LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Life really isn’t better on the Hill

By on February 1, 2012

While Quinnipiac has been trying to market its York Hill campus as the place to be for upperclassmen, recent troubles from the campus have proved otherwise.

First of all, anyone who has been in the rooms in Crescent can certainly agree that the common room-kitchens are inadequate. There is no fan above the oven, leading every venture with the stove to be a game of chance as to whether or not the fire alarm will be set off – and students have not been winning this year. But this makes sense, when one considers that the university initially thought that it didn’t need to put kitchens in rooms for college juniors and seniors. It’s not like 20 and 21-year-olds would want to cook. And there was no need to put air conditioning in the brand new Crescent either. Why include comfort and convenience in this multi-million dollar campus intended to lure upperclassmen back to dorm living?

And now the rooms with ample space that many students consider to be the hot real estate at York Hill, the townhouses, will only be available to juniors. Apparently, because one class of seniors didn’t flock to live in them and because the rising classes of juniors are so large, the university has assumed that no class of seniors will ever want to live in them again –and even if they want to do so, well, they shouldn’t be allowed. Because living on the Hill is all about creating a positive experience for seniors, right?

The cafeteria up at York Hill, while new and filled with great amenities and appetizing food choices, lacks variety. The Mount Carmel cafeteria offers Asian food, a cold cuts stand, a grill, a flatbread station and “The Kitchen” providing a daily entree. The York Hill cafeteria has a grill, pizza stand, cold cuts stand and “The Kitchen”. While these opportunities may not be drastically less than those offered at Mount Carmel, it certainly isn’t the “better” option Quinnipiac has made it out to be. And when the cafeteria closes, which happens daily during the mid-afternoon, there are no other options for food – except cooking in our underwhelming kitchens.

Last, but most certainly not least, comes the most publicized issue: parking. At York Hill there is ample room in the garage, which provides protection for our cars throughout the year. But once we need to travel, things get a bit hairy. Parking at Mount Carmel is now forbidden for any junior (even those with the academic standing of a senior) before 3:30 on weekdays. Quinnipiac claims this was the result of Hamden pressuring QU to enforce what the administration said it would do initially – not let students drive between York Hill and Mount Carmel. Then, mid-semester, with no opportunity to amend our schedules, they dumped this change on us. And while most students can make do without driving down, though shuttles have certainly proved troublesome at times, some students need to go back and forth between Mount Carmel and North Haven. Yet living on York Hill and therefore having to take the shuttle to York Hill and THEN drive to North Haven doesn’t leave enough time between obligations for the commute and is causing students to miss these obligations. Many Quinnipiac faculty members, such as the dean of the North Haven campus and coaches at Mount Carmel, report not even knowing of these changes prior to implementation. And when attempts were made to contact security by email, phone and visits to its offices, this student was turned away and completely ignored – not one response from any university employee.

These, among many other problems like poor cell phone service, insufficient hours at the Health Services Center and shower water pressure that one student called “weaker than a crying infant’s tears,” all make it clear that despite Quinnipiac promoting the phrase that “Life is Better on the Hill,” it really is not. When visiting during Accepted Students Day four years ago, a student who worked at Friday’s in Hamden warned me of the poor housing situation at QU. I never would have imagined how accurate he would turn out to be and how much the growing pains of a fast-expanding Quinnipiac would come to impact my experience here.

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