Community Service Clubs on Campus

Community service clubs at Stony Brook University vary from organizations whose members spend their spring break volunteering in various parts of the country, to those who spend the school year fundraising for a camp for children whose parents have cancer. With all the driving factors that divide humans today, it’s comforting that community service organizations can bring strangers together to volunteer for causes bigger than any one individual.

Community service clubs at Stony Brook University extend their efforts to students by often hosting small events. For instance, earlier this month on November 9, Stony Brook University’s Circle K International chapter hosted Service Day. At this event, attendees, which varied other campus community service clubs and regular students, created projects that were later donated to the local community.

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Stony Brook’s CKI chapter, which is completely student-run and led, was founded in 2008 and is part of Circle K International, a “premier collegiate and university community service, leadership development, and friendship organization in the world.” The international organization has over 13,500 members throughout 17 nations. College or university chapters are sponsored by the Kiwanis club, a larger international community service club as well. Some other CKI service projects include the Six Cents initiative, a CKI international fundraiser that “aims to provide water to the 2.2 billion children worldwide who lack safe drinking water.” During the semester the Stony Brook chapter throws fundraisers, mainly in the form of bake sales.

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Other popular community service clubs on campus include Students Helping Honduras. SHH is an international non-governmental organization based both in the United States and Honduras. The organization fundraises money throughout each academic semester, which is used to help build schools in Honduras. “Our mission is to alleviate poverty and violence through education,” Ian Lesnick, president of SHH said. 

“The organization itself has a goal of building a thousand schools, that’s not something that happens overnight, obviously but it’s a long-term goal. We are a chapter of the organization so we’re one of the many chapters across the country and there are also other groups from other countries as well, which is pretty awesome to all come together. Throughout the semester we fundraise, so our goal this year is 20,000 [and] it cost 25,000 to build a school, so that is 80 percent of a school built because of the fundraising. We wanna get as many people down to Honduras as possible so they can see what we do [and] why we do it,” Lesnick said.

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In honor of #GivingTuesday, which was on November 28, SHH promoted their One Cup of Coffee donor program, which asks that individuals donate four dollars a month to support its service efforts in Honduras. SHH wasn’t the only club showing out for #GivingTuesday. Camp Kesem another well-known community service club on campus, baked cookies and cupcakes and headed over to the Student Activities Center to raise money for its annual summer camp for children.

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Camp Kesem, a national organization driven by college students, aims to “support children through and beyond their parent’s cancer.” In order to achieve this, club members throughout the country help raise money, which goes towards sending kids to camp for one week free of cost. Camp Kesem, which was founded at Stanford University in 2000, now has over 100 chapters in 40 states across the country.

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Stony Brook University has over 50 community services clubs on campus. One fairly new club is A Moment of Magic. MOM falls under A Moment of Magic Foundation, a national organization whose mission is to “spread some magic, and a little bit of pink.”

“A Moment of Magic at Stony Brook just started, this is our very first semester so we’re learning a lot of things about ourselves and I think that’s really gonna help make us like a very strong club and set us apart cause even though we are a non-profit, we’re different from Project Sunshine and Camp Kesem,” Katie Nealon, MOM e-board member said. MOM is currently a Magic Maker chapter, which means their primary goal is to help fundraise money for the SBU chapter, the national foundation, and other character chapters. The SBU chapter is hoping to become a character chapter so that members have the opportunity to dress up as animated characters and visit hospitals to spend time with children battling cancer.

“I think the most important reason is that so that everybody can have a strong sense of community,” Nealon responded to why community service is important. “Like if we’re all helping each other out and getting involved in community service I feel like we’ll just have a much more positive feeling and everybody would be more willing to participate in community service.”

Other community service clubs on a campus include Project Sunshine, Alternative Spring Break Outreach (ASBO), American Red Cross Club, Community Service Club and Oxfam Club.                      

YOUTUBE FESTIVALS WITH SUBSCRIBERS 2017

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From beauty, singing, lifestyle to humor, YouTube is evolving with our lives. There is so many different genres and more creators. YouTube has a big impact beyond our imagination.

With this effect, numerous YouTube festivals were held for YouTubers and subscribers in 2017. I have seen how many YouTube festivals have enjoyed successful celebration and how SNS communicates with their fans.

Let’s start with this year’s great festivals. The nearest festival in USA is <Streamy Award 2017>. Streamy Award brings biggest names in YouTube for a night of celebration. The annual event honors the best in YouTube and the creators behind it. The 7th Annual Streamy Awards was on September 26, 2017.

And it streamed LIVE on Twitter from the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, CA. Looking forwarding the award, it nominated participants on its official site, Instagram and Twitter from Aug. 22. Also people were able to vote ‘Creator of the year’ and ‘Show of the year’ on Twitter.

 

 

In addition, <Youtube Fanfest 2017> which is one of the most famous YouTube festivals was held from all around the world. It held 8 worldwide festivals (on Mar. 10 in Jeddah, Mar. 24 in Mumbai, May. 12 in Manila, May 20 in Bangkok, Aug. 26 in Ho Chi Minh City, Sep. 12 in Hong Kong, Oct. 17 in Washington D.C., Nov. 10 in Jakarta and it is ready to celebrate in Tokyo on Dec. 17).

I found on <YouTubeBlack Fanfest – Washington D.C.> which was held in United States. It celebrated festival with fans during Meet&Greet and Live Show. The Meet&Greet is celebrating festivals between YouTubers and fans. It includes meeting, shaking hands, taking a selfie and communicating in person from 5:30pm to 7:30pm.

On that event, ‘Dormtainment’ who is a comedy group with 1M subscribers and an artistic  YouTuber ‘Daniel Ceasar’ who has 100K subscribers participated in the festival with 15 YouTubers.

After that, the LIVE Show was held from 7:30 to 9:00pm. It featured some of the best YouTubers for a night of comedy, music, dance and events for fans. Especially, it streamed LIVE at Youtube Channel of Fanfest.

 

A lot of subscribers reacted these festivals on their SNS. At the Streamy Award, 42 Youtuber teams awarded. Streamy Award posted celebrating postings on official Tweeter, this makes bunch of fans can share and celebrate their YouTubers’ honor with their followers.

