Loyola Hall Is The Best Dorm At Fairfield University, Don’t @ Me

Loyola Hall Is The Best Dorm At Fairfield University, Don’t @ Me

What other dorm has a "Happy Hour" every Wednesday night?
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Every university has a dorm hall that is better than the rest.

Some can be lived in for more than one year, and others are only available for students in a certain year. Fairfield’s best dorm without question is Loyola Hall, a sophomore residential college hall that is located in the campus’ quad, and opens its doors to any Stag that chooses to walk through.

I lived in Loyola Hall during my sophomore year, and it was honestly the best experience of my time at Fairfield. One of the requirements for living in Loyola is that its residents are required to participate in mentor groups that meet once a week and go on one retreat per semester. I not only had a great mentor and alumni mentor, but also a great group of girls who were supportive of one another and enjoyed each other’s company. We would spend our allotted time each week cracking jokes and talking about the drama happening in our lives, and it never felt like we had enough time to spend with one another.

Likewise, the retreats that we went on not only allowed me to spend time off-campus with my friends over the weekend. They also let me get to know my dorm community and mentor group better. During the first retreat, we were on a campsite and we tried (and failed) to launch a dorm hall Man-Hunt. Even though it was unsuccessful, many of us lingered around outside and hung out with one another, and it was a great chance to meet people that we had not come into contact with during our first year at Fairfield.

Although many people feel that fulfilling these requirements are a burden, they couldn’t be more wrong. Loyola is one of three residential colleges at Fairfield, so the requirements were not unique to the building. However, they did have their own special spin; Loyola focused on the inner questions of “Who am I?”, “Whose am I?” and “Who am I called to be?” These questions allowed for great reflection, and when we were in our groups, we got to analyze these ideas. It quickly became clear that if you made the most of your group and you enjoyed your time with great people, none of these requirements were particularly bothersome or time-consuming.

Additionally, my time in Loyola made me realize that the dorm is by far the most welcoming. When I was a freshman at Fairfield, I did not feel a connection with the people in my dorm hall, Campion. We were just four floors of people who were doing our own thing with our own cliques. However, in Loyola — which was a stone’s throw from Campion — when new people visited or became residents, the community welcomed them with open arms. We had weekly Residential Hall Association meetings that featured many jokes and laughs, and welcomed everyone. Moreover, we also had a “Happy Hour” every Wednesday at 10 p.m. where our resident assistants provided snacks.

The camaraderie that Loyola facilitated made the dorm an indescribably wonderful place to live. From the hysterical RAs to the lively neighbors, there was never a dull moment. If you wanted to make use of our amazing air-conditioned Commons during a heat wave, no one would question it for a moment, and people would ask you what floor you lived on and strike up conversation with you easily. If you wanted to hold a Harry Potter marathon like my friends and I once did on the flat screen in the Commons, people would pull up a seat and join the group.

Loyola is that kind of irreplaceable community.

Cover Image Credit: Ariana Puzzo

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I Am A College Student, And I Think Free Tuition Is Unfair To Everyone Who's Already Paid For It

Stop expecting others to pay for you.

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I attend Fordham University, a private university in the Bronx.

I commute to school because I can't afford to take out more loans than I already do.

Granted, I've received scholarships because of my grades, but they don't cover my whole tuition. I am nineteen years old and I have already amassed the debt of a 40-year-old. I work part-time and the money I make covers the bills I have to pay. I come from a middle-class family, but my dad can't afford to pay off my college loans.

I'm not complaining because I want my dad to pay my loans off for me; rather I am complaining because while my dad can't pay my loans off (which, believe me, he wants too), he's about to start paying off someone else's.

During the election, Bernie frequently advocated for free college.

Now, if he knew enough about economics he would know it simply isn't feasible. Luckily for him, he is seeing his plan enacted by Cuomo in NY. Cuomo has just announced that in NY, state public college will be free.

Before we go any further, it's important to understand what 'free' means.

