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2 Vol.

XXXII, Issue 1 | Wednesday, September 15, 2010

news
Blind Oversight: Southampton Shuttered Without
Council Invovlement
By Colleen Harrington

While Stony Brook officials claim


that the university council was involved
in the decision to largely close
Southampton, a judge has ruled that it
wasn’t, and some council members
agree they were left in the dark. One
member said she found out about the
closure when she saw it in the papers.
“The judge’s decision speaks for it-
self: the council had no input in it be-
fore the announcement was made,” said
council member Jeanne Garant, for-
merly the mayor of Port Jefferson Vil-
lage. “It’s a big mistake we wish the
president hadn’t made, because this is
publicity the university doesn’t need.”
The council’s involvement, or its
lack thereof, in the decision to scrap
Southampton programs and funding is Illustration of President Stanley and Kevin Law discussing Southampton at a May 11 University Council meeting
at the center of NY Supreme Court Jus-
tice Paul Baisley’s Aug. 30 decision to man, Kevin Law, made a subtle state- The member said the council had Law asks Stanley if Southampton
reverse the closure. In the lawsuit filed ment that sheds some light on how the no official involvement in the decision would remain open if someone stepped
by six former Southampton students, council interprets its responsibilities. to scrap programs and shutter buildings forward to donate $6 million, and Stan-
Baisley ruled that the cuts to Southamp- “I know our role as a council is lim- at Southampton prior to Stanley’s April ley replies that if someone were to offer
ton were “fatally flawed” because the ited in many ways,” said Law, a lawyer announcement. “Yes, he should have him millions, he would not spend it at
decision-making process required the who at the time was chief executive of come to us sooner,” the member said. Southampton; he’d use it on main cam-
direct involvement of the Stony Brook the Long Island Power Authority. “But “But the fact is we’re not the financial pus to offset the budget cuts the school
Council, an independent oversight feel free to bounce some decisions off of experts, we leave that to the people from is coping with.
board of nine governor-appointed us in the future to get our input, our the budget office. We’re an eclectic
members plus one student seat, which thoughts. Always feel free to use us as bunch... and we don’t all have the time
alternates annually between the under- advisors as you’ve got to make some of or the training to sit down and go over
graduate and graduate student govern- these tougher decisions, going forward.” every single thing.” “...we might have
ment. University officials point to a May “Thank you, I appreciate that,” Video of all council meetings are
11 council meeting as having filled that President Samuel Stanley replied.  available on the university website, and been able to say,
mandate, but the meeting came weeks Law’s implication that the council is the May 11 footage shows that Law
after President Samuel Stanley an- little more than a soundboard is a called an unscheduled executive session
‘let’s do this
nounced his decision and said it was “a
done deal.”
marked departure from New York state
law, which requires the council’s in-
to “discuss some things with potential
litigation matters involving the univer-
instead,’...”
Garant said the council could have volvement in all major plans relating to sity.” The camera stops rolling and all at-
explored alternatives if Stanley had in- faculty, staff, students, admissions, aca- tendees besides Stanley and council After Stanley’s oratory on his deci-
volved its members earlier. “He neg- demic programs, student housing, members are asked to leave the room sion, a handful of council members ask
lected to talk to the council first and we lands, grounds and buildings—in short, for 15 minutes. a few quick questions. Garant demon-
might have been able to say, ‘let’s do this all of the areas affected by Stanley’s When the tape picks back up, Stan- strates how uninformed members are
instead,’ or ‘let’s take a look at this op- Southampton scale-back. Indeed, the ley briefly speaks about the university’s on the matter by asking how the stu-
tion.’” council’s role is so clear and far-reach- dire financial situation before broach- dents are acclimating to the main cam-
She suggested that Stanley and even ing that its stamp of approval was key to ing the cuts to the Southampton cam- pus; Stanley quickly replies that the
fellow council members were unaware the acquisition of the Southampton pus he’d announced a month earlier. He students wouldn’t be making the switch
of responsibilities that they held. “We’ve campus in 2005. stresses repeatedly that he does not in- for several months. The council then
all learned a good lesson from it,” she Law declined to comment, citing tend to sell the property and that he and moves on to view a presentation on the
said. “I know he’s very sorry, and we’re the ongoing litigation. other SUNY administrators are “com- budget.
very sorry, and of course this is never Another council member who re- mitted to moving the campus forward.” The council’s only other meeting
going to happen again.” quested anonymity echoed Law’s notion Stanley says there were three pillars be- last semester, on Feb. 9, was peppered
that council has limited powers. “We are hind his decision: budget cuts from the with positive references to Southamp-
The Meeting not a policy-making board,” said the state, enrollment numbers that never ton and included no mention of the
member. “Our main responsibility is to matched projections, and anticipation possibility of cuts there. Law even an-
At the May 11 meeting that the uni- hire new university presidents and that’s of philanthropy that failed to material- nounced that the May 11 meeting
versity references, the council’s chair- basically the extent of it.” ize. would be held at the South Fork cam-
The Stony Brook Press News 3

pus so council members could “take a Southampton campus to its fully opera-
peek at that.” tional status in time for the spring 2011
“We were all looking forward to vis- semester.
iting the campus—I think there was “In an ideal situation, the people
new construction that was being who were in charge of making this de-
planned there,” said Garant in an inter- cision, who bypassed the procedures
view. “And then of course, we read in and obviously broke the law—they’d be
the paper they were closing it down. We punished, maybe lose their position,”
were certainly surprised by it and we said Tara Linton, an environmental hu-
didn’t know what had caused it.” manities major and plaintiff in the law-
Garant said that after being in- suit, who transferred to main campus
formed of the university’s fiscal crisis at this year. “We’d be able to get back to
the May 11 meeting, she could better Southampton and pick up right where
comprehend Stanley’s decision. we left off.”
“After his explanation and after we
got to review the budget, I can easily The Aftermath
understand why he did what he did,”
she said. “It’s really too bad, it’s just one But turning back time may not be
of those things that happens when you so simple, as the Southampton campus
have to tighten a budget.” has become a dreary outpost that’s lost
Seeking a better understanding of much of its luster. The cuts at
the university’s decision-making Southampton officially took effect Aug.
process, The Press has filed a number of 31. Cyclists and skateboarders heading
Freedom of Information Law requests to and from class no longer travel the
and appeals for records relating to the paths that wind over the sprawling cam-
Southampton campus, which SUNY pus. The residence halls are locked and
has repeatedly denied or ignored. The some unfinished dorm buildings have
Press has initiated the legal process to been shuttered with plywood. The cam-
gain access to Southampton-related pus’ newly completed buildings, includ-
records. ing the state-of-the-art LEED certified
library, now sit sealed, silent and vacant.
The Lawsuit The books that were stocked in the li-
brary just a few months ago have been Colleen Harrington
Sign of Southampton students’ objection to the closure
In the students’ case versus Stanley, packed up and shipped out.
Stony Brook and the council, Judge “Main campus sent out very strict now the CEO of the Garrison Institute, Looking Forward
Baisley has asked the university council guidelines about removing stuff,” said a social and environmental think tank
to review the decision and asked the Peggy Gregonis, a staff assistant for in the Hudson Valley. Other staffers fol- There is one development that Gre-
Southampton students to file a pro- Southampton’s School of Marine and lowed suit in leaving Southampton. gonis is hopeful about: the freshly fin-
posed judgment, which he will consider Atmospheric Sciences. She said crews “They offered an excellent package ished buildings that tower in disuse
before making his final decision on the came out to Southampton to inventory, for people to retire and many of them around the campus will soon be joined
future of Southampton. tag and truck away computers, books did,” said Gregonis, who said she now by another brand new LEED-certified
When asked how the university and equipment. handles many more responsibilities as a building. Early next year, the Center for
plans to respond, Spokeswoman Lauren Some of the funding for Southamp- result. “It was a one-shot deal.” Marine Sciences will be demolished and
Sheprow pointed to the May 11 meet- ton has already been curtailed, accord- University officials declined to pro- replaced with a two-story, 10,000-
ing as sufficient for the mandated coun- ing to Daniel Melucci, Stony Brook’s vide an exact figure of how much of the square foot marine science center with
cil involvement. Vice President for Strategy and Plan- Southampton workforce had left or classrooms, wet labs and a conference
“Although not yet part of the legal ning. “We currently have a total of $7.7 been let go. room, according to university officials.
record, in fact the university has already Despite significant cuts, Southamp- The new building is scheduled to
complied with the court’s directive,” ton still has a faint pulse. Seven marine open in 2013 and the price tag will be
University Spokeswoman Lauren Shep- science courses are being held there this picked up by the university’s capital
row wrote in an email. “On May 11, “It’s really too bad, it’s just
semester, along with a handful of grad- fund, Melucci said, although he de-
2010, at a regularly convened meeting one of those things that uate writing courses. clined to provide an estimate of how
of the Stony Brook council, President happens when you have to “We’re trying to let people know much the new center would cost.
Stanley apprised the council and mem- that we’re still here and we still exist,” Records indicate that SLAM Collabora-
bers of the public then in attendance, tighten a budget.” Gregonis said, although she said stu- tive architectural firm, which has
about both the budgetary impact of res- dents who take one of the thrice-daily worked extensively with other SUNY
idential operations at Southampton, shuttles from main campus for classes campuses, was awarded a $750,000 con-
and his intention to relocate a number million budgeted for Southampton for are coping with limitations. tract in September 2009 to design the
of academic programs from Southamp- the 2010-11 fiscal year. Last year the “There’s no computer access, there’s building.
ton to the Stony Brook campus.” total state budget was approximately no library, there’s nothing for them to Gregonis keeps a poster board with
Sheprow declined to address why $12.5 million,” he said. eat,” she said. “We had to put some the architect’s rendering of the new cen-
the meeting hadn’t been brought to light Also absent from Southampton is a chairs out so they could have some- ter next to her desk. She said she’s cau-
in court yet, or why the council was large portion of its former faculty and where to sit between classes. I feel it’s tiously optimistic about the project.
briefed on the Southampton decision a staff. Former Stony Brook Southampton unfair because these students, they paid “This is like everything else around
month after it had been announced. Dean of Students Mary Pearl, who said their student activity fee, they paid just here,” she said. “We don’t know yet and
Lawyers for the Southampton stu- in May that she would head a sustain- as much as everyone else.”  we’re hoping that it will come through.”
dents have filed their proposed judg- ability program on the main campus,
ment seeking the restoration of the quietly resigned over the summer. She’s
4 Vol. XXXII, Issue 1 | Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Editorial Board editorials


