On Thursday night, the USG Senate overwhelmingly approved a resolution to request that Stony Brook President Samuel Stanley issue a public, written apology regarding his illegal closure of Stony Brook Southampton.
Three USG senators discussed hand-delivering the resolution to President Stanley Friday afternoon, but decided arranging a meeting would be more effective. The three are now in the process of scheduling a meeting.
Stanley, who is already required to apologize Monday to six students who filed and won a lawsuit against him, “has apologized to the media but has yet to apologize to the Southampton students,” said Adam Meier, the sponsor of the legislation.
The resolution, which passed 14-1 with seven abstentions, was written after USG President Mark Maloof received complaints that former Southampton students who requested to attend Stanley’s apology on Monday were being denied access by the university. Eventually, the meeting was opened by invite to current sustainability studies students.
While only the six students named directly in the lawsuit will be invited to the apology, members of the student group SAVE Southampton believe they should be able to attend.
“I can see why President Stanley wouldn’t want all these Southampton students coming, a lot of whom are still emotionally charged,” said Meier. “But I think a written apology would serve that purpose.”
But Senator David Adams offered amendments to the resolution, saying he wanted to “give it more teeth.”
Senator Frank Fanizza, who cast the only vote of dissent, thought confronting the university’s president wasn’t the USG’s responsibility. “I’m uncomfortable passing a resolution requesting an apology of someone who is way above us,” he said before the Senate.
But, ultimately, it was Senator Adams’s amendments and arguments that won out, with one exception. Adams had wanted to include Stony Brook Council Chair Kevin Law in the resolution, but Meier and other senators rejected the idea.
“Because of the sensitivity of this subject I didn’t think this was the appropriate venue for teeth to be added,” said Meier.
But Meier acknowledged that his stance was also a practical one. “The possibility of this resolution being acted upon by President Stanley was a factor in the ‘dullness of the bite,’” he said.
The university and President Stanley have thus far declined to comment, but if and when they reply, we will include their response in an update to this story.
Correction: The three Senators never actually went to Stanley’s office on Friday afternoon. They decided against doing so and sent an e-mail hoping to schedule a meeting.