St. Thomas University 411: Where to study, buy cheap lunch, and more -

St. Thomas University 411: Where to study, buy cheap lunch, and more

A St. Thomas University insider’s perspective on campus life

Sarah Betts, St. Thomas University student.

Sarah Betts, St. Thomas University student.

The 411

Best place for a nap: Upstairs in the study hall in McCain Hall or outside the chapel in Holy Cross House
Best cheap lunch: Houlie’s Hometown Pub
Best hangover breakfast: Waffles at the Coffee Mill Restaurant
Favourite campus food: Subway or the fruit and yogurt parfaits in the cooler at Tim Hortons
Favourite watering hole: The Cellar Pub & Grill
Perks of living in this town: The small size, Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival and the Saint John River
Where to live: College Hill
Best place to study: Again, upstairs in the study hall or outside the chapel in Holy Cross (probably because you can just nap instead)
Worst place to study: James Dunn Hall
Best campus event: Long Night Against Procrastination and sticker tag
Best giveaway: Welcome Week packages
Best live-music venues: Capital Complex and Boyce Farmers’ Market
Weirdest tradition: Peeing on the Orb of Knowledge in the upper courtyard
Best spectator sport: Women’s hockey
Unofficial school motto: ‘We’re nicer than UNB’
Official school motto: ‘Doce bonitatem scientiam et disciplinam’ (‘Teach me goodness and knowledge and discipline’)
Best campus event: Therapy dogs
Most original social event: Washburn Cup (annual inter-residence hockey tournament)

PROFILE: St. Thomas University | Fredericton, N.B. | Founded 1910

University Insider: Sarah Betts, 20, Journalism and Great Books 

As Canada’s only exclusively liberal arts school, St. Thomas University is often dismissed by the world’s doctors and engineers. But it was the only school I ever wanted to attend. In fact, it was the only one I even applied to. I was lucky for more than one reason. The school lives up to its cheesy slogan as the “small university of big opportunities.” Coming from a little village just 45 minutes outside the city of Fredericton, heading to university was a big step for me. But before I was even officially enrolled, I knew it was where I needed to be.

The school is home to about 2,000 thinkers, believers and go-getters. Class sizes are capped at 60, but it’s rare to find more than 30 other people in a room. Getting to look out over the Saint John River every single day isn’t too bad, either.

The beautiful thing about STU—and possibly the most dangerous—is that it’s all-encompassing. It’s often such a soft cushiony bubble that it’s difficult to go back to the big bad world. But when your university equips you to think for yourself and figure out exactly who you are, nothing can put a dent in that Tommie armour.

However, daily parking wars, annoying WiFi and sketchy cafeteria food may leave a mark. STU manages to compensate with accessible education for a not-too-shabby price, a reputable B.A. program and an endless array of opportunities to take what you learn in the classroom into the real world. While STU doesn’t have the elite vibe you’ll get from bigger schools, it does have heart.

The university sheds light on the diversity of the community with groups like the Queer & Allied Society and the St. Thomas University International Student Association. Every holiday you can think of is celebrated, often in coordination with the robust Students’ Union. There are lots of opportunities for de-stressing during exam time (including therapy dogs!), and the athletics department is a great resource to help students reach their potential. Fundraisers are usually just opportunities for partying with your closest friends downtown—because, let’s be honest, everyone at STU is a friend of a friend of a friend.

Local Vibe
Just like everyone can find a place at STU, everyone can find a nook or cranny for themselves in Fredericton. Its historic, vibrant downtown scene is home to many pubs, bars and locally owned restaurants. Because it’s truly a city of artists, galleries and art centres litter the area and music comes from every corner. Uptown is your go-to for whatever you need—groceries, a quick bite to eat or even a game of pool. But if you’re coming here expecting a chill winter, please know that “chill” will be taken literally.

The Skinny
For what’s going on at STU and around Fredericton, look here: STU Events and Fredericton Tourism.