School spirit. We all know what it is, and chances are that after we graduate we’ll have some as alumni. But one of the first things I noticed upon arriving at this school was a serious lack of pride in its students. Sure, we all wear our school’s logo on our hoodies, and I was one of the multitudes jumping up and down singing “Oh When The Storm Comes Rolling In” at last week’s quarter-final comeback victory in Belson Stadium, but I can’t help but notice the amount of complaining St. John’s students do.
We gripe about our location, the quality of our education, the food, the residence halls, campus events, the basketball team, even the lack of attractive females on campus (well, at least we did before we saw this year’s freshman class, *wink*). In 2007, the Princeton review ranked our school #7 on it’s “Least Happy Students” list, the highest St. John’s has ever ranked in any Princeton Review list.
So what is it about our school that makes students so unhappy about going here?
For those living on campus at least, a major concern is the services the department of Residence Life provides resident students.
“Residence Life should provide students with four things: Good living conditions, quality food, entertainment, and safety,” said Andrew Scott, who lives in the townhouses, “St. John’s department of Residence Life has failed in all these areas.”
As far as good living conditions are concerned, students have found many faults in the living conditions in St. John’s dorms. For Andrew Scott, these problems manifested themselves in a leaking shower, cockroaches, several leaking air conditioning units, and sprinklers without caps in what were supposed to be brand new townhouses. “There was a lack of preparation for students moving into the townhouses. The construction wasn’t finished, and you could tell they cut corners when building them.”
Faulty plumbing and air conditioners are what you can expect if you’re lucky enough to get housing in the townhouses, but what about student’s who can even manage that? Last year, with two new housing facilities opening and a host of new places to live, housing selection was a disaster.
Louis Nicosia, a Junior, was one of the many given an incorrect appointment time last year. He said: “I was told that my appointment was at 8:30 a.m., which is a great time, and when I arrived they turned me away and told me to come back at three, when most of the housing was already taken.”
As for the food Residence life provides, St. John’s also gets low marks. Montgoris’ abomination of a cafeteria is one of the most reviled things on campus.
While the low quality of the food is what angers most residents, Montgoris’ trayless Tuesday and Thursday program is especially unpopular. Chartwells, the catering service in charge of Montgoris, claims that the money it saves by not washing trays it donates to the school’s midnight run charity program. “As a coordinator for the midnight run program I can tell you that we haven’t seen a dime from Chartwells” says Andrew Scott.
While Marillac cafeteria provides an alternative to Montgoris’ food (And this writer uses food in the loosest terms, it’s more like pig swill), and extremely popular thanks to the meal exchange plan that allows students to substitute one meal under the value of $7, It’s often crowded, with little food available during peak hours and nowhere to sit. “The Meal Exchange ends at 9:30, 10 minutes before night classes end,” said Michael Keenan, “There’s a very narrow window of time dictating when you can or can’t get food.”
There’s very little complaint by most students when it comes to entertainment, however, many complain that the school hemorrhages money into campus events, neglecting more important departments. “I was at an event that was attended by about eight people, and we each went home with an entire pizza and a load of cups and bagels,” said Keenan “that’s a serious waste of money. A lot of campus events are just people giving away pizza.”
Most unpopular of all with residents is the school’s visitation policy which students just love to complain about. Computer science major Kevin Whelan puts it best: “The University justifies the visitation policy as an instrument for keeping the students safe, but I think that with the Founder’s Village Townhouses, it’s clear that the University can treat its students as adults with regards to visitation without compromising their safety.”
The general opinion on campus is that students are treated more like children under the custody and care of St. John’s university rather than tenants who ware paying thousands of dollars to reside on campus.
So what’s the verdict? Are Student’s complaints justified? Answer the poll, and comment with some more complaints: