James O’Connor works with, and through, a staggering amount of administrative tasks to maintain sustainability at Stony Brook University. As Director of Sustainability and Transportation Operations at Stony Brook University, he oversees projects ranging from electricity conservation initiatives and electric vehicle charging stations to a bike share system and solar-powered bus stops.
Yet another inexplicable phenomenon is quickly permeating society today. That peculiar human desire to control what confuses us is steadily gaining in popularity. We have all experienced this feeling at some point: the tendency to result in absolute, merciless tyranny when dealing with train connections or perhaps the occasional bus schedule. Or maybe even others’ religious behavior. This has certainly become a favorite among university faculty.
I was advised by a fellow writer at The Statesman to preface this argument by saying that half of my household growing up was Jewish, therefore giving myself some sort of religious immunity to any part of this article sounding racist. Sage advice I thought at first, but after some thought, I realized not only that this perpetuates the idea I am attempting to dispel, but also that the audience I am trying to reach here will find this offensive no matter what.
When you were a kid, Halloween was a time of trick-or-treating, dressing up as your favorite superhero or monster and just spending some quality time with the family. In college, however, it takes on whole new meaning for most students: party! Whether you are a promiscuous bunny or an eerie zombie, the bottom line is, because it is Halloween, you want to go out and have some fun. Here at Stony Brook, sadly, it is easier to say you are going to have fun than to actually do it. Having fun at Stony Brook is a chore.
However surprising it might be to the current students of Stony Brook University, our campus was once such an active base of operations for left-leaning political causes that many considered it the “Berkeley of the East.” After the end of the Vietnam War and the demonization of liberal ideals that came with Carter’s defeat, the political activity at the university quickly lost this identity. While liberal causes have continued to have a fairly muted presence on campus, the new drive toward allowing males who have had sex with other males to donate blood calls back to years past when students truly cared enough to change the world.
Last Wednesday, I attended the “Blood Donor Policy Panel” in the Charles B. Wang Center Theater presented by Stony Brook University’s Blood Donor Equality Movement. To be honest, my original purpose for going to the panel was to satisfy the “Hot Topic” event requirement for my undergraduate college. As soon as the panelists were introduced, my attention was fully devoted to the discussion on stage.