Using replies, bunch of fans enjoy the festival too. On the posting that celebrate Sugar Pine 7’s awarding at Show of The Year category, for example, fans also congratulate on their awarding with replies such as “I feel my vote did something”. People directly react the announcement of winner and it can be share a lot or be blamed through replies.

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“Not only did I get to meet some of my favorite youtubers (especially @dormtainment) but the comedy skits and acts were hilarious”, One of fan @ki.nelson says after YoutubeBlack Fanfest. She uploaded selfies with YouTubers and festival pictures with honored feeling. So fans can share these vivid moments instantly on Intagram, Facebook and so on.

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“How am I never heard of something called Sugar Pine 7?” A fan of Sugar Pine 7 posted a poll regarding to the amount of announcing Sugar Pine 7 at Streamy Awards. According to the hilarious poll, 57 percents people agree with his dissatisfaction.

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I think the reason of their success on festival is communication through SNS. YouTube Fanfest 2017 has various festivals in this year. And they post the schedule of festival on official Tweeter. It posted the schedule of YouTube Fanfest Indonesia before it starts.

Also they continuously post the YouTube celebrities who will participate in the festival. Nowadays they plan for the Youtube FanFest in Tokyo, Japan. So it uploads picture and account of Pamyurin or Okazaki Taiiku to attract attention.

In summary, YouTube festivals on 2017 were successful! Active communication through social media platforms boosts interesting festival. And there were bunch of reactions of the festival like “I can’t wait it!” “I already had a poll to Someone!” which were updated every second. Now we cannot wait next YouTube festival, which can make me excited for communicating with people!

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When Services Get Stressed

As mental illness among college students receives greater attention nationwide, the efforts by colleges to preserve students’ mental health have grown as well.

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) on college campuses such as Stony Brook University provide a vital resource to students. A 2012 study by the National Alliance on Mental Illness found that mental health was the reason for almost two-thirds of college student dropouts. When asked what would have helped them stay in school, the top responses were better accommodations followed by having better access to mental health services. To maintain their privacy, students here have not been named.

But counseling risks having the opposite of its intended effect if not handled properly and followed through. “I sent emails to this person, I called the front desk, I asked them to refer this information to her, and she never got back to me, I never got a response.” M. said. A Stony Brook University sophomore, M. began using the one on one counseling CAPS offered in mid March of 2017. “I went for the majority of last semester. Life had gotten pretty rough, my grades were bad and I had kinda hit a rough patch with my social life. So I decided to go to CAPS because I could tell I wasn’t in the right headspace.”

For the duration of the counseling, the service was doing exactly what it was intended to. “It felt good to be able to talk without being judged. I could talk without judgement to her. You can say things that you wouldn’t be able to share with friends without risking the loss of their trust,” M. said. But that option was abruptly cut off in late August, when the counselor left for personal leave. “I asked if we could set up an appointment when she got back and she said sure.”

There was never another appointment. Weeks later, M. had yet to hear from the counselor and reached out themselves. “I spoke through CAPS to try and set up an appointment, they said they sent the information to her but I never heard from her again. I tried calling, I went there in person twice after that. I just never heard back from her.”

While M. says they no longer face the same challenges they did when they began the counseling, the loss of support has troubled them. “I feel like I don’t get as much of an outlet as I used to,” M. said. While other Counselors are available, M. says they have no  “It leads to internal stress. I bottle it up more than I used to. The emotions I’d usually be able to express, I’m bottling these emotions up, I’m pushing them down instead of letting them out”  While other counselors are available, M. doesn’t wish to start over with someone unfamiliar with their original troubles. “I feel like if I went to go start over it’s just too much work to be made.”

While M. is not alone in their experience with CAPS at Stony Brook University, for many students the services CAPS offers have been a saving grace. Among the student body, the vast majority have had positive experiences working with CAPS.

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Among those who are happy with their experience is D., a sophomore on the pre-nursing track.  “I recommend it all the time to people. I feel like I’m a walking advertisement sometimes for them.”  D. first went to CAPS in January  2017, and has been using their services ever since. “I went there because I was feeling pretty overwhelmed with school work and family stuff,” D. said. “I was in a very dark place. And so I thought I might as well go there and see what it’s like”

While they were initially skeptical at first. D. says the experience became much more enjoyable once the therapy sessions actually started. “Individual therapy has been really helpful. We go through ways and plans on how to go about the week incase things get too overwhelming.” They’re often reminded of the other services available as well in case they’re needed, such as a 24-hour phone line. “It helped me get out of that [dark] place, and it I’m definitely in a better place now than I was last semester.”

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Despite the resources available, mental health is a growing concern in colleges. The Center for Collegiate Mental health found that over the course of five years, from 2010-2015, students increasingly had a need for mental health services. The number of students who had sought counseling saw a 10% increase to almost half of all students surveyed. More worrying, they found that the one out of every ten students had attempted suicide at some point, and a full quarter had at one time or another committed an act of self-harm. And as demand for mental health services grows, services such as CAPS risk becoming overburdened. If that becomes the case, experiences such as P.’s risk becoming more common.

“I heard it was a fantastic program and whenever you need help then it would be quick and they can get you in and help you and it was the entire opposite for me,” P. said. A Junior studying psychology themselves, P. first went to CAPS last year, hoping to learn methods to manage their anxiety. But even before the session began P.’s experience with CAPS began doing more harm than good.

After going through the initial triage counselling, it was several weeks before P. was able to have an appointment. “It was like a month process for me to actually get in to see a psychologist.” Once P. actually entered the counselling session, the situation did anything but improve.

“I went in, and for the first ten minutes she was rambling about needing to go to a funeral and needing to water her plants. And then twenty minutes into the session asked me what we had talked about last time even though we had never met before. Not the most personal experience.” Attempting to offset the mistake, the counselor explained it away, stating she had only had a few minutes to glance at P.’s file before the session started. “Those were red flags to me because you aren’t supposed to just be file in a psychologist’s eyes. You’re supposed to be a person, and a full body of something, not just a name on a piece of paper before your next appointment.” P. said.

Time did nothing to improve the tone that had already been set. The Counselor, identified as Senior Counselor Susan Byrnes, was dismissive of P.’s preferences and conversations. “For everything I said she had a negative remark for.” Discussing P.’s anxiety, the counselor remarked that it was ‘Just your [brain] freaking out.’ Having completed her neurobiology courses, P. was already aware of the biology of it. “And if I’m in the middle of a panic attack it doesn’t help me to go ‘hey my amygdala is freaking out.”

