Budget Cuts Bring Class Cuts

It’s that time of year again, when students begin registering for next semester’s classes. However, students at Stony Brook University are becoming increasingly angered with the spring semester’s course offerings, or lack thereof.

Since Governor Patterson announced the SUNY-wide budget cuts, students have been encountering schedules devoid of classes needed to graduate with their majors. Both the POL and EST departments have urged their students to take needed classes over the winter or summer sessions, when less students are taking class. But as many students have pointed out, taking classes at these times is both costly and inconvenient.

“They charge extra,” said a business major, who wished to remain anonymous. “It’s irrational to think people can afford those extra charges and get here in the summer.”

Students who’ve sought out help, according to this source, have been told that the lack of classes is something departments can’t do anything about. The departments’ solutions involving both POL and EST have been highly advocating spending the breaks at the University.

With New York State constituents angry, as budget cuts threaten public elementary, middle and high schools as well, it is a hope that senators will fight harder for all public school funding and that Governor Patterson will finally see that education is not a place to cut corners. 

Disability Support Services: A great resource at SBU

Krystan Lenhart, a senior psychology and political science student, had a rough semester this fall. Born with cerebral palsy, a neurological disorder that permanently affects body movements and muscle coordination, Lenhart was able to control her disabilities for years through medication. Unfortunately, this past summer her condition drastically took a turn for the worse. Her body, not responding to the medication, started having a series of episodes where her muscles stretched painfully, leaving her momentarily incapacitated.  Due to this she couldn’t walk anymore and started moving around in a wheelchair, at least until her situation can be corrected. Continue reading

Stony Brook Study Abroad Office

For many students at Stony Brook University, studying abroad is something they don’t know much about. For Journalism student April Warren, participating in the China Silk Road study abroad program last summer was one of the most rewarding experiences of her academic career.

“I took out of it a greater sense of adventure and quest for knowledge,” said Warren. “I was constantly asking our guides random questions and just always wanting to know more.”

Warren’s trip took her from Beijing to the West of China and back again. At the end of 10 days, the group had traveled the distance of New York to Denver, Colorado. Along the way, the Stony Brook University students and Chinese students studying alongside them discussed their cultural differences, Warren said.

Continue reading

The difficulties of being a non-traditional student

Ok, here we go..

I’m 27 years old, from Europe, I have a significant other, a beautiful 2-year-old son, a cat, a dog, and plenty of bills to pay, clothes to wash, toys to pick-up and supermarket trips to make. But, I also have school, and by that I mean double-major, full-time course load university school. Continue reading

SBU Hilton Hotel: To build or not to build?

Last Friday I attended a debate between Stony Brook University Vice President for Facilities & Services Barbara Chernow and Professor Malcolm Bowman of the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at the SAC’s Auditorium. The issue at hand? Whether if it was right to proceed with the construction of a five story, 135 room Hilton hotel right at SBU’s Main Entrance. Continue reading

New York State has New License Plates (And They’re Retro)

New York State is instating a mandatory new license plate statewide called the “Empire Gold.” It will be required on all cars starting April of next year and will cost between 25-50 dollars for cars depending on the status of its registration.

The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles maintains the new license plate is being issued for “safety, law enforcement and the general integrity of the plate.”

The current license plate will have been in use for just over a decade by the time it is phased out. Citizens of the state and lawmakers are suggesting the revamp in license plates is a money making measure. The new plates will raise $260 million, according to “The New York Times.” The money from the switch will be put into a “general state fund,” and eventually towards the billions of dollars deficit in New York.

According to “The New York Times,” citizens of upstate New York feel like they are being “unfairly targeted,” due to the fact that a car is essential for travel upstate. Unlike in Manhattan, public transportation is few and far between.

The license reissuance will create 100 new jobs and prison inmates will make the license plates for 42 cents an hour. The newest feature on the yellow and navy plate is a reflective feature that many drivers complain their cars already are equipped with.

License renewals will be $16 more than last year and car rentals will now also include a 5% tax according to the Times.

The best Spanish restaurant in NYC


I have tried a few restaurants that offer dishes from Spain, but many have disappointed me. Spanish cuisine is very rich and varied, but it doesn’t have burritos or tacos. Surprisingly, the best restaurant for Spanish food in New York belongs to an American chef: Seamus Mullen. Continue reading

Spanish Paella part 2: the recipe

Making a paella is not an easy thing. You have to learn to measure the rice in relation to the rice and vice versa, and the only way to do it is through practice. Nevertheless, once you learn to use the “eye-meter,” a paella can be a very easy and satisfying dish to do for any occasion. Start practicing! Continue reading

Spanish Paella part 1: the basics

I can say with almost absolute certainty that very few restaurants in the U.S know how to cook a paella. Despite being sold everywhere and anywhere here, the yellow rice with a few vegetables and some shrimps that they try to pass for paella is NOT a paella.

I’m from Spain, and having savored hundreds of paellas during my life (and cooked), I’m kind of an expert on it by now. People think that paella is a dish typical of all Spain, but it isn’t. The truth is that there many variations of this dish, all depending on the geographical region of Spain. The most commonly known is that from Valencia, known as paella valenciana. It has more vegetables than other variations, and is made with rabbit and chicken. There is also the paella marinera, or seafood paella. Continue reading

The morning after: Reflections of a Black Friday

I wasn’t up at 3 am on Friday waiting for Best Buy or Walmart to open their doors, but I went shopping for those too-good-to-be-true deals reasonably early. At 8 am I was cruising the aisles of  Target, eager to buy a portable DVD player I had seen advertised. When I arrived at the Electronics section, a fence was surrounding the area and dozens of people were yelling trying to get the attentions of the confused staff. At one point one of the Target employees grabbed a megaphone and started listing what was available auction-style. “I have 13, I repeat 13, VIZIO 42″ flat screen TV’s left at the low price of $650!” he said. The people there just went ballistics. “I want one, hey, I want one!,” a woman yelled. After ten minutes, people with huge boxes started leaving  and a new group started to come in. Continue reading