After seven months of speculation, five of which were and are being spent in the courts, the shuttering of the Southampton campus of Stony Brook University still raises many questions.
Was it a necessary cut? Do the numbers support that, and regardless if they do, are they the correct numbers to begin with? Was the process President Samuel L. Stanley, Jr. took to get to the relocation of the Southampton students properly executed? And is the real reason the campus was closed really because of budget cuts or some alterior motive?
Rumors have spread, a lawsuit has been served, meetings have been made and numerous people have been affected. And although these things will probably continue to happen, The Statesman has taken investigative notions on the happenings involved with Southampton.
If you thought the court proceedings for Southampton were over, think again.
Supreme Court Judge Paul J. Baisley, Jr. began the second part of the legal process in the Osiecki vs. Stanley case, which started in May, when he expected the defendants’ paperwork last week.
Going back to court on Nov. 4 was an action to determine if the Stony Brook Council’s resolution supporting President Samuel L. Stanley, Jr.’s decision to relocate students to West campus satisfied the court’s ruling, according to Russell Penzer, the students’ attorney.
After the Oct. 4 University Council meeting, the attorney and his clients felt that the Council did not accurately follow the court’s ruling to annul Stanley’s decision. Instead, after a budget presentation, done by Associate Vice President for Strategy, Planning and Analysis Dan Melucci, and hearing statements by students, faculty and supporters for and against the reinstitution of Southampton, they went into executive session for almost two hours and came back to announce they agreed with Stanley’s original decision. The vote was 8-2, the only two opposed being Council members Lou Howard and Frank Trotta.
“He didn’t make a plan, he made a decision,” Penzer said about Stanley. “It was made unlawfully. Then the Council met and supported the decision, which is nothing because it was annulled. We feel that it can not have met the legal requirements the way that it was done.”
The Council’s Role
Although an executive session is allowed for legal purposes, in no way is it to be the place for major discussions, according to Assemblyman Fred Thiele, Jr.(R-Sag Harbor), who attended the quarterly meeting on Oct. 4.
While the Council members were having their legal briefing, as Council chairperson Kevin Law said before they left, audience members shuffled around the room for two hours. When they returned, a motion was passed to stand by Stanley’s actions.
Thiele said the Council should have discussed the situation in front of the public based on the Open Meetings Law, which states “that the public business be performed in an open and public manner and that the citizens of this state be fully aware of and able to observe the performance of public officials.” A portion of the law can be found on the Council’s page on Stony Brook’s website.
But not only did the Council make its conclusion after a long dis-cussion outside of the conference room, they based it on Stanley’s decision that was annulled by the court. According to the judge’s ruling, the Council should have supervised the potential closing of Southampton back in April, which it did not, and therefore had to review it at their meeting.
The Council’s role in this case was almost as controversial as the president’s decision, partially because the president had bypassed them when he first announced he was relocating the students.
The defendants, represented by former New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, said in their briefing that the Council “does not operate as an independent body, nor does it in any way ‘supervise’ the University, as petitioner argue.”
However, according to the New York State Education Law 356, which can also be found on the Council’s webpage, “each state-operated institution of the state university shall be supervised locally by a council consisting of ten members.”
In the Education Law, it states that Council’s responsibilities include recommending who to appoint as state university trustees candidates, reviewing of all major plans of the head of such institution for its more effective operation, making regulations governing the care, custody and management of lands, grounds, buildings and equipment and reviewing the proposed budget requests for institutions.
The defendants also argued that the Council expressed concerns for the acquisition of the campus in 2005. They cited from the Council’s resolution on Sept. 9, 2005 that “the financial plan [for a Southampton campus] forecasts certain operating shortfalls.” But when looking at the resolution itself, which was published when the chairperson was Richard T. Nasti, the Council expressed “its strong support for Stony Brook University’s (‘University’) acquisition of the campus at Southampton.”
“Obviously the Council was supportive,” said former Stony Brook University President Shirley Strum Kenny, Stanley’s predecessor who was in office when Southampton became a branch of Stony Brook. “I don’t remember any unusual discussion, certainly no serious questioning of the acquisition. I don’t believe anybody expressed doubts about the purchase because I would remember that.”
The Council did write in the September 2005 resolution “that the acquisition must not divert resources required to maintain and build upon the strength and excellence created by Stony Brook University under the leadership of President Kenny and her administration.”
