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During my first semester, the only evidence I had of WUSB’s existence was the enigmatic, perpetually closed door to the vinyl library in room 229 of the Union. I spent my weekends wandering around campus in search of the best spots and I felt that room 229 was the only place I hadn’t explored. As my luck would have it, it was always locked. Its mystique was its charm. I would hang out in the hallway outside of the door waiting for a key-bearing angel to descend from the heavens and unlock it, revealing the musical treasures behind the black painted glass that donned the lie “Open Tues & Thurs, 1-3PM”. My second semester I finally had a friend: Emily, our current Program Director and club president, to show around the campus and to share my obsession with. “It’s never fucking open!” I said as we approached the second…

The dark room bathed in pools of blue, green and red lights adds an ambience that can be instantly related to an indie music venue; posters of past performances line one side of the mirrored walls, with an unclaimed section reflecting a marble topped bar; the random selection of couches and small square tables are placed haphazardly, facing a dimly lit black stage. Over 10 years of live music, beer and dancing is coming to an end this year as the University Cafe is set to shut down, along with the entire Stony Brook Union. “I love being in the Union in general and this space has a lot of memories,” Shari Cummings, secretary and public relations directors for WUSB said. Cummings also works as an audio engineer for the Graduate Student Organization (GSO), which runs the UCafe. One of Cummings’ favorite events is jazz night, where students…

Color Sergeant Daniel Blander caresses his 1861 Springfield rifle. It is a cloudless day in 1864. It is a bright, hot day in 2015. Blander is a young man now, and then. But time is irrelevant. He runs his hands along the polished wood stock and holds onto the butt. It’s a heavy weapon, all the way from its stock to its barrel, elegant and artistic in the way that only hand-made things are. It’s a front loading musket used in a time when to fire three or four rounds a minute meant you were a professional soldier. It still feels dangerous to hold. The 67th First Long Island Volunteers, Company K, have camped on the southern side of the Islip Grange for the reenactment. The confederate soldiers are parked somewhere out of sight. Their tents are pitched in long rows, and rise to waist height. While there are 25…

Tucked away in a corner of the Stony Brook University Student Union building, where cracks in the open doors of a small hallway reveal the interfaith community in a subtle richness, a community soon to be moving from the Union once it closes. One open door lets gusts of wind, soft piano music and psalms drift down the hall from the interfaith chapel. Another door displays sights of young people sitting on the floor, hovering over notebooks, and laughing inside the Catholic chapel while just down the hall Reverend Zhe Huang can be seen advising young students from his office. Like a community layered on top of the larger Stony Brook constituency, the Union Interfaith Center is tight enough that they are their own fusion of faith. Like the now yellowed and faded construction plan pamphlet published in 1966 for the Union construction says, the building was built to house…

SB Life implemented an online room reservation system this summer in the hopes of making the process of accommodating the 436 clubs on campus more efficiently. Following the renovation of the Student Union in May, clubs which held their events on the second floor in the Union are now forced to request spaces in the SAC instead. “A huge problem was going to the (Student Affairs) office for 2 weeks or so, just to find that the office was constantly closed with no lights on at the front desk,” Julie Nguyen, an extra-curricular coordinator in Vietnamese Student Association said. Some clubs are lucky enough to get rooms after putting in request two weeks in advance, but some have to put in requests repeatedly since they never receive any replies from the office of Student Activities. Regardless, this situation has put many clubs in risk of not getting rooms. On…

The Stony Brook Student Union has a long history of leaks, creaks and being old. But that’s because it is old, which explains the early portion of the aforementioned list. For these reasons, the Union is due to be gutted and rehabilitated. In 1969, the Student Union Building was built, and was described to contain “facilities designed to meet the cultural, recreational and social needs of the students” by the original construction plan pamphlet published in 1966. The Pritchard Gym formerly held this informal role, which made the Union the first building designated for student life. Norman Prusslin, the Director of the Media Arts Minor as well as a former DJ for the University’s FM radio station WUSB, shared an expanse of historical knowledge about the Student Union Building. “By the time of Fall of 1970—that was probably the first year that everybody who was going to be in this…

As the infrastructure of the Union building slowly crumbled, the space the students occupied established a personality of its own. The club rooms became distinctive, unique and became in all but on paper, theirs. By January 2016, those clubs will be losing that space. According to Howard Gunston, the Director of Facilities, Operations and Reservations, most clubs will be moved to the Student Activities Center (SAC). The Student media organizations are expecting to move into a new media wing in SAC 307, while the Union’s club alley will be moved to SAC 010A. “The Union is old and decrepit,” said Lauren Fetter, the Executive Editor of the Stony Brook Independent. “I feel like everyone sees the union as the red-headed step-child, in a way—everyone knows it’s there, but no one really wants to interact with it until they have to.” Space was also limited. Blackworld Magazine has been working in…