Commuter appreciation lunch at the library exceeds expected turnout

By Alex Sferrazza
Staff Writer/Daily Campus

Reprinted from the UConn Daily Campus, published Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Commuter Appreciation Week contented Wednesday afternoon at the Homer Babbidge Library with “Lunch at the Library,” a casual gathering of commuter students to enjoy a free lunch while receiving some time saving research tips from the library staff.

Photo by Alex Sferrazza/The Daily Campus

Photo by Alex Sferrazza/The Daily Campus

At the engagement, commuter students were greeted and presented with a flash drive containing helpful information about utilizing the library’s various research utilities. Commuters were then invited to grab a sandwich complete with chips, a cookie, an apple and soda.

In lieu of a speaker or PowerPoint presentation, students were encouraged to mingle with each other and approach event staff with questions about library amenities.

This was the second time the library has hosted this event, and the staff was planning for a crowd of approximately 60 students to show up between noon and 2 p.m. However by 12:15, the initial supply of prepared boxed lunches had been depleted. The crowd far exceeded the estimate of 60 that staffers had in mind based on past attendance.

“We increased the amount of food available from last year’s event,” explained Ashley Trotter, the Program Coordinator for Off-Campus Student Services. “We obviously don’t want to run out of food, we even just called catering to bring more over”.

Trotter seemed pleased with the event’s large turn out: “We hold events like these so that commuter students feel appreciated, and to help bridge the disconnect they might feel from living off campus.”

Quite a few of the commuters in attendance were only recently made aware of the event and Commuter Appreciation Week as a whole and were pleasantly surprised.

“I actually didn’t even know UConn had a commuter week until my friend told me she saw a Twitter post,” 7th-semester sports management major Jennifer Gobin said. “I’m definitely going to consider going to the remaining events later in the week now.”

Dawn Cadogan a librarian, discussed the library’s role in the event: “We want our students particularly commuters, to know that we are here for them.”

Indeed, much of the lunch highlighted features of the library that would be particularly useful to commuting students. Cadogan noted that students have the ability to rent iPads, Kindles and laptops for library use and can also rent bicycles at the library to assist students in getting around campus.

Commuter Appreciation Week will continue on Thursday with “Commuter Time Out,” providing commuting students with unlimited free tokens at the Student Union game room and Friday with “Spot the Hippo,” a scavenger hunt around campus. The festivities conclude with free vouchers for popcorn and soda that will be given to commuting students before the weekly Friday night flick at the Student Union Theater.

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