Executive Editor
Najib Aminy
With No Check,
Managing Editors
Ross Barkan
Natalie Crnosija
Associate Editor
There Is No Balance
Kelly Yu
A judge’s recent decision
Business Manager that Stony Brook administrators
Roman Sheydvasser illegally bypassed its legislative
Production Manager oversight board has startling im-
Nick Statt plications. Whether President
News Editors Samuel Stanley and the univer-
Matt Calamia sity council were truly ignorant
Bobby Holt of the role the oversight council
Features Editor is supposed to have, or whether
Josh Ginsberg the council just quietly accepted
Arts Editor his brazen bypass is difficult to
Liz Kaempf determine. The fact is that the
university’s administration is a
Photo Editors
Carolina Hidalgo government agency with the
Evan Goldaper ability to spend hundreds of
Copy Editors millions of taxpayer and tuition
Zach Knowlton dollars, and this council was in-
stituted as an independent
Webmaster
Inquire Within board to act as a check on big
changes and developments at
Audiomaster Stony Brook. In this instance, it
Kenny Mahoney
has failed miserably.
Ombudsman Facing a financial crisis, cuts
Tia Mansouri
to academics should be made
absolutely last, but it’s one of the
very first Stanley and his ad-
Layout Design by ministration pursued. Months
Jowy Romano
before hiring a consulting firm
to explore where money could ducted interviews with a few coun- But it’s a campus they didn’t apply to,
Staff be saved, the administration went forth cilmembers, it appears that the council and many of the students who made the
with slashing programs, cutting staff is so out of the loop that it casts doubt switch have expressed thick resentment
Vincent Barone
Raina Bedford and virtually closed an entire campus over their ability to make informed de- to the forced adjustment.
Michelle Bylicky
Alex Cardozo full of classrooms. This last act left hun- cisions. These developments have serious
Lionel Chan dreds of students turned away in disap-
Mike Cusanelli Back in May, council members sat implications for the future of the uni-
Eric DiGiovanni pointment upon learning of the abrupt in quiet acceptance as Stanley glossed versity: without oversight, university
Brett Donnelly
Lauren Dubinsky closure. over his decision, yet not a single objec- administrators can slash and spend as
Andrew Fraley
David Ginn
The mere fact that the university tion was raised. It appears either the they see fit. Imagine tomorrow Stanley
Colleen Harrington points to a council meeting that came
Samuel Katz
council is uninformed and wholly re- announces your major will be scrapped,
Iris Lin months after the decision came down is moved from university operations or and if you want to get your degree you
Chris Mellides
Carol Moran flat out deplorable; both far too little, that they simply have failed to weigh the can move 50 miles west to New York
Frank Myles and too late. The judge ruled that Stan-
Alex H. Nagler outcome of shutting down Southamp- City to graduate, and many of your fa-
Howie Newsberkman ley made a hasty move and if the uni- ton. Stanley said at the time that while it vorite professors won’t be around any-
Tim Paules
Kelly Pivarnik versity’s checkbook was bleeding so was too early tell, he thought they more. It may seem farfetched but
Matt Willemain badly, the council should have been would grow to embrace the vast aca- apparently, it could happen to you.
made fully aware earlier. Having con- demic opportunities at main campus.
About Us
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by The Stony Brook Press, a student run non-profit or-
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The Stony Brook Press 5

Hate what you see? E-mail your letters to editors@sbpress.com

Patch Adams Was Right


Comedy is the best remedy niche of campus with a more central- events are poorly attended because of
to the Student Activity Board’s ized approach that has put emphasis on the Senate’s agreement to transfer the
(SAB) problem of appealing to more USG oversight. The biggest chal- $20,000 in the ALIRRT budget to the
large undergraduate student lenge for SAB, apart from the lack of ex- SAB’s Weekend Life program.
body. It was during the Open- perience in the new leadership, will be While it is still uncertain as to how
ing Weekend that hundreds of to continue to appeal to the larger mass. SAB’s leadership will operate, the
students packed the SAC audi- What made Christian Finnegan’s money is more abundant than ever.
torium, to what looked like performance at SBU work was that it SAB should be able to get higher-
near capacity, to see stand-up was enjoyable, and more importantly, brassed comedians, have more concerts
comic and TV personality for everybody. SBU is a very diverse and host more events that will keep the
Christian Finnegan perform— campus with differing interests; it is also students on this campus and make them
that is, see him for free. Aside a campus of undergraduate students happy.
from the the terrible approach who would hope to have as enjoyable a Just as important as it was for SAB
to advertising for the event—it time here as possible. to host a successful inaugural event, the
was virtually absent—the event SAB’s responsibility to the students proceding events and concerts will need
was one that the Undergradu- increases tenfold with the increase in to be just as, if not even more, pertinent,
ate Student Government money the organization has been given. appealing to this campus of college stu-
(USG) and SAB should strive When compared to last year’s budget, dents. If hosting Christian Finnegan is
to emulate. the current SAB’s budget has increased any indication of the future of SAB,
In the past couple months, more than 25 percent, to $270,000. And we’re headed in the right direction.
the SAB has gone through a with the USG Senate voting to repeal Sure, he is no Aziz Ansari, but it sure
USG-instituted reformation, ALIRRT, a service where students could beats a mentalist or whatever else
replacing an independent lead- purchase discounted LIRR tickets, there they’ve hosted in years prior.
ership that catered to a small is even less room for excuses when SAB