According to the presentation provided by Melucci at the Council meeting last month though, funds were being diverted from the main campus to subsidize the 82-acre sister campus in the East end.
Budget’s Bucks Cause Confusion
On Aug. 31, Stony Brook’s main campus and Southampton campus students began to share their classes, dorm rooms and everything else the university has to offer.
This collaboration between learners wasn’t one of choice, at least not by the students. Instead, it was decided in April of this year by Stanley that Southampton students would be relocated to the main campus due to excessive budget cuts by the state.
According to documents in the court files retrieved in Riverhead, numbers from April 10 compiled by the university show that the fiscal year 2009-2010 brought in revenue of approximately $4 million, while the total expenditure was more than $12 million. This, along with the housing and dining losses, totaled a debt of almost $10 million that the university would have to pay. The funds came from main campus, Melucci said.
Those same numbers, given at the Council meeting and later at a meeting with The Statesman, were revised again and again every few months, but the numbers always remained the same.
According to students and supporters of Southampton, however, numbers were being skewed and constantly changing in favor of the university’s point of view.
“I do not think that the University Council meeting was handled correctly,” said 20-year-old environmental studies major Dana Cutolo, who was one of 149 Southampton students to move to the main campus in the beginning of this semester, according to Media Relations Interim Director Lauren Sheprow. “Mostly because the numbers were wrong and our campus did not even get enough time during the meeting.”
Tara Linton, 19-year-old environmental humanities major and a plaintiff in the court case, said “different numbers were cited regarding Southampton’s cost and losses” when Stanley met with Thiele and student leaders in the spring over the closure.
Southampton graduate of 2010 John Botos said he was one of five students who went into the Administration building after a walking protest, where he had received a document from Stanley, Provost Eric Kaler and Vice President for Student Affairs Peter Baigent that showed different numbers than those at the University Council meeting. Although there were numerous attempts to have a copy of the document, it was not provided.
Students also mentioned that they had not been aware of any financial problems.
In Melucci’s affidavit, the first significant budget decrease occurred in fiscal year 2008-2009 when “Stony Brook’s share of the $246.3 million reduction in support for SUNY that year totaled almost 20 million dollars – 6.5 percent of its 2008-2009 state operating budgets – despite increased student enrollment spurred, in part, by deteriorating economic conditions locally and on the national scale.”
According to the affidavit by Stanley, who became president on July 1, 2009, he arrived at Stony Brook when it was facing record deficits.
“My predecessor, Dr. Shirley Kenny, members of the SUNY Search Committee and representatives of the Stony Brook Council made their concern about the impact of these pending budget cuts known to me during the interview process,” it read.
Melucci said he, too, had a “long” discussion with Stanley about the budget situation, and couldn’t imagine if Southampton was not one of the items mentioned. No warning of budget problems was made clear to any students or faculty, however.
“When you are trying to move an initiative to success, you try to be as optimistic as you can,” Melucci said. “If you start warning, what do you think their reaction is going to be? We’d have no enrollment.”
“It’s not that we were lying,” he said, adding that the university was “fully committed” until the day the decision was made to relocate the students to main campus.
The Southampton campus was expected to attract 1,600 students in its third year of operations, which was fiscal year 2009-2010, but instead only had 477 students, according to the budget. To this, it could be understood that the goals were not attained, and perhaps too high, considering the economic downturn with the recession.
“Long Island University at its peak was 1,500 to 1,600 students and we thought we could get back to that in five years,” said Melucci during an interview held with Sheprow and University Budget Director Mark Maciulaitis. “It wasn’t terribly sophisticated.”
In their transition year of 2006-2007, which the university projected an enrollment of 200 students. Melucci considered the transition year a part of the five year plan, but Kenny said it was not. The next year they projected 800 students and the year after 1,200 students. By the last two years of the plan, there would be a projected 2,000 students enrolled at the branch campus.
The difference was 1,123 students and therefore a difference of about $9 million they expected to have last fiscal year. Had their projections gone through, they would have been positive by about $200,000, instead of an approximately negative $10 million.
Along with the actual difference of tuition, Melucci explained the difference in the projection and actual third fiscal year of the state support for student FTE, which is a student’s status with course loads.
