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The Stony Brook Press - Volume 31, Issue 15

The Stony Brook Press - Volume 31, Issue 15

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Published by: The Stony Brook Press on Jul 26, 2010
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 Vol. XXX, Issue 9 | Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Stony Brook Sued Over FirstAmendment
Stony Brook University was servedwith a lawsuit from graduate studentteaching assistants on June 7, due to theschool barring them from the October2009 inauguration of Stony Brook Pres-ident Samuel L. Stanley, stating a viola-tion of their constitutional rights.At the inauguration in October,Stony Brook University police hadbanned graduate student teaching assis-tants Kira Schuman, Kevin Young,Katarzyna Sawicka and JacquelineWoods from the path of President Stan-ley’s inauguration’s academic proces-sion.The reason they were given was dueto the shirts they were wearing, whichdisplayed the union they were part of,and the tagline “SUNY Works BecauseWe Do.” The event had no dress code.According to Jim McAsey, Organ-izing Director for the RA Union, Com-munication Workers of America(CWA) 1104, the assistants went to theceremony to show support for presidentStanley. “We were there to welcomehim,” he said, “and not to protest.”The union planned on delivering agroup letter to the new head of the Uni- versity, explaining to him their top is-sues, including increased wages.McAsey believes they were targetedpurposely. “We can be very aggressivewhen our rights aren’t being respected,”he said.According to a press release by theGraduate Student Employees Union,“the lawsuit is part of CWA’s defense of the basic constitutional right of free ex-pression for graduate student unionmembers to identify with their union, afoundation for a working relationshipbetween administrators and representa-tives of graduate student employees.”Although teaching assistants are in- volved in the lawsuit, they are not beingsuspended or being prevented fromworking once the fall semester arrivesin late August.The lawsuit is still in the filingstages, and can be drawn out for yearsto come.
Hotel Lawsuit
The Stony Brook EnvironmentalCommittee (SEBC) filed a lawsuitagainst Stony Brook University in De-cember 2009 in an attempt to preventthe university from constructing a longsought-after hotel at the main entranceof the school.According to George Locker, theSBEC’s attorney heading the lawsuit, the judge has filed an injunction (a tempo-rary restraining order) preventing any-one from starting any project on thegrounds until a decision by the courthas been made.The SBEC is filing suit mainly be-cause of the public’s rejection to theplanned location of the hotel, alongNicolls Road. “I think people were dis-mayed that the greenbelt along NicollsRoad will be destroyed in order to put aHilton Garden Inn,” said Locker.Locker also states it is “tasteless” forthe university to put up a hotel signalongside the school’s entrance sign.“What would people think of putting ahotel in Harvard Yard?” he asked.In interviews, Barbara Chernow, vice president for Facilities and Servicesat Stony Brook, has stated that there re-ally are no other options for locationsfor the desired hotel on campus. Locker,however, disagrees.Stony Brook acquired 245 acres of land from the Flowerfield company in2005, and Locker believes this is anideal location for a hotel. “Where inthose 245 acres is there no room for ahotel?”Locker also believes the possibility of converting the Student Union build-ing into part of the hotel or a locationcloser to the railroad station would bemore ideal, eliminating more conges-tion on the roads.“Maybe Barbara doesn’t know thereis a railroad station on campus.”Several requests for comment fromStony Brook University were not re-turned.
Law & Order: Go. Fight. Win! 
By Matt Calamia
The future is coming to Stony Brook and it should be here next year.The university announced thisweek that it’s been awarded a $1.4 mil-lion grant from the National ScienceFoundation to build a virtual reality theater. Next year, the school plans toconstruct a 30-foot by 40-foot by 11-foot tall room in the Center for Excel-lence in Wireless and InformationTechnology (CEWIT), its walls com-pletely tiled with 308 LCD screens.With the capacity to display 1.25billion pixels of information, the roomhas been dubbed the “Reality Deck,” anerdy throwback to the holodeck onStar Trek. (They didn’t get the grant forthe transporter, though–drat.) The deck will incorporate sensors, computer vi-sion and human-computer interactiontechnology to create a virtual environ-ment around all who enter.“It is an engineering feat,” boastedchief CEWIT scientist Dr. Arie Kauf-man, director of the project. He saidthat once constructed, the Reality Deck will be able to analyze tons of data and“provide a life-like, realistic immersioninto the data to be explored and rea-soned with.So with its impressive LCD wallpa-per, what will this Immersive GigapexelDisplay theater do, exactly? The Uni- versity says it will be used to take an in-credibly detailed look at high-rescolonoscopies performed at the medicalcenter. Soon, we will able to virtually crawl right up someone’s butt, unfetButthe Reality Deck won’t be solely limitedto cavity exploration, Stony Brook as-sures us. Its mind-blowing pixelationmay be used for analyzing climate or as-tronomical models, exploring satelliteimaging, or even detecting suspiciousindividuals within acrowd. Because thisroom sounds like itwill be indeed quitebitchin’, several gov-ernment agencies havealready signed up touse and fund applica-tions, including theDepartment of De-fense, NASA, the AirForce and BrookhavenNational Lab.Additionally,Kaufman says theproject “will probably revolutionize Holly-wood.” But he didn’tsay how, so here’s my speculation: People across America willstart getting TV Rooms of the Future intheir homes, just coated with screens,and Hollywood will make virtual filmsso it will be like
