Articles by Julia Casciato
Sep. 17, 2015
Upperclassmen talk exploring Philly
Philadelphia is a vibrant city worth exploring, so step outside of University City as often as you can. Here are some of Philly’s best to get you started.
Sep. 17, 2015
Upperclassmen talk textbooks
With the term beginning in a few short days, it’s time to think about textbooks. The upperclassmen’s first tip in the way of textbooks is to wait until the professor says you will actually be using the textbook to buy it. Sometimes professors prefer to teach from PowerPoint, or have outdated class registries with books they no longer rely on for their courses. It’s also beneficial to ask if it’s possible to use older editions of a text, which could save a significant amount of money as crucial information rarely changes between editions. DrexelOne is also helpful as it offers a list of all the required texts for an upcoming term and easy access for purchase through the Drexel bookstore. But, do not click purchase before browsing around! By all means check out prices, in many cases students can save a pretty penny by shopping elsewhere, other than the Drexel bookstore. There are tons of sites that offer new, used and rented textbooks. Buying a textbook in used condition is always cheaper than buying one in new condition. If it’s a book that won’t come in handy after the class is over, rent it. One can easily knock off $10 by renting textbooks — a small amount, but one that adds up over purchases. Amazon, Chegg and eBay are a few of the more popular sites to purchase textbooks; all of which have their advantages. (Side note: Signing up for a free six-month trial of Amazon Student packs the bonus of free two-day shipping.) Book.ly. is another highly favored site that shows the cost of used, new and rental texts at multiple vendors, allowing students to easily find the cheapest options. No matter where students buy, it is important to be mindful of shipping costs and the duration of time the package will take to arrive. After all, cheap textbook is useless if it’s not going to arrive until week five. Aside from the Internet, one great location for texts is the Penn Book Center, an independent bookstore offering a wide variety of texts at a lesser rate, located on 34th and Sansom Streets. These savvy shopper rules do not apply if the specialized Drexel edition of a text is needed. Then, simply walk into Drexel’s bookstore and hand over the life’s savings (there’s no way out of that one).
Apr. 3, 2015
Spring term brings new beginnings
Never would I have anticipated starting spring term of my junior year with the feeling of being lost. But as I searched for places to do homework in between classes, I found myself walking in circles, in and out of buildings and changing seats once I’d been settled — but let’s blame anxiety for that last one.
Feb. 26, 2015
How selfishness surrounds ‘untimely’ Amber Alert
Julia Casciato is the Opinion Editor at The Triangle. She can be contacted at [email protected]
Feb. 20, 2015
The importance of humanities
Throughout my time at Drexel University, I have always found myself outnumbered as an English major. When I meet another student in my major, it’s refreshing to know that I’m not insane, that there is someone else out there who finds value in the humanities and art.
Feb. 13, 2015
Shareholder claims premier housing increases student morale
Last week The Triangle published a series of articles pertaining to Drexel University’s current and future housing policies. Co-chief Copy Editor Kim Post wrote an opinion piece, “Housing remains costly and inefficient,” which picked up traction via social media and landed on Philebrity, an independent blog for Philadelphia. On The Triangle website, a supposed American Campus Communities shareholder by the name of Full Benoit commented with his thoughts on Post’s article. I would like to take this time to respond to Benoit’s remark, “Rather than living in old row homes, Drexel students will continue to benefit by living in premier spaces with great amenities. It will boost overall morale among students.” While there is no way to prove or disprove this statement, I have to disagree with Benoit to a certain extent. Of course most students would love to live in an on-campus “premier space,” but not all of us can afford the current price or believe the price is worth what we’re getting out of it. If I’m going to pay over $700 a month I better not have to share a room, whether it’s with a friend or stranger. I want my privacy, my own space. I also don’t need to pay for the amenities that are being offered. Oh, you have a gym? Thank god, because access to the Drexel gym isn’t already included in my tuition. Oh, you offer movie rooms? Perfect, I can stop going to the free movie screening that the