Melucci’s presentation on Oct. 4 showed that the fiscal year 2010-2011 had a budget gap of $30 million, including Southampton already cut, and that with their two phases of reducing campus operating areas totaling $20 million, they’d have $10 million left to carry over into the next fiscal year. Melucci expected another $40 million in cuts for the following year and the same amount of cuts as in the previous two phases. That number, plus the $10 million deficit from the year before would leave an unresolved budget gap of $30 million for the following fiscal year.
The $10 million deficit from Southampton’s budgeted 2009-2010 fiscal year would possibly be covered partially from the contingency budget, which is saved for unforeseen financial turmoil like if a building had a fire or if oil prices were hiked up exponentially because of a war. In most years, Melucci said, the contingency budget is untouched. The 2010-2011 budget goes until July 2011 so the university has nine months to decide if that is a necessary step to offset the deficit. If prices for utilities, which are linked to natural gases provided by the Nissequogue Cogen Partners, remain low however, something Melucci said is not unreasonable, there won’t be a problem.
He also included in the presentation that Stony Brook University faced budget cuts of approximately $59 million, or about 19 percent, since April 1, 2008. During the interview, Melucci said that there was $450 million cut to the SUNY program over three years.
“It may even be larger than that,” he said.
And indeed it is. Last week, SUNY slashed more, bringing Stony Brook up to $62 million needed in cuts, he said, which includes the cuts from fiscal year 2008-2009 and additional cuts since then.
“Due to the magnitude of the impact, policy decisions on the distribution of these cuts were held over until President Stanley arrived on July 1, 2009,” Melucci said in his affidavit.
Stanley said in his court papers that upon his arrival, he convened a budget group of senior campus administrators to overlook various aspects of the university’s operations.
“The fiscal drains involved in operating the school’s Southampton and Manhattan satellite locations were two of several issues immediately brought to my attention,” he said.
The 2009-2010 budget for Stony Brook main campus was about $300 million with about 24,000 students in Fall 2009 as opposed to Southampton campus at a little more than $14 million with about 500 students in the same semester. This would make it approximately $12,000 per student head at main campus versus an approximate $30,000 per student head at Southampton campus. That is about two and a half times as much for a Southampton student than for a main campus student. Taking the number of the budget and dividing by the number of students can compute the amount of money per student head. According to Melucci’s affidavit, the net loss of approximately $20,000 per student remained, after incorporated annual state subsidies of utilities and salary, and tuition and fee revenues increased. Tuition and fees at Southampton were the same as main campus.
Some Southampton students then raised the question – if it’s all Stony Brook University money, why doesn’t it come from the same place?
Melucci explained during the interview that in an analysis, what you do with “costs are what’s costing more money than something else,” he said. “It’s an analysis to see what’s making most money versus losing money.” In this case, Southampton campus was losing them money.
Another projection was the transition year of 2010-2011, when students were relocated, faculty members remained for contractual obligations or left the university entirely and fewer buildings were being used, such as the dorms and the library. The amount of revenue would remain the same at a little over $4 million, but the expenditure would decrease to approximately $11 million. The only expenditure that increases is the almost doubled housing costs that come from lack of residential fees and a 20 to 25 year mortgage plan.
One misconception that did stick out was the approximate $7 million Senator Kenneth P. LaValle secured for the campus from the state each year, according to Thiele. According to Melucci, that the number never existed and that if there were proof of it he would have put it in the budget papers. He did say there was a one-time deal of $7.4 provided by SUNY specifically for Southampton, but there was nothing else.
This year there should have been 2,000 students enrolled at Southampton, if the projection of enrollment was correct, which would have made the campus positive $1.3 million. Instead, plaintiffs contested there would be about 800 students at the Southampton campus this autumn.
“At no point were these incoming students informed that SBU and the SUNY Trustees might shut down their school of choice,” the plaintiffs argue in their briefing. “A week after taking tuition payments, SBU did just that.”
Melucci said that number of students was untrue. Actually, based on applications, he said the number was more around 600-650.
The main number, however, is the approximate $6.7 million the university will be saving annually, which will be after all contractual obligations to the faculty are expired. This process should take about two to three years, but Melucci said they’ve already seen $1 million more than they expected to see for the transition year, going from $3.1 million to $4.1 million between 2009-2010 and 2010-2011.
The anticipated budget at full implementation will also include the total termination of instructional faculty, not including the MFA Writing Program and SoMAS program, and no more administration. The only costs will be the two programs, decreased utilities and facilities. Once fully executed there will still be a deficit of $3.3 million. According to Melucci, the various programs they are hoping to work on once the court’s enjoinment is revoked perhaps, could offset that.
