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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Forced Out

Many University students are expressing confusion after being denied participation in the housing selection process. Changes to the housing policy cause uncertainty and stress among upperclassmen.

The change makes the residence village a priority for sophomores and freshmen, and designates all juniors and seniors to the Founders’ Village, the Seton Complex, the Coolidge Plaza or the Goethals apartments.
Students with high GPA’s and no judicial record were placed on the waiting list even after fully complying with application and deposit deadlines.

Junior Andrew Mello was one of the students placed on the wait list. As an Ozanam Scholar, Mello was guaranteed housing all four years.

“I have no judicial record and my GPA is good, but I was put on the wait list,” he said. “They told me I did everything right and got everything in on time but a lot of people have good GPA’s and there was nothing they could do about it.”

Junior Marylle Pacina waited for her appointment on Tuesday morning after working with administration to correct her judicial standing of “zero.”

“They told me I had no points, like zero.
They told me they had to review my application before I could participate in selection,” she said. “They corrected it and apologized when I went to them and pointed out it was wrong. Now, I’m applying for the townhouses.”

Wait-listed junior Keri Loblanco has lived on campus for three years and prefers the safety of the gated residence halls on campus.

“I applied and submitted my deposit on time, but last week I received an email that said I was eligible, but was not asked to participate in selection,” she said. “They gave me two options: I could go on the wait list, or get my deposit back.”

“Even though administration promised me I would get off of the wait list, that doesn’t take away the stress I feel over this,” Loblanco said.

“Just give me a bed in any building, all I want is to live in the safety of the St. John’s community.”

According to Dominic Petruzzelli, Associate Director of Residence Life, there is a wait list for housing every year that is always satisfied.

Petruzzelli said the change in housing priority was based on feedback from juniors and seniors that had lived on campus.

“Based on student trends and feedback, we found that juniors and seniors prefer to live in what we call independent style housing,” he said.

“The residences that fall into this category are the townhouse, Seton, Coolidge, and Goethals apartments,” he said.

Feedback comes from the housing selection process each year, as well as the ACUHO-I survey conducted by Residence Life.

Underclassmen were not given priority for these types of buildings because of trends identified over the years by the administration.

“Sophomores who have lived in independent style housing have been unsuccessful in the past as seen by guest and alcohol violations, as well as trouble with time management,” Petruzzelli said.

The housing selection process began last Friday in the Donovan Community room.

Students were assigned to designated appointment times throughout this week if they have been selected
to participate.

The process of housing selection was changed this year in order to make it run more smoothly, according to Eric Finkelstein, associate director of residence life.

“Only one student has to select, it’s turned out to be a much smoother process this year,” he said. “Instead of six people selecting a suite, you only need one; its really cut down on our numbers.”

Sophomore Alisha Siqueira participated in the housing process last year when the scheduling of appointments required entire groups of students to come together.

“Last year, the lines were out the door and they stretched halfway to Montgoris,” she said.

“This year was so much better; they allowed one representative to go during their appointment time, that way there were less people showing up.”

Junior Korey Pace said that because of the nature of the selection process, he chose not to participate this year.

“I did it last year; it was raining, people were missing class, I was mad,” he said. “I don’t even play their games anymore; I opted out of the system and choose to live with an RA in the townhouses. This way, I don’t even have to participate in the selection process.”

Petruzzelli said the process was reorganized to accommodate the students and make things run more smoothly.

“At first, the process was individual, but we cut that out this year and let students come in groups,” he said.

“We cut back physically, and we lengthened the appointment times to satisfy student’s needs. It’s working much better. Residence Life doesn’t own the process, the students do. If you have an appointment, you get a bed.”

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