St. Thomas University: Student life on campus

An insider’s guide to the best place to live, campus food and more
Hannah Rudderham
(Photograph by Chris Donovan)
Students wander campus during frosh week at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, NB. (Photograph by Chris Donovan)

Hannah Rudderham, 21
Digital journalism and new media

Hannah Rudderham (Courtesy of Aaron Sousa)

Why did you choose St. Thomas University?
St. Thomas University was the only school I applied to. I had my mind set on going there because they have a digital journalism program and I wanted to explore more than the print side of journalism. Another incentive was the scholarship I was offered. STU has a lot of high-value scholarships that make it possible for some students to go to the university and not build up too much debt.

Describe some of your best experiences so far.
My best experience at STU was meeting my best friend. We lived on the same floor in first-year residence, and through the years we’ve continued to meet up for coffee between classes or head to the Cellar in the evening for drinks and spinach dip. This year, everything felt full circle when we got graduation photos together. I also created my first documentary. I wasn’t a big fan of video journalism until our professor instilled a spark that made me fall in love with the medium.

Are you involved in extracurricular activities?
Since my first year, I’ve been heavily involved with the student newspaper, the Aquinian. I volunteered for my first two years, I got the job as news editor in my third, and now I’m editor-in-chief (which means I’ll sadly have to say goodbye soon). I’ve made so many friends and learned an abundance of valuable lessons through this organization.

What do you think of your professors?
My professors are among the best parts of going to STU. They are always available to help with an issue or give advice. I’m also quite involved in the fine arts department, and one of my professors last semester let me open up about some of my struggles and helped me work through them. A university is only as good as its instructors, and I’m lucky to have some incredible mentors.

What do you think of the school’s administration?
I’ve always gotten into the classes I wanted. But I’m also an early riser, so I’m on the portal as soon as it opens. It can be harder to snag a spot in the introductory classes because they’re popular choices, but there are usually multiple sections of each class, which can ease the stress of getting one of the coveted seats. I haven’t interacted with a lot of administration staff at STU, but when I used accessibility services in first and second year, they helped me with all my needs for class accommodations.

What is off-campus life like in Fredericton?
f you live downtown like me, you’ll never be bored when it comes to eating. After four years of living here, I still haven’t tried all the different kinds of food on offer.

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

Best place to live: Downtown or close to campus
Best place to study: I like Mill Town Roasters for good coffee and nice tunes
Best campus events: The Dalton Camp Lecture in Journalism and the Wabanaki lunches on Wednesdays
Best campus food: The Cellar Pub
Best cheap lunch: The Abbey Café & Gallery downtown has great vegan food at a reasonable price point
Best pizza: Jack’s Pizza
Best place for a fancy dinner: MoCo has tasty Italian cuisine and I feel fancy just sitting there
Best giveaway: A lot of campus clubs and societies are doing online giveaways. I just won a giveaway with gift cards worth $75 from my student union.
Best bar for hanging out: The Cellar Pub. Cheap drinks and pub food is a perfect combination. The service is always quick, and the atmosphere is electric
Best live music venue: The Cap
Best hangover breakfast: Sunshine Diner
Best weekend activity: The farmers’ market
The thing that surprised me most about the school: The friends I made
If I could change one thing about the school: Accessibility. The campus is on a hill, so it takes a long time and a lot of effort to get from lower campus to upper campus if you’re a person with a disability or you have any mobility issues.