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The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


    SB Manhattan: A Taste of the City Lifestyle

    American Idol has been the most popular television show every season it has been on. The finale is routinely the most watched single performance outside of the Super Bowl. But in Haiti, one of the poorest countries in the world, the reality show goes unseen.

    However, Wyclef Jean, a Haitian superstar with Billboard topping hits, has taken the concept of Idol and brought it to Haiti, with his own twist.

    The musician has taken the format and incorporated socially responsible themes into it, like caring for the environment and raising AIDS awareness.

    Jean helped found Yele Haiti, a non-profit, non-political organization dedicated to improving the quality of life in Haiti.

    At Stony Brook, a small graduate school course offered over the winter break at Stony Brook Manhattan taught a group of eight MBA and School of Social Welfare students about the organization and other types of social entrepreneurial work.

    “The course offered a breath of fresh air,” said Kristen Borkoski, one of the students who took the course over the break. “There are not as many courses that focus on the people aspect.”

    Raul Toloza echoed Borkoski’s claim, calling the course “one of the coolest classes.” He had one complaint though: “It should be offered more.”

    So enthusiastic were the students that one even suggested the class become a requirement in the MBA program.

    The lecture on Yele Haiti was just one of several case studies that students were shown in the week-long course. Others involved trips up and down Manhattan to places like the United Nations for a meeting with an ambassador from Tanzania.

    Without a Manhattan campus, the social entrepreneurship course would be virtually impossible.

    It represents one of several courses that take full advantage of the location of the building.

    Scott Sullivan, the business coordinator for the Manhattan location, has been overseeing the expansion of Stony Brook’s presence in the city.

    Recently the university announced that it planned to expand the city location to the building next door.

    Currently, Stony Brook occupies just one floor of a building at 28th St. and Park Ave.

    A second, completely different class taught at SB Manhattan used the city itself as a textbook of sorts.

    The new School of Journalism, in just its second full year of operation, has begun to utilize the resource that is New York City.

    Such is evident in a one credit workshop that was taught at the Stony Brook Manhattan location over the winter break.

    Appropriately titled “Reporting in New York City”, the 300-level workshop was available to 10 students from the School of journalism and features both a print and broadcast journalism focus.

    A typical class featured a lecture-style segment where the professors, Barbara Selvin and Steve Reiner, addressed key moments, figures and publications in New York City’s journalistic past.

    One lecture focused on Sept. 11 and the reporting that followed in the days and weeks after.

    The other part of the course was hands-on journalism.

    Students worked in groups on stories, for which they pitched their ideas to the “editors”, Selvin and Reiner.

    Everything from the initial phone calls to interviews to the editing was done over the course of the given deadline, which amounted to two weeks.

    “It’s a really great opportunity to do some real New York reporting,” said Carl Carrie, a junior and journalism major.

    In addition to getting a glimpse of New York City reporting, students got a glimpse of New York City reporters.

    Trips to NY1 and CBS News supplemented the work being done in class, and exposed the students, all journalism majors or minors, to the inner workings of a professional news organization. Working in New York City as a journalist provides for a certain amount of pride and demands a high level of quality in reporting… a sort of Holy Grail to young reporters fresh out of college.

    To be able to get a taste of that lifestyle is just one of many benefits of having access to the city and the abundance of opportunities it has to offer.

    As SB Manhattan expands, more and more courses and departments will be able to take advantage of the campus’s opportunities.

    And if the reviews from the students of these two courses are any indication of SB Manhattan’s greatness, Stony Brook has a lot to be proud about.

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