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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Southampton: One Year Later

Since originally being shuttered, Southampton students and professors have gone through quite a journey to keep their spirit, and their campus, from completely diminishing.


Students found out about Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley, Jr.’s decision after an article appearing on a local news website went viral amongst students. Facebook notifications bursted as the news spread.


“We all thought it was a joke until somebody found Will James’s article on from a Google search,” said Tara Linton, a Southampton student who was sitting in a friend’s room with four other students when she first heard about the situation in a November issue of The Statesman.


After that came protests, rallies and many discussions in and out of the courtroom about what to do with the campus, and more importantly, the people who lived and studied there.


The decision was made because of financial reasons. According to documents found in the court case, numbers from April 10 compiled by the university show that the fiscal year 2009-2010 brought in revenue of approximately $4 million, while the total expenditure was $12 million. Adding the housing and dining losses totaled a debt of $10 million the university had to pay through main campus funds, said Dan Melucci, associate vice president for strategy, planning and analysis.


The university would not discuss Southampton as of recent, because the court case is technically still underway. The court case, however, has been paused while the university works to cement plans for the 81-acre campus on the East end.


“We have made excellent progress and plan to expand these programs this year,” said Stanley, attributing the progress to the Southampton Advisory Committee, the director of the MFA in Writing and Literature program, and the dean of the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences.


Southampton students are still unhappy with the situation, however.


“The transition really has been horrific — it’s been traumatic for everyone,” said Kathleen Furey, a student who travels three hours roundtrip to attend the main campus. Because of her advisers from Southampton, she took most of her advanced courses in the beginning of her studies, and now only has a few minor classes to take for her graduation requirements.


Furey does not think the main campus is as green and sustainable as they promote, comparing main campus to the Southampton campus, where people would bring their own containers and mugs.


Other Southampton students have to worry about their schedules, and need to find a way to balance their main campus classes with time to travel by bus to Southampton. According to Elliott Kurtz, a student from the campus, it takes about an hour by bus to get from one campus to another, and time must be allotted appropriately as to not be late. He hasn’t had too many problems though.


Programs are also being offered for sustainability studies. Next fall, there will be Semester by the Sea programs for creative arts and marine sciences.


“We are very excited because this expansion of existing programs at Southampton is fiscally responsible,” Stanley said. “All related expenses are covered by tuition and fees while maintaining Stony Brook University’s commitment to academic excellence.”

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  • C

    Check the facts carefullyMay 7, 2011 at 12:28 am

    I do not understand how Stony Brook “saved” any money closing the Southampton campus, when it had a separate budget that was not co-mingled with the Stony Brook campus. The Southampton campus was getting 7.7 million in separate support from SUNY according to university statements made by Mr. Melucci:
    ““Some of the funding for Southamp- ton has already been curtailed, accord- ing to Daniel Melucci, Stony Brook’s Vice President for Strategy and Plan- ning. “We currently have a total of $7.7 million budgeted for Southampton for the 2010-11 fiscal year. Last year the total state budget was approximately $12.5 million,” he said.” So the state had a separate budget for the Southampton campus to support it, in line with student growth.
    At least it was separate, until abruptly the students “needed” to be moved off their campus. If the undergraduates were moved, did that 7.7 million dollars get moved with them? Is the 7.7 million the real reason those students “needed” to be moved off the Southampton campus, because Stony Brook wanted access to those funds?

    In the November 2, 2009 University Minutes Eric Kaler’s report is that 7.4 million was appropriated from SUNY, so the Southampton campus received more money than Eric Kaler was anticipating for the 2010-2011 school year when 800 students were expected to be enrolled. Of course this is a decline fromm 2009-2010 because there were only 576 students that year according to the university senate minutes of Nov. 2, 2009 so the campus was supported with 12.5 million dollars from SUNY.

  • C

    Check the facts carefullyMay 6, 2011 at 11:53 pm

    University Senate Meeting minutes on November 2, 2009 only mentions the separate 7.4 million SUNY appropriations for the fall 2010 enrollment of 800 students at the Southampton campus. It never says that the campus cost any money out of the Stony Brook budget.

    Provost Kaler: Provost Kaler spoke on the State Funds Financial Plan for SB Southampton. … There is 7.4 Mil in state appropriation funded by SUNY. SUNY has specifically identified this for Stony Brook Southampton.

    Where did the 7.4 million dollars go for support to the Southampton campus? Is it possible that Stony Brook could not access that money, for its programs on the main campus, unless they moved the undergraduate students off the Southampton campus, because it was in a separate budget?

    Why does Melucci not mention the 7.4 million dollars in appropriations from SUNY?

  • S

    Something MissingMay 6, 2011 at 11:43 pm


    There is something missing on the East End. The buzz at Stony Brook’s Southampton campus is gone, along with its promising sustainability programs. During this month during which many are celebrating Earth Day and becoming reinvigorated about “going green,” the Sustainable Southampton Advisory Committee asks our community to consider the impact of the Southampton campus and its bright students. This impact reaches far beyond a more lively campus, but far into our future as a sustainable community.
    Former Stony Brook Southampton student Tara Linton wrote about the importance of the programs once housed on the campus [“Make A Statement,” Letters, April 21]. “We cannot save the world without educating sustainability leaders for tomorrow,” she wrote. As a committee that is dedicated to advising the Town Board on sustainability matters, we agree with this sentiment .
    The Town Board has taken our suggestions about creating greener infrastructure through Energy Star building codes. They have created a program to help residents reduce energy consumption by increasing efficiency in their homes. Our town has adopted a “no idling” policy to curb carbon emissions. All of these accomplishments are important, but are we missing something if we neglect to acknowledge the educational gap left by the removal of sustainability programs from the Stony Brook Southampton campus? Thanks to Tara Linton for calling our attention to this missing puzzle piece.
    We as a committee would like to publicly support the reinstatement of sustainability programs at the Stony Brook Southampton campus and we know the Town Board is supportive of bringing sustainability education back to the East End as well. We will lend our support to Stony Brook in any way possible to return these critical programs to the Southampton campus.

  • Y

    yeah rightApr 12, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    total B.S. Southampton is not being “expanded”. Its just Replacement not expansion. The sustainability students were tossed aside, the sustainability college was killed & is being replaced by “the arts”. Good luck with future jobs for the masses with that.