Students sign up to live in townhouses

The 289 available spots in the new townhouses were quickly filled this past Saturday, April 12, at St. John’s room selection day, leaving students anticipating its completion in August 2008.

According to Dominic Petruzelli, head of Residence Life, the interior layout of the townhouses will mimic the off-campus housing, bringing a taste of apartment-style living to campus housing.

It will utilize new fabrics and furniture, and the floors will consist of tile and wood.

The configuration will be similar to the layout of on-campus housing, with each apartment consisting of two doubles and one triple, with a living room, kitchen, and two bathrooms.

Evan Casanova, senior resident assistant for the townhouses, is excited about the new living opportunity.

“It’s good to have a living area that’s more like an apartment, similar to what they have at DePaul,” he said. “The accessibility to the rest of campus is great.”

Many students are looking forward to less restrictions than those that are enforced in the current Residence Village.

“We’re still in the process of flushing some of those restrictions out,” Petruzelli said. Residence Life is also “looking to mimic the policies of Seton Hall and DePaul.”

The townhouses will not have a front desk, but it will have similar visitation policies, and no alcohol will be allowed in the rooms.

For students like Dan Komarinetz, a junior, moving back onto campus after living in off-campus housing was a little daunting.

“I’m hoping we have more freedom than in the dorms, but we’ll still be able to roll out of bed five minutes before class,” said Komarinetz.

Though some students may be looking forward to more lax security, the absence of a front desk worries other students.

“It’s pretty close to the outside of campus, so I’m a little nervous,” said freshman Pierina Santos.

Lack of information on the presence of Public Safety concerns students as well.

“I don’t know anything [regarding Public Safety] that’s going on,” said freshman Tosca Watson.

Komarinetz, however, feels the new housing will be safe. “I feel that there’s enough security on campus,” he said.

“I’ve never had any issues in my three years here. The alternative would be living in a random house with no Public Safety at all.”

According to Ibi Yolas, executive director of Design and Construction for the Department of Facilities Services at St. John’s, the lack of the front security desk is due to the difference in the configuration of the building, with its open courtyards.

The townhouses will, however, have exterior cameras and will be patrolled in and around by Public Safety. Card keys will allow entries to the units, laundry rooms, and staircases, limiting access only to residents and security.

Security issues are not the only concerns that some students have.

Freshman Krystal Torres, for example, is a bit apprehensive about living in a building that has never been tried and tested by students.

“I wish I could see them now so I could get a better idea of what I will be living in next year,” said Torres.

“But the fact that I am one of the first people living in a brand new building is quite exciting.”