Campus Activities Board offers multiple times a week. But wait, there’s a pool table? Now I don’t have to walk the three blocks to use the one at Ross Commons. You’re wasting my money. Stop. When I was looking at my living options for my sophomore year — back when sophomores weren’t mandated to live on campus — I decided to move off campus where I could pay around $500 a month for my own room, full kitchen and two bathrooms, and I didn’t have to follow any University-imposed housing rules. Did I lack “morale” because of the 10-to-15-minute walk to class? No. I felt like a real adult. (Hello, isn’t Drexel all about the real world experience anyway?) And at the end of each month I wasn’t dirt poor; I was satisfied with my situation. While I can’t argue that having students live on-campus strengthens the overall student community, there are other factors that should be considered when looking at the relation between where students live and student morale — and it’s not by forcing us to pay for something we don’t want. I came to Drexel with a plan to move off campus as soon as I could. Why? Because Drexel is expensive and I wanted to minimize my loans as much as possible. Moving off campus allowed me to do this by saving hundreds of dollars each month. After crunching some more numbers and talking with some of my family members that live in the city, I decided to take this one step further. I now live in a family member’s basement free of charge, with no bills. You want to talk about amenities? How about a driveway and home-cooked meals? I know this isn’t an option for most students at Drexel and I am very fortunate to have it available. But if Mr. Benoit wants to ask me about my morale, I’d tell him it’s pretty damn good for someone who’s not even within walking distance of campus. Instead of working to pay close to $1,000 to live in a premier space, I — and most of my friends who live in cheaper, off-campus apartments — am investing my resources in necessities like tuition, textbooks and the always-needed happy hour after three never-ending weeks of midterms. As a Drexel student, I’m obligated to work non-stop and do everything I can to survive 10-week terms on top of having a part-time job and partaking in extracurricular activities. This means I’m home very little, if only to sleep. I can’t imagine living in Chestnut Square and paying the price for a premier space I’m hardly in. For those of you who willingly choose and are able to afford these premier spaces, that is awesome and I am happy that these apartments are being utilized and not sitting empty. But I don’t think my morale and those living on-campus are any different because of an address. Full Benoit’s Comment: “As an ACC shareholder, I reject this article. It is important to Drexel and its partners that its undergraduate student population thrives on campus. The Summit and Chestnut Square will be fundamental in bringing about a new age to this campus in the city. Rather than living in old row homes, Drexel students will continue to benefit by living in premier spaces with great amenities. It will boost overall morale among students. Drexel University is no longer creating its own residential buildings on campus because it is focusing on its core strengths as an educational institution. For the residential buildings that will be maintained for years to come, they are very nice options for first-year students. Lastly, your reference to the The Landlord and Tenant Act is laughable and should be redacted from the article. As a shareholder, I have gained a 20 percent return on my investment. I could not be happier, and neither could Drexel undergraduate students.” Julia Casciato is the Opinion Editor at the Triangle. She can be contacted at [email protected]
Feb. 13, 2015
Love letter to the Expressway
As Valentine’s Day approaches I can’t help but note my love for the Schuylkill Expressway. Let’s be real. How can you not love good ol’ 76? While the loving relationship we all share with the Expressway is a unique one, there are a few tricks to making the most of it.
Jan. 30, 2015
Drexel Navy veteran climbs Mount Kilimanjaro
Most of us did not start off winter term by traveling 26 hours from Africa to Philadelphia, landing stateside at 8 a.m. and finding ourselves in a classroom by 9:30 a.m. Christopher Diaz did.
Nov. 6, 2014
No, you can’t survive off less than six hours of sleep
Time Ideas ran an online article Oct. 28 titled “How You Can Function on Less Than Six Hours of Sleep.” I saw my life summed up in one headline: as someone who overschedules herself, with me, sleep always loses out.
Oct. 31, 2014
Millennials pushing for Republicans
Each Election Day, citizens make their way to the polls to cast their votes in the general elections. Or so we are supposed to.