Curry Offers Enterprise Car Share Program to Students

BY STEVEN SOUSA // OCT. 6, 2016 //

Curry College has partnered with Enterprise Rent-A-Car to offer a new Car-Share program to eligible students.

The school now has two cars on campus that students can check out and drive at any time. However, these cars are not free. The application and first year membership fees are waived by Enterprise but the hourly rates start from $7 an hour.

According to Allison O’Connor, the Associate VP of Student Affairs, there are no added costs onto the students’ tuition fees for the vehicles.

“There is no expense to the college for the program. Enterprise provided the cars and the college provided the parking spaces” says O’Connor.

This comes as a relief to students with cars on campus who feared they may be charged for a service that does not apply to them.

O’Connor also commented on the type of role the school has overseeing the program. She says, “The agreement for the use of the car is between the member and Enterprise CarShare, not with the college. If the college is made aware of a violation of the Student Code of Conduct, then the student would be held accountable through the Student Conduct process.”

Students must look at the vehicles as extensions of Curry property and if someone were to receive a DUI or possession of drugs in the car, they would not only be subject to legal ramifications but also action from the school.

Students seem to be split on whether or not they would take advantage of this service.

“I would not rent a car for $7 per hour” says Carmen Rugamas, a junior Psychology major.  “I’d rather use the campus t-van which will connect me to the MBTA to go into Boston whenever I want to go or I can ask a friend on campus to take me somewhere.”  

While Anastasia Santana, a freshman Education major, has a different opinion saying, “Yeah, I would use it so I don’t have to rely on the shuttles to go places like Target and the South Shore Plaza.”

“I probably would depending on where I’m going”, says Nick Poulack, a junior Communication major, who is more on the fence about the program. “If I’m going into Boston one night and it turns out to be cheaper than an Uber then I definitely would.”

Sophomore Education major, Hannah Lawrence, likes the idea but not at the cost. “If the rate was lower, I would consider using it but not at $7 an hour,” said Lawrence.

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The two vehicles available for the Enterprise Rent-A-Car program, a Nissan Rogue and a Nissan Sentra, are parked in the Front Gate Lot. // IMAGE CREDIT: Curry College

To rent one of the vehicles, the student must be 18 years or older and have a valid driver’s license. The two vehicles available are a Nissan Rogue and a Nissan Sentra, and are parked in the Front Gate Lot.

Fuel and physical damage/liability protection are included in the hourly rate of $7 along with 24/7 roadside assistance. In the event of an accident, the liability protection makes the driver responsible for only the first $1000 of damage.

It will be interesting to see how this CarShare program will compete with other transportation services like Uber and Lyft on campus.

O’Connor indicated that there are currently no plans to add more vehicles but that could change in the future based on the success and popularity of the program.

Tech Center Seeking Solution for Poor WiFi

BY JONATHAN LEVSKY // OCT. 5, 2016 //

We’ve all been there; sitting in your room, cramming for tomorrow’s exam or doing homework due the next day, when all of a sudden the internet disconnects, halting all your work.

For Curry students, the lack of consistent WiFi is a problem all too familiar.

The Curry College Tech Department has heard numerous complaints and are beginning to take action. Joe Bruno, the interim chief information officer of the Tech Department, comments, “We recognize that the WiFi services as they currently exist on campus require improvement.”

Bruno explains that there are currently 420 access points deployed around the campus, and due to a wide variety of reasons such as placement, interference, and building construction, the WiFi is not meeting the expectations of the students.

He continues, “Since the beginning of the semester, we have responded to a number of specific issues we’ve received from students, and we’ve been achieving positive results.”

Specifically, the Tech Center has addressed the issue whereby iPhones were unable to connect to the network as well as rewire several access points in the Residence Halls. They have also been working alongside the vendor who hosts the my.curry.edu portal to resolve connectivity issues.

Additionally, the Tech Center has contracted with an outside firm this past August to conduct wireless surveys on different parts of campus.

“We have recently received the survey findings, and we are now working with our wireless provider to create optimal findings,” says Bruno. “We will take what we learn and create a multi-year, rolling plan that will address the needs of the entire campus.”

