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The Stony Brook Press - Volume 31, Issue 4

The Stony Brook Press - Volume 31, Issue 4

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Raising Tuition: Is It Really Good For You?

http://www.sbpress.com
Raising Tuition: Is It Really Good For You?

http://www.sbpress.com

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Published by: The Stony Brook Press on Nov 01, 2009
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 Vol. XXXI, Issue 4 | Wednesday, October 28, 2009
As the October 22 Senate meetingcame to a close, the electoral debates foropen USG positions began.Though it is common practice forelections for vacant seats to be held dur-ing the Fall semester for vacant seats,due to the lack of a vice president of Stu-dent Life, Programming and Activitiescreated a high-profile race in a normally low-key election season.Candidates Senator Keith Tilley and Marvin Etienne debated their re-spective views for the position, whichrequires the officer to manage studentlife issues and oversee the Student Ac-tivities Board (SAB). The SAB, theUSG’s largest agency, manages studententertainment and events. In the past,the SAB has been accused of exclusivity and not being representative of the stu-dent body by putting on events that ap-peal to only a select SBU demographic.Tilley said he hopes to intensify USG oversight over the SAB in order toassure that all students are representedin the choices the SAB makes.“The SAB is elected like a club andthere needs to be more oversight be-cause of the size of their budget,” saidTilley during the debate.Etienne said the chief way to rem-edy the SAB’s diversification ills is to in-tensify marketing for the USG’s mostwell-endowed agency and try to openthe SAB to student feedback.“The problem is marketing,” saidEtienne. “We need to establish a mar-keting taskforce…to market effectively.Tilley similarly voiced his dissatis-faction with the SAB’s marketing strat-egy and said he was baffled that thesame SAB board members were re-elected after using an unsuccessful mar-keting strategy.Tilley, a USG insider, said he wasqualified for the position because of hisexperience as a senator and as a mem-ber of the College Democrats and Al-ternative Spring Break.“I have familiarized myself with thebylaws,” Tilley said. “I have familiarizedmyself with the people. I reach out tothe administration, which I have beendoing…so that makes me qualified.”Etienne said he could not boastUSG experience, but has been involvedin many SBU programs includingCHILL Peer Education and being anorientation leader. Through these ac-tivities, including being a member of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity, Etiennesaid he has proved himself as an effec-tive communicator.“I am a hard worker and I have a lotof experience,” said Etienne.Though the debate for the vicepresident of Student Life, Programmingand Activities took top billing, the de-bates for other USG positions that fol-lowed were expected to involve multiplecandidates competing for each seat.These seats include those of freshmanrepresentative, sophomore representa-tive, senior representative and a Senateseat. The debates for the Senate seatwere complicated by the absence of multiple candidates because the debate’soriginal date and time was changedfrom Wednesday’s Campus Life to afterthe Senate meeting.Elections Board Chair ValerieMoran said that she was reasonably happy with the turnout, considering thedate had been changed.“The more people come, the morepeople can make an informed decision,said Moran.Similarly, Tilley said he had hopedmore people would come to the debateto be informed about the candidates’platforms.“I wish more people could havecome,” said Tilley.It was precisely these absent stu-dents who Tilley and Etienne tried toreach during the debate. Both candi-dates emphasized the importance of student involvement in SBU campuslife, the lack of which was emphasizedby attendance at the debate. Tilley andEtienne said they each have plans to im-prove student involvement by remedy-ing problems on campus.If elected, Tilley said he hopes tofind a solution to congestion on thecommuter buses.“It is a huge issue,” said Tilley. “Youhave to wait for busses and you missclasses. How are we supposed to get off campus during the weekend? We aretrapped and that’s why people go homeover the weekend.”Etienne also emphasized the im-portance of weekend life at SBU.“The SAB doesn’t have a lot of events over the weekend,” Etienne said.“I will work as a liaison between stu-dents and the Office of Student Activi-ties.”
 Vote or Don’t Have Fun Ever Again
By Natalie Crnosija
New Uni- versity Presi-dent SamuelL. Stanley’sinauguration, much like the cold Friday afternoonon which it was held, had its own share of dark clouds. Following over two years of working withouta contract and several months of bargaining with theResearch Foundation, the members of the Commu-nications Workers of America Local 1104 were ex-cited for an opportunity to welcome a change to theuniversity’s leadership. Over 35 research, graduateand teaching assistants were in attendance at the bot-tom of the zebra path on October 23 to welcome thenew president and to encourage his collaboration to-wards a better quality of life for graduate student em-ployees.Complications began to arise when demonstra-tion organizers were contacted by the University Po-lice about the event. Concerned over a potentialdisruption to the inauguration’sprocessional march down thezebra path on its way to the sportscomplex, the police requested theunions cooperation to ensure thatthe event went smoothly andwithout disruption. This would in-clude a barricaded section wherethe demonstrators would standwhile the procession passed by.Kira Schuman, Business Managerof the Graduate Student Employ-ees Union, said that she and col-leagues were a little upset aboutthis. “I was a little surprised about the barricades,said Schuman. “[Robert J. Lenahan] the police chief,had just asked for no interference.”According to Schuman, an additional purposeof the demonstration was to present Stanley with apetition signed by over 650 supporters, urging hiscollaboration to ensure a livable wage and tuition wa- vers for graduate student employees, as well as oncampus office space for the GSEU and the RAUnion.This is the second rally held by the unions thissemester, and just another in a series throughout theremainder of the semester. The demonstrations
This is How the University Handles Dissent
By Andrew Fraley 
Roman Sheydvasser
 
