Hello, intrepid readers, and welcome back to the “Shirley Strum Kenny Fourteen Years, Fourteen Moments Countdown!” We were lazy last week and didn’t feature a SSK Moment, so we’re gonna make up for it now by providing you with two head-shaking, bewildering examples of leadership by President Kenny. We now present moments eleven and ten.
First, we jump back a few years to 2005. Many of our editors here were incoming freshmen, eager to get their first public glimpse into our University President’s leadership skills. Well, what were we greeted with? A whole big to-do and campaign focused on, as President Kenny put it, “Beautifying the Campus.” Not only was the insane amount of focus the University was putting on this campaign kind of baffling (they were sending notifications home touting the whole “Beautify The Campus” movement and hanging banners all over the place) but it also completely shocked many of us when we heard Kenny’s budget for the next year devoted somewhere between five and ten million dollars to the concept.
Now, granted, the University wasn’t facing the same budget crises in 2005 that it is staring at now. However, despite all this blustering and the millions of dollars poured into the project, Stony Brook remained rather same-y for the next three years. With the exception of the expensive traffic circle installed near Tabler (something very few would claim is “beautifying”) and the fountain installed outside the Wang Center, Stony Brook received few noticeable upgrades to its aesthetic appeal. And isn’t that what the whole huge campaign of “Beautifying the Campus” was all about? Noticeable upgrades to cheer up students as they walk around campus? Oh, well. At least they planted some odd medley of greenery around the Javits Lecture Hall this year.
Next, we stick with monetary mishaps since it has been a common theme these past few months with the budget crises. Looking back to the past ten months, we focus on Shirley’s newest obsession – the proposed Recreation Center. Much like her “Beautify The Campus” initiative from three years ago, Shirley seems completely hell bent on getting this done. When discussing the project in Albany earlier this March, Shirley referred to a “recreation center arms-race” with other prominent universities around the nation. What the hell? A rec. center arms-race? What does that even mean? If the University of Maryland gets a new state-of-the-art rec. center and we don’t, is our university’s safety endangered? Whatever.
However, the real kicker from this whole thing: It is going to cost us a projected 37.5 million dollars. Let us repeat that. 37.5 million dollars. In the middle of a fucking budget crisis. Wow.