The focus of the Undergraduate Student Government’s first meeting of the semester was on old issues, including an update on the student transportation options the Senate has been working on for the past seven months.
During the meeting, President Adil Hussain and Vice President of Communications Mario Ferone spoke to the senate about the USG’s decision to scrap current plans for a 21-passenger bus that would bring students to and from Port Jefferson on Friday nights.
The current plans were scrapped due to the expected $4-$5 increase in the transportation fee.
“We had said that we would have an estimate of about $2 which would be the highest price for us and this came back more than double,” Ferone said. The Department of Transportation “didn’t want to pursue it and we didn’t want to pursue it.”
Though current plans have failed, USG is now looking into alternative plans, including one to work with Suffolk County to provide a Monday through Friday bus route to Port Jefferson and another to hire a shuttle company to bring students back to campus from Port Jefferson.
Transportation has been of particular interest for Stony Brook officials this past year, with both the new Sunday bus route to Port Jefferson on Suffolk Transit’s 3D route and the 7Bus coach service into New York City introduced.
According to Hussain, one main concern for USG is to not add additional costs to the transportation fee, which is scheduled to increase this coming year by the DoT.
Another lengthy conversation at this week’s USG meeting was spurred when a concerned student asked the senate to try and accelerate the process of gaining additional state funds to complete repairs to the university’s pool.
The fight over the pool began in 2012 when repairs were estimated to cost $10 million, a sum which could not be paid after Stony Brook’s maintenance funds were transferred to other repair projects on campus that were deemed “critical.” This loss of funding left the swimming teams on “competitive hiatus,” and led to the creation of several petitions, including ones on MoveOn.org and Facebook.
The previous administration took part in the debate last year with passage of a resolution urging “Stony Brook University and New York State [to] find an acceptable solution and provide adequate funds within a reasonable time frame for the on-campus pool renovation.”
The renovation is estimated to take about three years once the university receives additional funding.
Hussain assured the student that he would try to contact those that may be able to take action and ask the SUNY Assembly or New York state for additional funding.