College: The years students assume the responsibilities of living on their own. Unfortunately, the University of South Dakota has been nicknamed, a “suitcase school,” because of the number of students who pack up and go home — or anywhere else — on the weekends.
Dean of Students Kimberly Grievesaid the university is slowly moving away from the nickname, despite the stereotypes.
“I would guess about a quarter of the student population goes home on weekends,” Grieve said. Although 25 percent does not seem like a huge chunk of the university, it can certainly create an empty environment come Saturday mornings. Grieve, as well as the Student Government Association, has created a number of events for students to attend on weekends. The Muenster University Center hosts movie nights on Fridays and Saturdays and NFL Ticket on Sundays. Residence halls usually have an event going on.
Sophomore Loni McComber said some students just want to be home again.
“I like being home with my family,” McComber, who only has the short drive to Sioux Falls, said.
McComber said she thinks many students of USD are from towns nearby which makes it easier to go home and see the family, have a home cooked meal and maybe have mom do their laundry. The cost, she said however, is not only missing out on campus life, but gas money as well.
For some first-year students like Megan Schlosser, going home can be a bit of a hassle. Originally from Rapid City, S.D., Schlosser had no choice but to find in-town activities here on weekends. Schlosser has designated the weekends for homework and exploring downtown where she has found many shops and leisure activities, like going to a movie or getting ice cream at Scoops. Although the drive to her home is only about five and a half hours, the weekly trip isn’t ideal.
“I don’t want to be living out of a suitcase,” Schlosser said.
Even though USD may seem like a “suitcase school” now, Grieve said it’s bound to change for several reasons. USD has recently become a Division I school, which has attracted more students to the university and can create an exciting tailgating and athletic event. Recruitment has become broader, bringing in more students from all over, causing the student body to grow every year. With more students come more ideas for new activities, which is what Grieve ultimately encourages students to do.