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Students react to house explosion off-campus

By Ehlayna NapolitanoStaff Writer

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Last week, a home on Perry Street in Hempstead exploded, the cause of which was unknown, according to officials quoted in a report done by Bronx News 12. While only two injuries resulted from the explosion and the house was, fortunately, in foreclosure and therefore unoccupied at the time of the incident, this event is still something that could make students living off-campus concerned for their own living conditions.

Nick Dorman, a junior TV/Film major, currently lives off campus, an arrangement that he said has been good for him. “It’s definitely cheaper because I don’t have to pay for as much food,” Dorman said. He also said that many of the off-campus apartments and houses he has seen and his friends live in are also well-equipped and seem like a good place to live.

However, Dorman, who lives at home and therefore does not have the experience of living with a roommate, also said that having lived off campus for his time at Hofstra has made for a different experience than the one had by many students who live on-campus. “Not having a roommate is nice,” he said. “But there are times I’m hanging out at my friends’ dorms…that I wonder what it would be like to live there and have a roommate.”

Emilie Yonan, however, a sophomore Economics and Public Relations major, decided to live on campus this year. “I have late classes and other engagements so living on campus allows me the best ability to reach those,” she said. She also noted that her living in the dorm that she currently does, Liberty Hall, is a good fit for her that also factored into her decision. “I absolutely adore my dorm and I wouldn’t want it any other way,” she said.

Molly Sternin, a senior History and Secondary Education major, felt similarly. “The majority of my friends were staying on campus and the safety factor [were my reasons for staying],” she said. “My experience with houses in Uniondale and Hempstead is that many of them are not well taken care of,” she said.  “Overall, I’ve heard of bad experiences with landlords who are unwilling to fix things and even during Hurricane Sandy, many of my friends lost power for up two weeks. I lost power for 20 minutes and then never had a problem.”

In light of the recent explosion of the house on Perry Street, Sternin said that she feels her decision to stay on campus is reinforced. “I’m not too keen on living off campus if I can live in a dorm and not worry about my dorm blowing up,” she said. The safety of campus is a factor that Yonan noted as well. “I feel like I am safer on campus due to Public Safety’s broad presence,” she said.

Dorman disagreed that safety on campus is a decisive issue. “In regards to the hurricanes and storms we've faced recently I feel rather safe, I think the towns and county really handled the situations really well,” he said. He added that there are safety precautions that he and his family take for their own house, which can help to protect those living there and prevent things like explosions and fires.

Whether students are making the decision to live on or off campus, safety certainly factors into their ultimate choice. Public Safety’s presence is certainly a major consideration when deciding to live on or off campus and making sure a feeling of security is present in any setting is very important.

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