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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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    How Alive is Campus Life?

    Campus lifetime. It’s that time once a week in which no classes are in session, student clubs and organizations are thriving, and the academic mall is full of commuter and resident students alike.

    Such a scene would make one think that Stony Brook students are highly involved in campus life. However, many Stony Brook students feel that besides that brief period from 12:50 to 2:10 on Wednesdays, campus grounds tend to be dead.

    Stony Brook University is a commuter school, despite the fact that more and more students are choosing to dorm, which also explains why freshmen are being tripled in doubles. According to college search webs sites such as collegeboard and princetonreview, 78% of first year students live on campus, while 52% of all undergraduates reside in one of the six undergraduate colleges.

    So, while other schools have parties and host major events on weekends, many Stony Brook students hop on the Long Island Rail Road and head to New York City for events and activities, or return to their families and have their laundry cleaned. What does this mean for students who are left on campus for the weekend because their homes are too far from the university, or want to be a part of campus life on the weekends?

    One freshman student who said they were an undecided major and asked to remain anonymous complained, ‘The campus looks like a graveyard on weekends.’ With a residential town bordering the campus, and a near empty student population, students who remain on campus often complain about their boredom.

    Granted, this general opinion that Stony Brook provides ‘nothing to do’ in terms of clubs and organizations may come from the fact that the campus is much emptier on weekends. However, since Stony Brook is such a large school, with almost 15,000 undergraduate students, often there are things happening on campus that students may not know about.

    Those who are in despair about what to do with their free time away from studying may not be looking hard enough. Yet, the problem also stems from the fact that that organizations are not doing enough to spread the know about their club and accompanying events on campus.

    Granted, a lack of advertising for events and clubs meetings does not provide students with a sense of what is going on. When searching the school website, http://www.stonybrook.edu, one may find that many club websites have not been updated for at least two or three years.

    The volleyball club has not updated their webpage since October 27, 2001. Thus, one does not know if a club they are interested in even exists anymore, let alone where and when it meets.

    While many clubs provide a group page on the popular student site, Facebook, they are assuming that all students who want to be involved have a Facebook and know how to search for their clubs on the site. Even then, some of the Facebook groups have not been updated in a few years.

    Despite these examples, which highlight the fact that organizations and their leaders could be doing more to promote their club, some organizations have begun to further promote themselves through different forms of advertising.

    One club that is rising in popularity is the culinary club. Created just last year, it keeps acquiring more and more members, evident from the increasing number of students present at club meetings. The difference? Fliers about the meeting were posted around campus in advance to entice more people to join.

    When new members were asked about how they found out the club, most credited its presence to the fliers they had seen around campus. In addition, since the club only meets four times this semester, club leaders created a website with their own forum for students to use in between meetings.

    Accessed through Facebook, http://www.geocities.com/sbuculinary/index.htm allows students to post messages for discussion about food, in addition to tasty recipes and reviews of different restaurants. The site allows people to share information allow for cultural diffusion through food.

    Other ways in which students can get involved around campus is by joining intramural sports, being a part of their residential undergraduate college’s hall council, and using their one free ticket to see any event at Staller Center. With competitive and recreational, male and co-ed leagues, intramurals let students meet others who are just as enthusiastic about the sport they play.

    Being part of an undergraduate college hall council, students can decide what to do with the money allocated to their dorm from student fees that everyone must pay.

    Michael Yagudayev, a freshman member of the SSO Council, brought up the idea of having a ‘Battle of the Bands’ at one of the council’s meetings. In such an event, bands lead by students would perform in a competition to see who would be the best on campus, while the rest of the student body could enjoy the show and support their favorite band.

    Overall, the opportunities for student involvement are indeed available, though a little investigation is necessary.

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