St. Thomas University: Student life on campus - Macleans.ca

St. Thomas University: Student life on campus

Where to study, buy cheap lunch, and more

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St Thomas campus.

Best place for a nap: Upstairs in the study hall in McCain Hall or outside the chapel in Holy Cross House
Best hangover breakfast: Anything and everything at the Coffee Mill Restaurant
Favourite campus food: The sandwiches and giant cinnamon rolls from the Java Moose in the Great Hall. The women who work there are always up for a good laugh.
Where to live: College Hill—close to the university but still completely removed from campus. Plus, the buildings are cool colours.
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: Student union elections (the all-in-good-fun drama!), Long Night Against Procrastination and therapy dog visits
Best giveaway: Welcome Week packages
Best live-music venues: Dolan’s Pub, the Capital Complex and the Boyce Farmers’ Market
Weirdest tradition: Peeing on the ‘Orb of Knowledge’ in the upper courtyard
Best spectator sport: Women’s hockey and men’s volleyball (this year’s ACAA champs)
Unofficial school motto: ‘We’re nicer than UNB’ and ‘Taught how to think, not what to think.’ Of course, ‘We have cheap tuition’ is also always a winner.
Most original social event: Washburn Cup (annual inter-residence hockey tournament)

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

University Insider: Sarah Betts, 21, Journalism and Great Books

As an exclusively liberal arts school, St. Thomas University is often dismissed by the world’s aspiring doctors and engineers. But it was the only school I ever wanted to attend. In fact, it was the only place I even applied to. I’m lucky for more than one reason. The school’s slogan is the “small university of big opportunities.” It’s cheesy—but true. Going to university was a big step for me, given I came from a little village just 45 minutes outside of Fredericton. 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. And 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-consuming. 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 to figure out exactly who you are, nothing can put a dent in that Tommie armour.

But be warned: daily parking wars, annoying WiFi and sketchy cafeteria food may leave a mark. STU compensates for these annoyances with a reputable B.A. program and an endless array of opportunities to apply your knowledge in the real world. While STU doesn’t have the elite vibe you’ll get from bigger schools, it does have heart.

Extras
Groups like the Queer & Allied Society and the St. Thomas University International Student Association shine a spotlight on the diversity of the school community. There’s a celebration for every holiday, often in coordination with the robust student union. There are lots of opportunities for de-stressing during exam time—including therapy dogs! The athletics department is a great resource to help students reach their potential. Fundraisers are usually opportunities to party with your closest friends downtown. And, let’s be honest, everyone at STU is a friend of a friend of a friend.

Local Vibe
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. It’s truly a city of artists, so galleries and art centres fill the region 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: w3.stu.ca/stu/events and TourismFredericton.ca/en/events/event-listing.