Siena College - Comments and Student Experiences|
Negatives: The administrators, kitchen and cleaning staff, and just about all the employees other than the professors are very rude and clearly see the students as a source of money and nothing else. They will be a pain if you have a problem and do anything they can to avoid actually solving your problems. Administration runs the school very poorly and in an unorganized fashion, and do a poor job prioritizing where money should and shouldn't be spent. Public restrooms, classrooms, etc. are rarely clean to the standard they ought to be and I question the effectiveness of their management (speaking as a person employed in custodial work elsewhere, my boss is not very strict and he would even fire these people). The food is horrible, the kitchen staff lazy, and there is little variety in the dining locations. Most dorm buildings are awful until you become a junior or senior, and there are too many students for a campus of this size; dorms tend to get crowded quickly, especially in buildings reserved for freshmen. Everything, from tuition to vending machines, is overpriced for the quality you receive.
The biggest complaint about this school I have, however, is the student body. Many comments complained about the lack of racial, etc., diversity, but I don't think that's Siena's fault so much as upstate New York is simply a very white area and always has been. The students act more like middle schoolers than the young adults they are. They are very cliquely, rude, loud, selfish and generally obnoxious. Partying seems to be the only form of social life one can have at Siena unless you want to attend a Student Activities Board event playing bingo or trivia with about 8 people or go to a movie night in the science building. Siena likes to brand itself as a pious Catholic school and preach "Franciscan Values" at every available opportunity, but it is a party school for many people that go here. Many students are spoiled rich Long Island kids whose parents have apparently never taught them responsibility or what it's like to live in the real world, or they all attended a local high school together and already have a clique coming in. (No offense to any non-spoiled Long Islanders). I made some friends during the Freshmen Orientation week, but all of them dropped out or transferred at the end of the year, and I found it extremely difficult to make new friends after the first half of freshmen year was over. People form a clique after a month or so and stick with it. Everyone acts, talks, and dresses exactly the same and they look at you like a freak if you're different from them. Apparently to these people it's considered weird to actually have some degree of intelligence, care about your schoolwork and your future, and not want to get blackout drunk on a Tuesday night in someone's dorm room. Many comments I have read complain about RAs/RDs or Public Safety breaking up their parties, and let me tell you, if you that happens in your hallway a lot you're one of the lucky ones. If you get a lackadaisical RA then prepare to never be able to sleep until 3am every night due to the obnoxious levels of noise. Also, beware the townhouses. Most of the worst partying goes down over there, and once in a while we get an email about either theft or sexual assault and it always happens at a townhouse.
In short, do not be fooled by Siena. They will convince you that everyone is very nice and that they have a great "community." They don't. I have no complaints about the academic programs or the capabilities of the friars. Everything else is a huge negative. In short, I would avoid this place at all costs. Save your money and go somewhere else.
A lot of the negative comments focus on how the students are arrogant and snobby. Though the athletes sometimes think they are all high and mighty, I have found that if you are simply nice then it's pretty easy to talk to people. Certainly not everyone you meet you will want to be friends with, but it's not that hard to talk to the students here. It is hard though, walking to class and seeing about 85% of the girls wearing Ugg boots and a North Face jacket.
It's also true that the majority of the school is from Long Island, so many of the students when to high school together.
There honestly is not much to do outside campus. There's diners, bars, and two movies theaters. The clubs are all gross and usually full of underage people. Albany is also scary, so people don't venture there much at night.
Last thing - Public Safety is a nuisance. They are on your back about everything and can write you up (if underage) if you are in the presence of a shot glass or solo cup even if you clearly have not been drinking. They like to break up house parties to look like they have some authority.Conclusion? Great professors that care about your education, but administration and public safety will try to get every penny out of you.