(SOPHIE CARR / THE STATESMAN)
I hate everything about Stony Brook University. You can be sure I will complain to all of my friends incessantly about it, whether it’s whining on Facebook or reminding them “I hate this school” every time they mention the name Stony Brook in conversation. So when the university offers me the opportunity to anonymously tell my professors exactly what I think they did wrong so that the school can improve, what do I do?
Two weeks from now, in December 2013, the new luxury commuter bus service, 7Bus, will begin offering roundtrip service directly between Stony Brook University and New York City everyday. The 7Bus system, named after it’s starting fare of $7, is famous for sending its large, green carriers around Long Island after replacing BoltBus on July 1, 2013. Employees of 7Bus have been advertising their services in the Student Activities Center, handing out pamphlets and making announcements to inform students about this imminent transportation change in Stony Brook. According to a 7Bus employee I talked to, 7Bus took years to implement at Stony Brook University. Luckily, through the efforts of the 7Bus company and cooperation of Stony Brook administration officials, 7Bus is extending its reaches onto the Stony Brook campus. Now, emphasized in a David Letterman-style countdown, here are 7 main reasons to be excited about 7Bus coming to Stony Brook:
The list of possible guest speakers to come to Stony Brook University is out and the names are, to say the least, quite impressive. Among them are Dennis Rodman, NBA legend and “Diplomat to North Korea”; Michio Kaku, world-renowned theoretical physicist; Lil B, famous rapper; and Spike Lee, film director and producer. Each of these men will undoubtedly will share indispensable insight on topics ranging from politics to music to science, but nonetheless, to me, there are two that stand out for distinct reasons.
“Why Stony Brook University?” I’m sure most students remember facing this imperative question at one time or another. After reading this conspicuously written query on the main page of the SBU Undergraduate Admissions website (a dauntless, ominous red), it is difficult to not feel disgust for the college application process. Much like a visceral reaction, the memories of filling out every scrap of information through CommonApp.com induces a sudden wave of nausea.
There will always be confident party-goers donning unforgivable sweaters pasted against the white shadows of winter. There will be carols that no amount of eggnog could auto-tune. There will be awkward mistletoe mix-ups, unsatisfactory secret Santas and discourteous family dinners. But the majority will celebrate Christmas the way it has always been celebrated in the United States—by buying a lot of stuff.
Walking around campus, you may have seen advertisements for “Homocon.” Regardless of what one may initially think, Homocon was an event in which an openly-gay conservative, Jimmy LaSalvia, came to speak to Stony Brook students about how homosexuals, along with homosexuality in general, are becoming more accepted in the Republican Party. He also discussed the role they can play in bringing the Republican Party back to its roots: economic and social conservatism.
As the fall semester comes to a close, that wonderful time of the year is coming the campus once again: Enrollment time. And I must say, there is nothing quite like the joy of sitting by your computer, refreshing your SOLAR account to make sure all your classes are still open only to have one close a minute before your registered enrollment time.
Evidently, pre-seasonal marketing of Christmas products has become a common trend that has found its way onto television, radio broadcasts, social media and even onto the campus of Stony Brook University. Sadly, “The Christmas Creep” will keep inching in earlier and earlier with each passing year without our consent. Before long, we will be condemned to watch Christmas merriment engulf our communities by luring people in with “doorbuster deals” on stockings and “seasonal discounts” on flashing lights as soon as summer subsides into autumn.
The advent of yet another academic semester is nigh. But I’m sure most SBU students are only too aware of this fact, what from last week’s harrowing escapades. Last week, our little student body enterprise led us into the stultifying conditions of the SOLAR website, and on behalf of Statesman staff and faculty, our hearts reach out to those in need or to any injured party at this time. SOLAR victims remain in our hopes and prayers. Spring enrollment usually provokes an excited atmosphere among college students; an over-eager nature inhabits every undergraduate. Buzzwords like DEC, credit or major put an already wintry, biting climate on edge for the residents here on campus; class shopping invokes a painfully subtle apprehension for the future. To put it baldly, we become acquisitive barbarians during this time of the year (well, more so than we are on an average day). And what an apt demeanor for the holidays it is! To hell with propriety—in lieu of buying others a gift, why not obsess over shopping for the ensuing course load ahead (Happy Holidays)?
Yet another inexplicable phenomenon is quickly permeating society today. That peculiar human desire to control what confuses us is steadily gaining in popularity. We have all experienced this feeling at some point: the tendency to result in absolute, merciless tyranny when dealing with train connections or perhaps the occasional bus schedule. Or maybe even others’ religious behavior. This has certainly become a favorite among university faculty.
I was advised by a fellow writer at The Statesman to preface this argument by saying that half of my household growing up was Jewish, therefore giving myself some sort of religious immunity to any part of this article sounding racist. Sage advice I thought at first, but after some thought, I realized not only that this perpetuates the idea I am attempting to dispel, but also that the audience I am trying to reach here will find this offensive no matter what.
When you were a kid, Halloween was a time of trick-or-treating, dressing up as your favorite superhero or monster and just spending some quality time with the family. In college, however, it takes on whole new meaning for most students: party! Whether you are a promiscuous bunny or an eerie zombie, the bottom line is, because it is Halloween, you want to go out and have some fun. Here at Stony Brook, sadly, it is easier to say you are going to have fun than to actually do it. Having fun at Stony Brook is a chore.
However surprising it might be to the current students of Stony Brook University, our campus was once such an active base of operations for left-leaning political causes that many considered it the “Berkeley of the East.” After the end of the Vietnam War and the demonization of liberal ideals that came with Carter’s defeat, the political activity at the university quickly lost this identity. While liberal causes have continued to have a fairly muted presence on campus, the new drive toward allowing males who have had sex with other males to donate blood calls back to years past when students truly cared enough to change the world.