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Jessica Opatich

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Stony Brook has done it again. On Sunday, author Junot Díaz shared the petition to Save Hispanic & Latino Studies at Stony Brook University, responding to the administration’s decision to suspend the doctoral program in Hispanic Studies and to combine the undergraduate program with other units. “This sucks. Stony Brook, what the hell are you thinking?” Díaz wrote in his post. Díaz is a Dominican American writer who won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award for The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao. He’s also won a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship, Guggenheim Fellowship, and PEN/O. Henry Award. He visited Stony Brook in 2010 when Oscar Wao was chosen as the freshman-reading novel and shared that he wrote the novel because he felt immigrant communities were unrepresented. This theme is persistent in his work. Díaz is also known for his laid-back personality and for being an all-around…

“I think of lovers as trees, growing to and/ from one another searching for the same light  . . . i ask did you ever love me?/ you say of course, of course so quickly/ that you sound like someone else” – Warsan Shire Beyoncé dropped an album last night. Actually it’s not just an album, it’s not just a video, it’s not like anything you’ve ever heard or seen. LEMONADE premiered on HBO as a visual album and it’s a masterpiece of creativity, boldness, honesty and purpose. It’s an ode to generations of black women. And, in a more personal sentiment, it’s the story of a marriage. “Are you cheating on me?” It’s a jarring question coming from the Queen after she’s jumped from the edge of a building and plunged into a bedroom filled to the ceiling with water. From there, she struts out into the streets in a…

Shreeya decided to buy her own birthday cake. She went into a store in Queens and chose chocolatey “Black Forest,” invited all her friends over, and this time, unlike so many birthdays before, she ate cake and was happy. She remembers, “It tasted like freedom.” This was her 19th birthday, but from 10th grade through her senior year at Forest Hills High School, Shreeya Tuladhar had been starving herself.   Now, Shreeya is healthy, and she is hoping to help others down the long and difficult road she traveled from a girl struggling to love herself to an empowered, successful and healthy woman. In April of last year, she started Project BEaUtifull, a non-profit organization that raises awareness of body image issues. Years before Project BEaUtifull and her birthday cake breakthrough, Shreeya’s boyfriend of two years broke up with her. While doing so he told Shreeya she was worthless, disgusting…

It’s official: the No. 13-seeded Stony Brook Seawolves (26-6) will play the No. 4-seeded University of Kentucky Wildcats (26-8) in the first round of the NCAA March Madness Tournament at Des Moines, Iowa. Stony Brook will have its work cut out for them on Thursday, March 17 after rallying in a come-from-behind win over the University of Vermont Catamounts (21-13). Senior Jameel Warney helped lead the team to the dance for the first time in school history with 43 points against Vermont. Stony Brook trailed by 15 at one point before coming back for 80-74 victory. Kentucky beat the Texas A&M Aggies (26-8) by an 82-77 final in overtime to secure its spot in March Madness. It was the 29th time that the Kentucky men’s basketball squad has won the Southeastern Conference. Warney, who is averaging 19.8 points per game and 10.7 rebounds per game, will be the key player…

When movements gain social momentum, people point to the hashtag. #BlackLivesMatter. #WhyIStayed. #BringBackOurGirls. But what’s missed so often are the voices behind those tags and tweets. Early this evening, students behind #SBU4Mizzou gave their names, faces, voices and stories to a movement and marched in solidarity with protesters at the University of Missouri. #SBU4MIZZOU#BlackLivesMatterpic.twitter.com/jxpjZ5rShN — Lei Taka (@John_Leinnon) November 12, 2015 At college campuses including Yale and Ithaca College, students have protested against what they argue is their administrations’ inability to institute policy to combat racial discrimination on campus and proactively promote equality. Students marched to the front of the administration building on the Stony Brook University campus and held signs, one read “#InSolidarityWithMizzou” and “ConcernedStudent1950,” a reference to the first year African American students were admitted to the University of Missouri. Members of Stony Brook University’s administration joined them, most notably, Stony Brook University President Samuel Stanley. “Some of…

Around 100 veterans packed into the auditorium at the Long Island State Veterans Home to listen to guest speakers and sing along with an elementary school class for a ceremony honoring the veteran’s service and sacrifice. “It was beautiful,” Biagio Innamorata, who served in the Korean War, said. Tears came to his eyes as he sat in his wheelchair. “I was injured in a bunker. I was pulling the wounded to safety and next thing you know—someone threw a hand grenade.” For the residents of the Long Island State Veteran’s Home, Veteran’s Day is a celebration of their service but also a somber reminder of the friends who are no longer with them. But to brighten the spirits of these men and women, they were each given a new hat bearing the branch of service’s insignia in which they served. Nancy Gaugler, an administrative assistant in Research Technologies, serves as…

There’s no reason for the Rangers not to have another phenomenal season. Yes, last season was disappointing, but only because they didn’t come home with the Stanley Cup after winning the President’s Trophy and making it to the seventh game in the Eastern Conference finals. This year, they’re still loaded with talent. Alain Vigneault is back as head coach and he’s been the biggest asset. He’s gotten his core group of players to adapt to the quick, transition-attack style. It might take some getting used to for the newest additions, but a strong foundation already exists with major core players returning. Who are the some notable new faces? Take a look at Emerson Etem, Jayson Megna, Brian Gibbons, Raphael Diaz, Jarret Stoll, Viktor Stalberg and Antti Raanta. Gibbons scored the opening goal in the preseason victory against the New Jersey Devils. Megna followed it up by netting two of his…

Stony Brook University unveiled the preliminary details of its SUNY Excels Performance Improvement Plan on Friday, September 18 with highlights that included increasing enrollment, completions, graduation rates, research expenditures, fundraising and diversity. “They said at the board of trustees resolution that this is not a measurement of one institution against another, but rather an institution against itself over time,” Braden Hosch, assistant vice president for institutional research, planning and effectiveness said. Stony Brook University is looking to increase enrollment from 25,272 this fall to 26,394 by 2020. The university also wants to raise completions from slightly above 6,600 to 7,500, and the four-year, full-time, first-time student graduation rate from 51-percent, as calculated by the university, to 60-percent. “That actually derives from a commitment President Stanley made to President Obama at the White House to increase the graduation rate of our students,” Hosch said. Increasing the graduation rate is “probably the…

There was another fire at the Chemistry building this morning causing students, faculty and staff to evacuate. “There was a small piece of construction caught on fire with a smoke addition that made its way to the 7th floor,” Larry Zacarese, assistant chief of police and director of emergency management at Stony Brook University said. The Setauket Fire Department was dispatched at 8:46 and “all occupants were immediately evacuated,” Fire Marshall Nick Spota said. “[The fire] didn’t get into the interior of the building.” Students with white lab coats flooded the area between the Chemistry building, Frey Hall and the Melville Library. Lianna Walsh, a junior biology major was in an organic chemistry lab at the time the alarm sounded. “We were just about to start a distillation,” but the alarm rang and Walsh and her partner left their belongings behind. “I didn’t think it was that big of a deal.…