The Real Tradegy of 9/11


We can never forget 9/11 and we paeans to American “freedom.” “Re- we can celebrate who we
can never seem to forget our base, jin- membering 9/11” has become an op- are. But to imply that the
goistic urges. What is it about mourn- portunity to slather cars and lawns with random event of being
ing and loss that leads to such American flags and justify deaths in born within a fairly arbi-
ignorance? Afghanistan and Iraq that have little jus- trary geographical
Nine years have past since the col- tification. Rather than be a time for uni- boundary somehow
lapse of the World Trade Center on Sep- fication, remembering 9/11 has become makes a person morally
tember 11, 2001, and if the current a time for dividing individuals. superior to another is, as
national dialogue and wars abroad are We should all be human beings. In- the great Krishnamurti
any indication, we as a nation have stead, we are Americans and terrorists. said, “the greatest stu-
learned very little. Obviously, the anti- Nationalism can be a positive force, as pidity.” American
Islamic fervor over a proposed Islamic history has shown, but it can also be Protestants are no better
center near ground zero is absurd. Sev- manipulated for oppression and de- than American Muslims who are no another, despite stereotyping being one
eral sick individuals knocked those tow- struction. The highly-important and better than Italian Catholics who are no of the most insidious weapons wielded
ers down and not an entire faith. sadly forgotten 20th century Indian better than Austrian Jews. We are hu- against minorities throughout history.
Anyone who can’t see the difference philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti once mans and we are individuals. Our pass- Death is always tragic. The boy
needs to re-examine their fundamental said, “To love anything beautiful in a ports are not beacons of our character. gunned down in an impoverished
values and intelligence. country is normal and natural, but And this is the tragedy of most 9/11 neighborhood, a victim of gang vio-
Beyond the Islamophobia—which when that love is used by exploiters in memorials. They subtly communicate lence, is of no less value than the man
is sadly reminding Americans old their own interest it is called national- the message that barriers must exist and who perished on the 90th floor of the
enough to remember the anti-Semitism ism. Nationalism is fanned into imperi- that there is simply one evil (the Islamic north tower. The same applies for the
that pervaded the United States alism, and then the stronger people faith) that exists to oppose the good firefighters who die in blazes that are
throughout the first half of the 20th divide and exploit the weaker…The (America and, as a certain pastor from not caused by terrorist attacks. They all
century—is the disturbing “us vs. them” world is dominated by the spirit of cun- Florida has shown, Christianity). In an matter.
mentality that surges at this time each ning, ruthless exploitation, from which age of supposed enlightenment, they When September 11 becomes a day
year. Rather than simply remember the war must ensue. This spirit of national- promote a terribly simplistic and dan- that is divorced from jingoism and ha-
victims, 9/11 memorials have become ism is the greatest stupidity.” gerous view of the world. The message tred, it will truly be the sacred day we
overaggressive and chest-thumping We can be proud as Americans and is corrupt: love one group and despise all want it to be.
6 Vol. XXXII, Issue 1 | Wednesday, September 15, 2010

news
Fishy Facebook Charity Comes to SBU
Trusteer cites Facebook as the pri-
mary target of criminals and hackers
By Peter Smith because of the personal information
many users share. Names of pets, a par-
While thousands of students ent’s maiden name and birth dates en-
buzzed in the hallways during the first able hackers to completely assume a
days of classes, an unauthorized, off- victim’s identity with little effort.
campus organization was busy convinc- Representatives from the Univer-
ing scores of students to hand over sity’s General Information Office, Li-
personal Facebook login information. brary Management Office, Main
A temporary station of unsecure Circulation Desk and Campus Security
laptops was set up at the information had no information on the group or
desk in the Frank Melville Jr. Memorial who may have authorized them to col-
Library, just feet from the entrance. The lect personal data from Stony Brook
personal data collectors, who claimed to students.
be representatives of Beth Gavriel, a James LaPiano, Operations Man-
Bukharian Jewish center in Queens, ager at the Library, said that the Divi-
N.Y., were hard at work persuading sion of Information Technology, DoIT,
passers-by to sign into personal Face- “were getting overwhelmed…and set
book accounts and vote for Sha’arei up a sub-station,” but mentioned he
Zion Ohel Brancha, a private elemen- never spoke to the DoIT about the
tary school in Forest Hills, N.Y., in a group collecting personal data from Andrew White, director of the li- for campus officials.
contest sponsored by Kohl’s department students in the lobby. brary, said there is no policy in the “This type of activity, if unscrupu-
stores. “Client Support and DoIT would building that would require students to lous, is certainly something we will
When pressed about security issues not have allowed anything like that,” register for those areas and it is com- watch out for in the future,” said White.
involved with signing into unknown said Keith Bradley, a professional staff mon to see groups of students congre- University policy, P109 “Use of In-
computers, the representatives insisted member of Client Support Services, a gating there – especially during the first formation Technology,” states, under
the personal computers were safe, and division of DoIT. week of classes. He remembers seeing the heading Access/Usage that unau-
that no keystroke-loggers or spyware Bradley and other DoIT employees the group at the entrance during open- thorized access to electronic data and
had been installed. confirmed that the group collecting ing week, but didn’t think it was un- using another’s password for any pur-
Multiple attempts to contact Beth Facebook login names for contest votes usual and he received no complaints pose is inappropriate.
Gavriel and the school for comment were not affiliated with the department from administration, faculty or stu- Throughout most of the school year
have been unsuccessful. in any way. When Bradley deals with dents. the information desks remain empty,
A recent study by Trusteer, a lead- students he educates them about the According to White, the horseshoe- sometimes attracting informal study-
ing technology security company, found dangers of being careless with personal shaped-booths have traditionally been groups or impromptu get-togethers,
that 73% of users use the same pass- information, especially passwords and used as information desks for students rarely used for official university pur-
word for social media and private e- login information. during the opening week of classes. He poses. Without administration moni-
mail. Even more alarming is the 47% of “Personally, I would not sign onto said the library is one of the highest toring the information booths, and a
users who share bank and financial any type of unknown device with my trafficked sites on campus, with multi- policy to enforce specific use, officials
passwords with their non-financial personal login information,” said ple entrances to the building and library were left wondering who authorized the
login sites. Bradley. resources, creating security problems off-campus group to solicit ads.
The Stony Brook Press News 7

Prez. Stan Is the Man With a Plan


pany to analyze and streamline opera- through implementing Bain & Com- input from faculty, student and univer-
By Matt Calamia tions. Stanley said, during a September
10 press conference, that the amount of
pany’s recommendations, said Stanley.
In a rough estimate, Stanley said, “We
sity leadership, focuses resources on
fields where Stony Brook can set the
money that could be saved through would love at some point in time to be benchmark for excellence. Apart from
President Samuel L. Stanley, Jr. an- Bain & Company’s advising remains able to save somewhere around $30 mil- a committee including students to ad-
nounced Project 50 Forward—an ini- dress student life, each of the univer-
tiative to better not only the school sity’s schools is developing its own
itself, but its students, faculty and na- strategic plan within this framework.
tional reputation—via video message “They’re being driven by the schools so
on the university’s website. each of the schools is developing its own
The project, which simultaneously academic strategic plan that deals with
celebrates Stony Brook University’s 50th research and their academic mission,”
anniversary and looks forward to the said Stanley.
school’s next 50 years, is “dedicated to A best use model for existing facil-
operational excellence, academic great- ities will also be developed, according
ness.” The message goes on to say that to Stanley. This Facilities Master Plan
the Project 50 Forward is “designed to will be developed by “many campus-
enhance the fundamental teaching, re- represented groups designated as part
search, and service mission of Stony of an advisory committee.”
Brook University, while building a plat- These plans aren’t just focused on
form to support the future growth of the the Main Campus, as the message also
University and strengthen Stony Brook’s mentions the Medical Center, Research
role in the economic renewal of New and Development Park, Manhattan, and
York State.” Southampton.
The multi-faceted plan is directed Collectively, these elements of Proj-
at operational excellence, academic ex- ect 50 Forward are intended to push
cellence and developing a Facilities Stony Brook into the ranks of the
Master Plan. United States’ top 20 public research
Achieving operational excellence is unclear at this time. The administra- lion dollars a year but we’ll see whether universities.
being aided by the school’s use of man- tion is looking to save between 7 to 10 we can reach that goal.”
agement consulting firm Bain & Com- percent of its addressable budget The Strategic Plan, developed with
8 Vol. XXXII, Issue 1 | Wednesday, September 15, 2010

features
A Call Beyond Prayer
By Najib Aminy

Members of the Muslim Student Association


line up for evening prayer after
breaking their fast.

