Fine Arts · November 11LEARN MORE
A Place to Call Home
The lounge area on the second floor of the Prothro Center has always been popular with commuter students because it offered a quiet and uncrowded place to study between classes.
This fall, the area has officially been designated as a commuter student lounge. And in addition to providing a comfortable place to study, it offers a half kitchen where students who commute to Southwestern can eat lunch and lockers where they can store items during the day.
“We wanted to create a space that feels like a home base for commuter students,” said Derek Timourian, assistant dean for student life.
While the study area and kitchen were already on the second floor, Timourian said a survey of commuter students that was done last spring found that lockers were the one thing they said were missing. Over the summer, 45 lockers were installed in a nearby room that used to serve as an office.
“It’s a great idea,” said Shelby Alvarez, who commutes to Southwestern from her home in Leander.
Alvarez is among the students who have enrolled at Southwestern as a result of the university’s Strengthening Pathways program, which is run in partnership with Austin Community College. Eighteen students are now attending Southwestern as a result of this program, all of whom are commuter students.
Timourian said the commuter lounge – which is accessible 24 hours a day – is just the latest in a series of things Southwestern has done to accommodate its growing population of non-traditional students.
“Some of these students are only on campus two days a week,” Timourian said. “This helps put them in proximity of other students like themselves so they create a support system for each other.”