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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    A Record Number of Students Enrolling at Stony Brook

    The State University of New York’s recent announcement on the record number of students now enrolled in the system has sparked both optimism and concern among students and administrators alike.

    At Stony Brook, there has been increasing concern over the apparent space shortage for things like campus dining and campus residences. Incoming freshman are now all but guaranteed to be tripled, and there has even been talk about placing sophomores in tripled rooms as well.

    The Student Activities Center (SAC) has been plagued with overcrowding, with lines during lunch period habitually stretching out towards the seating area in the food court. The administration has made plans to try and alleviate the crowds by expanding the dining options at the Union to draw students away from the SAC.

    ‘Over the summer, there will be major renovations [in the Union]’ said Angela Agnello, marketing director of the Faculty Student Association. ‘Additional seating will be provided for Bleacher, too,’ said Agnello, after the wall between the Bleacher Club and the Union Ballroom is torn down.

    The proposal has been both applauded and criticized by students.

    Some feel like the new options, slated to open in the End of the Bridge, Bleacher Club, and University Cafe in the Fall 2007 semester will be a welcome change for students. Others have expressed doubt over the idea that new dining options will have any affect on the amount of traffic in the SAC, especially with the enrollment increasing next semester.

    But Agnello is confident the expanded Union will positively affect the SAC usage. ‘In a two hour period of time, the Union was able to feed 2,000 students,’ she said, citing the Midnight Breakfast event last semester. And, she added, ‘before the SAC was constructed, the Union was once the only place students could get food during lunch.’

    ‘It’s unreasonable to think that a significant number of students will walk the extra distance to the Union for a meal between classes’ said one freshman, less hopeful for a brighter, calmer future for the SAC.

    SB officials have made clear their intention to elevate the reputation of the university by increasing enrollment over the next few years and expanding the university athletics program to try and give SB more national attention.

    Student groups on campus have expressed concern over the plans to expand as well. The Environmental Club, among others, is questioning the expansion plans proposed by the administration. Their concern is over the land that will have to be developed for things like parking spaces and additional buildings to house students and hold classes in.

    The forest that surrounds the campus, and makes up a significant part of the 1100 acres SB owns, is potentially in danger, should the administration decide to build more facilities to accommodate the influx of students. Administration officials were unavailable to comment on the story by the deadline, although they asked to be included in later articles on the issue.

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