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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


    Mediocre Turnout at Stony Brook Day in Albany

    On Tuesday, Feb. 25, an estimated 400 Stony Brook Universitystudents, staff, and faculty set their alarms extra-early, and boarded coachbuses in South P Lot. The caravan was headed for the state capital for anannual event known as Stony Brook Day in Albany,

    The 13 coach buses arrived in Albany at 10:30 a.m., andparticipants were led to the registration area and then separated into’?teams,’ each with its own team leader.

    All of the teams had 11:00 a.m. legislative appointments.Members of the university community had the opportunity to meet with StateSenators and Assemblypersons to discuss state support for SUNY, and inparticular, Stony Brook.

    ‘?We are here to let legislators know how important itis to fund SUNY, and to let them know our students will not be held backbecause of financial [constraints],’ said Stony Brook UniversityPresident Shirley Strum Kenny.

    The event was also an opportunity for Stony Brook students,faculty and staff to celebrate the university’s many achievements.

    ‘?This is our bragging day,’ Vanessa J. Herman,Special Projects Coordinator, Governmental Relations. ‘?Everyone at StonyBrook already knows how great we are. We just want everyone else to know.’

    As the teams made their way through the concourse of theState Capital complex to keep legislative appointments, they wereenthusiastically cheered. Sporting humongous school buttons, representativesfrom Career Services, the School of Health Technology and Management,Undergraduate Admissions, the Alumni office and many other offices, gave outhigh-fives and shouts of encouragement to participants.

    ‘?There is such an energy here, it’sgreat,’ said junior Joseph Mata, a brother of Lambda Upsilon LambdaFraternity. ‘?I really feel proud to be here and to be a part of StonyBrook. You can really feel the spirit. We truly are a family.’

    As teams of students, faculty and staff met with governmentofficials, other Stony Brook representatives greeted hundreds of passerby.They answered questions about the university, distributed pamphlets, andchatted with alumni. The schools mascot, Wolfie, was on hand to assist inthese efforts, posing for Polaroids with interested parties.

    ‘?Stony Brook Day connects faculty, staff and studentstogether for a day in a way that you normally wouldn’t be able to,’said Edward J. O’Connell, Health Physicist, Environmental Health andSafety, and UUP delegate. ‘?A typical staff or faculty member won’tnormally hear from students regarding their lives here at the school and whatthe tuition increase will mean to them.’

    Stony Brook Day began 18 years ago as an effort by UnitedUniversity Professors (UUP). When she assumed the presidency in 1995, Kennydecided to make the event more prominent, seeing it as an opportunity toshowcase Stony Brook and its achievements. She teamed up with UUP to take StonyBrook Day to the next level. ‘?When I first started with Stony Brook Day[in 1995], there were 18 of us and one bus,’ Kenny said. ‘?Today wehad 13 buses. What a long, strange trip it’s been.’

    Despite increased efforts at publicity over the past severalyears, however, Stony Brook Day still has not drawn the crowds many had hopedfor.

    ‘?Those people who decided to go about their normalcourse of business today are really missing a big opportunity,’O’Connell said. ‘?Make a commitment next year to go to Stony BrookDay. You owe it to yourself.’

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