And although these issues haven’t gone unnoticed, now five weeks into the school year without any sign of resolving the problem, students are still feeling frustrated by the lack of internet connection.

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The Tech Center continues to look for a solution to the severe lack of WiFi connection on campus. // IMAGE CREDIT pixabay.com //

Max Bramble, a sophomore IT major, thinks “[The WiFi] could be better. I sometimes can’t watch a YouTube video for a class or sometimes it takes forever to load Blackboard.”

Bramble’s solution to this problem would be to have separate WiFi’s for different parts of the campus.

Chandler Carlson, a junior Business major, voiced his concerns saying, “Curry’s WiFi, to me, is not very reliable. There will be times that I’ll be on my laptop or a school computer and the network either won’t load or stay connected. Being a busy student like me, I need to make sure I get my work done, and with the internet not being reliable, it makes it harder.”

Brandy Julius, a sophomore Accounting major stated that, “As a student government member, I am aware of how slow the WiFi can be on campus. I feel that other colleges don’t run into as many problems as we do and for that reason we should be funding more money into fixing the issues Curry is facing.”

And it’s not just students’ inability to get homework done. Many students watch TV and movies through streaming providers like Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, and the near-constant internet problems are frustrating.

“I don’t have much time to watch Netflix, but when I do, I’m not able to watch my shows because the WiFi is too slow,” said Abby Pieger, a senior Community Health and Wellness major.

“It has been a problem that has not only affected my free time but has also affected my studies as well,” she continues. “The portal never seems to work when I need it most.”

And with teachers assigning homework on online databases, it’s crucial for the WiFi to be as smooth as possible so that students can complete their assignments on time.

Every now and then students on campus will receive a message stating that the WiFi is down and being repaired, and will not be accessible until further notice. However, it doesn’t take long for the problems to appear once again.

The Tech Department has noticed the issues and are now responding to the issues as quickly as possible. Students can only hope a solution will be found soon, especially with midterms quickly approaching.

Parking Causing Student Frustration

BY TIM NOONAN // OCT. 3, 2016 //

There has been much frustration on the Curry campus regarding parking policies. Although restrictions on where students can park are necessary, are they correctly enforced by Public Safety?

Depending on what color sticker they have, students are allowed to park in lots with the same color. Student drivers, who pay the $250 annual fee, are issued one of six different colored parking stickers that all carry different parking privileges with them.

According to the Curry College Parking policy, Students who have completed two full semesters may have a vehicle on campus. However, students accommodations based on disability and/or medical needs can contact Disability Services. The policy continues that “Curry’s parking policy reflects our commitment to wanting first-year students to become truly engaged in and contribute to the academic and community life of the College. We believe that vehicles represent an unhelpful distraction for first-year students.”

Although it may seem like a lot of options, there are a number of restrictions. When parking in lots that allow any permit, such as the Athletic Field or Mayflower lots, students cannot park before 6:30 p.m. or on weekends and holidays. Because most students need to park during the daytime, this is not realisticparking

“I find it if I don’t park 15 minutes early, then it’s hard to park, long walks make you want to drive to park for time but you can’t without getting a ticket,” said senior Nursing major Denise Flores.

Some lots, such as the Levin Library, have severe limitations regarding your sticker color and time limit on how long you can park there.

Students who live on North side of are prohibited from parking in the Student Center lot, and those who can park there are limited to only 3 hours of parking at a time.

Barak Swartz, a junior Communication major expressed his frustration openly, “I think it’s stupid that as a north campus resident, I can’t park in the student center lot until 6:30.” He continued his rant by saying “A $250 pass for the year is bologna.”

Rules regarding parking are necessary, but the question is how fair are these policies? Some students disagree with the rules and desire change.

Senior Criminal Justice major Emilee Purdy when asked if the situation is fair answered, “Not at all! It’s unfair they restrict where we are allowed to park.”

Students can only hope school officials will look into the problems and try to accommodate student’s wishes regarding the parking policies on campus.

Curry College, On or Off?