Silence spreads throughout the Stu- given prayer says in his hoarse voice, is schoolwork while practicing their faith. Qur’an was revealed to the Prophet
dent Union Ballroom—all focus shifts like a vault, when opened, full of reli- For example, many Muslims have con- Muhammad. “School comes second.”
to front of the room as stragglers walk gious opportunity and increased re- flicting schedules between class and
in, dropping off their book bags and wards. But once this Muslim holy iftar, the time designated to break the The Dawn of Dusk
slipping their shoes off against the wall month comes to a close, no less than a fast. It’s a dilemma political science As sundown approaches, food is
looking for a place to sit. Chatter from week from this given prayer, so does major Moiz Siddiqui is faced with as he prepared and heated, straw prayer mats
the bustling Union cafeteria next door that vault. embarks on the final few days of this are unrolled and members of the com-
and raindrops from a detoured Hurri- year’s Ramadan. munity come in, waiting for the desig-
cane Earl pelting the skylight windows The Fast “It’s obviously tough with everyone nated time that marks sundown. As per
disturb the quiet. But it is the adhan, the During these 30 days Muslims must eating around you, but what is really tradition of the Prophet Muhammad, it
Muslim call to prayer, which resonates. fast from sunrise to sunset—no bread, difficult is how we budget school work is customary for Muslims to break their
“Come to Prayer! Come to Prayer!” water or medicine is permitted. But for with going to tarawih [special night fast with a date palm, a fruit that has a
recites SBU sophomore Zain Ali in a most Muslims, that’s not the hardest, let prayer], reading Qu’ran and aiming unique sweetness to it. The adhan is
melody, strictly in Arabic. “Come to the alone most meaningful, part. “It’s not then called to gather people for one of
Success! Come to the Success!” Ali con- just about the food,” says Nabiha Zakir, the five mandatory daily prayers.
tinues the adhan in a Saudi Arabian ver- President of the Muslim Student Asso- Following prayer, a long-winding
sion, mixed with his own style, acquired ciation at SBU. “For us everything re- “For us everything re- line forms, where conversations are held
from watching videos on YouTube. It is volves around spirituality, [and in volves around spiritual- in multiple languages and discussions
a call that the Chemistry and Spanish Ramadan] we want to strengthen our touch on topics ranging from classes,
double major gives often at SBU, and grasp over our soul and control our de- ity, [and in Ramadan] the day’s events to hunger. As the line
one that many Stony Brook Muslims sires.” we want to strengthen bottlenecks towards the tables where
will hear during Jummah prayer—the It is a fast of the five senses, for ex- food is served, Siddiqui is running the
mandatory congregational prayer held ample, where acts of backbiting, lustful
our grasp over our soul lettuce station, where he will stand for
every Friday afternoon. gaze and listening to music are prohib- and control our desires.” the next half-hour as others sit back
This prayer, which precedes the ited. “It is a training program of self-re- down to eat food and quench their
Labor Day weekend, holds an added straining to better our relationship with thirst after a long day’s fast. “The lines
spiritual and physical significance as the god,” says Ali, who is half-Italian and ourselves as Muslims,” says Siddiqui, are always long. What are you going to
Imam, cloaked in a white long pristine Pakistani. who leaves his evening classes to break do?” asks the Hicksville native. “In the
garb and a red-and-white patterned kef- Bigger than the challenges of fast- his fast. But that balance becomes easier end it’s just about helping everybody
fiyeh, reminds the congregation of more ing that SBU Muslims face during Ra- to handle during the last 10 days, a holy out.”
than 200. Ramadan, the leader of this madan is the management of period when Muslims believe the The iftars are also open to non-
The Stony Brook Press Features 9

Muslims, including freshman Trevor American now includes fighting off the have to say, is the promiscuity [in] are part of your destiny,” she says. “some
North, who volunteered to carry food stereotypes. American pop culture,” Ali says. “It’s the will falter and will need help, while oth-
to the ballroom after seeing one MSA For Zakir, her decision to wear a culture that glorifies the degradation of ers will find their way and move on.”
member struggle with the task. He was headscarf was a voluntary one. Her de- the status of women, the pursuit of pri- “The idea to me is, if God can for-
invited to sit in and grab food. “In high cision to cover her head, although not mordial desires like money, food, sex give you, then who are we to judge each
school, you learn about Islam but you kindly welcomed by her large immedi- and material success. That kind of stuff other,” she adds.
don’t learn about their holidays and ate family in the initial days post-9/11, is a problem for me.”
very little about their belief systems,” has now become a means for her to fur- Ali had a first-hand encounter with Saying Goodbye to a Friend
said North, a chemical engineering ther practice her religion. these issues during his freshman year What makes this year’s Ramadan
major. “You don’t really learn much “What we see as modest, other peo- dorming with his non-Muslim room- entirely special for the MSA students is
about Islam but to see it first hand—it’s ple in America see as oppression,” Zakir mate. “He engaged in activities out of that this will be the last spiritual month
a great way to learn about different cul- says. “The reason why I cover up is not that will take place during the school
tures.” because I am forced to, but it is to get in year for the next ten years. Ramadan
touch with my spirituality and to get appears a little earlier each year due to
A Spiritual Fraternity closer to god and continue that rela- conflicts between its lunar based calen-
One of the few benefits, MSA
members say, of having Ramadan take
tionship.”
And yet while there is a clear gen-
“The idea to me is, dar and the Gregorian calendar. And for
Sister Sanaa, it could be her very last
place during the school semester is the der divide between where female Mus- if God can forgive Ramadan shared with students as
sense of fraternity that comes with it. lims stand in prayer—in the back—it is Chaplain of SBU.
“I was honestly awe inspired,” says an issue that is deeply rooted in religion you, then who are “What a journey it has been. I pray
Ali, a Queens native who started a Mus- and modesty rather than limitation of I am still here; I made it 18 years,” she
lim club in his high school and was rights. “If we felt we were being op- we to judge each says, reflecting over the last iftar held
blown away by the comparison. “I pressed, obviously we wouldn’t be here,” for this year’s Ramadan. “I am grateful
thought it was extremely beautiful to asserts Zakir.
other?” and I will never look back except with
see all these different people coming to- As for the notion that all Muslims smiles and tears.”
gether for a sole purpose.” are terrorists, well, that’s what Zakir Holding similar sentiment, many
But it wasn’t always this way. What would compare to calling all Americans MSA members find the end of Ra-
once started in the mail room in the like those portrayed on the Jersey Shore. the norm for me,” says Ali. “My hatred madan to be bittersweet.
Humanities building, before it was re- towards that kind of stuff is not trans- “It’s a really sad time,” says Zakir,
furbished, has now grown to what MSA The Social Jihad lated into hatred towards the people but “it’s our Christmas and, once it leaves,
Chaplain Sanaa Nadim considers an ac- For those practicing Muslims, de- the actions they are committing, be- you can’t wait for the next one. I pray
complishment 18 years in the making. vout life means many restrictions on be- cause I hate what they are doing.” that I can live that long.”
Before, the iftars would be held occa- havior that most students would When asked by her students about “It is a relief, human beings like to
sionally with only a few pans of food to perceive as normal condoned activity; addressing these issues, Sister Sanaa of- eat,” Ali says, “but it is also sad because
feed the few students that attended. from drinking to dating. fers one piece of advice—all of these is- it is as if a friend is leaving you.”
Now, every weeknight there are heaping “What is really hard for a Muslim sues, conflicts and dilemmas are part of
trays of heated food that feed hundreds. living in America, I definitely would one’s path of life. “Age, time and journey
Establishing a strong community
presence was a dream Sister Sanaa says
was without a dollar, and through the
course of her time here, that presence
has expanded dramatically to where it
is today. “I prayed; I wanted so much for
my students to have the same privilege
that other groups on campus had,” said
Sister Sanaa. “The growth has been
tremendous and amazing over the
years.”

