Transferring to Quinnipiac was a choice that many students made back at the very beginning of this school year. It was supposed to be a time of change: meeting new people, attending new classes and getting a new college experience. Unfortunately, for the transfer students, that college experience was destined to be altered in the weeks before the 2005-2006 school year started.
In August 2005, upperclass transfer students were called at home and told that they would not be placed on campus. Quinnipiac had accepted them and they had paid a housing deposit, yet there was no room for them to live on campus with other students in their class. Many transfers were placed off campus in the Whitney Village Apartment Complex, located across from Exxon on Whitney Avenue.
Whitney Village apartments will be available for students to rent next year, and current residents are spending the end of this school year reflecting on their experiences living there, and giving some advice to those who are interested in the complex.
“I’m grateful for the friendships I’ve made while living here but I don’t like how we pay so much money for a small apartment that’s not worth it, and we’re restricted in what we can and cannot do,” said resident Jessica Axt.
Indeed, the price tag for the complex is not cheap. Students pay $4,250 per semester each. The total price of a two bedroom, four person apartment is $34,000 for ten months. For a one bedroom, two person apartment the price is $17,000 total. Even in the most expensive areas around, a small one bedroom apartment is not going to cost someone $17,000 in rent for less than a full year.
Even with the high cost, not all seems fair to students at Whitney Village. Student residents are not allowed to utilize the center courtyard, yet regular non-student residents are. Also, student residents can be evicted on grounds that regular residents cannot be. For students, there is no drinking allowed in Whitney Village, even if a student resident is 21.
Recently, regular residents complained about the noise from a get-together held at one of the student apartments. Calls were made to the building manager, Nick Saraceni, and the landlord, Scott Lansberry. The party ended early and the student residents got a warning from the building manager the following day.
“We have one party the entire semester and we get in trouble for it? Sorry, I wasn’t aware that we were living in dorms,” said one of the students who hosted the party. “I paid a lot of money to live here and if I want to have my friends over I’m going to. They have no right to tell me what to do in my own apartment.”
One of her roommates made another strong point when told by the building manager that the landlord was eager to evict students:
“I don’t see why there’s a problem; he knows where his bread and butter is, and it’s not with the residents who are complaining about us,” he said.
Other than partying, students have noticed odd occurrences in the apartment complex. Many noticed that their belongings had apparently been moved around while they were home on breaks. Some are suspicious that their drawers had been looked through, and there was even a suspicious sudden eviction. If this is true, snooping through the belongings of students is against the law and completely uncalled for.
“I don’t like how we can’t trust our own landlord,” said resident Steven Halas.
Another resident complained that the landlord entered her apartment without being let in, and saw her emerge from the bathroom in a towel.
Whitney Village may have been a convenient alternative to living on campus for transfer students this year, but the majority of them are not going back there in the fall. Many are moving to other apartment complexes or renting houses nearby. When asked if they would recommend living at Whitney Village to other students, current residents say no.
Former resident Jenna Nelson said, “I would tell them to move on campus or find a nicer place for cheaper rent, because at Whitney Village you get ripped off.”
Resident Gael Fitzsimons said, “I wouldn’t recommend the apartments to students. I feel like we’re in limbo: the school treats us like commuters but here we’re treated like we’re living in dorms with rules and regulations. Why pay the money to be treated like we don’t matter?”
Even with all the negatives, there are a few positives about living in Whitney Village: it’s located close to Quinnipiac, shuttles run to and from the complex, and utilities are included. However, to current student residents, the negatives unfortunately outweigh the positives. “You can find better elsewhere. Just spare yourself the trouble,” one student recommends to future residents.