How close you get to you professors really depends on what kinds of classes you are taking. In my freshman and sophomore years, it was rare that I ever spoke to a professor. Sure, they had office hours and were more than willing to help out whenever they were needed; however, because I classes were large and I never really struggled, I didn't feel like being imposing. Now that I am a senior and my classes have become specialized, it is rare for my professors not to know my name. The smaller class size usually lends itself to more open an interesting discussions as students become less timid about expressing their opinion. I love all the classes, except for the ones I hate. Classes I've found particularly off putting are the general level classes for chemistry and math. General Chemistry, the basics, was explained in an overly complicated and difficult way that really did nothing to inspire my learning process, and the math teachers didn't quite know how to explain the material in such a way that it translated well to me. I believe this is Because of how basic the material was. That, because the professors were so far beyond the basics, it was hard for them to simplify something that, to them, was already ridiculously simple. As classes progressed off the more basic levels, their teaching style became more comprehensive and understandable. I love having intellectual conversations outside of class, People here are smart and come up with a bunch of crazy awesome, interesting ideas. My major is Health Sciences. This means my senior year I will spend learning about the health industry and health related subject in the Stony Brook Hospital. The first semester of doing this in my senior year was somewhat of a let down: Health Science classes were slow, boring, and there were a bunch of unpleasant group projects. However, now that I am in the second semester, I have found that the classes have become quite a bit more interesting. While I have always been interested in learning for knowledge sake, this major specifically is geared towards future employment. I find it quite helpful ass I know I will have to graduate eventually.
There is a lot of diversity on campus which is I found to be great. But, if you look chinese and take a chinese language course, you'll be expected to be a top student. Same thing if you're french and take a class in french, or spanish. We do have a decent sized jewish population and a kosher place on campus, but it's only place, with short working hours. Everyone is treated the same in terms of religion and culture. If you want something special, you have to go out and find it. We have a japanese/indian/chinese dining hall, but the food selection never changes. There are events catered to certain religions, but not a huge diversity, just your basics and a small amount to each. As far as I know, there is a small LGBT population, but then again, many people might not be open to it, but it is small, and a decent amount of straight supporters, but also somewhat small. Students dress casual, very casual, some even go in PJ's. When you're in NYC, there is a distinctive style, and people are more dressed up but on campus, it's T-shirts and jeans year round with the occasional girl in a mini-skirt while there's a blizzard out. Also, outside of a club, team, and you're friends, people don't interact. Students don't care about anyone else. There are friendly people, but a lot have the New York mentality of "who the hell are you?! and why are you bothering me?" paired up with a weird stare. It's takes some patience to get others to talk, but expect to be ignored at first.
As I have said before, I have met many different kinds of students at Stony Brook. We have an Interfaith Center on campus that represents all religions. I am Jewish but I haven't joined any Jewish faith groups on campus because they scared me away when the rabbi wouldn't talk to my non-Jewish friends. As for socio-economic backgrounds, they really vary. Many students wear their Gucci to class, while others have a hard time paying tuition by their second week at school. But there's never a worry about not being accepted because every student at Stony Brook is a seawolf and we really bond over that fact once you're here. You just have to join the kind of clubs you want to get involved in and make a life around those groups and the friends you make in your building and never let an opportunity go to make a new friend. Stony Brook is having an Occupy Wall Street inspired protest on Wednesday but I have met students who are Republicans at heart and would be against OWS at Stony Brook. I sometimes wish that there weren't clubs and organizations that defined themselves by their racial or ethnic background because it really doesn't allow other students to become involved in what they want to. For example groups like the Phillipine Union Student Organization (PUSO) is defined by their ethnicity so other students who might want to get involved in the PUSO Modern Dance Crew feel like they can't because they aren't Filipino.
When you walk around Stony Brook, you definitely feel like it’s diverse. There seems to be a nice mixture of racial and ethnic backgrounds, and social class too. I can’t tell you that things aren’t “clicky”, but before you know it you’re within your own clique and you never think about it again. I’ve found that classes are really the place where I branch out a little more. It’s like the comfort blanket that consists of your best friends gets pulled out from under you. Majority of the students here are from somewhere in New York, whether it is the city, Queens, Long Island or upstate. It’s actually really funny to see people’s reaction when they meet someone for the first time and find out they’re actually not from here. For those of you who want to avoid people you know from your own towns- it isn’t really too bad. You might just have to go through the occasional, “Hey how’s it going I’ve missed you what are you up to” routine, but other than that it’s really no big deal. Let me give you everything you need to know about fashion here. Basically- wear whatever you want whenever you want. I like to get dressed and at least somewhat put together for class. I’ve noticed that since a lot of people commute, there are many girls that tend to do the same. And hey, if you’re one of those crawl-out-of-bed people, go for it.