Perceptions
But that growth comes at a time
when Islam in America has been placed
under a magnifying glass. Islam has
been the subject of a summer-long
media spotlight, with stories ranging
from the Muslim community center
proposition in lower Manhattan to a
radical and extremist Florida Pastor
pledging to go forth and burn Qu’rans
on the ninth anniversary of September
11.
And as public opinion towards
Islam continues to decrease, with a re-
cent Pew Center Research poll pointing
to 40 percent of Americans interviewed
having an unfavorable view towards
Islam—up 11 percent from the survey
Najib Aminy
conducted in 2005—being a Muslim Junior Moiz Siddiqui (second from right) running the salad station.
10 Feature Photos Vol. XXXII, Issue 1 | Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Jacqueline Flareau, a member of Stony Brook’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter, helps place 2,977 American flags in front of the
library as part of a memorial honoring the victims of the 9/11 attacks. Chapter members and volunteers installed the memorial on Sept.
8, 2010. Photos by Carolina Hidalgo.
The Stony Brook Press Feature Photos 11

Stony Brook’s football team defeated the American International Yellow Jackets, 31-14, in its season home opener on Sept. 11, 2010.
Photos by Carolina Hidalgo.
12 Features Vol. XXXII, Issue 1 | Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The
Southampton
Exodus
By Nick Statt

Lauterbur Hall towers over West Holmes, is quick to add that the disre- To SBU’s mainstays, living in been inconvenienced, then that’s just
Drive like a Manhattan skyscraper in a spectful attitudes run surprisingly deep, Lauterbur and Yang is apparently the the biggest joke I’ve ever heard,” says
city of shacks. Its seamless design, sleek even dropping to the level of name-call- same as having a permanent target on Holmes with an energy verging on ex-
blue-white color scheme, and intricate your back. The Southampton students plosive. “This is the least they could do.”
walkways surrounding the base give it were given first priority for housing and Holmes and Navarra stand at the
the look of hotel. It’s eco-friendly, with naturally, a majority of them chose the edge of Lauterbur with a handful of
natural lighting and energy-efficient
“How am I brand new buildings to help ease the their friends, almost all Southampton
features, and provides a remarkably lav-
ish interior. But to some of the
supposed to be a pain of losing their entire campus and
stay close to one another. Housing was
transfers. The scene is far from light –
the constant hum of construction, the
Southampton students who were relo-
cated onto the campus this year, noth-
sustainability one of the few points of condolence of-
fered by President Stanley when the an-
dozens upon dozens of orange fences all
up and down the road, and the grey and
ing here at Stony Brook’s main campus major in a concrete nouncement to close most of the majors empty landscape of a typical Stony
is worthy of being called a home. and residential living at Southampton Brook weekend blanketing everything
“We’re not the kind of people that jungle?” was made last April. However, many in sight. They find it hard to believe that
need to live in the ‘Marriott’,” says Ju- main campus students felt betrayed their environmentally-focused educa-
liann Navarra, now in her junior year. after having to suffer through the noise tion has to continue here instead of in
She stands on the edge of the bench ing. “Dirty backpacking hippies was ac- and sight of constant two-year con- the lush, secluded campus 40 miles to
fixed outside the front door of Lauter- tually the term,” says Holmes, a struction with no benefit. the East.
bur in a navy blue Southampton sweat- sophomore sustainability major. She But when looked at in perspective, “How am I suppose to be a sustain-
shirt. “Every time I say, ‘I’m in the ‘new points out to the road and says cars pull it becomes easy to see that while dorm ability major in a concrete jungle?” asks
Kelly’ building,’ people get angry and up alongside the building and people choice may be a large concern to the Holmes. No one offers an answer.
don’t want to speak to me anymore,” she stick their heads out to yell insults. A main campus’ student body, it is far Believe it or not, the fact that
adds. “But I didn’t choose this…I didn’t few nights earlier, Holmes says she from the top of the Southampton trans- Holmes even had a major to return to
take your spot.” woke up to three bags of garbage out- fers’ list of priorities. “If you’re going to this fall can be considered lucky. “My
Navarra’s close friend, Chelsea side her suite’s door. sit there and talk about how you have major, sustainable business, didn’t even

1963 June, 2004 March, 2005 September, 2007

Long Island University LIU announces that it will Stony Brook buys SB Southampton holds
opens Southampton close its Southampton cam- Southampton campus first fall semester for its
campus pus due to massive debt from LIU for $35 million 200 registered students
The Stony Brook Press Features 13

transfer over. I just wasted money, a lot mer lifestyle to a school


of us did,” says Navarra. Right now, one, with classes, early-
she’s technically undeclared. mornings and the added
To the Southampton students, their responsibilities of living
environment was their world. The cam- on your own. To them,
pus wasn’t just their home. It was the all the negativity sur-
embodiment of their education, their rounding a whole new
new life and their goals and aspirations. environment is doubled
“That campus was sustainability,” and magnified to an ex-
says Holmes. Off to the side of the treme.
group, Amanda Sylvester, 20, a junior With an inescapable
environmental studies major who dons label and the feeling of
the same Southampton sweatshirt as betrayal under their
Navarra, breaks her spell of silence, “We belts, it’s as if Stony
were living what we were being taught.” Brook waged a civil war,
Sylvester and the group start listing forcing the prisoners to
off the countless measures the school assimilate into and be
took to set a strong example for envi- consumed by the enemy.
ronmental sustainability and reinforce The Southampton stu-
their flagship curriculum. Clara Perez, dents fought for their
a sophomore marine science major, campus, for their
worked in the dining hall and recites a lifestyle, and they lost.
number of ways the campus cut back, There was apparently
from holding off on dish washing to never time, nor money,
conserve water to the use of fully for a battle.
biodegradable, and edible, silverware. “Do you know how
“I knew the second I walked onto much it sucks to be
that campus that this is it...the most se- fighting so hard for
cure thing in my life—my college edu- something you care
cation,” says Navarra. “It is something about so much and your
that I’m really and honestly passionate enemy is the president of
Najib Aminy
about and it was ripped out from under your university?” asks Southampton students protesting the decision to close their campus last April
me without even a forewarning.” Holmes. Her questions
“The major is a different way of life. are razor sharp, honed from countless Southampton students who are un- Southampton doesn’t open after this
The only way that things can get better hours spent protesting and fighting the happy with their current situation year, I’m out. There is nothing here for
is if people change the way they live,” decision that was set in stone only days pinned between accepting an environ- me.”
comments Holmes on the whole ideol- after it was publicly released to the stu- ment and lifestyle they deliberately re- As evening approaches, more and
ogy behind environmental sustainabil- dent body. “…And then you are forced jected and starting anew somewhere more people begin to file in and out of
ity. “That’s how it was out there. We to come here.” else. There’s always the chance that Lauterbur’s front entrance. Each and
were living the new lifestyle that every- Sylvester somberly nods her head, Southampton will reopen, but that every time someone passes, Holmes,
one should be living.” Each and every “I’ve lost all respect for the administra- means pouring time and money into Navarra, and the rest of the group give
person standing in the group, which is tion, and any kind of trust.” unhappiness. welcoming greetings and waves, some-
now growing into a bursting semi-cir- The August 27 ruling from judge Liz Monahan, a sophomore marine thing they say is commonplace back at
cle of Lauterbur residents, expresses the Paul J. Baisley Jr., which deemed the vertebrate major, wants to return to Southampton, even if you don’t know
same solitary fact—they chose Administration’s closing of the Southampton just as much as any of her the person’s name.
Southampton over Stony Brook’s main Southampton campus illegal, is the first friends, but understands the reality. “If So, despite being outnumbered by a
campus for a deliberate reason. they reopen the campus, it’s not going student body of over 20,000, with so
“Here was the last place I wanted to to be the same because they ripped it many of them being transient, ghost-
be,” says Navarra. Her outlook, marked out from under us,” she says. Looking like commuters, the Southampton stu-
distinctly by the fact that she is the only
“...if Southampton ahead, optimism is almost non-existent. dents are infusing the culture they have
one in the group to have had her major doesn’t open after this “Everyone is going to start to leave ei- developed with their environment. It
completely eliminated upon shifting ther next semester or next year and was how they’ve been taught; it is sim-
campuses, is a complex mix of cyni- year, I’m out. There is everything we built is going to be for ply a way to learn, live and grow with
cism, sarcasm and passionate resilience. nothing.” balance.
“I came anyway; there is still my educa-
nothing here for me.” With two weeks of experience, “It’s not a bad place. They’re a lot of
tion.” Holmes, a resident of the town of Stony really smart kids here…” says Holmes.
Two weeks into the first semester Brook whose home is a mere five “But long story short, it is not for us. We
can feel like an eternity to even the most victory in favor of those abandoned on minute drive from campus, has been have established that we are not happy
able of seniors. To the Southampton SBU’s doorstep, but the future of the thoroughly weighing her options. “I here.”
students, it’s not just a shift from a sum- campus is still up in the air. That leaves know for a fact that I’m not coming
back next year,” she says. “So if

