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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Campus briefing: USG to continue focus on transportation in spring

USG Vice President of Communications & Public Relations Ferone says promoting SBVoice is a priority. (NINA LIN/THE STATESMAN)
USG Vice President of Communications & Public Relations Ferone says promoting SBVoice is a priority. (NINA LIN/THE STATESMAN)

As the Undergraduate Student Government looks ahead for the coming semester, or, as President Hussain named it, “After Party Round 2,” the administration hopes to still focus on the goals of last semester that have not been fully accomplished.

“We have been working on several issues including Off Campus Housing, Campus Housing, Campus Dining, Transportation, just to name a few, and those will also continue,” Vice President of Communications & Public Relations Mario Ferone said in an email.

USG’s focus on transportation and the plan to get a 21-passenger bus to bring students to and from Port Jefferson is one of last semester’s goals that the After Party has continuously pursued.

During a meeting about the bus route in January, USG decided to not pursue the the current plans due to the expected $4-$5 increase in the students’ transportation fee, according to the meeting’s minutes.

The Department of Transportation and Suffolk county agreed recently, however, to add bus services for students on Sundays to and from Port Jefferson on the Suffolk county transit 3D route. Before the agreement, transportation to Port Jefferson was only offered to students on Saturdays.

“It seemed appropriate to work with Suffolk County to expand these services for our students on Sundays,” James O’Connor, the director of the campus’s Transportation Operations, said in a press release.

Another transportation-related goal is to add four additional Wolfie Ride bike share stations around campus.

The current administration also hopes to tackle some campus dining improvements it began working on last semester.

“A Committee of the Faculty Student Association at Stony Brook University is working towards compiling all of the surveys performed across the campus to gain the best understanding of what the more alarming concerns are,” according to the November executive council report by Vice President of Academic Affairs Steven Adelson.

USG used surveys to reach the student body throughout the fall, and Adelson said his committee, the University and Academic Affairs Standing Committee, will continue to do so in the spring.

“Each member of the Committee will go around campus talking to students to have them complete the surveys, on a monthly basis,” Adelson wrote in his monthly report to the USG Senate. “The concerns of the students will essentially be the Committee’s agenda for the spring 2014 semester.”

Ferone said an additional “huge goal” for USG this semester is to popularize the relatively unknown program SBVoice.

The SBVoice system is a petition site where students can present their concerns and others can vote on which issues are the most important. Currently, the system has 31 petitions, the top two being the Blood Donor Equality movement and the issue of improving the Campus Dining facilities on campus.

One of the final focuses of the second semester is student life. USG is planning several events this coming semester including the annual spring lectures and concert.

“We just announced a lecture by Rainn Wilson, which will take place on Feb. 4 in the Staller Center…We also have Roth Regatta, this year is the 25th anniversary of the event, so we’re gonna try to make it as big as possible,” Ferone said.

He added that USG is planning to form a committee of students to plan this year’s Regatta, an event that originally replaced the Stony Brook Roth Olympics in 1989.

This year’s Spring Concert, however, has not been announced yet due to the process of security checks for the artists.

“We are still waiting to hear back from [the University Police Department] about the security checks of most of the artists we have submitted, so we can’t really announce much,” he said.

President Hussain could not be reached for comment on his upcoming goals for this semester.

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