The Impact of Dolphin Cove on Community Life
by Clifford Michel
Mayra Pesantez, a freshman at the College of Staten Island, starts her mornings off stress free. She wakes up, showers, and makes herself a plate of eggs right before she strolls to her 8am class. This convenience is provided to Pesantez and over 300 CUNY residents by Dolphin Cove, the newly built apartment complexes on the north side of CSI’s campus.
CSI was traditionally viewed as a local college but with the construction of Dolphin Cove, CUNY’s latest residential complex, students who were initially intimidated by the long commute decided to give the campus another look.
“I figured if I dorm, I’ll have more time to study. Because if I commute it’ll be three hours, so that’s six hours a day commuting so you have more time to study and get settled,” said Mayra.
Dolphin Cove’s amenities also aid in providing residents with a proper study space. The spacious apartments include a desk, full kitchen and dining area—benefits which most undergraduates will have to wait till their senior year to obtain.
Beyond studying, some residents believe that Dolphin Cove has the potential to create a tight-knit community seen on traditional college campuses.
“I think there’s going to be more commitment to the activities on campus,” said Pesantez.
Because now we’re living here and some of us want something to commit to, so I’m pretty sure we’ll get involved in more activities.”
The various banners hanging in the campus are proof of CSI’s multitude of clubs. The campus currently has 50 clubs and organizations on charter for students to join, but some clubs struggle from a lack of participation from the student body.
“I think a lot of that has to do with students not wanting to get involved, so I’m not going to blame that completely on the fact that we’re a commuter college.” said Andrea Curry, CSI’s student President. “Dolphin Cove would bring more life to campus, specifically weekend events and night events that normally have lower attendance rates. So I’m looking for that to be an area of increase due to the new dorms.”
The Campus Activities Board (CAB) is in charge of providing the student body with social events to entertain and bring together the CSI community. They organize over 100 events every year and on September 3rd they presented this year’s first outdoor movie night, showcasing “Fast & Furious 6.” There was a huge turn out from residents as many crowded the benches and grass surrounding CSI’s track field. Moviegoers wrapped up in complementary blankets and snacking on freshly made popcorn gave sign of cheerful times to come.
With a portion of the CSI community living on campus, enthusiasm for school athletics are primed to grow as well. CSI’s men’s baseball, basketball, softball and women’s soccer programs are playing at a championship level in the CUNYAC (City University of New York Athletic Conference).
CSI’s former President, Dr. Tomas D. Morales, was a huge supporter of collegiate athletics and the sports programs have seen tremendous growth under his supervision. He was a firm believer that athletics would enhance the CSI experience. And now with the residential building being steps away from the baseball field named after Morales, many are excited for Friday nights on the field to root for their Dolphins.
“I definitely think that housing will increase school spirit. I think there’ll be an increase in attendance because the school is no longer just a commuter school, so there’s people here 24/7 living and breathing CSI and ready to come to the home games. And also commuters can have friends in housing, who would encourage them to come to events,” said Joe Tribuzio, a student housing resident.
The excitement and buzz can be felt all over campus as students pour out of the North and South building to go about their day. No longer will CSI’s campus be used solely for getting around from one classroom to the next. While for hundreds of students CSI is an institution first, it is just as well a place to be called home.