by Catherine Goodyear
Residence halls play a major role in a student’s college experienWce. Whether a resident or a commuter, some of best memories can be made outside of the classroom and in a dorm room with close friends.
Manhattan College offers a variety of living accommodations including traditional style dorms, suites and apartment style living with meal plans assigned with each building according to the amenities provided but which hall is the best.
Alexis Brown, a junior bio-chemistry major lived in a suite in Horan Hall with the residence unlimited meal plan before moving into her current apartment in Overlook Manor (OV), and switching to the apartment meal plan.
Brown said, “I love OV because I can make my own food and I like feeling like an adult and having my own space which includes a living room. I chose OV instead of an off-campus apartment because I still wanted the security and the resources that Manhattan College has. I prefer the meal plan with the more ACDs because I prefer to cook my own food and ACDs allow me to get groceries or snacks or what I would have spent my money on anyway.”
The residence meal plan includes unlimited meal swipes in Locke’s Loft cafeteria, 50 Dining Dollars or ACDs and 25 Jasper Dollars which can be used off campus at affiliated locations whereas the apartment-style plan offers four meal swipes a week at Locke’s but 640 ACDs and 160 Jasper Dollars.
“The apartment or the OV meal plan is great for students who like to cook a lot because in OV you have your own cooking style apartment, so it is nice for people who like to cook on their own. The commuter plans are great because Gourmet Dining offers a lot of bonuses where commuters or any student can save a lot of money especially if they are spending cash on campus,” said Brian Weinstein, general manager for Gourmet Dining.
All of the meal plans include a 10 percent bonus on purchases of $100 or more. The commuter meal plan 330+3 is $300 but because of the 10 percent bonus, commuter students get $330 dining dollars to use per semester and three Locke’s meal swipes per semester. The same concept is applied to the 550+5 commuter meal plan.
“Freshman and sophomore year, I lived in Horan and now as a junior I am living in OV. I liked Horan because I liked the unlimited meal swipes because I felt like I could go to Locke’s whenever I wanted to get something to eat. I liked how I didn’t have a lot of space to clean because in OV I feel like we have a lot to upkeep here between the garbage and more living space,” said Gianna Garofalo, a junior allied health major.
The dormitories like Lee Hall, Horan Hall, Jasper Hall and Chrysostom Hall offer a more open environment because a larger portion of the underclassmen reside there.
As freshman and sophomores, students are still finding friends that they feel comfortable with and exploring their options.
“I liked the more social spot because especially freshman year everyone wanted to know everyone and become friends with everyone but here (OV) I just go in and out I don’t know anyone near me and no one has really made an effort to introduce themselves, but I guess as juniors and seniors you don’t really need to because you already have your friends,” said Garofalo.
Students who are deciding to move out of a dorm and into the apartments need to consider if the meal plan will be the right choice for them. Scheduling times to cook and pack meals are key to getting the most out of an apartment.
“All of the plans have great offerings. I think in my opinion the best plan is the residence plan which is unlimited. You get the most bang for your buck. You can eat in Locke’s as many times as you want, you can have three breakfasts if you want or four lunches or five dinners, whatever fits your hunger needs. There are just so many options in Locke’s and that’s why in my opinion, the unlimited meal plan is the best,” said Weinstein.
Residence halls are a student’s home away from home but deciding which hall is the best is a personal choice. It is important to weigh out all of your options to decide what amenities can properly accommodate your needs.