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Stony Brook University

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Academics are great. Living on campus is two thumbs down so the two outweigh each other unless you want to commute, then you won't have as many problems. Our school has a big population, and I say that's good and bad. It's good because there are always a lot of people to interact with and it just feels livelier. I’m used to a big population, and this almost feels small with over 15,000 people on campus daily. It's bad because classes and dorming are beyond overcrowded. Dorming for freshman and transfers went from doubles, to triples, and is now overflowing into quadruples-in a double room. Talk about a fire hazard. Most classes are huge, especially the intro classes like intro psych, into bio courses etc. Those can go up to 600 students so if you don't understand what's going on, go to the office hours because you won't be noticed or helped otherwise. A lot of classes do not have individual interactions and professors don't care who you are. So get noticed, stay and ask a question you may know an answer to, or just email them. Some professors are young too, so they get it, just talk to them. Also, getting in touch with professors, chairpersons and other officials can be a hassle sometimes. Outside of professors, people who work there just don't care about you; you're a number so don't expect to get personalized help, or be noticed unless you become friends with them, or you have some sort of outstanding achievement. Emergency appointments also don't work, be prepared to plan ahead for appointments or just to even track down RHD's (residential hall directors who should have hours mon-fri & live in your building but are almost never there because of meetings, errands etc), and even at the clinic if you fall ill. You'd probably still have to make an appointment for the next day. Overcrowding is the cause of many problems at this school-shortage of housing, not enough seats in classroom, longer periods to grade work, long lines for food in dining halls, and even a shortage of food at times. There is always food somewhere, but cafeterias do run out of items especially at the end of the semester so be prepared for a possible turkey sandwich...just bread and turkey, a small rarity, but does happen. Also, vegetarians and vegans won't enjoy eating on campus because the options are slim to non-existent. If you want to grab a snack between classes and the 10-20 min you might have, good luck. You'll be standing on a line way past that time limit. This is also a huge problem of current president. The money is being used on repairing roads, which don't need work, dining rooms that didn't need a drastic and immediate change, and therefore are currently out of commission even while we have too many students. There are new lecture halls and other buildings being constructed when we have a high demand for housing. Two new dorms are being built, but we need much more than that if students are now being quadrupled, and a lot don't get moved out either so you might be stuck with three other people you hate for the entire year, in really small rooms. Some are bearable and decent; others can barely fit two people with all the furniture. Your bed functions as your chair for your desk in some rooms. Imagine four people, and four beds. But you still only get two closets, two dressers, and two desks. Housing is by far the biggest compliant. But if you can commute, you're golden. Also, the social life does not exist here. People go home weekends and therefore shorter dining hours, and one campus bus every 30-40 min compared to 4 differently routed buses that operate 10-15 minutes apart. We also have almost on campus activities for weekends except for the beginning of fall each year, for freshman to become more acquainted with the school. But we do get some good shows at the Staller center once in a while. Don't be fooled by the $25 + ticket prices for some shows. Arrive 15 minutes before the show and ask for rush tickets. $7, and one per student only. There's no sign that will tell you that. Also at the SAC (student activities center), there are good shows, and cheap too. Comedy shows, talent shows, fashion shows. It might sound boring and dumb, but it's actually not that bad. We also have decent Greek life. So if you're looking for that, there's plenty of it. Other than that, in terms of parties, drugs, etc, there's no difference between here and other schools. Having guests is easy, no signing papers, no special hours etc. There are written rules, but I have yet to hear or see someone following those rules. It's just not a big deal but if you throw a big enough party, cops will show, and students aren't afraid to yell at you out their window to tell you to shut up. A plus is that we get public transportation to the mall and a mall bus on weekends so you can get some grocery shopping if you live in an apartment or just want to have some munchies around your room. Transportation wise, we're right next to the LIRR. You get off the train, and you're on campus. Very easy transport into the heart of the NYC too with a train every two hours both ways. But, besides the 7-11, a pizza place, bookstore for classes, a barbershop, deli and another few stores, you'll need a car. There are no sidewalks off campus and a walk is really far. It's either the public bus ($1 per ride for students, only once an hour) or a car. It's doable and a lot of students don't have cars, especially freshman and sophomores (not allowed unless you have an off campus job). Parking can also be a hassle. More students = more cars = less open spots. Still doable, but once in a while it is a huge pain.

