As I’m sure many people did, I spent a good portion of my first day back at Stony Brook catching up with friends in between classes, excited about what another semester would bring. Unfortunately for myself and many other students, it brought untimely repairs to the roads the and problems with the IT network.
After leaving an impromptu session of Super Smash Brothers for a 5:30 class, I found out that I could not access my lecture hall on the inaugural day of courses. Construction outside of the Social and Behavioral Sciences building was the culprit, blocking all handicap entrances.
While an email was able to quickly smooth over any potential problems with the professor, the most shocking part of the experience was that is was not
shocking at all.
Back in March, I wrote an article about how the harsh winter made it a struggle to get around campus when snow-clearing efforts often did not allow enough accessibility. That was a serious problem.
This situation is more worthy of a chuckle than anything else. All that is required for a disabled student to get in the building was a navigable pathway, and for all the searching I did around the exterior of the building, I could not find one. How is it that a university with a department dedicated to disability support could be so far behind when it comes to its effectiveness?
On top of my personal accessibility problems, the other issue that welcomed students back from the summer was the SINC site printing blackout that occurred between Monday and Tuesday.
Having no printer access for a large part of two school days is just not acceptable. The SINC sites were working over the summer and for them to go down so early in the semester with no reasoning being made publicly available is unbelievable. While problems with such a large network are certainly to be expected, keeping students in the dark only leads to frustration.
Choosing the beginning of the semester to schedule maintenance outside of the SBS building shows a lack of foresight that caused me great irritation much like the printing outage did for so many students on campus. A bad first impression can really harm a student’s perception of the university as a whole and it’s my hope that in the future, Stony Brook does more to prevent first day frustrations.
The start of a new college year is stressful enough as is.