While mental health has gained growing attention in recent years nation wide, this holds especially true at Stony Brook University. While the university does publish mental health statistics, and does not disclose suicides with its annual safety report, as recently as December 2014 there have been student suicides that received media attention. On campus, CAPS and affiliate programs go out of there way to establish a presence and inform students of available resources.

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While P.’s experience with CAPS has not been the standard, it demonstrates an incident where the mental health services become pressed for time, with P.’s counselor rushing in order to attend personal matters. “It’s like you feel you’re in a factory, they kinda push you in and then try to get you out as fast as possible. You’re a number.”

Attempts to contact CAPS lead to University Media Relations, who have not responded to inquiries at this time.

 

International Students and Culture @ SBU

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS AND FOOD ON CAMPUS

Hints of ginger, soy sauce, and curry roam the air as students wait in line to get a taste of home on a busy mid-day afternoon. Lines of students can be found inside Jasmine, Stony Brook’s main Asian cuisine hub.

The array of Chinese, Korean, and Indian dishes leave some students satisfied with what they call a meal away from home and others not completely.  

“The Chinese food here tastes okay, it’s not traditional,” international student, Xi Chen, said. “Some dishes are a mix of Chinese food and American food.”

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Adding on the word “American” takes away the authenticity of the food served not just at Stony Brook University but around many parts of America and the world. With a great distinction in flavor, cultures often Americanize food to cater to the food palate of the U.S and its audience.

 

Authentic Chinese food looks nothing like the American Chinese food served at restaurants and venues. Many of these dishes vary by region in China, according to ChinaHighlights.com. The many combination platters including Beef and Broccoli and General Tso’s chicken are substitutes to what Chinese students eat back at home.

“The real authentic Chinese food here is more expensive by almost 50%,” international Chinese student, Hengdong Qu, says pointing at “Empire Pavilion’s” take out menu list of  “Authentic Chinese Dishes”.

On the list, the ‘braised stew pork thigh’ is $21.95 versus the small “Americanized” ‘sweet and sour chicken’ for $9.95. The price difference of more than $10 goes up when flavors from the other side of the world get added in.

The chicken that is iced is not as good as the chicken you cut down live,” Qu said.

Qu, states that authentic Chinese food back in his homeland of Southeast China is always made fresh.

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Even though fresh food, might be better for you, it costs more to make and cost more to buy which naturally creates a rift between buying fresh or buying cheap.

For some international students, it’s almost a similar case but they don’t buy cheap they pay more to get the food from one of the foreign cuisine options on campus. From sushi to food of the Caribbean, main entrees like these estimate to be at least $10 or more. With the new addition of Eastside dining, campus dining has been adding more food options to fit the needs of Stony Brook’s diverse campus but some feel that it’s still not enough.

To be very honest, not much of a choice or variety 

in the food, it’s really the same food every day. I see a bit of Chinese food and so on but nothing from my homeland here [Pakistan],” Freshman international, Wali Pirzada, said.

Part of the problem being the structure of his meal plan, Pirzada does find the Indian food in Wang decent but doesn’t eat there often.

“I feel a bit uncomfortable I guess because of the fact that I would have to pay separately for food that I’m familiar with versus eating the same kind of food all the time,” Pirzada said. 

 

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On November 29th the International Market at West Side dining had their International food night showcasing Native American cuisine.

“Trying to cover all ethnicities and cultures,” Phil Negro Food service director of West Side Dining, said.

West Side dining tries to host an international food night once a month to cater to students wanting something different.

International Students and Assimilating Into Culture

ENGLISH PAL

Stony Brook University has been identified as one of the most diverse universities in the United States with over 1,300 new international students entering Stony Brook this past Fall 2017, the majority of them coming from China (48%), India (28%), and South Korea (8%). The U.S. alone carries the world’s largest international student population of over 800,000 students, contributing over $32.8 billion to the U.S economy during the 2015-2016 academic year.

With education aside, what do most international students gain from us? What do they learn from touching new soil and living freely as American college students do? What barriers and lessons do they learn on the way? A program on Stony Brook’s campus allows us to learn from both the student from overseas to the student living in Stony Brook’s backyard.

This program is called English Pal, a conversational English program that allows international students time to learn and speak freely with domestic peers on campus from 10-12 weeks. This program is run by the International Student Organization and the Golden Key International Honour Society at Stony Brook.

I participated in the English Pal program last year and this year and got to be paired with a Japanese girl named Rika Miyake, a 21-year-old, Junior English major who was not only very sweet but also interesting. My interactions with her on a weekly and sometimes bi-weekly basis lead us to become friends and learn more and more about each other along the way, from embarrassing facts to humorous questions like “Do American girls wear underwear?” My answer being subjective: Yes.

Rika originally joined to make American friends and learn what she calls “natural English,” such as New York slang. She also admitted to cursing a whole lot more in English without a second thought. “You can’t learn this talk in literature.”

Foreigners sometimes don’t know what to expect from the country they visit and come over expecting certain ways from people depicted in movies or in the news to become shocked culturally by what they learn or do not learn. My English Pal Rika felt the same way and wasn’t use to America’s “common courtesy,” and thus learned how to say phrases like “Have a good day” and “How are you?” She said that experiencing these daily interactions helped her “pay more attention to others,” and say things she would never say back in Japan.

The U.S is represented and portrayed in ways that allure people from all around the world.

Mixing both domestic and international students allows more diversity and better understanding than any book, TV show, or new segment ever could.

International Clubs on Campus

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Where’s the line? Cultural Appropriation and Racism in Today’s America

What is Cultural Appropriation?

Recently, I took to the almighty Twitterverse to ask one question: Is cultural appropriation a problem? 39 percent of respondents voted, “No” and 61 percent voted, “Yes.” But what is cultural appropriation? And why isn’t there an overwhelming consensus over whether or not it is a bad thing?

