A coffee a day keeps the college student awake, and Off-Campus Student Services are offering free cups of coffee for commuters to keep them awake every Wednesday morning.

Every semester, coffee is available for commuter students between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. on Wednesdays in the Off-Campus Student Services office in the Student Union room 315.

“Commuter Coffee Wednesdays kinda started off the fact that we know our commuters make that extra effort to wake up, get here in the morning, have to get a parking spot, have to go through all of these things. To allow them to come in and get some free coffee is really great and we know that they really appreciate it,” Bailee Raber says.

Bailee Raber is the graduate assistant for Off-Campus Student Services and a 2nd year master’s student. She says although it’s great to give this treat to UConn commuters, it’s also a social engagement.   

UConn junior Matthew Grohocki (left) and Bailee Raber (right) greet people who walk in through the Off-Campus Student Services office door and show them the table with all the coffee, tea and snacks. Photo: Daniela Doncel

Raber says it’s easy for commuters to just come to school and go right back home, making it a bit tough for these students to get engaged on campus. She says with Commuter Coffee Wednesdays and other events, commuters can make connections and get to know other commuters.

“We had one of these students during one of our Morning Welcomes,” Raber says.

The event “Morning Welcomes” is similar to Commuter Coffee Wednesdays except Off-Campus Student Services meet the commuters half way and serve coffee at a parking lot.

“We had these two people who were parking next to each other every single day, and this particular morning, they got to say, ‘Hey, how’s it going? You’re the red taurus. I’m this car. Where are driving from? What is your schedule like?’ So, they got to know each other that way. That was exciting and they did make friends that way,” Raber says.

Though there are regulars who come every Wednesday for their free cup of Joe, business and finance major Matthew Grohocki says new people often come in a bit nervous.

“Sometimes they come in, they look a little nervous, like not sure, but when you just greet them and say, ‘Hey, good morning, how’re you doing?’ and offer them coffee, they seem to loosen up and they’re like, ‘Oh this is cool, it’s not weird,” Grohocki says.

Environment Engineering graduate student Xing Yu (left) is from China and visited the office to get his free cup of coffee with fellow graduate student Nissi. Photo: Daniela Doncel

Environmental Engineering graduate student Xing Yu attended Commuter Coffee Wednesday for the first time last week, and he says it’s really nice there.

“I don’t know this before, but my friend told me that they have coffee for off-campus students. So I came here for the first time, maybe next week, I’ll come here again,” Yu says.

Coffee is a staple every Wednesday, but each week, there are other options commuters can choose from, like tea and snacks. Guests will also stop by to spend time with commuters like UConn police, including UConn Police K9, Officer Tildy.

Off-Campus Student Services will host Commuter Appreciation Week in April where they will host several Morning Welcomes and events in collaboration with other off and on-campus resources.

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