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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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Storytime by the Fountain

Southampton supporters gather at the Academic Mall fountain to commemorate the one year anniversary of the closing of their campus. Professors, students and their mascot, Poko, attended. (Yoon Seo Nam/The Statesman)

“I’m going to tell you a story about a mythical place called Southampton,” said Heather Dune Macadam, a Stony Brook University professor, to her former Southampton students at the Academic Mall fountain. “And the students there did amazing things that no student anywhere else did. But, just like the Dalai Lama gave up Tibet, these students had to come out into the real world.”

Former Southampton students and professors gathered to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the closing of the Southampton campus on Wednesday at the fountain at the main campus of Stony Brook.

“It’s a really horrible day in everyone’s memory and we want to make it something positive,” said Macadam, a lecturer in the sustainability studies program. She taught at Southampton.

They celebrated by telling creative myths. Macadam started the celebration by gathering all the students into the middle of the waterless fountain. The students formed a circle and Macadam walked around them using a red string to tie them all together while telling her tale about the Southampton students. With sounds of tribal drums in the background, Macadam untied the strings and proclaimed, “They can be free.”

Students also had myths to tell. They got their chance to tell their myths by standing in the middle of the fountain while their Southampton peers sat in a circle around them. The most prevalent thing they all had in common was their Southampton pride.

“I love the place [Southampton], but I can’t go back now,” said Amauwa Igwe, a senior environmental studies major. “I’m graduating this semester from here, not by choice.” Igwe said he was disappointed he wouldn’t be able to go back when they reopen the campus, on a trial basis, next semester.

Southampton students showcased their pride by the clothes they wore, which ranged from Igwe’s Southampton sunglasses to Bryan Hatler’s shirt that read “Wear Blue, Think Green, Stony Brook Southampton.”

Hatler said he didn’t think they would accomplish anything out of their celebration besides a reunion of sorts.

“Southampton was like a community,” said Hatler, a senior marine sciences major. “Professors would sit with us at lunch and talk to us about everything from class to personal issues. Everyone knew everyone. We all say hi to each other. Stony Brook is more like a city.”

The sense of community could be seen by the growing number of students joining the celebration in the fountain. By foot or long-board, the members of the community kept coming out in droves. Even the unofficial Southampton mascot, Poko the Dalmatian, was in attendance.

Marc Fasanella, professor of art, architecture and environment in the sustainability studies program, stopped by to observe the celebration.

He said the faculty from Southampton were taken from there and put on the main campus in the sustainability program and that “it’s been going really well.” But he still has hope for Southampton.

But he still has hope for Southampton.

“There’s potential with the Southampton campus,” said Fasanella. “With time, it’ll be a vibrant college.”

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