Editor’s note: The 209 — home to some of the longest commute times in the nation thanks to the job rich Bay Area and the affordable housing of the Northern San Joaquin Valley — is also home to a commute heavy state university in Turlock.
BY NATALIE WINTERS
The Central Valley is a pool of agriculture and opportunity, yet many residents find themselves heading to the Bay Area for work on a daily basis. Commuting is a staple for seasoned employees, but the traditional driving, for some, starts while still in school.
California State University, Stanislaus is home to roughly 9,000 students. Some are student-athletes competing for Warrior Athletics in one of the top DII conferences in the country; some attend specifically for one of the University’s specialized accreditation programs and others students are figuring out their path along the way.
According to the Education Rankings and Advice section in the U.S. News & World Report, 92 percent of students at CSU Stanislaus live off campus, leaving a staggering low of only 8 percent of students living in college-owned,-operated, or- affiliated housing.
Jorge Cabrera, Stanislaus commuter student, shares his reasoning of why he falls into the 92 percent.
“I’m from Stockton, and although it’s an hour drive to school, it just doesn’t make financial sense for me to live on campus,” he said. “I think that’s a big reason why a lot of people commute; it’s just the living situation.”
Cabrera said that although he commutes, there are still plenty of things to do on campus or in the surrounding area.
“A lot of people don’t think there’s much to do in Turlock, but the campus at Stanislaus is so nice that I could just hangout outside for a couple hours until my next class starts,” he said. “Or there are plenty of places to shop or eat, and everyone loves going downtown.”
Aside from financial reasons, a good indication as to why CSU Stanislaus is such a commuter school can be due, in part, to the fact that there is no “Greek life housing” like traditional college campuses.
Carolyn Zoerb, Interim Greek Life Advisor at CSU Stanislaus, believes that it is the bigger picture, not Greek life.
“CSU Stanislaus is located in a small town area and a lot of the students that attend the school live within 30 minutes of the school, so financially it makes sense for them to live at home to save money,” she said.
Zoerb said that from her perspective, she doesn’t think that many people realize how expensive it is to build Greek life housing on campus.
Regardless the situation, every student’s college experience is different from others, commuters or on-campus residents and that’s something all Universities have in common.