“Southampton will have a bright future, but not the bright future we thought it was going to be in March,” he said.
The Restructuring of the Campus
Getting rid of one of only two sustainability campuses in the country, the other being Arizona State University, did not show a bright future for students and supporters though.
The campus, which was acquired in 2005 for $35 million provided by the state, is known for its environmentally-friendly ways.
“As set forth above, it is a small college with a distinct focus and purpose,” according to the plaintiff’s briefing. “As the school itself states on its website, the course of study is ‘organized not into departments but around issues related to environmental sustainability, public policy and natural resource management.”
Although it is a branch of Stony Brook, it has its own administration and a separate admissions process. It also had unique clubs specifically within their environmental interests. Those who attended Southampton were able to partake in groups such as the Food for All club, which revolved around unprocessed foods and food issues, a SCUBA club, a boating club and a gaming club, according to Botos.
There was also a garden club and greenhouse, which allowed students to learn about soil composition and plant physiology. An organic garden on campus, provided the nearby air with an aroma of numerous spices such as basil and oregano. Although it has been said that the organic garden’s produce was used to provide local grocers and campus dining, marine science major and 19-year-old sophomore Elliott Kurtz said it was not. Sometimes the produce would be given out to students and faculty during Farmer’s Markets on Thursdays.
Thiele said getting rid of Southampton after spending $35 million to purchase the campus and then an addition $43 million to renovate and add to the campus would be absurd.
“From a taxpayer point-of-view, investing $78 million in capital improvements to the campus and then shutting it down is insanity,” Thiele said.
But in decision-making science, “the amount of money paid in the past for something ought to have no bearing on future decision-making,” said Thomas Whalen, a Ph.D. and retired professor of decision sciences at Georgia State University. “Instead, the value of something is the difference between the total future benefit of maintaining and using it, and the total future cost of maintaining and using it.”
“This has to be compared with the future value of selling it, which may be negative if it costs more to get rid of it than you can get for it, plus the future benefits of taking the resources saved from maintaining, and using them for something else,” he added. “Mixing historical costs, even recent ones, into serious decision-making is known in popular speech as ‘throwing good money after bad’ and in decision science as ‘the sunk cost fallacy.’”
But whether this really is bad money is something that needs to be evaluated, and should be done so by multiple knowledgeable people, and not solely a high-status person. A committee was formed by the University Senate in 2009 to evaluate Southampton when faculty were concerned their opinions were not being considered by then-president Kenny.
While a lot of money has been put toward the campus, the funding may be more helpful in other programs that inhabit the distant campus grounds.
The University Council’s presentation for Southampton included prospective programs, such as a campus for the arts, enhancing Marine Sciences, having a semester at sea and planning cultural events. There is a council to look into the prospective that include Co-Chairs Kaler and University Council member Diana Weir, SUNY Provost David LaVallee and Suffolk County Community College Dean Richard Britton.
Closing the campus, according to what Stanley said in the Graduate Student Organization May 11, 2010 minutes, was something that he did not “see us resolving in the near future.”
And with the governor’s executive budget being a gloomy forecast of what may happen to Southampton, people speculate Stanley had to make a move fast.
It may have been more than just budget cuts that made Southampton’s closing such a big deal – it may have possibly been the way the situation was handled that made the students and supporters angry.
“It’s just a lot of things that went wrong that made this go in the worst possible way,” said Matt Graham, Stony Brook’s Undergraduate Student Government president and one of the University Council’s members who voted against the reopening of Southampton.
A Matter of Inconvenience
Linton was with four other students in a friend’s room and about to study for an exam when she first heard that Southampton’s doors were being closed.
“We all thought it was a joke until somebody found Will James’ article on 27east.com from a Google search,” she said. “We found out about the closure of our campus not from SBU officials, but from a Southampton newspaper article… online.”
Soon after, Stanley showed up at the campus, walking through the masses of students who held a silent protest.
“I think he was wrong to come to our school and not even show us the slightest bit of compassion when telling us he was shutting down our school,” said Cutolo. “He smirked and laughed at us during our silent protest. I know he didn’t enjoy shutting a campus down, but I just wish he had showed some real compassion.”
