Students utilize multiple forms of transportation on campus


Students at South Dakota State have a wide variety of methods for going to class and even arriving to campus if they live off it. A survey of 53 students who live on campus found that 79 percent of them prefer to walk to class. 17 percent prefer to bike and the rest opt for longboarding.

SDSU puts great emphasis on turning SDSU into a walking campus to facilitate construction of new building while still allowing students to reach their classes in under 10 minutes as of it’s 2025 Master Plan.

The reason for the popularity of bike usage as a mode of transportation lays in its simplicity and ease of use along with multiple bike racks spread across campus.

Other means of transportation that are gaining popularity are skateboards and longboards. Longboards appear as a more attractive option for students because it’s built to get from point A to B in less time and requires less skill to use. 

While people living on campus find it easy to get to classes by walking, that may not be the case for those who reside off campus. For example, a group of people living in a house that is three minutes away from campus by car use different modes of transportation. These residents include Eric Heidel a junior physical therapy major, Michael Brigola, a freshman psychology major, and Austin Hendricks, a junior aviation student. 

“I bought a mountain bike that I can use in both summer and winter,” Heidel said. “It would be hard to skate to campus when it starts snowing and my roommate, who has a car, has a completely different schedule than I do.”

Brigola has been skating for five years. It is his preferred method of transportation, but after moving off campus, he decided it would be a good investment to buy a longboard. “I love to skate but it isn’t a feasible option when there are a lot of cracks in the sidewalk”, Brigola explained,  “I still haven’t decided what I’ll be doing in winter.”

As for Hendricks, he owns a car. “I prefer to walk in summer and most of spring,” Hendricks said. “When the snow starts falling, I will switch to using my car.”

For people who live more than 10 minutes away by car, riding bikes or longboards may be a bit more difficult especially when winter comes. Both Mark Vander Aarde, a senior communications major, and Nate Fritz, a junior nursing major, own cars and have other roommates. They both choose to help out and carpool when they can.

“My friend and I have very similar schedules, so he usually carpools with me,” Aarde said. “I also don’t mind waiting for him that extra half hour on other days while he’s getting ready for class.”

According to Aarde, carpooling has many advantages including less money spent on gas, and the ease of finding parking spots on campus, assuming enough people choose to do it.

“My roommate and I both have cars but usually we carpool”, Fritz commented, “Unless either of us have plans for after class, then we use our own cars.”

For those who live on campus, walking is the norm, especially since most have the ability to get to class in less than 10 minutes. But for those living off campus, the trend seems to be that the further you are from campus, the more reliant on cars you would be, and the more likely you are to own a car.