Off-campus students brave the elements to attend class


Matthew Marquez

Street View of West Girard Ave as cars are parked along the side. Kent Campus center parking lot on a Monday afternoon.

by Matthew Marquez, Staff Reporter

Student commuters have endured intense winter conditions this second semester, including two significant snowfalls accumulating over twelve inches and still making it to class. 

For students like senior Carlyn Stanley and sophomore Chance Bender, driving to campus is just another item on a daily to-do list. 

Stanley travels from Truro, Iowa, which is about thirty-five minutes south of Indianola. Bender resides in Ackworth, Iowa, a relatively shorter drive as it is only ten to fifteen minutes from campus. 

“It’s been challenging recently just with all the snow and stuff because I do live in a very rural community and so a lot of the roads don’t get plowed…my road is usually one of the last roads to get plowed,” Stanley said 

There is a motive to every decision, and for Stanley, the pandemic was a heavy influence. 

 “A lot of it had to do with the pandemic, and I don’t live very far from campus, and I am kind of a homebody the way it is, so living at home was the best option for me this semester.” 

Stanley is on Simpson’s softball team and has mandatory practice at 5:30 a.m. Making it so her day starts at 4:30 a.m.

 “A lot of the roads don’t really have anyone, and days like today, I come home in the afternoon which there’s not a lot of traffic, so I don’t ever feel pressured or nervous,” said Stanley.

Chance Bender, a recent transfer to Simpson, has a relatively shorter drive to campus than Stanley but still shares the struggle of commuting to school every day. 

“I’m closer to home and I have experienced dorm life at my previous academic institution so there’s really more of a sense of ‘I am already there’, so might as well be home,” said Bender.  

“It definitely worries me when I see snow… it’s fifteen minutes but at the same time it’s fifteen minutes,” stated Bender when asked if commuting in the recent conditions make him nervous. 

For those days where the roads are undrivable and conditions are too risky for commuters, teachers understand if students like Stanley and Bender choose to attend class virtually. Zoom is a safer alternative for students commuting and choosing life is highly valued over physical attendance in a classroom.