After two particularly brutal winters, Ramapo College has recently implemented an emergency inclement weather commuter housing option, giving commuters the ability to stay overnight in Mackin Hall when the weather makes driving home a hazard.
Ramapo has more than 2,000 commuter students, making them one of the largest student groups on campus. Within the Center for Student Involvement, there is a Commuter Affairs department that deals specifically with addressing issues commuter students may have. Lauren Brereton, one of the student commuter assistants within the Center for Student Involvement, was involved in writing up the proposal for emergency commuter housing, along with Megan Kearney, the coordinator of Commuter Affairs.
“Because of the amount of commuters we have at this school and the harsh winter we had last year, it makes sense for commuters to have a place to stay,” said Brereton. “I have talked to many commuters at commuter connection events and they seem to be excited about the new availability so I think you can say there was a need for it.”
Commuters can utilize emergency housing for up to two consecutive nights; toiletry essentials will be provided. Reservations will be given on a first-come, first-serve basis. In order to stay the night, commuters must complete an online form that can be found on the Commuter Affairs Orgysnc page. After that form is completed, both Kearney and Anne Eke, the area director for Mackin and Bischoff, will be notified that a student is in need of emergency housing. Once they have filled out the OrgSync form, students can check in for inclement weather commuter housing in the Mackin Hall office, Monday through Friday, from 2 p.m. until midnight, and after hours by contacting Public Safety who will then notify the Resident Assistant on duty. Check-in is only available on weekdays.
The cost is $44 for one night and $60 for two, with the charge being applied to the student’s Banner account. According to information put out by the College, this charge will go toward covering the cleaning costs and supplies provided.
“We have toiletry sets for both males and females that include all essentials such as shampoo, conditioner, a comb, razor, toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant. This makes it easy for any last minute decisions to stay overnight less stressful,” said Brereton.
Brereton is not a commuter; however, she suggests students utilize this option any time they feel unsafe making the trip to and from campus, either coming home from a late class or driving to an early class.
“I would utilize it if I was on campus late for class or studying and the weather was bad, or if I knew the weather would be bad overnight making it difficult to get to an early morning class, I could stay over the night before,” she said. “I think it is an excellent resource for commuters to feel safer and more a part of campus.”
Commuter students who stay in Mackin will be subject to all policies and procedures listed in the Residence Life Guide to Community Living and the Student Code of Conduct. The rooms allow for double-occupancy, so roommates will be assigned if necessary. No guests will be allowed in the rooms during emergency housing visits. A full list of policies applicable to students utilizing emergency commuter housing can be found on the OrgDync application.