Saturday, July 5, 2008

SJU trying to ditch Jamaica

Letter to the editor of the Queens Courier:

At the June 16 Jamaica Estates Civic Association meeting, the secretary of the board provided a report of a recent meeting between members of the association and the president of Saint John’s University (SJU), Father Donald Harrington. The purpose of the meeting was to address the community’s dissatisfaction concerning the SJU off-campus dormitory presently being built on Henley Road in the heart of our residential community. A series of questions from the membership ensued, which Mr. Joseph Sciame, Vice President of Community Relations at SJU, attempted to address.

One of the questions/comments posed to Sciame and Arthur Flug, Chair of the Association, was if the SJU Queens campus is located outside the perimeters of the Jamaica Estates community, why does SJU include in their literature that their “Queens campus is located in the beautiful Jamaica Estates community?”

Sciame was quick to respond, saying that because of SJU’s strategic plan they will no longer refer to the school as the Jamaica Estates campus but as the Queens campus because the word “Jamaica” carries a negative connotation, which could adversely influence the decision of out of town students.

I consider SJU’s plan insulting, elitist and racist. Saint John’s University is modifying their brochures and literature, not to correct an error, but to target a different audience that might find the name Jamaica offensive!

Write and share your outrage with Father Harrington at Saint John’s University, 8000 Utopia Parkway, Jamaica, NY 11439.

Philip Ross
Member of the Concerned Residents of Jamaica Estates
Jamaica Estates Civic Association


Anonymous said...

I think Jamaica Estates is blessed to ditch the association of St. John's with the Community. I think it casts more or a pall on Jamaica Estates to be called the home of SJU, than it does for St. John's to consider their campus a "Jamaica" address.

In reality, they dubbed their campus "Jamaica Estates" because they considered it more "elitist", than to be called "Jamaica" or "Flushing". It was never valid to begin with. since the campus is NOT in Jamaica Estates - and as far as elitism is concerned - St John's? Give me a break!

Anonymous said...

Yes, it is ignorant, racist and elitist--but I am being driven out of my home in Astoria after almost 50 years because it caught on with the trendoids. I am moving a beautiful tree-lined neighborhood in the Bronx and pray that these people never figure out that something besides burned-out buildings is up there.

My advice to the people of Jamaica is that they try to restore the community to the beautiful place it was in my youth and then keep quiet so that outsiders don't screw it up.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Member of the Concerned Residents of Jamaica Estates:

I've said it before and I'll say it again - GO AFTER THE ALUMNI.

Encourage them to immediately stop their donations to SJU and to get SJU out of their wills.


Anonymous said...

The last time I checked,Jamaica Estates does not include 168th Street and 175th Street between Union Turnpike and Grand Central Parkway. That area would be more correctly defined as Briarwood according to the defined neighborhoods. That being said, St. John's University has defined themselves as "Queens" rather than a particular neighborhood for 4-5 years already.

Anonymous said...

Jamaica is a ghetto. Face it.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 3- I totaly agree with you, and we are in the process. It is a laborious effort to say the least. The Concerned Residents welcome your assistance on how to speed the process Contact the,

Anonymous said...

I think their idea to shed the commuter school label was to attract more affluent non minority students…OOPPS those students might be turned off by the name Jamaica!!! They call themselves a religious institution but $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ is all that motivates them. The fools at the JEA believe that the Henley Road dorm is an isolated instance, when SJU decides to build on Surrey Place or Midland Parkway or in the middle of the JEA’s Northern enclave their friendship with Father Harrington will be worthless.

TaxpayingDad said...

Why would someone who lives in Jamaica, Queens be offended? Anyone who has spent any time out there knows thatb some areas are very nice and some make the South Bronx seem like a vacation spot. I worked on Liberty Ave near Supthin Blvd a few years ago and I can tell you it is bad during the day and a nightmare after dark. Yes, I was attacked 2 times and managed to beat them down and get away both times. I believe I was lucky because some co-workers weren't so lucky even during the day. If it looks like a toilet and smells like a toilet and has plenty of poop, it's a toilet!

Anonymous said...

Because it is the name of the community, our home moron! We are tax payers also, SJU is raping the neighborhood for mere profit,screwing the residents by altering the character of the neighborhood and of their quality of life,and to add insult to injury being embarrased of our name? I for one hate having them for neighbors.

Anonymous said...

Why don't they consider Saint University? Just leave the John out. It could have a bad connotation

Anonymous said...

This is business as usual. St. John's is and always has been an institution that has barely tried to hide their contempt for Blacks & Latinos - unless those people can take SJU to the top of the NCAA standings, that is.

Steven said...

you cant blame them, Jamaica is a bad neighborhood and like they said.. students who are coming from out of town might change their minds if they know its in a bad neighborhood.