Sheprow said back in April that the way the students found out was not planned and that the university wanted to be the one to tell them first.
Not only the way they found out, but what the decision entailed played a major factor in their hurt feelings. A lot of the students in their affidavits suggested a trend of inconvenience, having to move 40 miles away from their home campus to Stony Brook’s main campus. Some said they would lose their jobs and internships, others said they would have to drive the commute often.
The responders felt that situations, although unfortunate, were not enough to show harm and damage done.
“Despite moderate increases in student enrollment, the cost of residential education at Southampton continued to vastly outweigh tuition revenues,” Kaler said in his affidavit. “As a result, University academic advisors, admissions officers and enrollment retention specialists went to extraordinary efforts to ensure that each and every Southampton student would be able to continue their studies in his/her chosen degree field of interest at the Stony Brook campus, if that student chose to do so.”
But even with these considerations, students felt that they were being forced to move to Stony Brook or drop out.
“With the closing of Southampton, petitioners will be forced either to complete their studies at SBU, a school they never planned or wished to attend, or attempt to transfer in the midst of their college careers to another institution with an academic curriculum and setting comparable to Southampton,” the plaintiff’s briefing said.
The students showed this in their affidavits.
“I had no choice – I either had to move to the main campus or leave school and spend considerable time and research to find another college, if even one exists, like the Southampton campus,” Linton wrote in her affidavit. “I participated in approximately three recruiting sessions sponsored [by] the school. I asked school administrators repeatedly whether Southampton was likely to be closed due to budget cuts. I was informed that the SUNY system had invested millions in the campus and was operating under a five-year plan to expand the college and it was, therefore, in no danger of closure.”
Kathleeen Furey, 55, an Environmental Humanities major with a minor in environmental planning, design and development, and a student also a part of the Supreme Court case, said staying at Southampton was a convenient way to take classes and go home to take care of her 87-year-old father.
“I have spent decades studying environmental issues and I was excited to continue my pursuit of learning in this area at a campus that is seven minutes from my home in Hampton Bays,” she said in her affidavit. “I also do not wish to study at a giant university where I will be a ‘number,’ losing the intimate, personal atmosphere I enjoy at Southampton.”
Students felt that the university’s main campus was impersonal and too large for their needs. While they try not to insult the campus, they feel that it is not the right environment for them.
“At first I felt panicked almost every single day due to the amount of people I was seeing on campus,” Cutolo said . “Southampton was definitely smaller than this campus.” But she is one of few Southampton students who says she is transitioning and finding it a bit easier, “although I would go back to Southampton in a second.”
Students felt that this relocation would make them lose their jobs and internships. Nicole Altimari, 19, a marine science major, volunteered at the Riverhead Foundation at Atlantis Marine World and was looking to get an internship. She feared the relocation would lose this opportunity for her. She, too, felt that she had “no other choice than to attend classes at the main campus in Stony Brook.”
Katherine Osiecki, 18, a Southampton student who is majoring in art, environmental design, policy and planning, worked part-time at an art gallery in Southampton and said she would lose her job since she no longer lives in the area.
“The state, of course, is not trying to fire petitioners; rather, due to the fact that respondents plan to close Southampton, petitioners will be forced to leave the area where they now live and work, and move and/or commute 40 miles away to the Main Campus,” the plaintiffs’ court files read. “Because of this forced dislocation, petitioners, as set forth in their affidavits, will have to give up their Southampton area-based jobs and internships.”
This is deemed an inconvenience and harmful because the students “ordered their lives around the reasonable and obvious assumptions that they would attend Southampton for four years and live on, or near, its campus,” the plaintiffs continued in their court files.
But the defendants said that these were not enough of irreparable harm to justify reopening the campus. In fact, they thought it would be a greater inconvenience to a greater amount of people if the decision was reversed.
“As the change was announced in early April, before students were required to accept admittance to colleges after application, many students made college decisions based upon the changes announced by the University, either to attend SUNYSB or some other institution,” the responders wrote in their court files. “Those students would all have their decisions, some of whom are traveling from out of state, affected by a reversal of the decision. Those students who made housing decisions based on the fact that housing at main campus was unavailable because Southampton students were given priority would also be adversely affected by a reversal herein. Moreover, faculty and other staff have accepted assignments, obtained employment, moved or otherwise affected their lives in reliance on the shift of courses to main campus.”
