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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 President Wishlist

    The entrance to Javits has become a lush floral paradise, every color of plant and decorative stone work is present. This is all thanks to Shirley Strum Kenny’s renovations and ‘landscape initiatives’ over the past 14 years. The era of Kenny as Stony Brook can easily be dubbed ‘Beautification.’ This can be evidenced by the addition of the Wang Center, the redone main entrance, the bloody Zebra Path, and our now Eden-esque Javits.

    It is easy to see why the campus needed a face lift, but, last spring, the bureaucracy increased even as classes were cut. How could we be wasting money on landscaping when my class choices are being diminished? It became apparent, however, when Kenny’s retirement was announced, she is trying to leave a visible footprint with which to be remembered.

    Her actions will be appreciated, but it is decidedly unfortunate that the changes she will be most remembered for are cosmetic. Even with all the missteps during her tenure, she has helped expand the university and improved its standing in the collegiate community. With this groundwork in place, I have a wish list for her successor.

    The first task should be to tackle the parking problem. It is no secret that the parking situation on campus is lacking at best. A reorganization plan along with the addition of more convenient parking facilities would really create a more attractive environment. If they really wanted to win points with the students, it would be free or at least a fraction of what it is now.

    Secondly, make eating on campus more affordable. I know the president does not set the prices, but he or she can help get us a better food service contract. This year Jasmine, which is run independently of the general contract, introduced a value menu. If they can afford to do this, the multi-million dollar companies the other campus dining halls contract with can do it, too. Or, in a truly unique move, organize it to be run by students. I’m not just talking about the preparation of food, but the management as well; set it up as a class or internship for the business school.

    The next president must make the effort to stop tripling freshman in the residence halls. Most resident halls were built to house two or less people per room and it should be kept that way. There are two options here, build more dorms or limit the number of people residing on campus.

    We need a president who is more approachable. I know the job as president is busy, but maybe once in a while walk around campus. Talk to students, find out what we want and need before making decisions that have tremendous impacts on us.

    Finally, please restore the Zebra Path. Last time I checked, Zebras are black and white, not red.

    Although we all have our individual complaints regarding the university and its management, Stony Brook’s national recognition has increased. If we can keep things continuing in this trend and make these additional adjustments, we just might have a school that we can all be proud of and happy to attend.

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