On Campus? Off Campus? Housing Debate Persists

Between the establishment of the North End Housing Complex (colloquially known by students as “New Gartland”) and the pre-existing Fulton Street townhouses, living on-campus as an upperclassman is more lavish, accessible, and commonplace than ever. Continue reading

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Building A Experiences Technical Difficulties

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. — In these modern, technological times, staying at a hotel usually includes free Wi-Fi service. Commonly described as a “hotel” by many of its residents, Building A of the North End Housing Complex at Marist College has fallen down on that job.

While the internet connection lingers at “one bar” on most days, phone calls are being dropped left and right. The words “no service” have become commonplace on most cell phones in Building A; poor cell service has become something that is simply accepted in the new dorm building.

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Students Forced to Deal with Construction Mishap

New Gartland Building D in the middle of construction

Students at Marist College have had to cope with the school’s failure to complete construction of the fourth New Gartland housing structure.

“I got an email from Marist saying one of the subcontractors broke something and set the construction back,” said Victoria Conlin, a junior from Connecticut.

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The Pros and Cons of Living In The New North End Complex According To The Residents

As the 2016 Spring Semester at Marist came to a close in May, the old Gartland Commons in the North End area of campus faded into rubble. In late August the first new building of Marist’s new housing complex in the North End called “Building A” has been opened to Marist undergraduates.

According to Marist Housing this new residence area fits a total of 291 students on five floors in either a four-person bedroom apartment, a limited three-person bedroom apartment or a one-person studio. Both the four person and three person apartments feature single bedrooms, a common bedroom, a living room, a kitchenette and functional air conditioning. The first person studio comes with a bathroom and a kitchenette.

Building A comes with a community lounge, study lounges on each floor, a laundry facility, and elevators. The first Marist student residents which are all upperclassmen  in the complex have various thoughts on “Building A” many commenting about the positives and negatives with living in the complex in which many of the students have now collectively nicknamed “New Gartland.”

“The positives of living in New Gartland are so many.” said fourth floor resident and Marist junior Joseph Iradukunda. “It is like living in a hotel, everything in the building is new: the oven, the store and more.”

When asked if there were any possible downsides to living in the new building Iradukunda replied “I cannot think of any negatives about New Gartland. And if he could have a request to put something in he stated “It would be nice to have a gym.”

Many of the students love the hotel atmosphere Building A brings to the campus and love the new furniture and kitchen appliances. However, even though many of the students love Building A, they feel there are some negatives to living in the new residence area and believe that some changes could be made.

“The gym is a very long walk away and palace diner is even further.” said fourth floor resident and Marist junior Jacob Levinson. “I think the apartment looks finished, we had an issue with the central air but it was resolved within the first week.”

When asked if he wanted any changes made to the building Levinson replied that the only things that he would like to have in New Gartland are an actual oven, since some of the food he likes to cook requires baking and maybe a bigger couch, in case he wanted to have a friend sleep over for a visit.

“I like the dorm atmosphere to New Gartland,” said Josh Selkowitz, a third floor resident and a junior at Marist. “There’s always negatives to any housing, with  New Gartland there’s the long distance from the gym and the other upperclassmen, the hard mattresses that I slept on for the first two weeks and the thin blinds.”

Selkowitz’s roommate, a Marist junior, James Lavelle, mentioned how the oven takes about 20 minutes to heat up if the temperature is above 350 degrees. Lavelle just remembered living in the Foy Townhouses last year and the oven would take less time to heat up.

“Living in a space that no one has ever lived in is pretty nice.” third floor resident, and Marist junior,  Muitat Alagbala, said, she does mention how there are a couple of problems with New Gartland, she agreed that the oven takes 20 minutes to heat up to 350 degrees while a normal oven would take at most half that time to heat up to that temperature. When baking, the oven takes 15-20 minutes which might be a problem if you’re in a rush.

Also, she recalls how the paint on the walls is really thin and unlike Gartland Commons if you scratch something or pull a command strip the wrong way the paint will chip. In addition, she feels that the apartment is a little congested when living with four other people and a little rushed when being constructed since the handle for the toilet paper in the bathroom can be easily attached from the wall.

Marist student juniors and first floor residents Ray Greene and Anthony Tucciarone all live on the first floor in New Gartland and seem all in agreement when it comes to the style of their apartment. Green and Tucciarone specifically like the granite countertops, the nice size of the refrigerator the quality of the central air, and the smoothness of the dishwasher.

Greene believe that one of the negatives is that the wall can be thin and can easily have conversation from one room to the other. Tucciarone and Greene both stated that the oven takes about 15-20 minutes to heat up around 350 degrees and that it could be a nuisance when in a rush and the blinds are thin.

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Off campus housing: a guide

As I was signing my year-long lease two years ago, focusing on controlling my sometimes disobedient cursive “z”, my landlord told my seven friends and I that the most practical skills administered in college are learned when dealing with off campus housing.

Since, I have learned, mostly through trial and error, to fix a broken chain in the toilet tank, make out a rent check, memorize the scheduling of garbage day, familiarize myself with City of Poughkeepsie ordinance laws, and discovered the amount of burnt popcorn fumes it takes to send the fire chief to your front door.

According to a representative at Marist Housing and Residential Life, “at any given time there are 200-300 students that have chosen to live off campus within a 2-3 mile radius.” Selecting an off campus house, thus deeming yourself “a commuter” to Marist, presents numerous opportunities and considerations.

Poughkeepsie, divided into the Town of Poughkeepsie and the City of Poughkeepsie, consists of several “neighborhoods,” or streets, where Marist students tend to congregate. Continue reading

A guide to off-campus life

A photo of my lease agreement – photo courtesy of Daniel Treccagnoli

One of the realities of living the college life is that housing is not always a guarantee, especially if you go to a smaller college. Many students also choose to live off-campus on their own, without being forced out by limited on-campus housing options. Either way, going out on your own can be a very difficult process, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing. Marist, as well as many other colleges, have compiled a “guide” to help students make their way while living off campus. However, these guides don’t cover a lot of the issues students might face while living on their own off-campus. In this article I hope to address some of those issues and difficulties that students might face.

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Students need to plan where they will be living next semester.

Imagine showing up to campus on the first day of the new semester, bags packed and parents beaming proud, only to realize that you didn’t have a place to live for the next four months.

This is a potential scenario for students if they are not savvy in planning out their housing arrangements for when they return from a semester abroad.

It happens every year, somebody goes abroad without having guaranteed housing for when they return, the off campus house search is started very late, and then there’s the dilemma of potentially not having anywhere to live next semester.

In order to properly prepare for having a place to live students need to understand the difficulty of preparing exact numbers of available on campus housing spots. Sarah English, Director of Housing & Residential Life, explained the near impossibility of predicting how many rooms will be available for on-campus housing from semester to semester. Continue reading