St. John’s acquires Union Turnpike apartments

     The Office of Residence Life sent letters in early May to resident students announcing the University’s acquisition of new off-campus apartments.

     The apartments, which are located between 147th and 149th Street on Union Turnpike, are “furnished and able to accommodate 189 students,” according to Jason Perri, who obtained the newly created position of Coordinator for Off-Campus Living.

     The University is currently in the closing stage of purchasing the newly constructed apartments, which will be ready for occupation by late August, when on-campus residents move in to the residence halls.

     Along with the letter of notification, an application was sent, as well as E-mails. The application works on a system of points. Points are awarded if the students meet certain criteria set by the University. The criteria include age, academic standing and previous judicial history with the University.

    For example, a student graduating in 2005 with Summa Cum Laude recognition would receive more points in the academic standing criteria than an applicant with a current GPA between 3.25 and 3.50.

     In addition to the three criteria, “ways in which the student has positively impacted the St. John’s University community through leadership involvement and participation in campus service,” will also be taken into account according to the application.

     Students who receive the most points are highly favored to be selected to occupy the apartments. Earlier, only students who have completed two or more years at the University were able to apply.

     The announcement of the purchase came shortly after more than 200 resident students were denied housing during the lottery in April. The apartments will attempt to accommodate upperclassmen who were ousted from the residence halls in favor of the incoming and current freshmen. The students on the waiting list, who had placed a $500 deposit to enter the lottery, will have the deposit transferred to the apartment payment.

     Applications were due on May 30. Students were to be notified concerning their placement in the new apartments by June 13.

     The apartments are, according to the University’s website, “Independent-living units designed for students who are nearing graduation.” They contain furnished bedrooms similar to those in the residence halls. The apartments will also have furnished living rooms and kitchen areas. The kitchens will contain both a full sized refrigerator and a stove. Each apartment will have its own bathroom. Internet and cable are also available, though students will have to set up amenities such as telephone service on their own. Large single, double, and triple rooms are available.

    Students who live in the apartments will not be required to sign up for a meal plan, but may choose to do so. The University will also allow residents to stay in the apartments next summer providing they pay the summer rates, to be set during the spring 2006 semester. There are also stipulations that come with the apartments including being a full time student at the University as well as having health insurance. A limited number of parking spaces will be available to the residents.

    In addition to acquiring the new apartments, St. John’s hopes to do more with student living off campus.

     “We’re looking to help students find living arrangements off campus as well as people in the community who are looking to rent apartments to students and working with community boards,” Perri said.

     A guide to off campus living has also been created and Perri hopes to expand on and do more with off campus living.