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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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    Long Island Failroad Needs More Frequency at SB

    For a school that lays claims to the bountiful resources of New York City, Stony Brook is doing very little to help students get there. It is irresponsible, deceitful even, to sell SBU to students as a campus that is easily accessible to New York, when the truth of the matter is, students at the University of Delaware-more than twice as far from the city as we are-can take the bus and end up at Penn Station in roughly the same amount of time it takes Stony Brook students to get there by train.

    Of course, it is unfair to lay blame on Stony Brook entirely. In fact, most of the blame belongs to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. But we find it hard to believe that should the administration at SBU approach officials at the MTA and ask for changes, nothing would happen. Stony Brook students are paying a hefty price both in time wasted and money spent.

    It’s a shame, really. Forget those that go home on the weekends for a minute. If students really did have easy access to the city and all that it has to offer, the learning experience for students could be exponentially more fulfilling and rewarding. Art teachers could have students study paintings in depth, the school of journalism could bring budding reporters to the newsrooms of the New York Times or the Associated Press, history students could reap the breadth of knowledge at the nation’s biggest museum dedicated to their major. And students who don’t have the luxury of a home close by could explore the neighborhoods and markets on the weekends, without wasting four hours getting there and back.

    What could the university really do? More than you might think. Let us assume that talks with the MTA fell through. What about buses? A coach bus that could transport 60 people in less time than the train might even cost less. Or how about a ride board? Students can rely on Craigslist to an extent to find rides into the city, but if the university decided to have a reliable ride board of their own, surely it would attract more students. These ideas would cost the university very little, and the bus option would probably even bring in a profit. And at the very the least, the threat of alternatives to the LIRR would likely inspire MTA officials to make their train more appealing to students.

    This university is looking to grow into a public university on a par with the biggest and most prestigious public institutions in the country. The administration makes no attempts to hide their desire to become the best SUNY school in New York. But if we cannot provide our current students with something as basic and fundamental like easy access to the city, whatever growth we may experience will be overshadowed by a deep dissatisfaction in student life. And people wonder why it is we ended up with the least happy students in the country.

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