Student Interest Committee shows progress

By Brandon Seltenrich and Auston Morris

Griffin Reporters

It’s a popular notion among freshmen students that, come junior year, they’ll be living off-campus. Passing by houses advertising “Student Housing Available Next Year!” invokes the idea of a whole new kind of independence and lifestyle. However, the process of actually finding and getting a house near campus can seem difficult, with many students not understanding how to begin the process. The Griffin sat down with Senate Committee member for Student Interests, Amelia Greenan, ‘18 to answer a few questions about some interesting developments in an anticipated landlord directory for student housing.

For over a year now, the Senate has been working on a landlord directory–a readily-available contact sheet with information about off-campus housing for interested students to utilize. Usually how students find housing depends on general information floating around campus, which is not always the most dependable way of getting informed.

“Currently it’s like a word-of-mouth kind of thing,” said Greenan. “You find out from your friends, so at a presentation at the beginning of the year, we provided students with our landlord contacting sheet.”

The current landlord contact sheet held by the Senate is not, however, the same as the directory students will be able to use in the near future. Greenan says that the current contact sheet provided for students is “something much less extensive” than what Senate hopes to release Tuesday.

This upcoming Tuesday, the student housing landlord directory will be released in its current state, which, according to Greenan, is “about twenty houses so far,” which she considers significant enough to begin posting. The interesting facet of this directory is that it’s a living document.

“Throughout the year,” said Greenan, “when we get more and more [responses from landlords] back, we’re gonna update that; from property restrictions, amenities […], anything a student would want to be looking at primarily.”

Needless to say, this new directory contains far more information which, with constant updating with more and more houses, will undoubtedly prove useful to all students searching to live off-campus come their junior year.

With such an array of benefits, one would wonder why this directory was not created sooner. To address the concern many students had about this specific project being worked on for over a year now, Amelia began by talking about the preparation that went into it.

“There’s a lot of research and building that goes into this that students would understand, but don’t know about,” said Greenan.

She explained how, after having this project handed to her a year ago, she studied a semester abroad and, with her gone, the Senate figured their time was better spent delving into other projects. This is not to say, however, that this project was forgotten or purposely put to the side; rather, it was simply put on hold until all facets of what actually went into the project were addressed and handled in the best fashion.

Greenan also has knowledge about planned changes to Griff Choice, which she spoke to The Griffin about.  The topic regarding the expansion of locations where students can use Griff Choice has been conjuring up much talk since the school year has started. It has been a popular talk among students around the campus, and for much reason, as students are looking for a deeper variety of ways they can spend their Griff Choice. With limited places to use the Griff Choice balance each student is given as part of their meal plan, the search is on to find places close to campus as well as within the city of Buffalo to give students a higher variety of options of where they can spend.

The proposed expansion will hopefully offer these new locations to students for them to spend this money, but Greenan also stated that it will be a good chance for the students who aren’t familiar with the Buffalo area to explore and experience the city in a whole new light. It will be a good way for the students to get a break from the campus as well. Being stuck on campus isn’t always fun, so this expansion will help encourage students to get out and venture into the city and see a lot of what Buffalo has to offer.

Since the idea was proposed, a major update has been given on the progress of the expansion. Greenan says that she would love for students to give their own suggestions on places that they would like to see an option for Griff Choice, as it would help her and her staff further pursue these places and get this expansion process set-up as soon as possible.

Greenan also talked about two more student options that her committee would be able to take advantage of when they are approved and set up. The first is something most students could find very useful, especially drivers who park their car outside on-campus. The proposed idea is a Tools Library, which would be in conjunction with the Andrew L. Bouwhuis Library, and the purpose of it would be to supply students with items such as rakes, shovels, snow brushes, and other essentials a student could find useful during the year. All that a student would have to do is go to the library and request to rent one of the tools and they would have access to it for whatever their need is.

As it stands now, there is approval from the library staff for this proposal, and upon pending budget observations on how this will fit in with the spending the College has already set aside this year, Canisius could very well see this operation up-and-running within a few months.

The second proposal she mentioned was a book-share system between students. This will be a system where the students will be able to share, sell, and rent books with their peers and save money. This idea could be a very popular option for students who are looking for a cheaper book for classes, as well as give the ones selling more money in their pockets.

It is promising to see that the Senate continues to work for progress but, as always, the struggle for efficiency and speed in progress remains ever-present.  Greenan’s committee has been able to come up with good ideas and has shown good signs of progress, but students should remain diligent in ensuring that the Senate and administration both work together to make the best use of students’ time and tuition dollars.

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