Stony Brook USG

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

The Statesman got it wrong.

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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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Dear Mom and Dad, You Don't Understand What College Is Actually Like In The 21st Century

I can skip class. I can leave early, and I can show up late. But, ya see, I am not doing that.
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College is not what you think it is. I am not sitting in a classroom for six hours listening to a professor speak about Shakespeare and the WW2.

I am not given homework assignments every night and told to hand them in next class.

I do not know my daily grade for each of the five classes I am taking, and I don't know if my professor even knows my name.

College today is a ton different than how it was 20+ years ago.

I go to class for about maybe three hours a day. Most of my time working on "college" is spent outside of the classroom. I am the one responsible for remembering my homework and when my ten-page essay is due.

I can skip class. I can leave early, and I can show up late. But, ya see, I am not doing that. I am a responsible person, even if you do not think I am.

I do get up every morning and drive myself to class. I do care about my assignments, grades, my degree, and my career.

I spend a lot of time on campus having conversations with my friends and relaxing outside.

I am sick of older generations thinking that us millennials are lazy, unmotivated, and ungrateful. While I am sure there are some who take things for granted, most of us paying to get a degree actually do give a s**t about our work ethic.

Dear mom and dad, I do care about my future and I am more than just a millennial looking to just get by.

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlyn Moore

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How To Stay Mentally Healthy In College

Our mental health is just as important as our physical health.

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Staying healthy in college seems really, really hard to do. Classes, friends, clubs, and the whole fact of living by yourself can create a lot of stress and anxiety. Most students, and people in general, don't really know how to deal with stress or how to take care of themselves mentally, leading to unhealthy behaviors physically and mentally. If you don't take care of your mental health, your physical health will suffer eventually. Here are a few tips and tricks to help take care of your mental health:

1. Eat a well-balanced diet

Eating fruits, vegetables, grains, and other healthy foods will help you feel more energized and motivated. Most people associate eating a balanced diet as beneficial for your physical health, but it is just as important for your mental health.

2. Keep a journal and write in it daily

Writing can be one of the most relaxing and stress-relieving things you can do for yourself. Writing down the issues you are struggling with or the problems you are encountering in your life on a piece of paper can help you relax and take a step back from that stress.

3. Do something that brings you joy

Take some time to do something that brings you joy and happiness! It can be really easy to forget about this when you are running around with your busy schedule but make some time to do something you enjoy. Whether it be dancing, writing, coloring, or even running, make some time for yourself.

4. Give thanks

Keeping a gratitude log — writing what brings you joy and happiness — helps to keep you positively minded, which leads to you becoming mentally healthy. Try to write down three things that brought you joy or made you smile from your day.

5. Smile and laugh

Experts say that smiling and laughing help improve your mental health. Not only is it fun to laugh, but laughing also helps you burn calories! There's a reason why smiling and laughing are often associated with happiness and joyful thoughts.

6. Exercise

Staying active and doing exercises that energize your body will help release endorphins and serotonin, which both act as a natural antidepressant. Keeping an active lifestyle will help you stay happy!

7. Talk out your problems

All of us deal with stress and have problems from time to time. The easiest and probably most beneficial way to deal with this stress and anxiety is to talk it out with a close friend, family member, or even a counselor.

8. See a counselor, peer mentor, or psychologist

Just like it was stated in the previous point, it is beneficial to talk out your problems with a counselor. We all have issues, and it is OK to ask for help.

Keeping up your mental health in college can be a struggle, and it may be hard to even admit you are not mentally healthy. This is OK; you are not alone. If you want to see a psychologist or would like to learn more about mental health, there are resources. You can also take a self-assessment of your mental health. If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, please, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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