For freshmen and transfers, security and community at Residence Hall make it worth the price
The view from the glass enclosed lobby of 1 Kenilworth Place, which opened its doors in 2010, is serene and calm.
With sprawling amenities, wifi, and top-notch security, students say that despite the high price tag and small rooms, Residence Hall is an ideal living situation for freshman students and transfers who are not familiar with the city.
“We were planning on getting a legitimate apartment and it ended up being easier, the application and the perceived cheapness at the time,” said Kyle Vanicek, a journalism major who transferred from New Jersey.
Being around college students brings a secure, familiar environment for the 300 students that reside in the furnished dormitory.
“Its a good transition if you’ve never really lived alone before,” said Brielle Wilchinsky, an art major who transferred with Vanicek. “And you can meet your roommates– you can meet people here.”
Much like the Brooklyn College campus itself with its get it done and get out atmosphere, Residence Hall showed a stream of residents too busy to stop and talk.
“Eat, sleep, and leave,” said Khristina, a Queens native, of the atmosphere. “But there is a kind of a family vibe.”
Allison Selkowitz, the Director of Student Affairs, explained that “everyone knows everyone”.
The family vibe of the hall starts at the very top with Selkowitz who, aside from managing the dorms, acts as a supportive figure for students ensuring an ideal living experience, and ultimately a positive college experience.
The Residence Hall was nothing like the craziness and chaos of college dorms presented in films and television. Parents of students at Kenilworth have the ease of knowing that their children are safe and well taken care of.
Yes, the rates are a bit steep: with costs of $5,125 for a double occupancy bedroom per semester and $8,025 for the studio, and the rates are expected to rise. The market-rate for a one bedroom near Brooklyn College hovers around $1150 per month, which is close to what residents of Residence Hall pay to share a dorm room.
“The rates are actually going down for Double Occupancy and are going up slightly for a Studio, currently priced at $8,025,” said Selkowitz.
Many students feel that they are being over charged midway through the semester. As a result, most students stay only a semester or two until their contracts are up.
“I had no idea what is going on here. I couldn’t rent an apartment from 3000 miles away,” said Thomas, a20-year-old business major from Hungary, and a freshman at BMCC. “It was worth it, because I didn’t know anyone here, so you have to pay the price, but I think it’s different for New Yorkers.”
Like many students at Residence Hall, Thomas plans to rent his own apartment next year.
The meticulous safety procedures found at Residence Hall also make it ideal for students living on their own for the first time.
For instance, the Residence Hall required students to present their ID as well as their school ID.
All guests must sign in and leave their ID at the front desk. Visitors also had to be approved by the staff of the hall. The main door to the building was locked promptly at 4 p.m. and the building is equipped with 96 cameras.
Recently, two police officers came to the Residence Hall to discuss safety tips, especially when on the train. This meeting came soon after a female professor at Brooklyn College was mugged for her iPhone on the subway.
Among the safety tips offered at the meeting, the officers announced the “Etching Program”, an initiative to combat electronic theft on the subways.
A policed-issued serial number was attached to an electronic device (cell phone, tablet, game consoles, etc.). If the item was lost or stolen, the owner reported it to the police. The police would then track the serial number. Should the item be found, the person will be charged with possession of stolen property.
The Residence Hall makes up in many ways for its steep pricing. Peace of mind that safety is a priority, and the supportive family atmosphere will likely continue to draw freshmen and transfer students in for semesters to come.