Wednesday, Aug. 27 2014

UNO Office of Student Involvement and Leadership Launches Services for Commuter Students

Thanks to a new ride-sharing program, commuter students at the University of New Orleans will have increased opportunities to attend events, join clubs and be part of student life on campus. Student Organizations hosted nearly 400 events on campus last year and the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership wants to be sure everyone can be part of the fun. Moreover, the University wants all students to have critical needs addressed, administrators said.

"In Student Involvement & Leadership, we understand that it's much easier to get involved and feel engaged with campus when you live on-campus—it's so simple!" said LeeAnne Sipe, assistant director of student involvement and leadership. "However, as an urban institution, we understand that most students don't live on campus—and that's a big hurdle in getting engaged with campus life." 

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Students interested in providing feedback on commuter services or participating in creating a Commuter Student Association should contact the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership at

"Campus involvement is more than joining a student organization—it is having a place where you feel comfortable, knowing that you can get the help you need, and feeling like you belong," she added. "We believe that by helping commuter students realize the resources at hand—on and off campus—and where they belong as Privateers will help them to engage with the University."

Concerned that commuter students may feel disconnected, unsupported or uninformed living off campus, the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership is taking extra strides to help ease anxieties and keep students connected to campus. Last spring, Sipe proposed a series of new commuter service initiatives.

Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs Brett Kemker supported the idea and approved hiring a graduate student worker this fall to handle commuter student services, Sipe said. This fall, Chris Heroman will be collecting information, resources and support.

To date, the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership has launched several new initiatives designed to improve campus involvement for commuter students. The new programs and services will provide commuter students more opportunities to:
• Meet others with similar interests
• Be informed of campus events
• Make connections with campus units, staff and faculty
• Study and/or relax

To help connect students, the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership has launched two new facebook pages: UNO Ride Sharing, where students can post needs for a ride or offer to carpool, and UNO Roommate Finder, where students can post or seek new living opportunities.

The Office of Student Involvement and Leadership has posted comprehensive lists of on and off-campus resources, including on-campus parking information, locations and hours of computer labs, as well as off-campus parking information, links to utilities and other resources.

A new Commuter Student Association is in the works, said Sipe. Heroman is at the helm.

Coming soon are a commuter student lounge on campus, commuter appreciation programs and resources, such as an analysis of student ratings of local landlords, Sipe said. She's all for ideas.

"We are researching other institutions' commuter student services offices and open to suggestions from UNO commuters, as well!" she said.


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