By Billy Zhang
If each quad on campus had a city associated with it, then Roosevelt Quad would be Oakland. Just like Oakland, most people don’t really choose to go live in Roosevelt; they have to, because there isn’t room in other quads. Sometimes, it is because they were placed there in their freshman year, so they don’t know outside quads—which is similar to being born in Oakland. Other times, they stay because most of their friends are living there, so there isn’t any real reason to move away. Across from Roosevelt are the West Apartments—the pinnacle of dorms, to which many students wish to transfer, just like San Francisco, which is only eight miles away and a thousand times better than Oakland. Many people call Roosevelt the “ghetto” of Stony Brook. However, unlike Oakland, Roosevelt is getting a much needed face-lift. Anyone who isn’t blind has probably seen the huge monolith of a building being erected near Roosevelt. While it is a much needed upgrade, not only for Roosevelt, but for the rest of Stony Brook, it comes at a price. While people living away from Roosevelt say it is a great idea to build a new building to mitigate all the overcrowding in dorms, it is really the people who live in Roosevelt now who received the short end of that stick.
A food court is planned for the south side of the complex, the side facing Tabler quad. In some parts there are seven floors to the building, and it is already the size of the entire block, from Roosevelt Drive all the way to West Drive. The construction is almost complete, but has been posing difficulties for current Roosevelt residents.
Some of those problems are long-term power outages and a lack of hot water. Also, those living closer to the construction, such as residents in Wagner, have had to deal with the construction noise as well. While the problems weren’t as bad this semester, last semester was simply hell for many residents. The power and water outages lasted up to twelve hours and occurred sometimes three days in a row. The noise was especially bad, waking many residents in the morning.
Many of the people living in Roosevelt, while upset, understand the necessity of housing construction. One resident, Sophia Sgro said, “It is annoying, yes, but the construction needs to be done, alleviating all the tripling is more important.” Others, such as Peggy Lung, put it as simply: “shit happens.” They would be content if it was only a short episode, but construction has been going on for a very long time now. Many who knew friends in other quads would go there to shower. However, those who unfortunately didn’t know anyone else had no choice except to go to the Sports Complex to shower—or smell. There is nothing worse than coming back from the gym, finding out that there is no hot water, and going to class the next day smelling like you had a one night stand with Oscar the Grouch. The power outages also caused problems for students who preferred to study in the comfort of their own rooms.
Some students felt that Stony Brook should at least offer some sort of compensation to residents living there, even a small cash payout like $100. One resident, Mo Narne, said “After several blackouts, leakages, hot water failures, I definitely feel that there should be some compensation. I did not pay for half-assed living conditions. I understand that problems do occur randomly, but the people on the forefront should fix them right the first time so there is no reoccurrences.” Many students felt cheated, because there was little warning about the potential problems that they would face. While the housing assignments for the new dormitory have not been decided yet, many of the students living in Roosevelt feel like they should have first dibs over freshmen and current residents of other quads. They feel that since they had to endure all the bullshit, they should at least be able to break in the new dorm rooms.
Tripling has been a major problem on campus. People used to choose Stony Brook as a safety school, but now more have been making it their first choice. Triple rooms, which would once have been broken up within days, can now last weeks, or even the entire semester. In the future, it will allow more people to dorm in Stony Brook. The power outages and lack of water isn’t much of a problem this semester, but the noise is still bothersome in the morning. It sucks when you try to take a nap, only to be awakened by banging. When the dust has settled and the doors open for students, only then will the headaches stop. Many students will be able to enjoy it. However, the seniors will leave this year with a sour taste in their mouths because they had to endure the shit with nothing to show for it.