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AU News

Association Gets Commuters Involved, Plugged Into Campus Life

CSA meeting
Commuting students play games and enjoy each other's company during bi-weekly meetings at Sullivan Hall—just one of many activities the Anderson University. Commuter Student Association organizes throughout the year.

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Anderson University’s commuting students may come from a few blocks down the road, the next town over, or perhaps from Greenville, but when they arrive on campus, they can find a home away from home.

With approximately 25 events a semester (and growing), the Anderson University Commuter Student Association (CSA) is making sure commuters aren’t just passing through but sticking around and creating meaningful connections outside the classroom and being part of a vibrant campus community.

Gabe Cleveland, a senior psychology major who lives just a few blocks down from the campus in a house he shares with three friends, serves as Commuter Engagement Coordinator for CSA.

“The main purpose of CSA is to help commuter students get involved on campus,” said Cleveland. “We know that, living off campus, sometimes it can be tricky to make friends or just get involved in student life here, so we try to be a resource for them to meet people and have fun and get them involved with campus life, whether it’s our events or just other clubs and organizations at Anderson. 

What are Cleveland’s favorite activities?

“I love the meetings, AVI popups and going to Groucho’s for lunch,” he said. 

A few years ago, Anderson University Dean of Student Support and Engagement Tyrome Philson surveyed commuting students and found out that, in addition to wanting ample parking, many commuters were interested in opportunities to connect with other commuters.

“We started our process by identifying events that would appeal to commuter students,” Philson said. “We then started having Commuter Student Association meetings with the goal of helping students build connections. With the support of student employees we then began planning more events to provide opportunities for commuters to continue to connect with one another. We have also been intentional in planning events that could fit into a commuter’s schedule. Our goal is to provide opportunities for commuters to find something that fits into their schedule.”

The CSA leadership team organizes a variety of events throughout the semester: AVI breakfast popups in Thrift Library, cookies with Student Life, Chick-Fil-A biscuits with Campus Ministries, movie nights, speed friending sessions, bi-weekly meetings in Sullivan Hall and other gatherings. Commuters participating in a scavenger hunt experience the thrill of the chase, of course, but it’s more than just a game—it’s a practical introduction to resources they’ll need while at Anderson. In the fall semester, the CSA partnered with Campus Safety for a car care event providing commuters with essential car maintenance tips to keep their car fit for the commute.

Andreanna Rivera, a senior majoring in Psychology and Art:3D Studies, says, “Getting involved in student leadership has also given me the opportunity to pour into my school.” She enjoys joining other commuters for bowling, a night at the movies or the arcade.

“I wanted to be on a lot of committees,” said Erica Harris, a senior majoring in Business Management. “This helped me to stay on campus and learn more about those around me; it has allowed me to make more friends and enjoy the space around me.”

Biology major Alex Winn looks forward to gathering for gaming nights with Mario Kart, Karaoke, a movie night, going skating or bowling or enjoying food from a restaurant popup. 

“I especially love karaoke since it is our chance to let loose and have fun in an open and artistic way,” Winn said.

Follow on Instagram, stay informed on upcoming events and see more of what commuter life looks like at Anderson University. CSA events are also promoted on the AU411 weekly emails students get.

As the events unfold and the leadership team continues to innovate, Anderson University’s commuter students are not just finding a place within the campus community; they are actively shaping it for others now and in the future.

“Just do it, make reasons to be on campus when you do not have class. Apply for leadership and join clubs and ministry,” Rivera said.

News Release Contact

Executive Director for Public Relations