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I love Stony Brook University with all my heart. However, I do realize that SBU is not an ideal fit for everyone. Choosing a college is a very important decision and should not be done hastefully. Here are some factors that I believe are important about every university. I have included some details about why I specifically love Stony Brook for each catagory. 1. Location – Do you want to live close to home or do you want to live in a completely new environment? Personally, Stony Brook was the ideal balance between close proximity to my family and a new environment. Campus is only a 1 hour drive away from home, however, I don’t find myself feeling obligated to see my family every weekend. On a positive note, due its proximity and the amazing public transportation services on Long Island I have gone home on weekdays just to eat dinner with the family. Along with location comes an often overlooked factor – weather. If you are not someone who enjoys the snow chances are you would not like going to college in upstate New York. I personally love Stony Brook because we get every type of weather. This allows me to add to my ever expanding shoe collection with new boots, flip flops, sandals, etc.Stony Brook University is located on Long Island which offers a great suburban life as well as access to the world's greatest city - Manhatten! I am able to easily get to NYC with an hour drive or a two hour train ride! In the summer Stony Brook's proximity to many of Long Island's best beaches is a great way to enjoy an afterwith with friends after classes. 2. Programs and majors - One of the most important things to look into when selecting a college are the programs they offer. Even though, a vast majority of students apply to college with an “undeclared” major, make sure your college of choice offers classes in the general subject matter you are interested in. I love Stony Brook because of their science curriculum. As a research university Stony Brook's science classes are challanging but engaging! Students are also always given the opportunity to conduct research with professors in a subject of interest. 3. Cost- It is very important to take into consideration the tuition rates when selecting a college. Obviously, you don’t want to put yourself into incredible amounts of debt as an undergraduate especially if you are planning on pursuing higher education. Luckily, Stony Brook is a public school (SUNY – State University of New York) and has relatively affordable costs of attendance. :) 4. Extracurricular Activities – These expereinces not only compliment things you learn in class but also they can serve as a way to explore on of your new passions. Stony Brook has over 300 clubs and organizations! I am 100% sure that within this vast number you will find something you are passionate about. 5. Size of the undergraduate class- Most likely you knew everyone in your highs school graduating class but in college this can dramatically change depending on the size of your undergraduate student body.The nice thing about Stony Brook is that there is enough people that you can remain anonymous yet I have this theory that everyone knows everyone by at least 3 degrees. 6. What is the school “known” for?- I consider Stony Brook a well-rounded school but I am proud to say our strongest departments are science, engineering and journalism. Before you select a college do some research about their most popular and well known programs.

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Stony Brook as a whole is probably just about the perfect size. You can definitely find a place to sit and have a cup of coffee with some work throughout the day that does not revolve around running into people, or if you would rather, the exact opposite. Even though this sounds somewhat cheesy, I’ve really found that every aspect of your life here is what you make of it. As far as school pride goes, I definitely see a lack of that. I have gone to my fair share of football, basketball, and soccer games, but I can’t say that they’re the highlight of my time here in the least. They’re fun and everything- don’t get me wrong- but if all of the people that go to school here actually turned up at some games, there would be a major difference. Most commuters that I know just don’t bother. Obviously, to some people this kind of thing matters more than others. It doesn’t really make or break your time here regardless. To be completely honest, I don’t really feel one way or the other about administration. I sort of just know that when I need something taken care of I go over to the building and it usually gets handled pretty easily. In reality, no one really wants to deal with the stuff they have to get done anyway, so if people tell you something bad about administration it’s probably because they didn’t feel like being there in the first place. The main thing here is finding where you feel like you really fit in. It isn’t one of those schools you hear about that have absolutely nothing to do off campus because they are in the middle of nowhere. It is a great college that has everything that Long Island can offer. Within minutes away are restaurants, a mall and other shopping, convenience stores, the movies, bars, and more. Stony Brook is located close to the highway, and has a train station that is basically on campus. This creates easy access to the city and other locations, including home for many students. I would actually recommend taking the train just one stop to Port Jefferson, which has several great places to eat and shop right by the water (you can even get on a ferry), and it’s just a great way to spend the day. For me, all of this is a huge plus. I get the best of both worlds- home is nearby and there whenever I want, but I can still say that I am having a true college experience.

