By Stephanie KostopoulosSpecial to the Chronicle
Nothing seems to elicit more Hofstra pride than our University’s close proximity to the greatest city in the world. Hofstra students can intern in New York with some of the most successful companies throughout the entire year, whereas students at most other schools have the opportunity to do so only during the summer. The possibilities for prospective and current students are endless, but the hectic and pricy commute can be a major setback.
Kelsey Marino, a senior marketing major and intern at Jennifer Zabinski Events, needs to take two subway rides to the Upper East Side after a 43-minute train ride from Mineola to the city. But her real problem is actually getting to the train. She drives to Mineola Station every day and struggles to find a spot. And if she does, it costs her. She hopes that Hofstra could help.
“The Hofstra shuttle should correspond more with the train schedule,” said Marino. “It is great that Hofstra offers a shuttle service; however, it rarely corresponds with the train on the weekdays, which is when students need it most.”
Dan Nelson, a junior political science and public relations major interning at Frank PR, agrees.
“The shuttles should definitely run to the train more often, and they should also run to Mineola more often,” he said. “Mineola has trains every 15 minutes during rush hours, whereas Hempstead only has trains every hour. Not to mention that it only takes 43 minutes from Mineola, but 58 from Hempstead. It would be enormously helpful if the shuttle went to Mineola more often.”
But getting to the train is not nearly as bad as actually paying for it. Round-trip peak tickets are $22, and subway fees add a few extra dollars on top of that. And if the internship is two or three days a week, the total commuting cost could reach nearly $100 dollars per week.
Marisa Spano, a senior journalism major and former NFL Radio intern, is currently interning at News 12 Long Island to save money on her commute. She claimed that she can’t afford to intern, but she knows that without internships, it will be difficult to land a job after graduation.
“It’s a lot for a college student to pay,” said Spano. “I think Hofstra should partner with the LIRR because it’s just too much.”
It’s no secret that Hofstra tuition is expensive. Granted, we are receiving an excellent education, but on top of room and board, meal plans and extra spending money, the cost of the internship commute just buries us deeper in student debt.
Many internships offer or require school credit, but if the hours worked exceed the semester’s credit limit, students end up having to pay more than the normal term’s tuition. Unpaid internships can be too much of a financial burden, and even if students are fortunate enough to land a paid internship, minimum wage just cannot cut it.
Hofstra encourages its students to go out and get internships, but these internships cost more than most college students can afford. These opportunities and experiences may be well worth it, but something should be done to make them more accessible.
Hofstra does a great job of showing us the way, but it would be better if it helped us get there. Considering how much we pay to go to school here each year, it would be convenient if the University allocated some of our tuition dollars toward the commute to the city. More students would then be able to afford the commute and take advantage of Hofstra’s close proximity to some of the best internship opportunities in the world.