Stony Brook University
Stony Brook University - Comments and Student Experiences|
Me: I'm a bright person who is creative, always looking to learn new things and meet new people.
Looks: The Union, Harriman, JAVITS, Old Chem, Grad Chem, ESS, and Staller buildings look like crap from the outside and most are crappy, leaky and dark inside. Javits looks like a correctional facility. Dorms look worse. The newer buildings are really hot and the landscaping gets better each year. Last few weeks before summer vacation starts the lawn will not be mowed. The Mexican workers (illegally employed by the state) shovel snow in the early hours of snowy mornings which means where you walk for class will most likely still be slippery and white workers use motorized machines they sit on and don't show their faces until 2 classes have passed and the sun is shinning.
Dorms: People act like animals quite often after their Thursday night debauchery so there will be loud noise and vomit on the hall floor at least once a semester. At 3am a dorm can be either awakened by the loud thudding of drunk guys taking a 2x4 to the downstairs door or by a woman scorned and "getting over" her ex boyfriend. The bathrooms are NASTY and the cleaning crew threaten to go on strike quite often because of that. There was a black-out for a week and the school didn't think it was necessary for us to get clear information on that. All they said, "if you can't find a friend's room to sleep in, go home." So the international students and people who lived far who didn't feel comfortable doing that got screwed. Speaking of cold, no matter the weather the school won't turn on the heat before a certain date, period. Freshman are usually really disruptive. Lots of ganja smoking in rooms and outside and RAs look the other way or participate. If you have an RA who is your roommate's frat brother or sorority sister (I've lived with 3) don't expect the RA to care what that person does wrong, just speak to the RHD. Bad roommates are common, so the freshman room preference app. is useless. Housing dept. sucks but is getting better.
Getting around: Student drivers think The Loop is a race track and hate stop signs. Three people in one recent semester got hit, one student and one staff member died. The school buses are great and come often but sometimes are really crowded. Parking sucks.
Academics: I had 6 good professors maybe, 1 Chem, 1 Science & Tech, 2 Philosophy, and 2 English. Cheating is really common and there is always a midterm.
In an art class with mostly upper classmen the professor made 4 people cry. He yelled at a kid for getting his final stolen and then called him stupid, IN FRONT OF THE CLASS, on teacher evaluation day. Bananas! I was in shock. He was a bitter and hurtful man and the art department wasn't very responsive to me or other students with valid complaints...oh wait, once when this girl's mother cursed them out they "cared".
Chem. dept. does a horrible job of teaching how to think like a scientist and stresses regurgitation. While I took the last semester off, I started learning on my own. Intro classes: huge boring lectures which students walk out on often or miss altogether. Long multiple choice exams and students complain a lot about not getting it done and some challenge answers which when looked over by the dept. changes everyone's grades. Most recitation TAs are horrible with speaking English, so they give you dittos and say work with a group and expect you to know what the professor never taught so sometimes students ask for the TA to teach the class. TAs are usually at office hours but sometimes professors are no where to be found. The professors are sometimes actually good when in office hours. The sciences and math of course have a lot of work but many students know how to get around the readings and HWs with copying off of, paying, or using someone. Then for exams, buying a spot in a cram class, tutorial DVD or tutorial website subscription. I've never tried it but those people generally get high grades and say it taught them more than the teacher. All the work gets depressing so that's why folks do that.
I know no one who has not given up fun for at least two summer sessions and who still finished college in 4 years, no matter how bright or slow.
Most professors are not understanding, treat everyone like a number, are not encouraging, are angry, have research to do so don't have time, or are inadequate. I've been told or have seen people told that they can't do it by people who are supposed to be leading.
Safety: The guys and girls are sketchy. Everyone thinks you want to have sex with them. I was victimized by two people on campus and I didn't report the 2nd equally serious incident because the 1st time an administrator laughed and asked me if I'm sure my attacker didn't just like me (since we knew one another), he also told my dad to stop overreacting. The female officer told me not to press charges because she said it wouldn't be fruitful (I really regret listening). The policy during finals is that if you are loud you get kicked out but during finals if you are violent you don't get kicked out. I was severely depressed following this and of course I got no info from the RHD or police officer about counseling because no one cared...they just had the guy sit in a room with me and say he's sorry and I'm not 100% sure but I think they put HIM in counseling.
Social/Emotional: People hold doors open for one another which is cool...I guess. Everyone is depressed. Everyone. Their sadness and spacey conversation keep you down. Many drink, drop-out, transfer, smoke weed, take pills, betray, belittle, cry weekly to parents and friends or hook-up to feel slightly better. The self-esteem of students is really low and the women are obsessed with peer validation. As diverse as the place is, the races don't interact much. Asian students are especially exclusive. There are many clubs but people come in with their own set of friends and don't bother making new ones unless they think you're cute. Many cliques. A lot of sorority and fraternity action, most of it involves drinking. Intelligent conversation is only possible with die hard republicans and LGBT members, both of which I am not. Campus parties get broken up by the cops really quick. Campus is dead on weekends.
Food: It sucks, except most of Wang Center but they give you less points to eat there, so students have petitioned for more. SBU can't understand that not everyone wants to down something fried, fast-food, packaged, questionable or gross on a daily basis.
Other: SINC sites are awesome. Free food. Lots of events come to campus.I wish I knew more in HS about colleges. Many transfer but some stay at SBU because they believe all schools are the same or that this is the best they can do, but that's all false, we can all do better for the money. Best of luck everyone!!
Now for my personal experience, I came to Stony Brook as a premed and intending to pursue a double major in Health Science and Psychology. Naturally, I had doubts about being a doctor, and after one semester, I had to admit to myself that chemistry made me miserable. Chemistry makes a lot of students miserable at Stony Brook. It might be because of the teaching style (500 student lecture hall), the subject itself, or the lazy students themselves (typical college students who don't attend class because they are hungover from late night drinking). Health Science is the most popular major at Stony Brook, but it is also known as the bullsh** major. This is because the major is VERY open-ended. You can pretty much take whatever you want until senior year as long as you throw in 4 science classes (which can be any biology, chem, physics, GEOLOGY, ASTRONOMY, yes.. as long as they are natural sciences it is OK...)
I changed my major to Studio Art and lets just say, the art department gets VERY little funding. Not all the courses listed in the bulletin are offered and the major just can't compare to art departments of other universities. Most of the art majors are students like me, who changed their majors too late and are graduating Stony Brook only to go to other colleges to get another degree. Luckily, I realized this dead end in time and have transferred out after 2 years.
For the student clubs, I found that a majority was very ..racial. Everybody is in racial cliques. You have white, black, and asian sororities and fraternities. Clubs and organizations are segregrated by race. Diversity is a joke.The reputation your college holds is very important when you go out in the working world. I never got as many callbacks for employers until I put my new college (FIT) on my resume. Stony Brook is good for the sciences. If you want business, you're better off at Baruch. If you want engineering, you're better off at Binghamton, RPI, RIT, or Polytech.
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