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There are a lot of things I want perspective frosh to know before coming to SBU. First of all, this school is huge! This includes both the tremendous size of campus as well as the number of students who attend here. It takes on average 5-9 minutes to walk almost anywhere from dorm halls to class. One thing I would definitely change is the on campus food. They got rid of Taco Bell (WHY?!). Wendy's, CPK, "Dunkin Donuts" (probably the ghetto-est ever), and the campus dining food gets sickening very quickly. The best thing about this school is that you are given a lot of freedom- but of course this entitles a lot of responsibility. People assume I party a lot and have so much fun when I tell them I go to this school. While I do have fun, it is only because my friends and I seek out the fun or make the fun ourselves. There aren't a lot of parties and the Greek life isn't impressive at all. The worst part of SBU is that since the campus is so big and a lot of people go home during the weekends, SBU is sort of dead. It becomes worse when you realize without a car, you are entrapped in this deserted island. Even when you go off campus, there is nothing to do for quite a great radius. My opinion of the school's administration is that they are bunch of suits trying to steal any kind of money they can from its students whether it be through an annual increase in tuition or ridiculous prices for books. The biggest recent controversy on campus was the fact that there are new charges being added to the tuition but just recently the university was given $1.5 million...(exactly?!). I do admit there is a lot of school pride- just go to any student ask them "WHAT'S A SEA WOLF?" and find out for yourself what we think of ourselves. Classes here are really hard and you must keep up with the material otherwise you are going to be as depressed as the kids that are sitting at the library the night before the final! One experience I will always remember is meeting all of my friends. Because of that one incident, I am able to have fun and make the best of my time here at Stony Brook.

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When I first came to Stony Brook, I didn't have an overall opinion of the school. But now after a year and a half, I have made my own opinion based on experience. Even though there are problems with administration and the Undergraduate Student Government, Stony Brook is a very good place to be for undergraduates in terms of the education you get, groups to get involved with, and the people you get to know. The education in the school of journalism is top notch. Many of the journalism professors come from Long Island's Newsday, and some are even on staff there while they teach. I can't speak for other majors but of the other classes that I have taken that aren't in my major they have been taught by people who are knowledgeable of their field of study. There are so many different groups to get involved with, it's kind of overwhelming. One of the days that shaped my opinion of Stony Brook was the Involvement Fair; from the fraternities/sororities, to the five different student press organizations, to the multitude of sports teams (both intramural and division teams), and so many more I was blown away by what Stony Brook has to offer to get involved. I know I'm talking about a lot of positive things about my school, but is also a negative side. We don't have a college town. On the weekends it can get pretty depressing if you don't have anything to do. There is a Weekend Council that is supposed to schedule events, but they are scattered and don't happen every day of the weekend. Many students commute from the surrounding Long Island area so when they leave for the night/weekend suddenly there are no more fun events to go to. The price of food is another hot topic as it's hard to eat a full meal without spending over $10. But there are a lot of food options, yet it's very hard to find a healthy meal.

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Stony Brook is too large! For people who dont have cars the smallest tasks could be the biggest pain in the ass. For example, buying a pack of cigarettes or going grocery shopping. It seems like Stony Brook should be its own little self sufficient community where the college students can walk to wherever they need to go. The campus bar is a complete failure- no one goes and most people don't even know about it. Another thing- the food here consists of really these choices: really bad pizza, prepackaged sandwiches, overpriced salad, stale fried food, tacos, or asian cuisine. There is no dining hall which you pay a price and eat whatever you want to except for weekend brunch at the residential dining halls which isn't too great. Sometimes the maintenance people come to fix problems right away, and sometimes you have to wait a long time. The residential buildings can be good as long as you get in with the right people- and terrible if you get stuck in a bad building. It seems like most of the problems I hear about come from the Kelly Quad, which has balconies that people apparently break in from, and steal. The time I've been here I have not noticed school pride, but the people who play sports seem to stick together and there's gotta be some pride within those groups. There are a billion sororities and fraternities but most of them seem like ethnic group organizations. So, if you are a middle class caucasian person not from long island or NYC, you might feel a little lost here... not really during the day when all the commuters are here... but living on campus and on weekends sure thing.