BY KEVIN DIFFILY // APRIL 2, 2012 // 

Shay Sinnott had had enough. As a freshman living on campus in the fall of 2010, she didn’t get along particularly well with her roommate and she struggled to relate to many of her fellow State House residents.

But the actual tipping point came when her entire dorm was placed in “lock down” because of the misguided actions of several residents. Some students had broken into an RA’s room and tampered with that person’s belongings, leading to a strict crackdown by the school. Just one year on campus convinced Sinnott that she needed to move on.

She came, she saw, she left. Shay Sinnott decided to move off campus after freshman year rather than deal with the poor behavior of fellow students. 

“It was group punishment,” said Sinnott, today a junior communication major who has lived in an apartment in Hyde Park the past two years. “We were on 24-hour quiet hours for two weeks, with absolutely no guest privileges. I said to myself, ‘I’m not in kindergarten!’ I was 19 years old at the time, and this was the last straw.”

Erik Muurisepp, director of residence life and housing at Curry, said a bad first-year experience living on campus often sways students not to return to the dorms. In some cases, students choose not to return to the college at all. In addition, not every residence hall is created equally—some, such as 886 Residence Hall and North Campus Residence Hall, are relatively new, while others, like the Lombard, Mayflower, State and Scholars halls, are particularly dated—yet the cost is the same no matter which dorm you reside in. In 2012-2013, room and board at Curry will cost $12,760.

“The freshman dorms have a great community, but the buildings are tired,” said Muurisepp, noting that residence life has been trying to spruce up the older dorms and update amenities, such as common rooms and bathrooms, to keep first-year students happy.

“I think the experience of living on a college campus is great, but at the end of the day, some people look at the cost and decide it would make more sense to commute from home or to get an apartment with numerous people that might be a little bit cheaper,” he added.

Sinnott echoed that sentiment, saying that she saves money by living in an off-campus apartment. She also enjoys the expanded freedom that comes with living off campus, saying she can have friends over without worrying about RA’s roaming the hallways.

Like Sinnott, sophomore Tom Isom also spent just one year on campus. A native of Florida, Isom said dorm life can be difficult for non-locals because Curry’s residence halls shut down during holidays and lengthy breaks. If he couldn’t return to Florida, he often found himself scurrying to find a place to stay.

Also, “it seemed easier to live and work up here during the summer, and it just made more sense to live off campus,” he said. “It is a lot cheaper to live off campus since you aren’t forced to pay for meal plans or dorm expenses.”

But Isom was quick to note that not everything about off-campus life is great. He said he missed living on campus because of its proximity to other students and its community, which has a livelier social atmosphere than his apartment complex in Quincy.

To some degree, most Curry students have already made their bed, so to speak, for next year. Deposits for on-campus housing were due on Sunday, March 25, and housing selection—the process by which students choose which residence halls they want to live in—takes place the first week of April.

According to Muurisepp, about 60 percent of first-year students who are eligible to return to Curry choose to live on campus their sophomore years. He also said there is a decline each year in residents living on campus. Every class has an exponentially lower number of on-campus residents, which Muurisepp said is the norm at most schools. This semester, Curry houses 505 freshmen, 320 sophomores, 236 juniors and 205 seniors.

About half of Curry’s commuting population, which makes up almost 25 percent of the schools’ total traditional undergraduate enrollment, is comprised of students commuting from their parents’ homes, with the other half living in off-campus residences, Muurisepp said.

“I think it would be great if more students stayed on campus for four years,” he added. “The only concern would be available space. I think our housing is definitely set up in a way that shows we understand” approximately how many students from each class will be staying on campus each year, and how many will be leaving. The College currently has 1,430 beds, with 1,266 residents.

Like Isom, Sinnott said she actually misses certain aspects about living on campus. The biggest is community and companionship.

“My roommate is almost never home,” she said, “and it gets lonely sometimes.”

Another challenge is budgeting and making sure all bills are paid each month. It’s much different than living on campus, where you pay in full in advance.

Muurisepp added several more reasons why living on campus is beneficial for students. “Growth and development from a residential environment has been proven to produce a student who succeeds more, is engaged more, and graduates at a higher rate due to their connection with the campus,” he said. Muurisepp pointed out that such facts are based on national research, as Curry does not have substantive data for the respective graduation rates of residents versus commuters.

