Melanie Perez, editor-in-chief
There are many things about FDU that I think could be a lot better organized or of better quality, such as Gourmet Dining’s food, inter-departmental communication, and on-campus parking – all of which could fill multiple editorials.
But there are a few things that FDU really gets right and for it’s size, does better than other universities – namely their student resources (and of the ones listed in this article, they’re all free unless otherwise stated).
The issue is that many students, especially those at the Metro campus, aren’t making the most of what’s available to them. Is the issue that Metro is predominantly a commuter campus? Do students feel awkward utilizing these resources? Do students simply not know what’s offered?
That’s what I’m trying to figure out. I interviewed some students to see which resources they’ve heard of and why they’re not using some of them.
While people may have their qualms about public safety, especially if they’ve been the unfortunate recipients of parking violations, Public Safety does have a great resource in their anonymous crime report, “Silent Knight.” I had no idea Silent Knight existed until this past semester when I heard about it in passing.
Another grossly underused resource is the Center for Academic Student Services (CASS). The bread and butter of their department are their tutoring services that are free and offered in all subject areas – all you need to do is fill out an application and agree on a weekly appointment time.
Alexandra Guerra, a senior who is studying forensic psychology has been using the tutoring services for two and a half years and said, “When I first started at FDU, I went to the tutoring center for help in my class in order to stay ahead of the game and to get help with what I didn’t understand.”
FDU also offers Student Counseling and Psychological Services (S-CAPS) to all students for free. This is a great resource that I think many students don’t use because counseling is highly stigmatized. But really, every student could benefit from the counseling, and the best part is that it’s completely confidential unless the therapist perceives an imminent threat to you or to others.
“I used S-Caps for the first time in my college experience at FDU because, like many upperclassmen, I was stressed out about classes, my future and my activities,” said Guerra.
Benjamin Hollweg, an international student from Spain, on the other hand, did not have such a positive view of S-CAPS. “I felt like I was left to fend for myself and the advice I was given was so vague, if any that it was a waste to even try to reach out for help,” he said.
The Student Health Services center is also really great because all students can use it with a valid FDU identification, even if they waived the health insurance offered by the school.
They have condoms, ice packs, little first aid kits, flu shots and more, all you have to do is fill out a sheet and ask.
Like many students, Guerra said she doesn’t use SHS because she has private insurance, not knowing that she could still use their services.
The Interfaith Chapel offers a safe place for students to explore their beliefs and strengthen (or challenge) the ones they already have. The Interfaith Chapel is home to Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, the Korean Christian Fellowship, Newman Catholic Campus Ministry, Hillel (Jewish Campus Ministry) and Islamic Campus Ministry, according to their website.
“I attended intervarsity on almost a daily basis until I got super busy with classes. They offer weekly Bible classes and hold events that are open to the community every now and then,” said Marie Newball, a nursing major at FDU.
Through the Dean’s Office, students have access to voter registration and free all-digital access to the New York Times.
Both Navdeep Sidhu, a junior who studies business administration, and Guerra, knew of the free NYT access, but only Guerra knew that the Deans Office helped with voter registration.
Another great program is the Sands of Time. They offer free trips to classical concerts, ballets, museums, Broadway shows, lectures and more.
Sidhu, who concentrates in international business, said she doesn’t attend Sand of Time trips. “I’m not interested in most of their trip destinations,” she said.
Guerra and Newball both said that they had no idea the Sands of Time existed, how to contact them (it’s email@example.com), or that the trips were free.
Not many people know that the library is home to many fun resources, rather than purely academic ones. There are board games, video games, movies, magazines, computers, an exercise desk, and a lounge area.
Newball, who is in the Honors Program, said that she’s made use of the video game system and DVD rentals in the library.
Two important academic resources offered by the library are the Metro Writing Studio, which helps with essays, and the online library, arguably the most useful resource due to the databases full of articles, journals, research, etc., which students would otherwise have to pay for.
Hollweg said that he uses the writing studio and that international were advised to make that their second home.
Career Development, although a separate entity from the library, is located in the same building. They offer career counseling and resources, resume critiquing and an online job and internship search website called CareerQuest.
Guerra holds negative views of Career Development due to bad experiences with the staff. “I have tried to reach out to them countless times, but they are rude,” she said.
Sidhu, on the other hand, said that she would enlist the help of Career Development. “Career Development helps students determine precisely what they are looking for in their internships and career roles.”
More well known, is that the Student Union Building is home to the FDU Info Desk where students can purchase low-cost tickets to Broadway shows, amusement parks, education trips and social outings. While the tickets aren’t free, the transportation is included and the tickets are highly subsidized compared to full-price (and sometimes even Groupon).
The point I’m trying to stress here is that no student can say that there is nothing to do on campus or that the school is simply taking our money and not giving anything in return.
Regardless of your individual feelings about the quality of each service, half the battle is actually offering them in the first place. Once they’re instituted, then it’s a never-ending process of improving what’s already there. And if students cared enough about the quality of their services, then they would speak up if there were an issue.
It’s the administration’s responsibility to make the services better, but if students aren’t using the services, or if they are, aren’t giving feedback, then the school can’t address students’ concerns.