The Stony Brook Press
3
News
On the gray, gloomy morning of Saturday, October 12, Stony Brook Southampton held a ribbon-cutting cer-emony to unveil its new library, at-tended by a crowd of about a hundredfaculty members, students and visitorsfrom the surrounding community. Theevent brought closure to a constructionproject that has spanned several years,while also celebrating the completion of a new campus building that’s both func-tional and eco-friendly.After quick speeches by Stony Brook President Samuel Stanley,Southampton Dean Mary Pearl, Deanof Libraries Chris Filstrup, and NY As-semblyman Fred Thiele, a comically large pair of red-handled safety scissorswere used to snip a bright red ribbonthat had been strewn across the en-trance. The crowd excitedly entered thenew facility to scope it out, and the bril-liant oranges, greens, yellows and bluesof the walls and furniture inside con-trasted starkly with the bleak, drizzly day outdoors.“This new library will be a centerfor research and collaboration,” saidPresident Stanley. “It’s not some dark,stuffy old building where people say,‘Shhh!’ to one another.” And dark andstuffy it certainly is not: the interiorboasts ample open space, lots of largewindows, healthy use of bold, brightcolors and plenty of comfy couches andseats.The ribbon-cutting ceremony marked the end of a project that took the better half of a decade. Constructionof the library started over six years agowith a groundbreaking ceremony inMay of 2003 and wasn’t finally com-pleted until this year, making it the per-haps the oldest brand new library around. Long Island University beganconstruction not long before theirabrupt closure of the campus in 2005.After Stony Brook acquired the school,the incomplete library stood as anempty shell for several years as the de-sign plans were altered to accommodatethe new ownership’s focus on sustain-able practices. The finished buildingstands not only as a departure fromLIU’s original blueprints; its environ-mentally conscious features and uniquedesign help to make it markedly differ-ent from the traditional library imagealtogether.The building is the first LEED(Leadership in Energy and Environ-mental Design) certified library onLong Island. LEED certification is aninternationally recognized standard forrating structures on their environmen-tal efficiency. The U.S. Green BuildingCouncil uses the LEED system to gradebuildings on various factors, includingenergy and water efficiency, materialand resource use, construction practicesand waste management, among otherareas. The library’s LEED certificationis an important plus for the building.“I don’t want to see a single build-ing go up on this campus without beingLEED certified,” Southampton DeanMary Pearl said resolutely. “I believe inrepurposing and redesigning old build-ings, too wherever possible.”In the new library, huge windowsand skylights have been deliberately po-sitioned to provide natural light to 75%of the building, slashing daytime energy use. A storm water collection system al-lows for the storage and use of rain-waater for non-potable purposes liketoilets and cleaning. A geothermal heat-ing system has been installed to reduceenergy use as well. The green features of the building are definitely important tothe students and faculty at a campuswhere all 8 undergraduate majors in- volve environmental studies.“The new library is a fantastic facil-ity in terms of all the environmental as-pects, from the carpets to the windowsto the rainwater collectors,” said Dr. Nay Htun, research professor at Southamp-ton and former Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations Devel-opment Program. Htun helped organ-ize the 1992 U.N. Conference onEnvironment and Development inGeneva. “It’s probably one of the pio-neers in this direction, and it has greatpotential to be a real role model.”Aside from the environmental fea-tures, the three-leveled library comeswith all the technologic bells and whis-tles that are typical of new campusstructures. There’s a SINC site full of computers, and wireless internet isavailable throughout the building forlaptop users. Power outlets are posi-tioned in various spots on the floor, sothat laptop users can power up withoutfeeling chained to a wall. The buildingalso houses several classrooms, offices,conference spaces, a café, an art collec-tion, and, oh yeah—books.
 Southampton Gettin’ the Big Books
By Colleen Harrington
 