October, 2009 April, 2010 May, 2010 August 30, 2010 August 31, 2010

SBS celebrates the opening University Coun- Council is briefed Judge annuls clo- Cuts officially take
of its multi-million dollar, cil meets on SBS closure sure of Southasmp- effect
LEED certified library ton campus
14 Vol. XXXII, Issue 1 | Wednesday, September 15, 2010

arts&entertainment
The Screaming Females and mystifying component of the subtle clues, like the slow and soothing direction and the old infamous inten-
Screaming Females, is mind-blowing bridge right before the big fireworks sity over the course of four to five
By Nick Statt on Castle Talk. Her guitar work retains display at the end, to indicate how the tracks. But it ends with “Ghost Solo,”
its famous strangeness, but is now re- rest of the album will pan out. easily one of the poppiest songs in their
It doesn’t take much to grasp the fined to an unbelievable level. She shifts Castle Talk takes off from there entire catalogue, which neatly ties up
surface of the Screaming Females. She from melodic clean riffs to effect-heavy with the follow up track, the alarmingly the tone of the whole album neatly and
still screams. She also shreds on gui- solos with virtuosic ease, and still man- poppy “I Don’t Mind It.” They go com- expresses quite plainly that this is what
tar…and I mean really melts faces. they’re aiming for now.
Marissa Paternoster, the female third of Castle Talk is clearly a departure
the group, is the she in question and from their previous sound, but in an
alongside bassist “King Mike” and undeniably positive direction. You can
drummer Jarrett Dougherty, this three- lament at the loss of their roots all you
piece New Brunswick, NJ band trav- want and at the end of the day, you may
erses punk, pop and downright very well win an argument that the true
avant-garde rock with a disarming in- Screaming Females’ sound is marked by
tensity. the previous three albums. But this
In the past, the once ever-present album is not just accessible, it’s a ma-
catch was that they were far from acces- tured and amazing product of three
sible; the screaming, the guitar solos New Jersey punk-influenced musicians
and Paternoster’s normal, but still that have finally become comfortable
weird-as-hell, vocal style crafted a love with the versatility of their sound.
or hate relationship with almost every Whether or not they will still be the
listener. It gave them one of the most Screaming Females a year from now
unique sounds out there, but con- isn’t really the point.
strained them to the underground New
Jersey punk scene. Since then, they’ve Buy the Album
made steps simply by opening for guys
like Ted Leo and playing big festivals in
and around the Northeast.
But their latest release, Castle Talk,
due out September 14, sees the band
reaching unimaginable heights. Gone Illegally Download it
are almost all of the screaming choruses
and punchy punk instrumentals. In-
stead, you get some of the most melodic ages to stamp her trademark obsession pletely soft and serene on the third
arrangements I’ve ever heard, decorated with vibrato on every note. Vocally, she track, “Boss,” and master the perfect
with a surprisingly mainstream ap- no longer rips out those huge scream- middle-ground of their sound with the
proach to songwriting. They’re arguably ing highs, but replaces them with a most next track, “Normal,” which also hap- Listen to Nickelback!!!!!
not the same band, and that may be a impressive range of styles throughout pens to feature one of the most satisfy-
pretty big betrayal to the die-hard fans. every single track. ing guitar breaks Paternoster has ever
But it’s also their best album to date and “Laura and Marty” couldn’t be a composed.
very well may push them into a whole better opening song. It delivers every- The album hits a real sweet spot for
new realm of popularity. thing you could want from a textbook the entire middle portion because it dis-
Paternoster, the most significant Screaming Females song, but adds in plays a good mixture of the tamer, new
The Stony Brook Press Arts & Entertainment 15