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The Cambridge Dictionary defines cultural appropriation to be, “The act of taking or using things from a culture that is not your own, especially without showing that you understand or respect this culture.” Zebulon Miletsky, PhD. is an assistant professor in Africana Studies at Stony Brook University and a historian specializing in recent African-American history, Mixed Race and Biracial Identity, and Hip-Hop Studies. He describes cultural appropriation to be when someone takes on the attributes of or imitates another culture. “What’s probably most concerning is the phenomenon of white artists willing to be used by the music industry to cash in on black music,” Miletsky said. “I don’t think the artist has malice, but consciously or unconsciously, by doing this, they are using black art without tribute, without respect, and without the right context.” Respect. This is a concept I heard a lot about throughout my reporting on this subject. “For example, I wouldn’t classify Eminem as an appropriator because he has expressed respect and tribute to the community that his genre has originated from, but someone like Post Malone, I recently saw him do an interview where he seems to put down hip hop.” Respect and tribute can be understood in this context to be sort of like an acknowledgment that an idea is not your own. “Cultural appropriation is problematic in contexts where culture is being seen as intellectual property, a commodity that can make money like art, movies, music, etc.” Abena Asare, PhD. an assistant professor of African Affairs who teaches a course in Africana Studies on the Modern Color Line, said. “In this question, the idea of borrowing or using another culture’s production raises the question of equity and appropriate compensation.” Jeffrey Ehrhardt, a senior political science major and the former president of the Stony Brook College Republicans, provides a different perspective. “This kind of confuses me,” he said, “Using intellectual property, an original idea that can be attribute to one person, yeah that’s stealing, but concepts and things that originate from a whole culture, it’s very difficult to pinpoint where or who something started from in that case.” It seems that most people would agree that taking something that’s not yours is wrong. The dividing factor when it comes to cultural appropriation is whether or not cultures can have indisputable ownership over certain things.

Cultural Appropriation and Halloween

Halloween is the day people can take a break from reality and become something else, but is it okay to become something or someone that comes from a culture that is not your own? Party City currently sells costumes all of the costumes pictured here. I asked Instagram users for their opinions and again, the responses were mixed.

Miletsky earlier stressed the importance of paying tribute and respect to a culture if you are using aspects of it for your own benefit. However, some argue that making the extra effort to “give credit” to another culture is not necessary, that simply not disrespecting it is respect enough.

“Personally, I would not be offended (by these costumes),” Ayyan Zubair, first generation American and the son of two immigrants from Pakistan, said. “As long as the person wearing such an outfit does not desecrate it.”

“I do not find it harmful or wrong as long as the person doing it is not doing so in a disrespectful manner” Christopher Johnson, a 23-year-old son of a Columbian immigrant, said. “If it’s for fun, have fun, just don’t hurt anybody.”

Others did take offense.

One user wrote, “If I went around saying, ‘I’m dressed as a white person for Halloween,’ people would look at me with confusion and probably not take kindly to my comment because it is an uncommon costume. If one has no understanding or out of the ordinary appreciation/interest in such culture or tradition, then their reason for wanting to where the outfit is simply one of privilege.”

Another user pointed out that “Gypsy” is a racial slur no longer used by historians and simply having that word in the description of the costume is offensive.

Microaggressions

Cultural appropriation may be classified as a form of microagression.

Merriam-Webster defines a microaggression to be, “a comment or action that subtly and often unconsciously or unintentionally expresses a prejudiced attitude toward a member of a marginalized group, such as a racial minority.”

“That’s racist!” is something I know I’ve heard people say before in response to ostensibly small offenses. Is this sort of response and backlash helping or hindering our society?

“To be black in America is to really be perpetually at war with some of those racist notions,” Miletsky said. “People have to understand that because of our country’s history, It’s a constant war of pushing for rights and respect, and once you allow those sort of things to happen it’s a slippery slope.”

Dove, the personal care and hygiene brand, released a Facebook advertisement recently that depicted women of different ethnicities wearing tee shirts that matched their skin tone and removing their shirts to transform into a woman of a different ethnicity in a cycle. It has since been taken down. Luckily for us, however, nothing on the internet can be fully erased.

Thousands tweeted and posted about it. Bloggers wrote articles. Established outlets like Time Magazine and Fortune even covered the blowout. The ad was called out for being racially insensitive and some went as far as accusing the company of depicting that women of color weren’t clean and that the body wash would turn them “white.” Screenshots of the ad were posted and reposted numerous times to the point where the ad was taken out of context and many people reacted without seeing the full version. For example, twitter user Habab Akande tweeted out this:

I asked Facebook users for their opinions and asked that they vote on whether or not they were offended by either “liking” the post to show they were not or giving an “angry” reaction to show they were. For this case, nine people deemed this to be acceptable, and two people were offended.

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The Bigger Picture

It is difficult to define what is racist or at the very least, what is racially disrespectful in today’s society. Asare says that the “small” things are indications of a bigger problem, which is why seemingly harmless things may garner such big reactions.

“As I like to say it, the interpersonal manifestations of racism are just the tip of the iceberg,” Asare said, “Most mainstream Americans do not have any concept of structural racism and thus believe that racism is only a matter of a few mean people who hold retrograde views”

“Inflammatory reactions are never good and can never solve anything,” Ehrhardt says. “But racial issues are naturally going to be emotionally charged.”

Society remains divided on what is acceptable and what is not when it comes to the specifics and complexities of racial and cultural respect.

Women Find New Opportunities in Media, Despite Gender Disparities

The college student enters the room in awe, excitement on her face and anticipation in her heart. She is one of hundreds of women enclaved in a large room with glass windows overlooking Washington Square Park. Their bodies may physically be in a New York City autumn, but their minds are now flying on a reputable airline to a land of new opportunity.

This is the annual New York Women in Communications Student Career Conference held on Nov. 18 at the Kimmel Center at New York University. It is a full-day event that provides young women with networking and educational opportunities from some of the leading female professionals in communications. There are guest speakers, panels discussing the many career options in communications and workshops tackling elevator pitches and interviews.

 

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Nicole Fuschino, a college sophomore studying Journalism at the University of Pittsburgh Johnstown, traveled 6 hours to be in attendance. “The conference definitely advanced my career goals,” Fuschino said. “I got to hear so many successful women share their stories of how they got to the place they are today.”

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The conference was primarily targeted at college students, but connected women of all ages. Maggie Gioia, a high school senior at Connetquot High School here on Long Island, was one of the youngest women at the conference. “I learned that your career can take unexpected turns,” Gioia said. “It’s important to learn at every turn and that motivated me even more.”