Colleen Harrington
Having fun isn’t hard if you have a library card!
come amidst months of negotiationswith the Research Foundation for acontract both parties can agree on. Todate, they’ve only tentatively agreed on9 out of 26 articles. “We’re still in theprocess of tabling issues,” said Zvi Cit-ron, bargaining committee memberand RA in the physics department.“We’re having a hard time findingcommon ground though.” Specifically,an article extending anti-discrimina-tion laws to include familial status, cit-izenship status, ancestry, genderexpression, gender identity, weightand height has been rejected since thebeginning of the summer. In addition,an article defining the policy of priornotification of funding changes for as-sistants has been rejected, which isconsidered a very serious topic. “They were more worried about Principal In- vestigators losing students than Re-search Assistants losing jobs,” saidClint Young, another committeemember and physics RA.Nevertheless, committee membersremain optimistic, and progress isbeing made. “It is going as expected,”said Young, who jokingly called thedemonstration the inauguration party crashers, given the circumstances.They have yet to discuss economicissues, but expect to come to thosesoon.In the meantime, Stanley wasnever in the procession. Assistantsnever had a chance to greet the presi-dent, but they were applauded by many faculty members in the proces-sion. Schuman also encouraged mem-bers to participate in the ceremony atthe gym. “We want to demonstratethat we’d like to participate in this uni- versity,” said Citron.The administration’s response tothe demonstrators and their organiz-ers has been less than welcoming.Schuman and several other colleagueswere removed from the ceremony forwearing the distinctive red unionshirts, or, as in Schuman’s case, simply possessing them. “The police escortedme out and prevented others fromeven entering,” explained Schuman. “Iwasn’t even wearing the shirt.” Whilethe police refused to comment at first,it was later reported that they removedthe demonstrators on the administra-tion’s orders. “They’re censoring stu-dents,” said Schuman. “It’s absolutely ridiculous.”Despite the negative responsefrom the administration, the unionmembers remain hopeful. GeorgeBloom, President of CWA 1104, an-nounced that he met with GovernorPatterson, who promised that by nextweek, the contract will be settled, andthat the Research Foundation will stopany obfuscatory and union-bustingtactics. Despite not having met withStanley, most assistants viewed his ap-pointment as a welcome change, andare looking forward to working withhim in the future.“Without us, SUNY does not run,”reminded Bloom.
RA UNION continued from previous page

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