Killing Floor Between each wave, the mysterious


By Kenny Mahoney Trader opens her doors for you to come
and buy new weapons. As you play,
you’ll earn money for killing monsters
What do you get when you blend and healing teammates, and you can
the horrifying monsters of Left 4 Dead, upgrade your arsenal to better battle the
the acclaimed leveling-up system from impending horde. But move quickly,
the recent Call of Duty multiplayer the Trader always appears at a different
modes and the winners of Epic Games’ point on the map, so make sure you
original Make Something Unreal con- have enough time to reach her before
test? You get Tripwire Interactive’s your brief window of time closes. My
Killing Floor, a PC co-op survival hor- only complaint here is that I would have
ror shooter that has successfully rolled liked to see a greater variety in my Ar-
everything that has been awesome mageddon-arsenal, as after a while the
about multiplayer first-person- small weapons selection will start to feel
shooters from recent years into a old and boring.
budget-priced package. Tripwire has included a set of pro-
Killing Floor’s premise is simple and fessionally made maps for you to play
straightforward; wave after wave of mu- with, but the game is completely open
tated “specimens,” genetic experiments for would-be game designers to make
that have gone horribly awry, are ter- special weapon proficiencies, damage ones mentioned above as well as Dem- and upload their own maps to mow
rorizing the English countryside while boosters, and other abilities that make olitions, Medic, Support Specialist and down specimens in. The default maps
you and five of your mates are fighting them unique from all the other classes. Firebug. The differences between each are well-made, with a good mix of loca-
for survival. Blended into this simple These perks begin at level zero, and can delivers a unique play experience, and tions to choose from, including a farm,
mechanic is a deep class structure that be leveled up to five by completing cer- makes each important to the team and laboratory and the abandoned streets of
allows players to utilize weaponry and tain objectives, such as causing a spe- worth playing. West London. While this mixture of
attributes that, when played correctly cific amount of damage with a As stated earlier, the game is set up landscapes adds variety, the mechanics
and cooperatively, offer one of the most particular weapon. Getting through the in a serious of rounds or “waves” in of the game usually prevent you from
satisfying multiplayer experiences first level or two of each class won’t take which ever-growing groups of speci- seeing all of it. Players will eventually
around. too long, but the amount of time re- mens are thrown at you until you face start to hole up in the same spot over
Players can choose to either play quired to hit the later levels can seem al- down the final boss in the last wave. and over again, turning what should be
online, or “solo” in an offline single- most unreachable. This is especially Much like Left 4 Dead, you won’t just a frantic kill-fest into a shooting
player mode. Playing solo is like throw- true when the qualifications for leveling encounter the same monster; Killing gallery–sitting in the same spot waiting
ing your own birthday party and having become so specific, like scoring a cer- Floor has a cadre of special monsters, for monsters to come to the door and
nobody show up. It’s sad, depressing tain amount of headshots, that it be- each with their own abilities and weak- pulling the trigger.
and there’s nobody around to hear you comes more of a grind than something nesses that creates an advantage for the Overall, Killing Floor offers some-
cry when the monsters come to drag you would reach naturally. class-based game play. Some monsters thing new yet familiar. It contains many
you into the abyss. Also, the later waves Each class also lends itself to a par- are more susceptible to fire or explo- elements already seen in games today,
become so impossible to manage on ticular play style. For example, the sions, as opposed to regular gunfire, but combines them in a way never seen
your lonesome that it is nigh un- Sharpshooter is better suited for players making them better suited to be taken before. It may leave much to be desired
playable. I imagine that this mode was who want to pick off bad guys from a out by someone who can deliver dam- in the graphics department, as it is a
included merely for the sake of having a distance with well-placed shots. If age easily. This can be great when you budget title that was originally devel-
single-player option, but this game was you’re a player that delights in getting have the class structure to deal with oped as a mod for a game from six years
clearly meant to be played online. their hands dirty, then the Berserker them, but can be a complete game-killer ago, but that alone shouldn’t keep you
Before you begin, the player is class, which gives you bonuses to your if you’re hit with a ton of monsters you away.
asked to choose a specific class with skill with melee weapons, is your best can’t handle, and can easily bring your You can find Killing Floor in stores
bet. There are six classes in total: the game to an abrupt and infuriating end. and for download via Steam for $19.99.
16 Arts and Entertainment Vol. XXXII, Issue 1 | Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Staller Film Festival...They’re Greatttt!


dozen films and simultaneous broad- movie is not so much about cooking streets at dawn looking for an angry fix,
casts of the Metropolitan Opera. Full and food as it is about friendships and / angelheaded hipsters burning for the
By Iris Lin and listings are available at the drama of romantic entanglements. ancient heavenly connection to the
stallercenter.com. Although, there is a neat scene where starry dynamo in the machinery of
Matt Willemain Daniel is put on the spot and has to cre- night…” those are the first couple lines
Bride Flight ate and cook a dish using only noodles, of the poem “Howl” written by Alan
Dozens of new indie, art, foreign eggs, oranges, and some mint. Ginsberg.
feature and short films were screened Bride Flight opens on the familiar, At the restaurant Daniel meets fel- Howl, the film directed by Rob Ep-
on campus during the Fifteenth Annual weather-beaten face of Rutger Haur low co-workers Hanna (Nora stein, is about said poem and the 1957
Stony Brook Film Festival at the Staller (Batman Begins, Blade Runner) as eld- Tschirner) and Hugo (Giulio Berruti) obscenity trial regarding its publication.
Center for the Arts, over the course of erly Dutch vineyardist Frank. Making and they quickly become best pals in A majority of the film feels like a docu-
ten days at the end of July. the rounds of his gorgeous, expansive and out of the kitchen, going clubbing mentary due to the recreation of court-
A summer tradition, the film festi- New Zealand operation, Frank is al- and making short road trips. However, room scenes from the trial and
val brings a little cosmopolitan culture lowed the satisfaction of tasting a per- the relationship between Daniel and interview scenes with Ginsberg (James
deep into the suburban Long Island fect vintage before he is dispatched by Hanna is the main focus of the film. Franco). The interview segments were
landscape—the films complement the natural causes. With his death and fu- Daniel is drawn to Hanna from the mo- one of our favorite aspects of the film.
center’s live production of music, dance, neral a narrative framing ment he first sees her. Franco does an amazing job. He incor-
theatre and other performances. Pro- device, Bride Flights soars During their initial con- porates little nuances in gesticulation,
viding both early looks at movies which backwards in time to tell the versation, they seem to posture, and pausing that makes you
will be available to broad American au- story of a younger Frank have fundamentally dif- think it really is Ginsberg answering the
diences, as well as more esoteric offer- and the three women in his ferent views on love, but questions, instead of an actor reciting
ings that filmgoers might otherwise life. despite that, both Daniel lines. The courtroom scenes serve to
miss entirely, the film festival regularly The principles meet one and Hanna instantly click move the plot forward and comment on
stands out against a backdrop of limited another on “the last great and the attraction be- the battle between appropriate society
activity on campus over the summer. air-race” from London to tween the two is very ap- sanctioned behavior and the freedom to
This year, the festival again pro- New Zealand in 1953. For parent. express oneself and expand humanity’s
vided a varied group of interesting the most part, they are flee- Unfortunately things horizons.
movies, several of which are reviewed ing the destructive forces—a are not clean and simple, The film also includes scenes where
below. tremendous flood in the Netherlands Daniel has a girlfriend back home in Franco reads aloud excerpts from the
The Staller Center does a fairly (naïf Ada, as played by Karina Smulders Spain and Hanna is involved with the poem in front of crowded room full of
good job of walking a tightrope—serv- and Pleuni Touw), World War II (the owner of the restaurant, Thomas (Her- artsy-looking beatniks—although
ing two masters in the form of the un- charming Frank, played by Haur and bert Knaup), who is already married. sometimes the audience sees animation
dergraduate-predominated university Waldemar Torenstra, the Dutch James Bon Appetit is not your typical romantic corresponding to the verses being read
community as well as a very different Franco) and the Holocaust (flippant Es- movie, however, it is also about people instead. At first, we did not like the an-
off-campus local community. Serving ther, played by Anna Drivjer and learning more about themselves and imation, it did not seem to fit and in a
as a location for world class cultural of- Willeke van Ammelrooy). Only the their desires in life. In some ways it is way it narrows the creativity of the
ferings a performing arts enthusiast privileged Marjorie (Elise Schaap and more representative of what would hap- poem because it is only able to offer one
might expect to find in New York City, Petra Laseur) has avoided the troubles pen in real life, especially in regards to visual representation. However, it is un-
the center is supported by patrons from of the times. the ending of the film. Usually in ro- derstandable that the screen wouldn’t
across Long Island. At the same time, it The air-race serves simply as a ro- mantic movies when one person de- just be left blank and it allows the audi-
is integrated into the Stony Brook cam- manticized introduction, as the film clares their love for another, the other ence to contemplate the relation be-
pus. quickly delves into the maximally melo- person responds in kind with, “I love tween the visual art and the ideas
One of the conflicts this tension dramatic lives the characters live you too.” present in the poem.
creates is the potential for students to be through as young immigrants in New It was an enjoyable movie, although Franco’s reading of “Howl” is an es-
priced out of Staller Center offerings. Zealand. Set against a backdrop of we did not think it presented anything sential part of the film. There is a sig-
Director Alan Inkles remains passion- spectacular New Zealand landscapes, particularly new or exciting in the ro- nificant difference between reading a
ate about finding ways to enable some our four central figures struggle with mance genre. We did like how the film poem to yourself silently and hearing a
student access, however. The Staller the pasts they have fled and with the ended though, it showed how even poem read out loud. You are able to feel
Center is currently promoting efforts everyday dissatisfactions and startling though things don’t happen as you the rhythm of syllables flowing one after
such as the “First on Us” program (in- turns of fortune of their present lives. imagined and anticipated with the per- another, you can hear the dynamics as
coming freshman were provided a pass Reunited years later on the occasion of son you love, that doesn’t mean it’s a bad certain phrases and words are empha-
for any one program in the Staller’s Frank’s death, the women of the film are ending. Life can be a sized in contrast to
lineup) and discounted last minute rush given a stark opportunity to reflect. crazy mess, but still turn pauses and breaths
tickets. out alright. taken. We often under-
The Film Festival won’t return until Bon Appetit appreciate poetry, but
next July, but the Staller Center’s Fall Howl after watching this film,
lineup includes prominent string quar- Daniel (Unax Ugalde) has what it we have a greater respect
tet-in-residence the Emerson String takes to become a master chef; passion, “I saw the best for all forms of poetry
Quartet, jazz performances, American dedication, diligence and ingenuity. Bon minds of my generation and realize poems are
Idol Katherine McPhee, a family acro- Appetit, directed by David Pinillos, fol- destroyed by madness, meant to be expressed
batics show and a live reproduction of lows Daniel’s experiences as he begins starving hysterical vocally. Just hearing
song and dance from Bollywood cin- working at a high-class restaurant in naked, / dragging them- “Howl” made watching
ema. These live shows are joined by a Zurich, Switzerland. However, this selves through the negro this film worth it.
18 Vol. XXXII, Issue 1 | Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Essay
Life Without Principles (And Paychecks)
By Ross Barkan

