Jessica Opatich


Award winning reporter and cable news journalist Soledad O’Brien called her Monday night appearance at Stony Brook University a “homecoming.” The St. James native and graduate of Smithtown East High School remembers how she “literally used to play on this campus” while her father worked as a professor of mechanical engineering. The homecoming was not mere pageantry, however. O’Brien was here as part of her nationwide Black in America tour leading what she describes as a “difficult,” “painful” and “messy but necessary conversation” about the current state of black lives in our nation. The discussion traced black lives from the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King to recent violence that has fueled tension between law enforcement and the black community. Speaking to a filled Staller Center auditorium, President Stanley introduced O’Brien and noted the “importance of exploring ideas and issues with respect, integrity and willingness.” Stanley also mentioned recent tragedies,…

Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that the man was foaming at the mouth. The witness clarified that he was vomiting. A man described by a witness to be in his mid-thirties was rushed to Stony Brook Emergency Medicine at 9:40 this morning after slipping on ice in the South P Commuter parking lot. Student Gerard Stokkers, 24,  who witnessed the fall, said that the man “slipped and landed right on his head,” and was vomiting and bleeding at the mouth. University Police Assistant Chief of Patrol Eric Olsen said that it was “purely a medical emergency,” that no car was involved and that police are still “trying to figure out who he is.”