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There are a few great things about Stony Brook. For the money cautious, it is affordable, and they LOVE to give money away, even if its a little. Though Stony Brook may not be a Boston University or Columbia, we are regaining our stance among the ivies. Each year we're getting new facilities built, our popularity start to increase and more and more people are seeing Stony Brook as a great school to go to. From the 2 years alone that I've been at Stony Brook, there has been many changes, and they're only going to get better. The administration can be a little bureaucratic, at least we got a couple of awesome teaching faculty to make up for that. The classes I've taken for my major have been great and we really have amazing professors active in research. Even in a class of 600 students, its not hard to walk up to the professor and strike up a conversation about anything, not only the class material. We're special in the sense that we encourage students to do research right from freshman year, and its not just cleaning the lab, but hands on projects that may even get published! Going to the actual layout of the University, we're pretty big, the largest SUNY. After the first week, I never bothered me how large my campus was. Especially the way we divide the freshman, into Undergraduate Colleges (separated from our Academic Colleges) based on the student interests. It made the 25,000 + student body down to just a couple hundred students who at least shared one thing in common with. Made adjusting to Stony Brook a hell of a lot easier.

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The best thing about Stony Brook is the marine science department. the teachers are wonderful, the staff is wonderful, the mini campus is wonderful. I love taking marine, and environmental classes because i really feel like i'm part of something. however, i'm also a commuter student which just makes life so much more difficult. commuters are not treated with consideration at all. the school is never shut when it snows, even though that means risking our lives to make it to class, the parking situation is horrible, there's usually not enough buses on cold, rainy, or snowy days, and there's no heating bus stops on the campus. Many times, students are left outside huddled together like pigeons, to keep warm. Also the class schedules are horrible. Usually classes that are needed for a particular major are offered at the same time, or at the most distant time periods. every year there is frustration in making the schedule. and with breaks, it's even worse as a commuter student. unless u want to study or eat, there is no place to go. if u want to a nap between classes, u can't go anywhere that is halfway quiet, and once i even got told by a police officer that i couldnt sleep in my car, although i was in the south p, and in my own car. what's unusual about stony brook is the huge campus, with classes in the most desolate, creepy areas, and only 10 minutes inbetween, so if your two classes are on opposite sides of the campus, be prepared to run.

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It is a good school. There is an abundance of interesting classes and a lot of new people to meet and get to know. However, tuition keep going up, the meal plan kind of sucks, and there is a lot of construction on campus. The campus is large, but not so big as so you couldn't walk completely across campus in about 15 minutes. Sometimes administrative red tape can be very confusing, but the staff are generally friendly even if they have no idea how to help you. School pride is something that is really big in some circles, and not so important in others. You can easily go to a rally and rage and cheer with hundreds of other students, or be comfortably, completely negligent. I like this aspect of the school; how they encourage school spirit without demanding it. Personally, my favorite area to hang out is the TAC or "Tabler Arts Center". Starting at around 9pm and lasting almost completely through the night people gather in front of the TAC to hang out, make friends, and be generally silly. I will always remember these giant gatherings of friends and soon to be friends as we experimented in all sorts of crazy things.

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Stony Brook is just the right size-- it's a pretty big school, but that means they have just about every topic imaginable to study. The surrounding town is good, but only if you have a car or aren't afraid of the bus system. The campus is beautiful and well maintained. I feel like the administration tries hard to have activities on campus frequently, but not at all in the winter. I guess there is a lot of school pride, but that only really applies to the athletic types, which I am not. I can happily say, however, that as a non-athletic student going here, the campus community is NOT entirely dominated by sports, which is (for me) a very good thing. The most frequent student complaints are probably the quality of some of the aging buildings, but I'd say that's kinda silly. Most of the buildings are beautiful and new. My biggest complaint is the parking situation-- there isn't enough. When you park somewhere you shouldn't for 2 seconds, you're ticketed, and they just recently raised the ticketing price to $30!!! (for no apparent reason)

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