Stony Brook USG

The Stony Brook Community Would Be Nothing Without USG, They Deserve Every Dollar They Get

The Statesman got it wrong.


This past week, the Stony Brook Statesman released a damning article decrying the compensation entitled to the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) at Stony Brook University—namely, the fact that USG senators and executive committee members are financially compensated for their services. Before I say any more about the audacity of this accusation, I should probably explain my own experiences as an e-board member of various student organizations. I have worked extensively with USG throughout my 4 years of undergrad, and I think that the members of USG deserve a standing ovation and nothing less than praise for all the work that they do for the Seawolf community.

I worked as a Treasurer for the Stony Brook UNICEF Campus Initiative, a Vice President of Community Service for the National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS), a founding member and fundraising chair for the newly-minted National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS), and as a Co-Head of Community Service for the Muslim Students Association (MSA), alongside a multitude of other leadership roles on Stony Brook campus.

In each of these roles, I was required to collaborate alongside USG to secure funding and promotion for a variety of events, such as MSA's Midnight Run, UNICEF's trip to the annual Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C, and NSCS's March 2 College event. Every interaction that I had with the administration in SAC 202 in preparation for these events was marked by nothing short of the utmost professionalism and sincerity in their efforts to help me submit the required paperwork and obtain approval in a timely fashion for our efforts to become a reality.

I have had no higher honor at Stony Brook than being able to work alongside such motivated, time-sensitive, and determined visionaries in USG, who taught me everything that I know now about the sacrifices of leadership, the rewards of a hard work ethic, and the perseverance to push past mind-rending exhaustion in order to meet the demands of over 500 clubs at SBU.

Every day, I would walk into SAC 202 and see the USG Treasurer working hard to properly file all of the vouchers that clubs would submit in order to organize funding for events. I would see the President constantly meeting with heads of various departments in order to ensure that privileges that we get to enjoy as Seawolves, things we take for granted—such as Roth Regatta, Back to the Brook, Wolfieland, and Brookfest—were arranged properly on time.

I would see the USG Secretary working hard to secure meeting times with line-budget clubs in order to make sure grants were decided upon through Senate hearings, listening to the various reasons as to why a specific club needed their grant to represent SBU. Throughout all of these situations, not once did I witness any of the USG staff lose their composure—they worked tirelessly through endless Senate meetings, proposal sessions, and planning through a slew of events without so much as a whiff of a complaint.

For all of their efforts, the members of USG deserve nothing less than the highest praise, and they have absolutely earned their financial compensation. Without all of their hard work and dedication, our campus would not be nearly as vibrant as it is now. Their commitment to the Seawolf community should never be doubted.

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To The Nursing Major During The Hardest Week Of The Year

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.


To the Nursing Major During Finals Week,

I know you're tired, I know you're stressed, and I know you feel like you can't go on. I know that no part of this seems fair, and I know you are by far the biggest critic of yourself. I know that you've thought about giving up. I know that you feel alone. I know that you wonder why in the world you chose one of the hardest college majors, especially on the days it leaves you feeling empty and broken.

But, I also know that you love nursing school. I know your eyes light up when you're with patients, and I know your heart races when you think of graduation. I know that you love the people that you're in school with, like truly, we're-all-in-this-together, family type of love. I know that you look at the older nurses with admiration, just hoping and praying that you will remain that calm and composed one day. I know that every time someone asks what your college major is that you beam with pride as you tell them it's nursing, and I know that your heart skips a beat knowing that you are making a difference.

I know that no grade can possibly prove what kind of nurse you will be. I know that no assignment will showcase your compassion. I know that a failed class doesn't mean you aren't meant to do this. I know that a 'C' on a test that you studied so. dang. hard. for does not mean that you are not intelligent. I know that no amount of bad days will ever take away the empathy inside of you that makes you an exceptional nurse.

I know that nursing school isn't fair. I know you wish it was easier. I know that some days you can't remember why it's worth it. I know you want to go out and have fun. I know that staying up until 1:00 A.M. doing paperwork, only to have to be up and at clinicals before the sun rises is not fair. I know that studying this much only to be failing the class is hard. I know you wish your friends and family understood. I know that this is difficult.

Nursing school isn't glamorous, with the white lab coat and stethoscope. Nursing school is crying, randomly and a lot. Nursing school is exhaustion. Nursing school is drinking so much coffee that you lose track. Nursing school is being so stressed that you can't eat. Nursing school is four cumulative finals jam-packed into one week that is enough to make you go insane.

But, nursing school is worth it. I know that when these assignments are turned in and finals are over, that you will find the motivation to keep going. I know that one good day of making a difference in a patient's life is worth a hundred bad days of nursing school.

Keep hanging in there, nursing majors. It'll all be worth it— this I know, for sure.

So, if you have a nursing major in your life, hug them and tell them that you're proud of them. Nursing school is tough, nursing school is scary, and nursing school is overwhelming; but a simple 'thank-you' from someone we love is all we need to keep going.


A third-year nursing student who knows

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Why Fordham Should Have a Safe Space Policy

On a campus committed to it's student's safety, why is emotional safety left out?


Last year college Republicans were asked to leave Rodrigue's coffee house for provoking members by wearing pro-Trump attire within the shop. The reason they were asked to leave was because Rodrigue's upholds a "safe space" policy, which can be boiled down to the simple phrase: "No racism. No sexism. No homophobia." In the eyes of the members and patrons of Rod's, Trump embodied all of these things. Regardless of the politics of this specific incident, the phrase and policy seems redundant because this rhetoric can't possibly be allowed anywhere else on campus. Right?

As this incident made campus as well as national news Father McShane addressed the events in an e-mail to all students in which he made it clear he did not condone the approach of the College Republicans, as well as stated that Fordham has no official Safe Space policy and insinuated if it did this would silence voices on campus.

Let's examine what a safe space policy means and why it's important to so many members of the Fordham community. It simply means homophobic, sexist, and racist imagery and speech are not allowed. On a campus with racial minority, female, and queer students who chose to be members of the Fordham community as well as study here, live here, and pay obscene amounts of money to be a student, it does not make sense for these individuals to be subjected to abuses related to their identity. How can you focus in class when your professor misgenders you, a student makes a disparaging comment about your religion, or you fear for your physical safety due to the way you present yourself? Bigoted rhetoric is oppositional to academia.

Fordham is a private university, not a public one, and could easily legislate a basic safe space guideline on campus. I understand many of us that a safe space policy would protect do not experience outward aggression often, if at all, as the University does take steps to ensure our safety. So why no official policy? The answer is simple to me: money. Fordham receives hefty donations from conservative alumni whose own political ideology is contrary to the safe space policy. The choice to not outwardly support minority students is a decidedly economic and political one, despite Father McShane's plea for political peace on campus.

And what is wrong with silencing hateful voices? Tolerance is an incredibly important value, but should tolerance really extend to the intolerant? I found the logic behind not installing the policy as it would politically oppress individuals, incredibly interesting and telling. This means your politics are fatally bigoted and I would take a critical look at that. It's intrinsic to our perception of our school to remember that colleges are businesses and it is sometimes their prerogative to meet economic needs above the needs of their student body. However, this is hopeful. As patrons of this business, we can demand more of them and the most effective way to do this is economical. Invest money in places such as Rodrigue's to expand their voice, have your parents write letters to the school, tell at-risk individuals to not apply, and encourage alumni to earmark their money for minority student initiatives or withhold it unless the school legislates a safe space policy.

We as a student body should care for one another and above all respect the personhood of everyone on and off campus. Consider honoring the policy in your own lives and social circles, and demand Fordham to officially do the same.

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