Letters to the Editor

To the Editor:

Both Editor-in-Chief Steve Pasqualina and Staff Writer Marlena Holenski wrote opinion pieces in recent weeks opining the admission standards at St. John’s. In the October 18th issue, Ms. Holenski stated that “St. John’s should set a standard for admission and bolster the quality of students entering.” She says doing so would “ensure the quality of education the students receive.”

In the October 25 issue, Mr. Pasqualina expresses his belief that rejecting more applicants will “improve the academic integrity of the student body.”

In fact, in the last few years the University has effected a strategic shift in its admission standards, setting a floor for the 2003 incoming freshman class that resulted in an increase of 40 percentage points in SAT scores for a mean of 1040. In 2004, that trend continued with a rise in mean scores for that class to 1051. Subsequent years produced mean scores of 1068 and 1075, even though a large percentage of applicants were admitted. These efforts to raise the academic profile of entering students are continuing.

At the same time, recognizing students’ desire for quality education, the University continues to review and revise curricula to ensure that courses are “as rigorous, challenging and relevant as possible” (Strategic Plan, 2004-2008). The recent establishment of the Institute for Writing Studies, the introduction of additional majors as well as combined bachelors/masters programs, and increased study abroad opportunities with scholarships available all point to the University’s continuing efforts to provide students with an enhanced academic experience.

Lastly, Ms. Holenski is quite right when she says that the job market today is highly competitive. St. John’s recognizes that fact and encourages students to use our Career Center-recently ranked among the “35 best career centers at U.S. colleges and universities” in the latest Kaplan guide-when they begin their search for employment. The many resources available there can help both students and alumni seeking positions in which they can excel to navigate the maze that a job search presents.

Joanne C. Novarro
Director, Internal and External Communications†

To the Editor:

As a student and a member of the community I feel it is wrong to charge for admission to St. Augustine Hall Library. Libraries are meant to be free and accessible to the public. The library already makes enough money off of students from the Jazzman’s Caf√© and by charging them for copies and printouts. Charging people to use the library will in no way make it safer and more secure. Photo identification is already required for the public to access the library, so the library is already a safe place to be.

So what if students from other schools are coming here to stud?. St. John’s should take this as a compliment, realizing that people admire their vast offerings at the library. Charging them to come here to study or to get a cup of coffee that they’re already going to pay for will really leave the school with a negative reputation. It could possibly push away future students who may be interested in attending the University if they hear negative things like this from the public. I believe that charging for admission to the library is wrong, and it should really be reconsidered.

Hayley Fiorella
Class of 2010

Re: “Pros and Cons, Res. Life Rules and Restrictions” Oct. 18:

As a student in St. John’s University, this article written by Caitlyn Nolan, on the rules and restrictions in Residence Life and within the University, sparked an interest in my eye. In response to that article, I am very appreciative of the topic of this article but speaking on behalf of the students who feel the same way as I do, there are a couple of rules of Residence Life that many have a problem with. The strict rules that the University enforces in relation to housing do not benefit some of the students.

Unlike Rutgers University where they can care less as to who sleeps over whose room, St. John’s University imposes strict rules regarding signing a certain amount of visitors at a particular given time, and signing an overnight guest who has to be of the same gender as the student signing him/her in. These rules have no good affects on the residents because students wonder how these rules benefit us. Students feel as if nothing wrong comes from signing different people in, at different times, for any amount of period of time. Although the school is doing a good job at security, I think that they can still do their job, even if a few changes are made. Students at St. John’s should be able to have a little more freedom in their home away from home.

Gloria Kim
Class of 2009

Re: “Pros and Cons, Res. Life Rules and Restrictions” Oct. 18:

I believe that a students’ college experience should be a good one and a safe one. I have no problem with the reasonable rules and restrictions, such as residents must stay in their dorm after 2 am, but this isn’t exactly possible. Let’s say you’re a student who has worked all day until 1:30 am and you are starving. Now you want to grab something to eat, but all restaurants are closed within the campus. Now the only option this student has is to eat off campus, but he can’t do that since he has to return to his dorm by 2 am.

I’m okay with the school rules as long as they address certain problems-in this case-food. Montgoris and other dining facilities such as Marillic Food Court close before 8:30 pm on weekdays and even earlier on weekends. The school should open the dining facilities longer to make the rule of being back to your dorm by 2 am operate better. The school should think more about the rules they implement because most of the time, students have their reasons for breaking rules.

Andrew Li
Class of 2012