311 app hurts more than it helps

Three-one-one—when put together, these three numbers signify information. For this reason, “311″ is the name of Stony Brook University’s newest mobile application.

Released on March 26, 2014, this app delivers a modern method of submitting work orders so that students can more easily resolve maintenance issues with their rooms. I applaud the university’s desire to modernize what they can, and I am glad they see the issue with the current work order system. However, they are trying to fix a problem where there isn’t one.

Smartphones: an integral part of society

I have been without a phone this past week. Apparently, I dropped it and left it underneath a seat in my dad’s car, where it had fallen. As a result, I have been without the ability to text people, call people or check Instagram. I can only access Facebook and emails while in front of a computer. This makes certain things, like trying to set up interviews for a story or coordinating with academic advisers, very difficult. I have been resigned to using the computers in the library on almost a daily basis to check emails. I am unaware of changes to classes or appointments because I do not have my online life in my pocket. People talk about the times changing when they mention how social media has become a part of our lives, but it goes deeper than that.

Campus beautification not the most pressing matter

Old, grey buildings blot the landscape, water marks running down their sides like weeping giants. The barren trees jut up like spires, piercing the grey sky above, while a soft drizzle slowly patters off of the concrete pathways between buildings. If you thought I was describing a bombed out city in a barren wasteland, you would be wrong. I was actually describing my walk from the Humanities building to the Union last Tuesday. Many students across campus have grumbled about the ugliness of the buildings on campus, and the problem does not look like it is going to be solved any time soon.

Editorial: lack of midsemester course evaluations is detrimental to students

With fewer than six weeks left in the semester, students were sent final evaluations for courses. However, many waited for midsemester evaluations, which never came.
In an email sent by the university, students were reminded to fill out the evaluations, which will be released to professors after grades have been submitted. But without midsemester evaluations, students have no way express the problems they may be facing while their classes are still in session—there is no way to give professors the appropriate time to address what could be changed when it still counts.

Snow storm strands students

On March 31, 2014, something unsurprising happened: it snowed once more on Long Island.

Monday’s crazy bout of early spring snow created horrible traffic jams all throughout Long Island: Nicolls Road, one of the major roads that most commuters use to get to class, was an absolute mess, while I’m sure the L.I.E., Route 25A and 347 could not have fared any better.

University policies regarding piracy are easily circumnavigated

College students like free things. Whether it is free food (arguably the only thing that retains this paper’s staff) or free music, people with low incomes tend to prefer not to pay for things they can otherwise get for free. In the case of digital media, the modern reality of widespread availability of free copies of media originally designed for sale has facilitated a widespread movement in support of file sharing and software piracy. At the same time, major institutions have tried to strike back at this rising tide of piracy, among them Stony Brook University.

Admitted Students Day preparations facilitate delusions of grandeur

At last, spring has finally arrived. Or so the calendar reads. Surely, from what I can remember, we recently ended all contact with winter. I am almost positive that on my schedule, this term is labeled “Spring Semester.” And yet, even with these factors, any evidence of greenery or vegetation has yet to be witnessed around Stony Brook. Despite the month, a “spring” has yet to be in season. Luckily, the SBU Planning Committee has decided to plant clusters of flowers across campus—giving an illusion of a thriving, greener, community. I feel as though I am immersed within a garden, truly.

Tobacco legislation will not curtail smoking

In a close vote, Suffolk County voted to raise the age to purchase tobacco to 21. Currently, the age to purchase in Nassau County is 19, and the legal age to purchase tobacco will soon be going up to 21 in New York City. Lawmakers seem to believe banning substances is the proper step to stop teens from smoking, drinking and finding even stronger (and more dangerous) substances to use. However, it is clear through patterns we have seen in history, and even among friend groups, that the laws only promote crime and an illegal black market.

What is a University Scholar?

Back in Spring 2013, I found out I had been accepted to Stony Brook University as a University Scholar. I was not quite sure what that meant, but coming here and participating in Scholars events; SCH 101, the introductory class for freshman; and Scholars advising gave me an idea. At first, it struck me as an honors program (which it is), bigger than the Honors College, but with a more social aspect. Speaking with faculty and staff related to the University Scholars program has helped me clean and clear up that impression a little bit.

Rumors persevere in university atmosphere

If I am not a gullible fool, and you are not a gullible fool, then why don’t rumors die out as quickly as they should? Stony Brook University is a hub of conversation where the line between “rumors” and “news” is so blurred that people will seem to believe anything upon hearsay. Perhaps, one of the most pressing rumors I have heard so far are the ones revolving around who will perform at this year’s Brookfest.

Students deserve a university they can actually enjoy

I did not care much for the Kaku lectures simply due to my tendency to enjoy the social sciences, however I am finding myself overwhelmed with anticipation for Brookfest. That is why, upon finding out that some students who are in BIO 202 will be unable to attend Brookfest, I became outraged. Discovering that some students taking an Organic Chemistry midterm were unable to attend the Kaku lecture only furthered my anger.