Room and Board

Beatriz da Costa

Obviously, no one, no world and not a thing is perfect.

That being said, St. John’s University can stand to improve on some issues, specifically issues surrounding room and board.

My first experience with St. John’s room and board, was the summer of 2016. It was May, and by choice, I had not chosen my roommates. However, after countless reminders from SJU to get started on the lottery process, I finally gave in.

Surprisingly, it was easy to get through the steps of describing yourself, stating what your quirks and qualities are.

However, what was incredibly difficult was the lottery itself. It was complicated, especially for freshmen or perhaps transfer students who had no idea how to work St. John’s process of picking a roommate.

My intention while I was looking through the profiles in the lottery was to simply see if my personality matched with any of the ones listed on the program. That is a problem in itself, the exception is that it is not only unique to St. John’s.

Obviously their intentions are pure, however from my point of view, colleges seem to think that by asking future students five or so basic questions about their sleeping habits, and preferences, those students will meet their match. How often is this the case?

The questions are too broad, and usually lack depth, which is why potential students find themselves searching for roommates through Facebook group chats, rather than the school’s flawed system.

Reverting to the lottery, I personally felt that St. John’s was too strict. Although I ended up adoring my suitemates and roommates, I had zero choice in choosing any of them. That is due to the fact that SJU has a policy that once you “choose” your roommate, you cannot go back and change that until fall semester begins. And even then, it is not guaranteed that you will get to switch roommates.

Although it was stated that you could not go back and change your roommate, I feel that SJU should have been more lenient. As a newcomer to the school you should not have to stress about psychotic roommates, which could lead one to feeling more homesick than ever.

The only stress that one should truly feel is school-related stress.

Aside from the process of just choosing a roommate, I think an issue that many students agree upon is the price of rooming and even the price of the meal plan.

As freshmen who live on campus, we are required to have the most expensive meal plan. For the school year, freshmen must shell out $6,250 a year for the meal plan. That’s on top of board, which can be up to $12,630 a year. Obviously there are families that can afford that, but there are also families that find themselves struggling.

As a freshman, I believe that if we are required to pay that much, plus how much it costs to get an education, then the least the school can offer is perhaps a 24-hour dining place on campus, and dorm buildings with better functioning elevators.

However as previously stated, nothing is perfect and nothing should be perfect. No university in the United States is without flaws, and just because St. John’s has a few of its own does not make it any less of a great school.