New York Women in Communications Inc. (NYWICI) is a non-profit organization based in New York City. It supports communications professionals and supports women in their careers at every stage. The group stresses mentorship and provides countless networking opportunities for young women, one-on-one coaching sessions for members and scholarships for female students in pursuit of a career in communications.

The conference has been going on since 1991. Here’s an agenda from the 1996 conference. Over the years, NYWICI has added more keynote speakers, breakout groups and workshops. “If we can support young women in their career endeavors and help them achieve their dream jobs, then we’ve succeeded,” Hilarey Wojtowicz, Co-VP Student Affairs Committee said.

For many students, attending this conference and joining this group of women have provided opportunities for growth. Women employed at companies such as Vice, MTV and Hearst Magazines shared their career tips with young women hoping to break into the industry. The women chronicled how they were able to advance in their career and what they look for in candidates when hiring.

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The keynote speakers included Tiffany Pham, the founder and CEO of Mogul and Kelle Jacob, Global Marketing Manager for Victoria Beckham Estée Lauder Collaboration and The Estée Edit by Estée Lauder and former contestant on America’s Next Top Model. Many attendees left feeling encouraged. They not only had a bag of free items donated from various companies, but handfuls of business cards stating the contact information of their role models and new friends.

Why is something like this so important?

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In 2017, women are still vastly underrepresented in media. Men produced 62.3 percent of news reports analyzed, while women produced 37.7 percent of news reports, according to a 2017 report by the Women’s Media Center that examined coverage by top 20 news outlets. Work by female anchors, field reporters and correspondents has declined in the broadcast news sector. Men report three times as much of the news as women do at ABC, CBS and NBC combined.

Gender disparities span all fields and inequalities regarding women can be traced back centuries. “Women are often oppressed or mistreated or under paid or neglected when it comes to raises and promotions in the workplace,” said Dr. Catherine Marrone, a professor of sociology at Stony Brook University who teaches the popular course ‘Gender and Work.’ “It is largely because men have had so much more power in the workplace historically in the US.” When women enter male-dominated domains of many work settings, they are vulnerable to men who have more power than them.

“Women have been easily targeted for harassment and oppression and have little recourse because they have not been able to fight back without risking their job,” Marrone said. Just this week, sexual harassment allegations have been made against NBC’s The Today Show anchor Matt Lauer that resulted in his firing. After he was fired, two more complaints of sexual harassment were filed against him.

One woman described an incident that occurred with Lauer in 2001 to The New York Times. Lauer invited a woman he was working with to his office, locked the door and sexually assaulted her. She didn’t want to speak up for fear of losing her job. She feels safe enough to speak now that he’s been fired. Lauer is not the first powerful man in media to have been facing accusations recently, succeeding Bill O’Reilly and Harvey Weinstein.

This issue of unequal power distribution is rampant and has been noticed by women all over the country. Women in Media, an organization based in the Los Angeles area, also works to motivate and help women in the industry. Women in Media works to encourage gender balance by providing networking, professional development and advocacy opportunities for women and those of all genders who want to work with them. Members get access to networking events and special discounts on items they would need for their work.

Tema Staig, the Executive Director of Women in Media and a production designer with over 20 years of experience, aspires to create a network of empowered women and have other genders view them that way too. Staig was a professor at LA Film School when she found myriad sexism issues among the students she taught. The organization first began as “Women in Film” and was based at the school, but soon expanded to other areas and became “Women in Media.”

“Women needed a place to find other people to collaborate with,” Staig said. “There was a real need for what we had to offer the students. It’s a much bigger cause.”

To aid in advancing that cause, Staig created a crew list. It first began as her keeping track of people’s contact information, but she needed something that was quicker and more manageable. It soon transformed into an easily shareable Google doc that provides a list of women crew across 26 different departments ranging from marketing to vendors to sound. Contact information, their home-based cities and positions being sought are all listed. The goal is to squash the excuse “We don’t know any women to hire” and to help women get their names out there.

“The election of Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton has been a huge catalyst for a lot of women,” Stag said. “The most qualified woman lost to a neophyte. Maybe external forces are the reason they’re not advancing in their career.” The crew list goes out to everyone in the organization and is also found on their website. You can create a profile on the website that will automatically add you to the list. There are hundreds of names and men who want to hire more inclusively are encouraged to also share their contact information.

Staig credits social media to helping her advance her cause. Women in Media has a very active Twitter account which gets their message across, promotes upcoming events and highlights issues the organization is passionate about. After “#MeToo” began trending to bring awareness to incidents of sexual assault, many men began reaching out to the organization.

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“Things are changing,” Staig said. “People don’t want to be on the wrong side of history.”

 

Making the Most of No-Shave November

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Since the age of 15, I have been identified by my beard. I’ve grown it out, groomed it, worn a goatee, showed off sideburns, and dyed it stripes of blue. No-Shave November resonates with me.

The program allocates the month of November to growing out a moustache or beard in order to raise awareness for what are considered “men’s issues.” These include testicular cancer, prostate cancer colorectal cancer and male suicide and mental health issues. The No-Shave November website explains that to grow awareness for cancer patients who often lose their hair, men grow out their facial hair and campaign to fundraise for various nonprofits. The foundations supported this year are the Prevent Cancer Foundation, Fight Colorectal Cancer and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Last year, using only Facebook, I was able to raise awareness and around $200 for Fight Colorectal Cancer. This year, I wanted to raise more money with the help of a professional Facebook page, an Instagram page and my twitter. I did not succeed.

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I set out this month with a series of video ideas and an article in order to raise awareness. I planned to grow my beard with Statesman managing editor Kunal Kohli to appeal to a larger audience. We created a campaign webpage named “Statesman Shave Team.” He dropped out of the campaign within a week.

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My plan for this year was to track the daily growth of my facial hair on Instagram. I almost succeeded. While I didn’t post every day, I showed my face on most days. I wrote shout outs into a few of the posts and got responses. I did not learn until today (literally Nov. 30) that links do not work with Instagram. Every picture I posted included a link to a website where people could donate. No one did.

At the Festival of Lights, a boy I had never seen before walked up to me, told me he followed my Instagram and liked the way my beard grows, and walked away.

