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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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    Stony Brook Day in Albany Around the Corner

    For the pastseveral years, United University Professors and Stony Brook UniversityPresident Shirley Strum Kenny have co-sponsored a road trip to the statecapitol, open to all students, faculty, and staff. This year’s StonyBrook Day in Albany will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 25.

    Last year, over700 individuals made the trip upstate. Robert L.King, Chancellor of the State University of New York, praised StonyBrook’s efforts. ‘?I was thrilled to see so many members of thecampus community showing their enthusiasm and support for Stony Brook as wellas for the entire SUNY System,’ he said. ‘?I am looking forward toanother successful Stony Brook Day in 2003.’

    Theevent is intended to allow groups of students, faculty and staff to engage indiscussions with state legislators, expressing ideas for improvement andpressing concerns. The attendees will be divided into teams of eight to 10people each, and these small groups will have the opportunity to meet with thepoliticians.

    Somewonder whether the program is effective. ‘?I just cant imagine thegovernment caring too much about what some 20-year old college kids has tosay,’ said junior Alexander Ruffman. ‘?I’m sure thelegislators already have their minds pretty much made up about most educationalissues.’

    Butthe legislators themselves insist that student voices have an impact.

    ‘?Whenover 500 members of the Stony Brook University family descend en masse upon theState Capitol to tell policymakers what Stony Brook’s degree means to theirlives, believe me…it makes a dramatic difference,’ said New YorkAssemblyman Steven Englebright.

    NYPIRGand other groups on campus have been urging student attendance, particularly inlight of recent gubernatorial proposals to raise tuition and cut financial aid.Other topics that will likely be discussed at the event include residence halllife and class sizes.

    PatCruso, Stony Brook Day coordinator, said that interviews with the legislatorslast about half an hour each, and may involve personal discussions aboutstudent life and school choice.

    ‘?Thisproject has a very strong public relations theme,’ Cruso said.

    Thetrip begins long before most students normally awake?near dawn– in SouthP lot, where Albany-goers can meet to board a fleet of coach buses. The busesreturn late Tuesday night.

    ‘?Thesight of 11 super-sized buses in South P lot by 5:15 am was quite asight,’ said Edward John O’Connell of Environmental Health & Safety.’?Simply stated, the entire bus trip was a triumph.’

    Thereactions from those who have attended Stony Brook Day in the past areoverwhelmingly positive. Students, in particular, have said they enjoyed theevent.

    ‘?Itwas a very exciting and new experience,’ student Chris Gasiewski said oflast year’s excursion. ‘?I felt like I was really taking part ingovernment and at the same time helping my school. The whole day wasfun.’ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘ ‘

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