New homes for SJU residents

A new project is underway that will allow up to 150 students to live off campus while still having the benefits of University housing.

Residence has been a major topic of discussion among administration at St. John’s in the last few weeks. This new project has promised to grant spacious, off-campus housing to 150 graduate, law, and senior students at SJU.

The project is being headed by Dr. Susan L. Ebbs with the help of the residence directors located throughout the University. Fresh Meadows Apartments, located about a mile and a half from campus, has 50 apartments that will house upperclassmen.

“The project is still new and is expected to begin next year,” said Jeff Busch, Century Hall Residence Director. “We will see how this project works out and how it will work for the coming years.”

Three people will occupy each of the 50 furnished apartments. There will be one single, one double room, and each will have a living room, basic kitchen appliances (refrigerators, sinks, and stoves) and plenty of closet space. Air conditioning is optional and costs around $260.

Affordable parking, security, and easy access to transportation and stores are what some upperclassmen will be enjoying next year. The apartments have many, if not all of, the same qualities as the residence halls and the same rules will still apply.

However, the apartments put the residents on their own. The University will only intervene if the negative actions of students affect the surrounding community.

The room costs will amount to about the same as those in the residence halls located on campus. A single room will cost about $7,700, while a double will cost about $6,700 dollars. Scholarships and financial aid are also available, since these apartments are still considered part of campus.

Opinions continue to vary about these “residence apartments.” To qualify for these apartments, the student must have at least 72 credits.

There has been some information regarding these apartments around campus and opinions have been more favorable than not.

“I like the idea,” said Matthew Pullman, a journalism major. “The apartments seem spacious, not cramped. I am definitely looking forward to participating in this in the coming years.”

“It is definitely something I want to see expand in a few years. I think it is a good idea and pretty affordable, as well,” explained Lourdes Melendez, an accounting major at St. John’s College.

Over the last few weeks, there has been much controversy over next year’s occupancy of the residence halls located throughout campus. Some feel that this problem needs to be addressed first.

“I think it is a good idea, don’t get me wrong, I just feel that they should do something about the triples and lack of room in the residence halls here on campus,” Christine Mathew, a biology major at St. John’s College, said. “I think they should consider another building for the undergraduates and that they should give more consideration to the freshman and sophomores.”