What it does have is 164 empty beds, which, at a price of approximately $12,700, is $2.08 million of lost revenue. To be sure, the cost of students living off campus is more than developmental.

Curry, We Have a Problem

BY BRITTANY JENNINGS // MARCH 6, 2012 //

Most college students feel comfortable expressing their opinions online. They also like to complain.

By combining the two, a number of Curry students have found a collective home on Twitter for their many objections about life on campus.

“One day, I saw that a bunch of my friends from Suffolk, UMass, Salem State, etc. re-tweeting from ‘SuffolkGrlProblems,’ ‘UMAProblems,’ ‘SSUProblems’ accounts and I thought it would be funny to create one for Curry,” said a senior female Curry student who asked not to be identified out of fear of retribution by the college’s administration. “I didn’t tell anyone that I was going to create the account, and the jokes just started flowing.”

The first of the many tweets on @CCProblems were, “Girls go to dinner in packs, that’s the rules. #Curryproblems” and “He bought me a pitcher at McGraths. #Romantic #Curryproblems.” Within two days, word spread among the student body and @CCProblems had more than 350 followers. That’s when the tone of the page took a turn.

Curry students began actively voicing their complaints on the page, criticizing boring professors, obnoxious girls, and the food at the Student Center, among other topics. It quickly became something of a safe space for students to vent.

“As a paying student at this school, I should be given the opportunity to complain about certain aspects of Curry that I encounter,” said the page’s creator. One of her more pointed tweets read: “When you walk into your common room and the cleaning crew is sitting on your couch watching tv instead of vacuuming. #CurryProblems.”

A few days after @CCProblems was created, an account titled @CCProblemSolved appeared on Twitter. @CCProblemSolved began responding to the various complaints posted to the @CCProblems page, offering potential “solutions.” One post read: “Curry College has an outstanding community, and our growth has been tremendous. Part of growing is seeking improvement, and solving problems.” In addition, the administrator of the page criticized the founder of @CCProblems for enabling the complaints of others, and even suggested that the administrator committed a crime by using the college’s logo without permission as her profile picture. @CCProblemSolved features a photograph of Samuel Silas Curry, the college’s founder.

It’s unclear who created the @CCProblemSolved account. Sarah Bordeleau, associate director of Student Activities, said neither her office nor the Student Affairs office created the account, and that “it’s up in the air if it’s an official college department that created the account.” Fran Jackson, director of communications at the college, and Erik Murrisepp, director of residential life and housing, both denied that the page was created through their departments.

“Students should be able to vent about certain issues at Curry,” said Bordeleau, noting she believes a Curry-loving student likely created the account. “The way it was done (through @CCProblems), was in a passive way and wasn’t effective. There are better forms to solve a problem. The problems should be brought to the right people to address the issue….The faculty and staff of Curry want to help.”

But according to some students, @CCProblems was a great way to express their opinions about the college, often in a comical fashion.

“The school should listen to some problems because some were true, but some were also just funny,” said Kayla Urquhart, a sophomore communication major.

Added Neila Rene’, a freshman nursing major, “A lot of what was said on @CCProblems is true and funny. Maybe the deans should listen to what the students are saying so there would be less ‘Curry Problems.’ ”

The account still lives on in Twitter, with the Curry logo replaced by a cat in a spacesuit, “the most random picture I could find…to show it was supposed to be a joke,” said the creator.

Joke or not, the page has inspired imitators. Today, there are various Curry-related “problem” accounts on Twitter. One is called @CCollegProblems, and Curry students tweet more frequently there—it has nearly 230 followers—than on the original “problem” account. Another is @CurryGirlProbz, which has more than 100 followers. There is also a hashtag trend page, #Curryproblems. Trend pages are not administered by anyone, but instead serve as a central location for anyone tweeting about a specific topic, so long as they include the hashtag name. Some recent examples include: “No power in the state house basement… Great start to Monday… #curryproblems #mondayproblems #wtf” and “When your bagel in kennedy tastes old… #curryproblems.”

Sometimes, it just feels good to vent.