Last year, I had to shave before Thanksgiving, meaning that I could not grow my beard the entire month. I therefore invited friends to bid on my beard and decide what I would do to it before I shaved. I posted pictures of people with horrifying beards shaped with chest hair into lightning bolts and bikini tops. Setting myself apart from normal No-Shave November growers contributed to my success. Friends bid for me to shave early, fill my beard with glitter and groom my beard into zigzags. My hairstylist gave me a haircut for free, telling me to donate her cost to Fight Colorectal Cancer.

When the bidding was over, I spent an hour-and-a-half bathing my facial hair in purple dye. I stained my face and took pictures of my face.

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According to the American Cancer Society, one in 21 men develop colorectal cancer over the course of their lifetime. It is expected to cause 50,260 deaths throughout 2017. Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in men and women and the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Thanks to advances in screening, there are now more than one million survivors of colorectal cancer in the United States.

Testicular cancer will cause an estimated 410 deaths in America in 2017 according to the National Institute of Health. The five-year survival rate is 95.1 percent. According to the American Cancer Society, one in every 263 males will develop testicular cancer at some point in their lifetime.

An estimated 161,360 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year. It will cause an estimated 26,730 deaths this year, according to the National Institute of Health. It is the most common cancer for men in the United States besides non-melanoma skin cancer according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“In terms of prevention of prostate cancer, that’s still an area of research,” Howard L. Adler Medical Director of the Prostate Care Program and Clinical Associate Professor of Urology at Stony Brook Medical, said. “There have been a number of trials over the years looking at various medications to see if we can lower the risk of a man developing prostate cancer. At this point there is no FDA approved therapy for it so the best thing that a man can do for himself in terms of prevention is really just know that a heart-healthy diet is also probably a prostate healthy diet. After that, there are certain things that patients can’t control like family history and you can’t control whether you’re African American or not and certainly you can’t control how old you get. Above and beyond that, the best he can do is avail himself of routine healthcare and have a prostate exam.”

According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, affecting an estimated 44,193 Americans each year. Men die by suicide 3.5 times more often than women and white men accounted for almost 50 percent of suicides in 2015. According to a study in the Journal of Men’s Health, researchers found that social gender roles – like the expectation of men acting as family breadwinners, emotionally stoic, and taking risks – contributed to the difference in suicide rates between genders.

I don’t believe I did enough to raise awareness or raise money on my campaign. Due to miscommunication with fellow editors I did not produce videos as I would have liked. While I succeeded in becoming more active on Instagram, I did not succeed to the extent of inciting valuable conversations that could lead to more awareness and donations.

Even though the month has ended, these causes are worth supporting. Suicide continues whether we are aware or not. People continue to be diagnosed with cancer even after November. Fight Colorectal Cancer allocates 93 cents per dollar received to colorectal cancer programs. Patients and research are supported with 82 cents of every dollar donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Prevent Cancer Foundation spend 75.4 percent of the donations they receive on program expenses. These are worthwhile programs.

Feel free to donate: https://no-shave.org/member/Statesman_Shave_Team

At least I grew a pretty nice beard.

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Stony Brook Sophomore Theatre Majors Are Ready For One Final Bow

Back over the summer, Stony Brook University sent an email out to students and faculty, in various Humanities departments, alerting them that the College of Arts and Sciences had planned to suspend admissions into various programs. Those programs included the graduate degree program in Cultural Studies and Comparative Literature, the undergraduate degree programs in Comparative Literature, and Cinema & Cultural Studies, as well as the undergraduate degree program in Theatre Arts.

Sections in the Theatre Arts program this semester were broken, both figuratively and literally. Students were sad to see their hard work being shunned in the form of budget cuts, and were sad to see faculty and graduating students go, without the solace that any new teachers and students would replace them. Students who were once bright-eyed freshmen came back as sophomores with a title they never asked for, and definitely never wanted; the final graduating theatre class at Stony Brook. And, for many, it has been tough, and forced them all to come together.

“I remember hearing about it and immediately after the students, I want to say within a half-hour had been sending department-wide emails to all the (other) students,” said Heath Canfield, a sophomore Theatre major. “It changed the way I really looked at the department, rather than it just being a small theatre department… it was a department that was really going to fight for what it believed in, and it was going to be a department whether the administration wanted it or not.”

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Canfield didn’t plan to come to Stony Brook, and only applied last minute. Much of her choosing Stony Brook as the place to spend the next four years of her life, as well as a hefty tuition, was the perceived passion she got from the University regarding the Theatre major, and the effort the school was willing to put into recruitment.

 

“Once I got in, I got an email from (Director of Undergraduate Studies) Deb Mayo, and she said to me, ‘If you’re ever down at Stony Brook, I would love to meet with you, I’d love to discuss the theatre department with you,’ and when I came down for my tour, I met with Deb, and that was the deciding factor.”

Yet, just a few months later, Canfield began to hear the rumblings of the demise of her major due to budget cuts, and immediately felt that it was unfair.

“If you look at what the administration is being paid versus what administrations at other public universities are being paid, it’s much, much higher here at Stony Brook, and for me, it just seemed like maybe the administration could take a little bit of a pay cut to pay the faculty.”

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Many of those faculty members were let go, mostly in the form of contracts not being re-upped. One of the faculty members that remained is Izumi Ashizawa, who is actually up for tenure this coming year. Professor Ashizawa has had trouble since the announcement over the summer, of maintaining a balance between keeping a normalcy with her students and colleagues, while focusing on what was best for her career.

“We didn’t know that this abrupt change would happen. All of a sudden, it was surprising,” said Ashizawa, was on sabbatical during the 2016 Spring semester, when most of the rumors of the end of her program began to spread. “It’s a very tricky situation for me, because I submitted the file (for tenure) before all of these announcements came… Other colleagues of mine, who are not tenured, I really feel for them. This treatment of them is not fair…It’s not fair for the students as well.”

In a time where many students may believe that transferring is the best option, Ashizawa claims that no one has yet come to her directly for advice. However, if she were to give some out, she would say that both students and faculty should try harder to avoid any unnecessary transfers.

“I’m not just going to encourage students to transfer, instead I am going to make sure that we serve them until they graduate,” said Ashizawa. “To say ‘Just transfer’ is probably easier, but I say no, let’s try to make it together until you graduate because you signed up for it and we offered it.”

