With the contract between Stony Brook and Dowling College ending this year, current Brookhaven Residential Village residents are unsure where they will live in the fall.
The university is pushing to maintain a lease with the dorms, located in Shirley, New York on the Dowling Brookhaven campus, according to RHA Senator Miguel Vargas. The facility is roughly 20 miles from Stony Brook’s main campus. Vargas said administrators are awaiting a response from Dowling to keep the building open for the 2017-18 academic year after Dowling’s closing this past fall.
When asked to comment, Associate Director of Residential Program Alan S. deVries, said that it was too early to discuss the issue.
Despite the opening of two new residence halls this past semester, a draft of next year’s budget showed that more than $1 million dollars have been allocated for BRV in case it does remain open. The draft was given out to Resident Hall Association senators on March 7 at a meeting with Assistant Vice President for Campus Residences Dallas Bauman.
If the dorms were to remain open, transfer students would be given on-campus housing and students that do not secure a spot on the main campus could be offered a spot at Brookhaven Residential Village, or BRV, Bauman explained at the meeting. This is a change from past years when BRV primarily housed transfer students. Nonetheless, if BRV were to close, transfers may not be offered housing since housing is not guaranteed as a condition of their acceptance and priority is given to incoming freshmen and returning residents.
Brookhaven Residential Village offers apartment-style suites with two to three double rooms, two bathrooms, a kitchen with basic appliances, a common area and individual heating and air-conditioning units. A shuttle bus that brings students from Stony Brook to Brookhaven runs seven days a week for those who don’t own cars or do not want to drive to campus.
Although the distance can can be an inconvenience, Jamilah Pierre, a junior psychology major and current resident at the village says that she likes the facility, citing a laundry room on every floor, a full kitchen in every apartment and a mail room in the same building. When it comes to the negatives of living at Brookhaven, only one aspect stuck out to her.
“If possible, I would love for BRV to have more buses,” Pierre said via Facebook Messenger. “Students make their schedules to fit with the bus schedule and not necessarily with the times they want, and often they also opt out of going to clubs because of large intervals between buses back to the village.”
Sophomore economics major Yu Lin Margono agrees that more buses could make travel more convenient for students going back and forth from main campus. She also wishes that the building offered more recycling options, like those offered on main campus.
“I think it’s hypocritical that the school is promoting and pushing hard for students to recycle for RecycleMania,” Margono said. “What’s the purpose of pushing students to recycle only at certain times when it’s not a yearly thing offered here at BRV? That’s something that I hope changes if the building remains open.”
Ava Dangol, a sophomore computer science major and BRV resident, said that she actually doesn’t mind the distance from campus.
“I’m definitely coming back if BRV were to be available again next semester,” Dangol said. “It prepares me for a realistic lifestyle – commuting to work/school, shopping and cooking my meals. It gives me the opportunity to exercise my time management skills because I won’t always be living five minutes away from where I need to be.”
Although BRV is farther from campus than other residential options, many residents agree that one of the benefits of living there is that it creates a close-knit community where everyone knows one another. Despite many students leaving the dorm for other housing options after the fall semester, the sense of community, although not as strong, remained.
“Everyone knows each other and is so friendly,” Anecine Dalmeus, a junior biology major and former BRV resident, said via Facebook Messenger. “On campus everyone just does their own thing and no one really interacts with one another.”
Vargas said that he would love to return to the village if it remains open next year.
“I enjoy the quietness of BRV,” Vargas said. “There’s also a lot of space.”