St. John’s University’s Manhattan campus sits at the corner of Murray and West Streets in downtown Manhattan. Life on the Manhattan campus is drastically different than what some may experience in Queens. Its location in the epicenter of the city provides numerous entertainment, shopping, and dining experiences. However, the overcrowded shuttle transportation and disconnect between Queens and Manhattan campuses are major drawbacks to this oft forgotten campus.
Manhattan is a far cry from the Queens campus as it is significantly smaller (with only 10 floors), four of which are residential halls. The Manhattan campus has a cozy feel to it-there are only 120 rooms available for housing. This small atmosphere leads to having a relativity unique residential experience; almost all of the students know one another. Unlike the Queens campus, most of the Manhattan campus has only accommodations for singles and doubles as there simply is no room for triples.
The Manhattan campus is a short distance from Greenwich Village and the Financial District. Across from the campus is Twin Caf√©, a deli that is open 24 hours a day; this is extremely helpful during midterms and finals time. The area around the campus is dotted with newly renovated condominiums and luxurious co-ops. In the area, restaurants like Applebee’s offer discounts on certain items from the menus for St. John’s students.
Along with the neighborhood feel of the campus and the adjacent restaurants, the campus is an ideal place for business students. The Manhattan campus is also ideal for many students in search of an internship in Manhattan.
With all of the positives the Manhattan campus offers, there are major drawbacks. Manhattan campus residents still depend on the shuttle service that enables residents to commute to and from the Queens campus with ease. However, Manhattan residents are often faced with the overcrowded shuttles filled with Queens campus students who are not aware that the Manhattan students need the shuttles to go back to their homes during the semester. There have been many occasions when the shuttles, particularly the late shuttles leaving on Friday afternoons, have been packed with Queens students leaving little if any room for the Manhattan campus residents to get back home.
Yes, the shuttles are for all St. John’s students, but something should be done to guarantee that the Manhattan students have a ride home.
The overcrowded shuttles are a small factor compared to the conflicting identity of the Manhattan campus. While many of the facets of the Manhattan campus are separate and independent from Queens, it still has to follow the University’s mission, serving as a satellite campus. The relationship between both campuses must improve, particularly in the representation and promotion of the Manhattan campus and its activities in Queens. Improving of the exposure of the Manhattan Campus could entice prominent speakers to come to the Manhattan campus. Granted, Saval Auditorium, the most logical location to host a speaker, has limited space, but that does not excuse the Manhattan campus from hosting academic lectures. The Manhattan campus should be a prime location for professionals to speak because of its proximity to major businesses and transportation hubs. Unfortunately, this opportunity is not utilized enough.
The Manhattan campus is a tiny fraction of the student population of St. John’s. Still, the campus should be treated with more respect and acknowledge the benefits of having one of its campuses a stone’s throw away from the financial capital of the world.