By Najib Aminy
In 2001, a disgruntled commuter student created what is now a primitive site encouraging Stony Brook students to come together, share their grief and, in a way, work towards making their Stony Brook experience better. Eight years later, Stonybrooksucks.com is now up for sale by the site’s webmaster.
“Being disconnected from the campus and having ‘moved on’ in life, I feel the responsible thing to do is pass the torch,” wrote the Webmaster Joe X. “I am committed to selling StonyBrookSucks.com in the first half of the year. I am entertaining all serious offers and have two offers on the table.”
The website, though heavily outdated, was once a site where students could get the latest information on both news and obscure things happening at Stony Brook. A library of photos is still up exemplifying some of the oddities seen over the years from a misspelled “beaf patty” to a fluorescent orange sign that reads, “annual heat and hot water shutdown notice.” This was posted in 2005 in the Chapin Apartments and has no connection with the recent heat and hot water shutdown in Roosevelt and Kelly.
Webmaster Joe, as he calls himself, was an undergraduate student from 1998 to 2001 where he majored in business and economics. “It really didn’t take me long to realize something. There is no gentle way to phrase it, ‘Stony Brook Sucks’.” Joe said he found himself in the commuter lounge eating cheese fries and passed the time by reading The Press and as he put it, “Ughh and even The Statesman.” He tried to get active, but said that Stony Brook wasn’t really doing a good job in helping him connect.
During his senior year, Joe was tired and decided to post his mantra for the world and specifically students to see, “Stony Brook Sucks.” “To answer the many critics, this wasn’t a site simply to rant and complain,” Joe wrote in an email. “This was a site designed to bring students together as a community. It just so happened that the uniting factor was a shared notion that our school sucks.”
Through massive advertising, which ironically was done through tiny post-its and the scribbling on desks and chalkboards, Joe said he is proud to see that there are over a quarter of a million visits to his site.
The site features a heavily commented message board that includes posts that date as recent as this February and has features ranging from an events board to a pre-web 2.0 list of professors, both good and bad. Joe says that there is an ongoing argument with the moderators of Wikipedia on whether it is a relevant link.
Under the alias “Joe,” the webmaster said he did not want to reveal his name in fear that it would result in him staying at the university longer. “I really didn’t trust the University with knowing who I am. After all, I hated the school, the last thing I needed was failing classes and having to stay any longer.”
“I’ve maintained this site for the better half of a decade. I’ll be the first to admit, I haven’t done it justice lately,” Joe said. “I know that there is a student out there who wants to make the most of this site, update it, promote it, and even profit from it.”
Stony Brook University is currently ranked 3rd in the category of the Least Happiest Students in the 2008 Princeton Review Rankings. “To this day, people say things like, ‘If it sucks so much, why are you still here?’ I won’t answer that question for myself, but to say that [the] answer is to leave is just absurd. I intended on fixing the school,” Joe said.
Bids for the site can be found on the message board.