DOVER, N.H.–Everyone remembers the crossroads they approached their senior year of high school: the decision of what the next step will be in their trail of life. Each potential path presents windows of opportunity as to what their lives may be and the type of person they will become. Currently Amelia Wright, a senior at Cocheco Arts Technology Academy in Barrington, N.H., is facing said crossroads.
“It’s really terrifying,” admits Wright, smiling nervously. “This is the first major decision you have to make which completely determines the type of person you’ll be.” Currently Wright is targeting a variety of schools, including Lesley College and Suffolk University. “Suffolk University’s unique and diverse campus is very appealing,” she states. “However, the campus appears to not have a strong school community, which is difficult to really like as an incoming freshman.” Wright’s concerns about Suffolk University’s school community stem from the unidentified center of campus.
“I guess the center of campus depends on where you live,” says Suffolk junior Tim Dodge. “If you live in the Tremont dorms, the center would be the (Boston) Common, but if you live at Somerset it may be Sawyer, and don’t even get me started if you’re a commuter student. It completely depends and there is no declared center at Suffolk University.”
However, does the lack of a centralized campus and community discourage incoming freshman students from applying to Suffolk University? “There is a strong need for a greater community,” says junior Brandilee Panebianco. “I think that may stem from the lack of sports and athletics throughout Suffolk. The presence of sports teams allows college communities to bond together to come out and cheer for their team as seen through other universities. I’ve heard rumors of the potential development of new athletic facilities and once that happens, I think Suffolk will unite to create a greater community.”
Despite a lack of campus and a weak community, Suffolk’s location and opportunities may make up for its deficiencies. “My friends and I all are still applying to Suffolk,” counters Wright. “The amazing study abroad opportunities and Beacon Hill location just can’t be compromised.”
While Suffolk boasts a great location, the need for a stronger community remains important. “Freshmen may feel more at home if Suffolk had a stronger community. The small size of the university is ideal but freshman year is a challenging year for everyone. A greater school community will help the students feel a greater sense of support,” says Panebianco. Student’s reluctance to apply to the university may decrease with the presentation of a stronger school community.
Until then, Suffolk will have to rely on its convenient location and diverse opportunities to attract and maintain students.