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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Budget Shortfalls And Hopes For The New Year

The past year was a tumultuous one for Stony Brook. Ups and downs in the Under Graduate Student Government, budget cuts, the closing of the Southampton campus and many more events left students and student government leaders feeling worn out.

The  PHEEIA or Public Higher Education Empowerment and Innovation Act now threatens to raise tuition on students while promising to make up for budget short falls. Even without PHEEIA school officals are still planning on possibly increasing tution.

The Statesman itself was subject to these ups and downs when our budget was cut drastically and then, after a protracted period of legal positioning and meetings, was reinstated by the USG.

Many students last semester were shocked when they logged onto SOLAR to register for classes. They found that even though their enrollment date had just been reached, the classes that they needed to advance their majors were full or impossible to fit into their schedules comfortably.

Considering that Stony Brook is  partly a commuter school, this awkward scheduling is a real pain for many students. This shortage of classes is a serious concern as Stony Brook looks ahead to even steeper budget cuts handed down from Albany.

Right about now the school needs a fresh start and this is where the brand new year comes in. Every year is a new opportunity to do things differently. It is an opportunity for students to come closer together to organize groups and events on their own.

The age of social media and last year’s Humans vs. Zombies game on campus shows that students have the ability to self- organize and have fun without needing a complicated process that runs through USG and university administration.

This year, USG officials need to put aside personal agendas and help streamline the governing process. Many times you hear of students complaining that it is hard to get anything done.

New clubs have a hard time getting funding and many people are often left feeling left out.

However, there is hope because the USG is made up of essentially good people who have the best interest of the student body at heart and have the power to make student life here better than it already is. This may be the year that they do it. Faculty plays an important role as well.

University faculty sometimes seem disconnected from the student body. This most likely comes from the fact that there are not enough teachers at the university and teachers who are here must instruct a lot of classes.

Faculty could really help to ease concerns of students by becoming more active in the out of classroom activities that occur around campus. When students feel that their university is going through trouble, nothing helps alleviate that than having the people who really run the school participate in events and really connect with the students.

There are many hopes for this new year because time and time again we see that Stony Brook students are not ready to accept the labels that are placed on us. When called the unhappiest campus in the country, students emphatically showed that this was not the case.

Personally, I know that every student here that puts in a little bit of effort into getting involved and meeting people here at Stony Brook has an amazing time. The icoming freshmen have  interesting and sometimes daunting  times ahead of them.

They must navigate an unfamiliar place with new rules and people. They must also adjust to the  harder classes they will now be taking compared to high school. The budget problems will also begin to weigh on their minds.

Hopefully, this semester will see the budget woes of the school  eased. Whether this will be through PHEEIA or the state, the university needs the relief soon.

Either way, no matter what happens, it is up to all of the student body to make sure that this university stays a friendly and fun place for students to be. A new semester is always a new chance and it is now up to us to straighten out our school, hold faculty and USG responsible, and have a great time in the process as well.

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