The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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More housing woes for Res. Life

Residential housing at St. John’s continues to be a problem this year, as several changes have been made in order to accommodate the growing number of incoming resident students and the lack of housing available to them.

The most drastic measure taken has been the use of the JFK Holiday Inn as living space for St. John’s students. According to Director of Residence Life Dominic Petruzzelli, only continuing and graduate students are currently living in the hotel. While the students are charged, they do receive a discounted rate
from the hotel.

Petruzzelli said that the students are provided with a shuttle to and from campus, and that Student Life is involved in
programming efforts at the hotel in order to make the students feel more connected to the University. However, Petruzzelli
said that he hopes their stay at the hotel is as short lived as possible.

“We are looking to matriculate them back towards campus,” Petruzzelli said, adding that St. John’s is currently looking
into housing options close to the University for the students.
“[The students] would be charged an ‘at cost’ rate and
would receive fully furnished apartments,” he said.

Another controversial change made by Residence Life is the decision to assign more students to each room in the freshman residence halls.

According to Petruzzelli, rooms that were previously doubles will now be triples and rooms that were triples will now accommodate four students.

“The University went back to the original plans [for these buildings] and looked at how we could maximize our residential
space,” Petruzzelli said. “I will add that we’re hoping to make
it a non-permanent situation,” he continued.

When asked what the University might do in the future to alleviate the housing situation, Petruzzelli expressed optimism in the efforts of the administration to create housing opportunities, although he declined to give specifics.

“We’re looking at a lot of different things,” he said, explaining that more property could be purchased off campus and used for housing. He said that while “nothing is solidified,” at the current time, “hopefully a statement will be coming out

This is not the first time that Residence Life has been forced to make a controversial decision. In recent years, there have been numerous newsworthy situations involving Residence Life.

When a new guest policy was instituted last September, many students complained that it hampered student life did nothing to keep students safe. The new policy stated that all guests, including other resident students, had to be signed into residence halls other than their own, and each student could only sign in one guest at a time.

The University maintained that it was enacted to decrease theft and vandalism. The policy was later relaxed to allow two guests to be signed in at a time.

Shortly after the 2005-06 school year started, one of the biggest scandals in recent St. John’s history occurred as a
female student was allegedly raped in DaSilva Hall. Twenty-one-year-old Rodney Syndor was said to have gained entry into the building illegally before allegedly committing third-degree rape.

Shortly after this incident, more scrutiny was brought on Residence Life when the decision was made to screw shut first
floor windows in Hollis and DaSilva halls. Although, once again, administrators claimed that the measure was taken for the
safety of the students, student complaints eventually won out, and the screws were taken off.

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