 you’re really on themovie set 
. It will be a simulation of re-ality within a simulation of reality! Only you won’t have to deal with the whiny,coked up actors.
 Virtual Reality Star Killed the Internet Star
By Colleen Harrington
Stony Brook University Public Relations
We are, we are VR!
The Stony Brook Press
Why I Resigned 
In April of 2009, I fought andwon an election tobecome a Senatorof the Undergrad-uate Student Gov-ernment. Fastforward to De-cember 2009, I wasappointed (by thenPresident Jasper Wilson) and unani-mously confirmed as Treasurer of theUSG. From December to May, I spentapproximately sixty hours a week at theUSG Office, preparing and managingthe 3.1 million dollar budget. I setaround twenty hours aside a week tosimply meet with clubs, and surely enough all of that time, if not more, wasspent meeting with one or another club.e USG Constitution makes the sug-gestion that perhaps fieen hours isenough to handle all of the tasks of theTreasurer, but such a number was agross underestimation by the framers of the USG Constitution. ough I spentfar too much time there (to which my grades can testify), I enjoyed every mo-ment of it.Prior to my appointment, nearly every single Treasurer of the USG waseither immeasurably incompetent orobviously biased (oen both). For ex-ample, if one takes a look at the previ-ous USG Treasurers and then at the clubthat they were a member or officer of prior to becoming Treasurer, one cannotice increases of those budgets oenmeasuring around $10,000 or more. Imade it my mission to root out this sortof favoritism in favor of simple andplain metrics that could be applied uni- versally. Of course, my opponentswould accuse me of the same sort of fa- voritism that I accuse my predecessorsof, but I suppose I will let the Under-graduate Student Body be the judge of that. Another one of my goals was takea look at each and every line of the USGAdministrative budget and ensure wewere doing everything to save as muchas possible. Even things as small as thecopier lease were restructured in orderto give more money to the clubs andstudent life in general. I can confidently say that the 2010-2011 USG budget isdistinct from any that came before it, inthat it does not reward those who hap-pen to be friends of the Treasurer or theSenate Budget Committee but ratherthose who legitimately improve campuslife. Aer spending well over thousandsof hours at the USG Suite this past year,I feel content with my achievements andeven my failures.My greatest failure was not doingenough to ease the social (and perhapsracial) divide within USG. is is atopic most wish to avoid, but those whoavoid conflict simply postpone the in-evitable. In my term as both Senatorand Treasurer, complaints regarding theStudent Activities Board (SAB) wereperhaps the most frequent, but ap-proaching such a large problem (stu-dent life) was certainly not going to beeasy, and so to some extent, it was lefor last. Beginning in February, seriousdiscussion had begun amongst Senatorsto rework and perhaps recreate the so-cial programming arm of the USG, theSAB. By April there were two pieces of legislation aimed at reforming SAB, onthe one hand you had the small reform,which merely created more job func-tions for SAB and its officers, and on theother hand you had a piece of legislationthat restructured SAB to its core. elatter eventually surpassed the former.But prior to that, many of those activewithin the former SAB attended theSenate meetings in order to heckle theofficials of USG. ey made very littleattempt to perhaps promote an alterna-tive, instead they favored the status quo.Quite a few officials were heckled abouttheir appearance (including yours truly)rather than their ideas. Along with acouple Senators and the President, wemade an attempt to propose the legisla-tion to the active general body of SAB(approximately 60 or so out of 15,000students). is was met by more heck-ling and personal insults. It became ap-parent that compromise was no longeran option, as the other side desired thestatus quo, and we desired anything but.On the day of the vote, quite a fewmembers of SAB attended the meeting,but most le without uttering a wordimmediately aer the overwhelming vote in favor of restructuring SAB. Aerthe vote (which essentially was a vote of no confidence in the leadership andstructure of SAB) I have been heckledmany times by individuals whom I donot know. All I do know is that they were members of the former SAB. Dur-ing and aer the debate, I was paintedas a racist. I was simply an elected offi-cial doing what I (and most other stu-dents) thought was best for the campusand yet the divide became defined moreby race than ideas. is sort of conflictshould have no place in student gov-ernment, and yet it is at all times pres-ent. My goal was never to further apolitical or racial divide, rather, I hopedto unite students for one objective (tomake this campus a bit more tolerable)and yet my time in USG created a largerdivide than ever before. I look back andthink I did not do enough to work withthe other side, but perhaps the only de-sire more overwhelming than that I didnot do enough to work with the otherside, was my desire for there to actually be another side willing to work to-gether.To the surprise of most (perhapseveryone), on the first day of my secondterm as Treasurer, I resigned effectiveimmediately. My initiatives have eitherbeen completed or are in capable hands.Most have told me that my resignationcame too soon, but for me it came at just the right time. My last goal for USGis to firmly establish the Judiciary as afair and competent third branch of gov-ernment. And to that end, current Pres-ident Matthew Graham has recently appointed me to the Judiciary (cur-rently pending confirmation by theSenate). I look forward to the new posi-tion and the work that lies ahead.
By MoizKhan
Stony Brook Independent

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