Humber College is located on the outskirts of Toronto and it’s a long commute for many, some who hail from all areas of the city – and beyond.
A question that has been raised is to whether or not the North campus’ remote location has an effect on the sense of community that many students have with their school.
Ahmed Tahir, Vice President of Student Life at Humber’s North campus, thinks that timing of events is key. Events held at night aren’t going to appeal as much to students who live far from campus.
“The events that are going on midday in between classes that all students can attend are really key events,” said Tahir. “They don’t require much promotion, students catch what’s going on and they come and join in.”
Tahir said that commuting students do lose a sense of closeness with their school, but putting programs in place that they can take advantage of is important.
Camille McArthur, 20, a media communications student at Humber College, commutes from Collingwood, Ont.
Even though she’s not involved in any clubs or organizations on campus, she feels a strong sense of community on campus.
“When I come into campus I do have a feeling of camaraderie. Since I’m in a smaller program I have classes with the same people, so there are no unfamiliar faces,” said McArthur.
Fifth-year culinary management student Taylor Sowerby commutes from Jackson’s Point, Ont., near Lake Simcoe, said he frequents the campus pub, LinX Lounge.
“It’s a great vibe here, it feels as if you’re at home,” said Sowerby. “You have a bar family.”
In comparison, the University of Toronto is in the centre of Toronto. With more than 60,000 undergraduate students, the size of the campus can be overwhelming.
Lindsay Britton, 23, a University of Toronto alum, said that it’s still difficult to feel a sense of community at U of T.
“If you aren’t actively invoked in a club, a sports team or have a smaller program, it is difficult to feel any sense of community,” said Britton. “Especially considering the fact that a large number of U of T students commute.”
The verdict? Despite the commute, a sense of community at Humber prevails.