In recent local news, communities around Stony Brook University have voiced their frustration with overcrowded houses in their neighborhoods due to landlords renting out houses that normally house from 5 to 6 people to 20 or more people.
This criticism is something that is more than understandable; for those who have to deal with overcrowded streets, large parties and two students puking on their lawn at 8 a.m., it is a reality that they probably did not hope for when they had plans to raise their family in Stony Brook, Setauket, or any of the other surrounding towns.
However, this situation pales in comparison to the benefits that the university brings to the island. To start, the university itself accounts for almost 60,000 jobs on Long Island, or roughly 7.5 percent of the entire workforce in Suffolk County. On top of providing a large amount of jobs for our community, Stony Brook University accounts for $4.65 billion in gross regional domestic product for Long Island, which greatly benefits the economy within Stony Brook as well as in its surrounding towns.
We also benefit from having a world-renowned hospital right in our backyard. Stony Brook University’s hospital has been rated as one of the best hospitals in the world in the areas of cardiology, nephrology, urology, orthopedics and neurology, just to name a few of its specialties. Having a world-recognized hospital in our backyard gives reassurance that should you get hurt, whether it is a minor injury or a severe injury, you will have a staff comprised of world-class doctors and nurses ready to help you at a moment’s notice.
In addition, Stony Brook University gives students like myself the opportunity to receive a world-class education at a fraction of the cost you would get at most universities. The university, rated as the 89th best college in the United States, is only increasing in terms of ranking. The cost of receiving an education at SBU, compared to the tuition of other colleges, is much lower than anywhere else you will find, especially for in-state students.
Moreover, Stony Brook University brings in a tremendous amount of money to the general community, whether it is for the school or outlying communities.Take the area around the Smith Haven Mall as an example; anybody who is a local probably can remember when almost 90 percent of the high-end stores inside and around the Smith Haven Mall did not exist, primarily because there was not nearly as much money within the community to have such higher-end stores. However, as Stony Brook University’s reputation increased, more and more money started to flow into the areas around Stony Brook, evident in the build up of the local communities.
While people in the surrounding communities around Stony Brook University have every right to complain about the overcrowding in their neighborhoods, the benefits of having SBU right here on Long Island outweighs the negatives. Whether it is the world-renowned hospital, stellar academics, or the amount of jobs created by the university, Stony Brook University’s benefits, without a doubt, outweigh the negatives.