There is also the issue of transferring being difficult for students who came to Stony Brook in the first place because of its relatively cheap tuition.

“I definitely did consider (transferring),” said Canfield. “I picked a state school because I wanted to graduate in four years without having a lot of student debt. And I think that at this point to transfer means that I’m going to incur lot more student debt, I’m going to have to probably spend more time at another school. So, I don’t think that I would transfer, but at the same time, if I were to do it all over again, Stony Brook isn’t the choice that I would have made.”

Owen Dredger is another Sophomore Theatre Major who showed up to Stony Brook this year with a lot of anger and frustration, just a short time after picking the school largely for its theatre department.

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“Theatre was always something that I held near and dear to me, and the idea that it wasn’t going to be around, and that I was going to be in the last class…it just felt so weird,” said Dredger. “I had just joined the department. It’s like, ‘How can you be cutting something that to me was just starting?”

Dredger felt that this move was particularly irritating because of the timing of it.

“It was just a general anger, because I felt like it reflected what was happening in the country in general, where the arts and the humanities are always being left behind,” Dredger said. “It felt like Stony Brook was just following that trend.”

Like Canfield, Dredger finds it hard to leave the theatre department, mainly due to restrictions.

“I’m definitely going to keep theatre because if I end up dropping it, and I decide that was the wrong decision, there’s no going back,” said Dredger.

University Administrators have attempted to have the academic lives of those already in the program be similar to the ones of previous students, but Dredger believes that because he has chosen to study extra, that is unrealistic.

“They were still very much pushing me to finish by 2020 because they are saying by then, there is probably going to be nothing left,” Dredger said, “For me, I don’t think that I am going to be able to finish by 2020 because I am double majoring.”

Despite all of the issues and the urge to abandon the program, Dredger has found camaraderie at Stony Brook that he is unwilling to give up.

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“I have such a strong sense of community here,” Dredger said, “Everybody has just been so friendly and I don’t want to lose that by moving to a different school.”

An issue that is unavoidable for theatre majors and those who will receive a degree from a humanities program that will soon be cut is the devaluation of that degree. Students like Heath Canfield and Owen Dredger, and teachers like Izumi Ashizawa will have to explain to future employers why their experience at Stony Brook was so valuable.

As Owen Dredger put it, “If the school doesn’t value us, why should anyone else?”

Child Stardom in the Digital Age

Hannah Montana really did have the best of both worlds. A regular teenager by day and a pop sensation by night. Too bad she was nothing more than a television fantasy. Many adolescent stars find themselves caught up in the fame especially in the current society. Privacy is nearly a thing of the past the constant stream of information that travels through social media. It only takes one tweet, photo, or post to create a viral sensation.

It only took one person to snap a grainy photo of Malia Obama kissing a man to invade her privacy. When TMZ posted an article titled “Malia Obama Kissing, Tailgating at First Harvard-Yale Game,” the general response was not pleased with this story. Many people were not a fan of the article and believed the Obama deserved her privacy.

 

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This was not the first time one of the Obama children found themselves as trending topics on the internet. During the 2014 White House Thanksgiving Dinner Elizabeth Lauten, communications director for US congressman Stephen Fincher, a posted on Facebook the two girls needed to “dress like you deserve respect, not a spot at a bar.”

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A video surfaced on the internet that featured Finn Wolfhard who plays Mike in Stranger Things ignoring a fan who waited with a camera. The video showed Wolfhard arriving to his hotel while a man waited filming to get Wolfhard’s attention. Wolfhard only says to Borrero and entered his hotel. Borrero later posted the video on twitter calling Wolfhard “heartless.”

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Wolfhard has received a variety of unwarranted internet attention. Ali Michael, a 27-year-old model, shared a photo of Wolfhard on her Instagram story captioned “Not to be weird but hit me up in 4 years.” Michael later removed the image and apologized saying it was a joke. Many found the behavior disgusting.

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“Originally, I typed a long passage that argued against Ali Michael, but the message [was] deleted before I was able to pot. In short, there is no factor (race, sex, gender, financial status, etc.) that can excuse the predatory behaviors of children. Her comment was distasteful and disturbing,” Kiersten Jones responded in an Instagram post.

“I can’t deny that I have jokingly said this to a friend before, but more along the lines of me being 18 and someone being 16. This is extremely inappropriate and there should be no double standards. If this was a 27 year old man saying this about a young girl I think it would be big news,” Amanda Brennan later added.

The child actors in Stranger Things are the Brat Pack of this generation following in the footsteps of actor from popular movies like The Outsiders (1983) and The Breakfast Club (1985). Their names are everywhere and the careers are just beginning.

Caleb McLaughlin, 16, from Stranger Things had to defend the actions of his character Lucas in multiple interviews after receiving online hate because of the character.

“In my opinion we find this random girl, her nose is bleeding she has blood on her shirt, she closes doors with her mind, and everytime she uses her power, blood comes out of her nose and she barely talks. Would you trust someone that doesn’t really give up information…I just feel that people would understand but hey did not,” McLaughlin said in an interview.

This cyberbullying can have lasting effects. Adolescents who endure cyberbullying are more likely to experience “depression,” “anxiety,” “health complaints,” and “decreased academic achievement,” according to stopbullying.gov

Lucia Palmer author of “Sluts, Brats and Sextuplets: The Dangers of Reality Television for Children and Teen Participants,” argues that media today exploits minors and their vulnerability.

“Reality television plays on voyeuristic desires by ignoring the people behind the camera, creating the illusion of observing an unknowing subject,” writes Palmer. “The lives of its participants are captured, packaged, and broadcast without their collaboration, creating an unequal power balance between the television show’s producers and its stars.”

The needs of the children become white noise in a production focused capitalizing on their own profitability while it exists. Parents become committed to their money their child generates instead of the wellbeing of their child.

Modern Family actress Ariel Winter grew up in the spotlight. In 2015 Winter was emancipated from her mother after claiming years of physical and emotional abuse. Winter’s accused her mother of restricting her education, keeping her on strict diets, and forcing her to stay out late at industry events.

Modern Family’s on-set teacher Sharon Sacks reported the treatment to Los Angeles Child Protective Services. Winter’s older sister Shanelle received custody until Winter’s was emancipated.

