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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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    Letter to the Editor

    To the Editor:
    The Op-Ed piece on the allocation of funds within Campus Residences in the Mon.,April 29 edition of ‘Statesman,’ entitled ‘Concepts of Capitalism:A Lesson for Campus Res’ is a litany of half-truths, facetious comments,and obnoxious unsubstantiated criticisms.

    The author’#151;who lacks the mettle to account for her or his article ‘#151;shouldbe made aware that she or he is the very solution to the objections raised,and should be impelled to the very action that he or she so displeasingly demanded.

    The article demands, ‘the administration cease siphoning off funds forprojects that the students don’#146;t want and never take advantage of.’

    This statement is ridiculous for the following reasons: first, Campus Residencesis almost completely self-sufficient, in that it is able to pay the salariesof its workers, and fund its programs based on the revenues that it accruesin room rent per semester.

    The author goes so far as to defame Jerold Stein. He is a man of spotless integrityand humble, yet profound, compassion. And in response to his being ‘out-of-touch,’I can vouch for the fact that Jerold Stein is open and eager to hear and actupon the wants of the student body.

    Furthermore, Jerold Stein is not ‘the man that kicks you out after eightsemesters.’ Mr. Stein is Dean and Director of Residential Education andPrograms. The head of Campus Residences is Dallas W. Bauman, III, Ph.D. Andthe reasoning behind the eight semester rule ‘#150; where you are not kickedout but forced to reapply for housing ‘#150; is that despite Stony Brook addingover a thousand beds in the last two years, there is still a housing shortage.

    This policy becomes necessary because the demand forces tough decisions tobe made. Freshmen are given priority when applying for vacancies because an18-year-old fresh out of high school who doesn’#146;t know the area is goingto have a harder time finding off-campus housing, than a 22-year-old who hasbeen living here for four years.

    The author continues: ‘Stop bribing residents with meaningless positionson their building legislatures, such as Alternative Assistant to the AssociateVice-chair of taking the minutes to LEG.’ For the author’#146;s information,LEG is completely voluntary. There is absolutely no compensation given to LEGofficers. Serving as an officer or attending meetings is a way of getting involvedin campus life, meeting people and being positive about student life.

    The author demands repeatedly that Jerold Stein ‘STOP WASTING OUR MONEY.’If the author had done the simple research to find out exactly where the moneycomes from ‘#151;which is public knowledge as this author illustrates ‘#150;then he would know that Jerold Stein does not give the funding for the ResidentAdvisors (RA) programs, Polity does!

    If one desires a program that is worth his or her time one needs only to attendLEG and submit a request for funding for that program. The residential programdoes not need an R.A. to administrate, any resident can organize their own eventand apply for funding. If the author is not satisfied with the quality of programshis or her building’#146;s RAs are producing then I impel the author to actuallyattend LEG and offer her or his own opinions on the matter. Where you imploreJerold Stein to ‘start listening to the students and designing programsthat they want,’ I implore you to go to your RA and let her or him knowwhat sort of program you want.

    Likewise, the article both blames Jerold Stein for the high rate of studentsthat go home for the weekends, and for a low turn-out at USB week activities.On the former accusation, certainly it is not the fault of Jerold Stein, andmore so not the fault of Campus Residences that students work weekend jobs closeto home, go home to visit their families, or prefer to spend their time in NewYork City. Those who do stay at Stony Brook on the weekends know that moviesare played on campus, the Staller Center hosts any number of shows, and numerousclubs organize events. To call an event that hosted five percent of all possibleattendees a failure and a waste of time is short sighted. To put this numberin perspective, the Roth Regatta had no more than several hundred people involvedand in attendance. Even if we place the number at one thousand, that means thatit was only 5% of the twenty thousand person student body, including graduatestudents. Did this make the Roth Regatta a waste of time, energy, and money?Of course not. The Roth Regatta, exactly like USB Week, is an enriching andworthwhile experience for those who attend, and more so for those who participate.

    But the author does not see this point. She or he is in fact belligerent onthe idea that image is important. Image is exactly important when it facilitatesthe idea that one can get involved in campus life. When one feels good abouttheir campus, then one could better enjoy their college experience, and whenone feels bad, then one probably spend s one’#146;s time writing facetious,misinformed op-ed pieces that they publish under pseudonyms in the local newspaper.

    The reality is that if the author, or any other student, has any complaintsabout how money is spent there is no end of University employees ‘#150; RAs,Residence Hall Directors, and even Jerold Stein himself ‘#150; who are openand eager for input for programs, ideas, and suggestions. The point is thatit is not Jerold Stein that suffers from a lack of creativity; it is the authorwho lacks proper faculty to engage his immediate Campus Residence staff. Theyare here to facilitate, improve, and enrich your college experience, not, asthe author suggests, to impose some abstract communist regime.

    And the final point: if anyone is to be blamed for the residential programsbeing uninteresting (which this author disagrees with), then the culpabilitylies in the general body of students who do not forward their own creativity,inventiveness, and general good will. So, Jean B. Say, whereas you challengeJerold Stein to stop wasting money that has never crossed through his hands,I challenge you to stop wasting your democratic power of voice on uninformedopinion pieces. Go to LEG, speak with your RA, and most importantly, check yourfacts!
    Michael Zannettis

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