I often get a lot of questions from prospective students about what the student housing is like here at The New School and what dorm they would be best suited for. Since my freshman year I’ve lived at the Stuyvesant Park dorm. Mostly freshman, this dorm houses about 600 residents and features apartment-style suites (meaning you share a kitchen, bathroom and common space with 3-6 other residents). I love Stuy (hence why I am entering my junior year and have never left), so I decided to talk to one of my fellow RA’s, Jacob Hernandez, a rising junior in the Communication Design program here at Parsons about his experiences at Stuy and what the community is like here.
Lauren Davis: Hey Jacob! How long have you been living here at Stuy and why did you decide to become an RA here?
Jacob Hernandez: I have been living at Stuy for about a year. During my freshman year I lived at the 13th Street Residence Hall. I chose to RA here because I wanted a new experience and I also wanted to work with freshman. Stuy also provided an opportunity to connect with a larger group of people!
LD: How would you describe the community here at Stuy?
JH: Well, it is the largest dorm here at The New School and being that there is such a vast amount of freshman living here there is a lot of diversity as well. There are people who come from all across the country as well as all over the world. Because it is predominately freshman most residents are new to the city and are also eager to participate in many events and programs we offer here at Stuy.
LD: Which brings me to my next question, what kinds of programs are offered to residents and what purpose do they serve?
JH: The great thing about Stuy is that there are 12 RA’s and because of this we are able to have about a program a week. Programs range from academic to multi-cultural and there are even many directed toward specific majors. Students interested in meeting new people can go to community events such as movie night. Lots of programs also go out of the dorm, so that residents can explore New York City! Programs that I am passionate about are the personal programs that focus on health and wellness. When students are feeling stressed about school or exams these programs are great to relieve some of that.
LD: RA’s plan a lot of programs, but how can residents become involved within the dorm as well?
JH: Hall Council is a great way for students to become involved at Stuy and create and events specific to the needs of the residents at our dorm. Since Hall Council members are residents themselves its easier for them to relate and to relay information from their peers to Hall Council, they act as sort of liaisons for the building. There are weekly meetings where members discuss events they would like to plan for the dorm and they are also given a budget to work with. Hall Council works closely with the RA’s and this past October we planned a Halloween Party for the dorm together.
LD: To sum it all up, how would you describe a first-year New School student living at Stuy?
JH: Stuy is definitely geared toward more independent students because of the suite style living. You have much less of a meal plan than you would at traditional freshman dorms like 13th Street or Loeb Hall and you are farther from school as well. At Stuy I would say there are also more opportunities to meet your peers and other freshman because it is so large and has about 600 residents.
Hope this gave you all a little more insight about life at Stuy, this summer I will be checking out other dorms at The New School to help guide your decision making processes! Also, you can take a Virtual Tour of the residence halls on The New School Student Housing website.