In a recent interview with Girl Gaze, an online blog, Willow Smith explained how she felt growing up in the limelight.

“Growing up and trying to figure out your life…while people feel like they have some sort of entitlement to know what’s going on, is absolutely, excruciatingly terrible – and the only way to get over it, is to go into it,” Smith said in her interview.

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“I feel like most kids like me end up going down a spiral of depression, and the world is sitting there looking at them through their phones; laughing and making jokes and making memes at the crippling effect that this lifestyle has on the psyche,” Smith continued.

Due to the overprotection and early exposure child stars receive they are at a higher risk of emotional instability and drug abuse. Child stars are expected to handle the same lives adult stars do. the obsessive fans, rejection, scrutiny, and praise.

“Children should all be able to achieve their optimal physical growth and psych-emotional development,” according to the World Health Organization’s 2016 Lancet Early Childhood Development Series.

Children lose the ability to make mistakes when every mistake is recorded and distributed on the internet. They are required to live up to standards the media and society impose of them.

“If you want to live a private life why become an actor?” Gabriella Vanwyck questioned on an Instagram post. “They know what type of business they’re getting into,” she added referring to child actors.

It becomes a ‘catch 22’ for young celebrities. Fame has never come without a sacrifice of privacy but in this digital ages privacy has become more of a concept instead of a right.

Stony Brook Students and Adjunct Faculty Stand TogetherAgainst Humanities Budget Cuts

By Nicola Shannon

On November 16th, 20 adjunct writing professors at Stony Brook University received a letter from Human Resource Services. It informed them “on behalf of President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D.,” that their “temporary appointment” would end on January 18th. It warned them to return all “university property” in their possession before they leave, including keys and identification cards, and wrapped up with “we thank you for your service at Stony Brook University.”

These letters were sent out the day after over one hundred students and faculty gathered in front of the humanities building in a “Rally for Writing.” They protested the changes that have been made to the humanities programs at Stony Brook as part of the $1.5 million budget cut announced last May.

The cuts will suspend admission to undergraduate degree programs in theatre arts, comparative literature, cinema and cultural studies and to graduate degree programs in cultural studies & comparative literature. Many language and culture programs were also slated for consolidation into a department called “Comparative World Literature.”

The main drive behind this protest came in October when the University announced that the Writing and Rhetoric program had “zero budget” for adjunct professors. There are 20 adjunct professors in the writing program that make up about half of the program’s total staff.

Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences Sacha Kopp said in an email statement that said the university is “seeking to maximize teaching assignments for full time faculty,” but adjuncts were told that full-time lecturers that take their places would be from other disciplines, including pharmacology and geology.

The Rally for Writing protest marched through Stony Brook’s academic mall and into the library, to Sacha Kopp’s office, where they delivered a petition with 3,000 signatures against these cuts, and then to the President’s office in the administration building to do the same. They chanted “cut administrators, not educators,” and “writing hand in hand with STEM, do not make it us vs them.”

Steven Dube, an adjunct professor in the program in Writing and Rhetoric who has taught at Stony Brook for 10 years, believes there are inconsistencies in the university’s financial reasoning for the cuts.

“It would take around 100,000 dollars or so for a Spring writing adjunct budget,” Dube said at the rally. “They’ve spent millions of dollars on new facilities and changes on campus but they’ve cut sections of the state mandated program.”

Dube was one of two non-renewed writing professors that were featured in a picture of student essay contest winners that Sacha Kopp tweeted in October, praising the program for its work. Dube tweeted back asking for a response, but never got one.

Students also took a leading roll in the march. Leading the chants was Rebecca Zimmerman, a senior English major and writing minor, who expressed the importance of humanities even at a science-heavy university.

“In order to express these world-changing ideas that our scientists and engineers have, they need to know how to write,” Zimmerman said. “They need to know how to articulate their ideas, argue their beliefs, and prove themselves true. And they cannot do that if one of the top public research universities in the world does not allow them the opportunity.”

Zimmerman also lead a protest event on November 3rd, organized through Facebook. It was originally intended to be a sit-in at Sacha Kopp’s weekly “Lunch with the Dean” meetings. When students called the day before to confirm the time of the event, the Dean’s office informed them that it had been canceled, and gave no reason. The of about 20 students decided to deliver their list of grievances to Kopp’s office in person, where they were met with University Police.

The group then headed to President Stanley’s office to express their concerns, but were told he had no available office hours. They delivered their letter there as well, which read:

“The students gathered here today therefore demand that you do everything in your power to return the displaced staff to their respective departments, and show that, as an administrator of higher education, you are concerned with the specificity of academic fields of study.”

Another area of confusion regarding these cuts was brought up at a meeting with President Stanley and the University Senate in September. Mireille Rebeiz, an assistant professor in the department of world literature, confronted Stanley about who will be hurt the most by these cuts in the humanities.

“If you look at the rate of lecturers, it’s mostly women or people of color,” she said, comparing that to members higher up in administration, who are much less diverse.

President Stanley is a HeForShe Impact Champion, and Stony Brook has set aside more than $1 million according to their diversity plan. More than half of the adjunct professors who are being let go are women, and many are people of color.

Stony Brook is currently facing a $35 million budget deficit, and there are cuts being made in many other areas besides the humanities as well. Administration has attributed most of that deficit to the end of the NYSUNY 2020 Challenge Grant Program, which invested $140 million across four schools, including Stony Brook, allowing a surge in hiring and development. Stony Brook has also had to pay for mandatory state employee pay increases.

Dean Sacha Kopp was reluctant to refer to this as a “budget crisis” in a recent interview with the Stony Brook News Natives.

“I think it’s important to set things into different context,” Kopp said. There are things happening in the college of Arts and Sciences that have to do with budget and there are things that have to do with policy.”

Kopp said that much of the changes that are being made are meant to respond to growth and drops in enrollment needs in different areas. He also focused on opening up opportunities for new full-time faculty to be hired.

Students and faculty whose livelihoods are threatened by these cuts may not satisfied with this context. Although a few full-time lines may be available after these cuts, adjunct writing professors are unhappy with the university’s willingness to fill them with professors trained in other subjects, like geology.

On the Writing Adjuncts At SUNY Stony Brook Facebook page, one post read “a trained part-timer is absolutely preferable than an untrained full-timer.”