A New York State Judge has ruled that Stony Brook University wrongly closed most of its operations at the Southampton campus.
The ruling stated that Stony Brook should have sought the approval of the 10-member Stony Brook Council, an independent board that must be consulted on “major decisions,” including, according to Judge Paul J. Baisley, the Southampton closure.
The decision marked more of a symbolic win for the six Southampton students who filed suit back in April when the decision was announced. The campus officially ended most operations at the start of this month, and most Southampton students are already taking classes at the main campus. It’s unclear what practical impact Judge Baisley’s decision will have, since resuming classes there would be all but impossible now that faculty, students and staff are gone.
Katherine Osiecki, 18, a sophomore majoring in environmental design policy and planning who was a lead plaintiff, said she cried when she heard about the ruling. “We still don’t know what it all means, but just that we put all this effort into it and it paid off is awesome,” she said.
Assemb. Fred Thiele (I-Sag Harbor) and State Sen. Kenneth LaValle (R-Port Jefferson), who helped the students, said the students scored a major victory.
The university “tried to do it behind closed doors and tried to do it in secret,” Thiele said.
Look for more from Think on the decision and it’s impact in the coming days.