Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Is Stony Brook "Dumping" On LI's Environment?

Threat of Southampton Campus Closure Disheartens More Than Students Alone

From our good friends at EastEndEnvironment.org, who remind us that the environment and sustainability are everyone's concern.

Is SUNY missing the forest for the trees? Can the Southampton Campus be saved? Are we once again merely paying lip service to sustainability here on Long Island? Did the State of New York squander taxpayer money yet again?

From Elmont in the west to Montauk in the east, we are all Long Islanders.

We report. You decide. We all take action!
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From EastEndEnvironment.org:
Take Action: State University (SUNY) to Dump Environmental Campus at Southampton
by Group Staff

State University (SUNY) to Dump Environmental Campus at Southampton
Read on to TAKE ACTION.

Yesterday, Stony Brook University’s new President Samuel Stanley stunned several hundred confused and saddened students by announcing his plan to essentially shut down the State University’s brand new environmental campus in Southampton. In the face of pending state budget cuts, Stony Brook’s new leadership claims it cannot sustain the campus that, ironically, hosted the university’s Sustainability Studies programs. Click here for a video of the rally.

Campus Dedicated to Sustainability Never Given a Chance
Just a few years ago, the East End community rallied behind Stony Brook University to save Southampton College from closure. Under its prior President Shirley Strum Kenny, Stony Brook agreed to take the campus over and invested $35 million in renovations and began a courageous effort to create a campus curriculum with heavy focus on conservation and sustainability. Students feel they were never given a chance to build the campus to its full potential. Click here for the Southampton Press coverage.

Campus Produces Volunteers, Interns, Future Employees
Over the years, the Group for the East End has recruited many volunteers, interns and professional staff members from Southampton College and recently reestablished that same positive relationship with the new SUNY campus as well. Our region depends on this campus to produce people who understand community planning and the conservation ethic that peacefully links humans and the natural environment on the East End.

Closure Will Negatively Impact Local Economy and Education
The Southampton campus contributes greatly to the local economy, from students and faculty who use local services and dine out in local restaurants to graduates who remain in the area and become part of our community. In addition, some local young members of the community rely on the university as a feasible means of achieving higher education close to home. Click here for the Southampton Town Supervisor’s support of the campus.

TAKE ACTION to Save the Southampton Campus

Given the level of investment made in the Southampton campus, we do not accept that the programs must be abandoned before they have ever been given a chance to succeed and have hope that our state leaders who have been crucial to the preservation of the Southampton campus.

Who’s On Our Side?
Click here to e-mail Senator LaValle and Assemblyman Thiele to express your support for their efforts to restore funding to SUNY Stony Brook at Southampton, so the campus may remain open and continue to grow as an asset to our region.

Who’s Against Us?
Click here to e-mail SUNY Stony Brook President Samuel Stanley. Let him know you oppose his decision to close the campus with little warning and no input from the students. You may also want to call his office at 631-632-6265 or mail a letter to:

The Office of the President
310 Administration Building
Stony Brook, NY 11974-0701

Click here to e-mail SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher. Let her know that you oppose the closure of the campus and ask her to take control to restore funding so it can remain open.

By Kate Schertel, Director of Community Outreach
Contact: Kate Schertel
(631) 765-6450, ext. 208

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