Siena College - Comments and Student Experiences|
The main areas that I take issue with at this school are as follows:
1) The student body. The students at Siena are a very homogenous bunch. If you are not upper or upper-middle class, white, and from downstate New York or Connecticut, It is not going to be easy to find a place here. Siena students are collectively the most self-absorbed and least intelligent group of human beings I have ever had the displeasure to encounter thus far in my life. They are vapid, rude, high on themselves and are either unwilling or unable to conduct themselves like responsible young adults. It is almost like someone stamped them out from a cookie cutter; they dress, act, talk, and carry themselves exactly the same way. Social life here revolves around small, cliquey groups, much like a high school would. The stunning lack of maturity from the students also makes Siena feel more like a high school than a college campus. There is no intellectual curiosity with these students. They simply do not care about anything that isn't an iphone, a north face jacket, facebook or alcohol. It's a shame. If you dare to be unique, prepare to be cast out by the mouth breathing, dead behind the the eyes masses. Like I said, it's like a middle or high school.
2) Food Services and Cleaning Staff. The food here is, to be blunt, god awful. Just terrible stuff. The food staff is lazy, rude (noticing a theme here?), and generally incompetent. If you come here, I hope you LOVE chicken because you will see it served in some form or another 7 days a week at the dining halls. Some dishes are simply unrecognizable, just mangled, burnt meat and gray vegetable matter. The cleaning staff is better at complaining about their jobs and taking personal phone calls during the middle of their shifts than they are at actually cleaning things. This means that even the most basic tasks, like mopping the floors of public bathrooms or cleaning the walls in classrooms simply isn't done. What exactly am I paying for again??
3) "Franciscan Values" The great myth at this school is that they adhere to some code of "Franciscan Values". These "Values" are completely arbitrary and not followed by, well, anyone. After all, if the school really followed these values, it'd be awfully hard for the board of directors, aka the people who actually run the school, to milk the students for all they're worth. This cabal of MBA holders has seemingly made it their mission to nickel-and-dime the students as much as they possibly can. They will charge everyone in the building maintenance fees if one person, say breaks a door sign. Is that one individual held responsible? No, of course not. The whole building is charged. On the one hand, there are a lot of immature jackasses here who seem to enjoy wanton destruction of property to the point where I see a future for them in a correctional facility, but on the other, there's no reason to socialize punishment in this way. The school is not worth the 40 grand they charge for it. Not on it's best day. Yes, the education is good, the actual teaching staff is nothing to complain about and you CAN learn something useful here. But you could do that at a SUNY for half the price and probably less than half the stupid spoiled long island kids too, depending on the school... If you're thinking Siena, just make sure you know what you're getting yourself into...
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.