P
resident Barack
Obama’s recent an-
nouncement that he
would ask Congress to
approve a wide-reaching
plan to drastically im-
prove and modernize our nation’s net-
work of railways, roads and airport
runways seemed like a cause for cele-
bration in one chamber of my discor-
dant mind. After lackluster and
nebulous stimulus bills that really
weren’t ambitious enough, President
Obama had finally decided to formulate
a bill that would not only create jobs like
the fabled public works projects of the
Great Depression era, but would also
bolster our nation’s failing public trans-
port systems which terribly lag behind
our international allies. Any Stony
Brook student marooned at one of Suf-
folk County’s pathetic bus stops can at-
test to this desperate need for better
public transportation in the United
States to make our lives more conven-
ient and also lessen our dependence on
automobiles which pollute our skies
and consume finite fossil fuels (as well
as keep us tethered to those chipper,
magnanimous middle Eastern oil
sheiks).
Ah, a jobs bill, a good jobs bill, just
what this country needs, right? More
jobs. The pragmatist in me nods. The
leftist in me nods. What’s most impor-
tant—this Press essay begins its life on
Labor Day—is to put the millions of
suffering and unemployed Americans
back to work. We need, need, need to
fix the economy, return our nation to its
preeminent perch, and continue to in-
novate and evolve, maintaining our
high (and materialistic) standard of liv- of his other essays you seriously should. women (with few exceptions) were con- posed the empty and oppressive nature
ing. They are required reading for all Amer- demned to the life of “quiet desperation” of modern civilization while celebrating
Discordant, mentioned in the open- icans. Thoreau, whose impassioned he wrote about so eloquently in Walden. the artist’s quest for independence.
ing sentence, provides a nice segue into writings about non-violent resistance to And Miller? He won’t be found in This all comes back to the next jobs
the other chamber of my mind that can’t injustice and his holy (and fairly scien- any high school curriculums and prob-
savor almost anything written in a tific) appreciation for the natural world ably eludes most college syllabi as well.
newspaper these days. This chamber have made him a hero in many circles, The writer of Tropic of Cancer, immor-
is not quite remembered as the radical talized in many best-of-the-20th cen- On one level, the gov-
holds all those observations and beliefs
that will from time to time be labeled who would despise the very idea of tury novel lists and Seinfeld, was a ernment should have a
quixotic, Romantic, ignorant, bullshit, “economy” that the United States and spiritual and intellectual disciple of
or anarchist. This is the chamber for the other industrialized nations champion Thoreau (Miller, born in 1891, was sig- moral obligation to en-
twin Henrys, my two favorite writers, today. A hero of leftists and libertarians nificantly younger than Thoreau, who syre uts citizens have a
Henry David Thoreau and Henry alike, Thoreau nevertheless would be died in 1862) who dropped a few more
Miller. dismayed by the course of history after f-bombs and c-words along the way. At good standard of
You might remember Thoreau his death. Industrialization won, regi- his best, Miller is our greatest writer, living.
from those English classes you dozed mentation and the modern work week soaring, beautiful and profound, a real-
off in. If you haven’t read Walden or any reigned, and generations of men and ist and mystic who, like Thoreau, ex-
The Stony Brook Press Essay 19

bill and subsequent acts passed down by borers who were coerced into work they the companion novel to Tropic of Can- what I think about, more than about
the government to get people back to never wanted any part of. He saw the cer, whose trap it’s going down or how
work. On one level, the government genius of man squandered in menial “I felt sorry for the human race, for much it costs. Why should I give a fuck
should have a moral obligation to en- work, drudgery, losing this gift of life the stupidity of man and his lack of about what anything costs? I’m here to
live, not to calculate. And that’s just
what the bastards don’t want you to
do—to live! They want to spend your
whole life adding up figures.”
And he goes on to fantasize about a
disorganized world without authority,
borders, jobs and limitations. Of course,
we can’t have society founded purely on
anarchy. Yet we can begin to think
about the nature of organization and
why such an enlightened and advanced
race of beings has built a socioeconomic
hierarchy that exploits the mass of men
and women to not only serve the inter-
ests of a terrifyingly small minority but
also teaches them that it’s perfectly rea-
sonable to sacrifice their natural free-
dom to wage slavery and a lifetime of
occupying themselves with activities
they disdain.
“This world is a place of business,”

...living is more than


the exchange of cur-
rency and the construc-
tion of a new glittering
office building.

Thoreau wrote in another brilliant


essay, “Life Without Principle.” “What
an infinite bustle! I am awaked almost
every night by the panting of the loco-
motive. It interrupts my dreams. There
is no Sabbath. It would be glorious to
see mankind at leisure for once. It is
nothing but work, work, work…To
have done anything by which you
earned money merely is to have been
truly idle or worse.” Ah, if only a presi-
dent could come along who would be
capable of actual change. If only a
sure its citizens have a good standard of granted to them at birth. imagination…If you tell a guy in the leader could end the American’s slavish
living. And to ensure this standard of It is tragic, says one part of my street you’re hungry you scare the shit dependence on a paycheck to stay alive.
living in the way society is currently mind, that so many people are out of Surely, at some point in time, we can de-
constructed, this means working. But work. However, let’s see this from an- vise a more humane system.
should things be the way they are? other angle. Why must this be a It is tragic, says one On a superficial level, a jobs bill is
Thoreau and Miller would say no. tragedy? Why must not working full- nice but we need a leader to transcend
“The millions are awake enough for time be a death sentence in this society part of my mind, such ideas and realize that living is more
physical labor; but only one in a million unless one is not independently than the exchange of currency and the
is awake enough for effective intellec- wealthy? Imagine if the work cycle as we that so many people construction of a new glittering office
tual exertion, and only 1 in a 100 mil- know it were eliminated, or scaled back, building. As Thoreau teaches us from
lion for a poetic or divine life. To be or revolutionized in some way to give
are out of work. the grave, we must not do things merely.
awake is to be alive. I have never met a individuals more time to pursue their We must have a higher end. We must
man who was quite awake,” Thoreau own interests, spend more time with liberate ourselves from the yokes we
wrote in Walden as he observed the their family and appreciate the simple have laid upon our backs.
back-breaking and wretched existence fact that they are alive. I am reminded out of him, he runs like hell. That’s Welp, in the mean time, let’s enjoy
of farmers, textile workers and child la- of Miller’s words in Tropic of Capricorn, something I never understood…That’s the possibility of quicker trains.

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