Nothing is free; every single government program is paid for by the taxpayers. If you don't make enough to have to pay taxes, then something like this doesn't bother you. If you live off welfare and don't pay taxes, then something like this doesn't bother you. When someone offers someone something free, it's easy to take it, like it, and advocate for it, simply because you are not the one paying for it.

Cuomo's free college plan will cost $163,000,000 in the first year (Did that take your breath away too?). Now, in order to pay for this, NY state will increase their spending on higher education to cover these costs. Putting two and two together, if the state decides to raise their budget, they need money. If they need money they look to the taxpayers. The taxpayers are now forced to foot the bill for this program.

I think education is extremely important and useful.

However, my feelings on the importance of education does not mean that I think it should be free. Is college expensive? Yes -- but more so for private universities. Public universities like SUNY Cortland cost around $6,470 per year for in-state residents. That is still significantly less than one of my loans for one semester.

I've been told that maybe I shouldn't have picked a private university, but like I said, I believe education is important. I want to take advantage of the education this country offers, and so I am going to choose the best university I could, which is how I ended up at Fordham. I am not knocking public universities, they are fine institutions, they are just not for me.

My problems with this new legislation lie in the following: Nowhere are there any provisions that force the student receiving aid to have a part-time job.

I work part-time, my sister works part-time, and plenty of my friends work part-time. Working and going to school is stressful, but I do it because I need money. I need money to pay my loans off and buy my textbooks, among other things. The reason I need money is because my parents can't afford to pay off my loans and textbooks as well as both of my sisters'. There is absolutely no reason why every student who will be receiving aid is not forced to have a part-time job, whether it be working in the school library or waitressing.

We are setting up these young adults up for failure, allowing them to think someone else will always be there to foot their bills. It's ridiculous. What bothers me the most, though, is that my dad has to pay for this. Not only my dad, but plenty of senior citizens who don't even have kids, among everyone else.

The cost of living is only going up, yet paychecks rarely do the same. Further taxation is not a solution. The point of free college is to help young adults join the workforce and better our economy; however, people my parents' age are also needed to help better our economy. How are they supposed to do so when they can't spend their money because they are too busy paying taxes?

Free college is not free, the same way free healthcare isn't free.

There is only so much more the taxpayers can take. So to all the students about to get free college: get a part-time job, take personal responsibility, and take out a loan — just like the rest of us do. The world isn't going to coddle you much longer, so start acting like an adult.

Cover Image Credit: https://timedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/free-college-new-york-state.jpg?quality=85

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Writing Saved My Sanity

Write it all down when you can't talk to anyone.

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I love writing.

I have since elementary school, and I've dreamed of becoming a published author. I started off writing stupid plays in elementary school, then it grew it almost writing a full-blown novel in middle school. I have no idea where that thing went to. It was all notebook paper and bad writing. In high school, my writing was kinda pushed to the side so I could focus on school. When I entered college, I started writing small poems about my now ex-boyfriend.

I was scared to express myself to him sometimes, the intensity of my feelings for him scared me. So instead of telling him, I wrote them down. When I tried to share them with him, he hated it. He thought writing down feelings was weird and creepy. So I didn't share anything else with him. When we finally broke up for good, everything just poured out of me. What I couldn't express verbally, I wrote or typed out.

I always have ideas flowing through my head. They never cease and I wouldn't want them to. Writing gives me an escape, from stress, work, school, or fights. It gives me a place to vent and to be open with everything. This is a reason I love writing for Odyssey, not only has this place brought me amazing friends but revived my love for writing. I'm never without my notebook anymore, I'd get distracted in class by an idea and have to write I think then and there.

I love sharing my more personal writing with close friends, especially my poems as of late. I found that I have a voice for young women who find themselves in a toxic relationship much like mine was. I want to speak out and show them that you can grow from the bullshit. It may take some time, but you will be better.

Writing saved my sanity. It allows me to express myself without having to use my actual voice. Anyone who knows me, knows I hate public speaking. I tend to psych myself out leading up to it. My current projects include writing for Odyssey every week, I'm in the process of trying to continue my short stories, and I'm excited to announce that I'm currently working on my very first poetry book!

Writing has given me so much, and I'm so looking forward to making a career out of something I love so much.

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