Stonybrook is a very diverse place and anyone tolerant of that wouldn't feel out of place. I would probably not recommend someone who does not have a very outgoing personality to go to the school. Students wear a wide range of things to class but usually average middle-class cloth. You can see students dress certain ways for religious reasons. Students usually interact based on where they live or based on what organization they're in. Students who are members of very competitive or very active organizations spent a lot of time together otherwise they interact in very small groups. Most Stonybrook students are either from Long Island or New York City. There are however, students from other places and a lot of international students. Financial background is mostly lower to upper middle-class. Some students are very politically aware while others are totally apathetic. Politically for the most part students lean to the left. Weather students talk about how much they'll earn depends on the major they're in. The conversation is common-place in majors like Engineering and computer science yet rarely heard in things like political science or english.
The types of students that attend SBU vary incredibly. You will probably never encounter as many different types of students of different backgrounds and different interests. The school has every time of ethnicity, religion, socio-economic, and LGBT student attending here. I think any student will be welcomed here because of the number of different clubs and groups existing here. Most students wear normal clothing to school, while you do have the occasional student wearing PJs that comes into lecture. All the different types of students definitely interact with each other through ethnic organizations and Greek life. Four tables of students you will see at dining halls are athletes, Greek life, various ethnicities, and a mix of everything. Students are from all over the world. There are definitely a lot of students from different countries like Korea as well as different states such as all the way from the West Coast. Most students here are in the middle class of the economy. Students are really politically aware and even have their own organizations on campus. Students here are very goal oriented.
I think that caucasian transfer students from the US but not from the Long Island NYC area are the worst off here. Not to be self-defeating, but this is my personal experience. I am not from around here and getting used to the area was hard enough before I had to learn to live with people who I had absolutely nothing in common with, who didn't care to meet me. Just about any out-of-country student can find a group of people here which they will fit right into, but for me it took a considerable amount of time. The transfer students aren't really introduced to Stony Brook in a way which gets them thinking about clubs or extracurriculars. For some reason I've also come to the conclusion that people just aren't as friendly on Long Island as they are in other places . Its hard to meet people who dont already have their entire lives planned out to the minute because they are in their element, they are still home, and you aren't. Most Stony Brook students are from Flushing, Queens or somewhere on the island.
What we pride ourselves as it that Stony Brook is DIVERSE. And for someone who comes from NYC, Stony Brook does a pretty good job at that. We get people from everywhere and there is a place for everyone. Its hard to feel left out of campus, since there are many groups all around. Though you do see homogeneous groups of Asians (as in Chinese groups, or Indian groups, etc) which is our stereotype student body, look closer and its pretty diverse. Also these groups as not stand alone or exclusive. Often members are there for their cultural means and diverge to other groups, who are not just one ethnic background. The majority of groups on campus are diverse and range from the sorority/fraternity interactions to just randomness and no one really belongs to a specific group. I myself can be the "marching band geek" for my participation in the color guard, but also just hang out with a large group of friends with different majors and interests. It really varies and its hard not to find a place to "fit in"
unless you're in a cool science major (marine, environmental, geology, archaeology) you're not usually a fun person. Too interested in work. there are some real weirdos on campus, and people who think who the hell they are. You get completely opposite ends of the spectrum. some people are really snotty, and will wear designer shoes, shirts, pants, and handbags to class, while others really just got out of bed and went. usually it's cold, so i'll wear a hoody. four tables of students...the group of fast talking asians, the group of giggly girls with loud boys, the group of hoodlums (and you wonder how did they get accepted here), and then the group of just a few friends eating sac pizza. people are from near and far, poor and rich, everyone's different, but mostly democrats.
People aren't racist to the point of common interaction. A upstate new york student would feel out of place. Or someone who was happy with their life. Students who like people on the weekends would also feel out of place. Clothes. Some people wear expensive Prade, LV, Gucci but most wear Hollister for some reason because of their lack of style. Yes students interact well. The mauliks, brown kids, asians, rich white long island northfact kids. Long island, queens, NYC area. Some are really poor, some are extremely wealthy, most in between. Students are average politically, keep semi-tabs on the presidential race. We have both but alot of each. No i've never heard that ever.