And furthermore, they added, the petitioners never denied the economic factors that exist to require the administration to make hard decisions.
But was it a decision handled properly?
The university was committed to the success of Southampton until the day the decision was made, Melucci said. But at the same time, it was one part of “a multilayered response to cuts in the University’s allocation of state funding,” according to Stanley in his affidavit.
He also said that the Southampton satellite location was one of several issues that was brought to his attention, along with the Manhattan campus they closed because it expired, according to Sheprow. In fact, during his employment interview process with Kenny, members of the SUNY Search Committee and members of the University Council, Stanley was told of their concerns about “the impact of these pending budget cuts.”
The relocation of the Southampton students did not cut any majors or minors, except for coastal environmental studies, according to the plaintiffs. But Marianne Klepacki, whose daughter had a major in Business Management with a specialization in sustainable business, said her daughter’s major was not transferred.
When asked, Sheprow said it was brought over to the main campus, along with the five majors at Southampton.
Furthermore, the students’ fears of not meeting their graduation requirements because of a lack of classes they need will not be necessary.
“We are offering the classes students need in normal sequence,” she said. “That does not mean we offer all classes in a semester or in two semesters.” Students are suggested to meet with academic advisors so they can develop an outline for their course load.
Some classes were cut, however, including human ecology, Sheprow said.
“It was replaced with a different class because a suitable instructor could not be identified in time,” she said. “An instructor has been assigned and human ecology will be taught in the spring.”
A meeting could not be set up with Stanley, however. Although in the last article, the reason was because they were legally bound not to speak, according to Sheprow, she said now that the “University will continue to address the matter in a court which is the appropriate form.”
With the budget dwindling and the Governor’s Executive Budget getting closer and closer to approval, the University had to make a decision, and its president chose to cut Southampton.
Looking back on the decision by Stanley, however, it seems as though some things may have been missed or seen and ignored, the students fear.
According to the Nov. 2, 2009 University Senate meeting, Provost Kaler said $7.4 million was appropriated by SUNY. Interim Dean Martin Schoonen added that the first classes of the sustainability majors met in the fall of 2007 with 127 students.
Former Dean Mary Pearl replaced Schoonen in the beginning of 2009. According to Southampton graduate John Botos, Pearl helped rebrand the university and made it as good as it was.
“She was there not even less than a year and we would have reached 800 by this fall,” he said, which is false according to Melucci (refer to Budget’s Bucks Cause Confusion). “I can only imagine between May and the start of the semester how many would come.”
In fact, during the Nov. 2 meeting, Pearl said that applicants applied from 35 states, enrollment was near 500 students with a goal of 700 next year, which they would have exceeded, and 84 percent of the students were full time. Forty-five percent lived in residence halls, 87 percent were undergraduates while the other 13 percent were graduates. She also said the SAT scores were trending up.
Needless to say, many supporters feel that Stanley went through the process behind closed doors in order to make some money off of the campus. Thiele, for one, said it was all a private discussion and that the idea of a separate university at Southampton as part of SUNY is not “off the table.”
“I think that Stony Brook wanted the money in the Southampton budget and the only way they could get their hands on it was to move the undergraduates to the main campus,” Klepacki said. “Stony Brook wanted Southampton’s budget money to plug the holes in its budget, so Southampton was cannibalized by Stony Brook University.”
Student and marine vertebrate major Aubrie Andenmatten, 19, said the closure caused damage to numerous people for selfish reasons.
“I believe the campus closing was done for his [Stanley’s] own wants and needs and the issues he says there are, he is blowing out of proportion and is just using them as excuses to get what he wants,” she said.
The decision goes even further, as students and legislators agreed that alternative options were not considered.
“Stanley is not interested in alternatives to save our college,” Linton said.
According to Thiele, multiple attempts by him and the other legislators on the basis of finding a way to make up the lost money were rejected by Stanley.
Some feel it’s just a sticky situation.
“Everything about the situation is going to be tough. The university took as many measures as they could,” Graham said. “From my part, it was a tough decision, but at the end of the day, I have to make what decision is right for all of the students here.”
Stanley seemed to feel the same way, but others still question his decision’s credibility because of what the decision represents to the students and how it was executed.
“I want to try to see their view in this, I really do,” said Cutolo, who was appreciative that the administration tried to accommodate the students as best they could. “But I think mostly how they went about this decision has bothered me the most.”