities.

“Commuter Programming is something we’ve been giving more attention to over the past few years,” he said. “[Commuter students] have different needs… we’ve been experimenting with what connects with [them].”

A guiding principle behind his work is the Student Development Theory, which proposes that student success comes from outside the classroom, as well as from within – that engaging in on-campus activities and applying learning outcomes fosters greater retention of classroom theories.

The Student Learning and Engagements office works to develop a campus environment.

“Where [students] are able to grow, not only academically, but as a person and as a leader,” Haumesser said. “We understand that students are here to earn a degree, but student engagement complements that.”

SLE hosts a variety of both regular and special events to help foster student engagement. From the free “Commuter Breakfast” on the first Thursday of every month in the Student Union to seminars designed to engage students with important information regarding health, campus safety, and leadership opportunities on campus.

“Last semester we engaged 10,019 students through our programs,” Haumesser reported. “We’d like to see those numbers increase.”

The office is hosting some engagement events this week including a dinner theater experience featuring the Zuzu Acrobats on Wednesday, a “Cultural Bazaar and Talent Showcase” on Thursday and a “Next Level Leadership Workshop” next week.

“If there was one thing I would say to commuter students,” Haumesser said, “really look at what’s around you, and look at the opportunities, to advocate for yourself, to be a little vulnerable and stop by [information] tables, and get engaged on campus.”

His message is clear: take chances, break out of your comfort zone, and get engaged with your campus as well as the people around you to help guide success in academia and beyond.