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Story - Education

Apr 16, 2010 3:07 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Stony Brook Southampton students seek $10,000 by end of day for legal fund

Apr 16, 2010 3:07 PM

Stony Brook Southampton students are scrambling to solicit $10,000 in donations today, Friday, April 16, in order to help fund a lawsuit against Stony Brook University, which announced on April 7 that it would be effectively closing the satellite campus at the end of the summer.

Students said that if they have $10,000 in their fund by the end of the day, an anonymous donor would match the amount. Student leaders said they could not divulge the name of the law firm they were seeking to hire, or details of the possible lawsuit.

Students, who started raising money in recent days, said they had brought in just over $5,000 as of 2:30 on Friday afternoon.

A Facebook page started by students last week to advocate for the campus has more than 17,000 fans—many times the approximately 500 students who attend Stony Brook Southampton in Shinnecock Hills. Students are using the page to solicit donations to their PayPal account, as well as making phone calls and sending out mass e-mails.

The money would be used for a retainer fee for “one of the country’s largest law firms,” according to the Facebook page.

In order to pursue donations, students and community members have revived a non-profit organization that was started when Long Island University announced it would be closing Southampton College about five years ago—Save the College at Southampton, Inc.

“I think we’re in good shape,” said student leader Caroline Dwyer on Friday afternoon. “We definitely have a lot of people working, making calls, getting out there, raising awareness.”

Last week, Stony Brook University abruptly announced drastic cuts to Stony Brook Southampton, a satellite campus focused on sustainability and environmental studies that welcomed its first students in 2007. Most of the academic programs will be moved over to the main campus on August 31, and most of the buildings, including the dorms, will be shuttered.

Stony Brook University said the residential programs at the campus had to be ended as a result of a precipitous drop in state funding since the financial crisis began two years ago.

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Thank you to the Southampton Press and 27east.com for your thorough and constant coverage of our efforts! I speak for all the students when I say we truly appreciate all that you've done!
By Cdwyer213 (68), Quogue on Apr 16, 10 4:43 PM
1 member liked this comment
By mustangrobin (3), westhanpton on Apr 16, 10 5:36 PM
my heart is breaking for the students, the faculty and the staff of what was growing to be - a terrific east end institution. it has been a joy watching this campus in our community grow. it has been wonderful knowing we have had a school in our midst whose goal has been to look to the future and to educate our young people to spread the word of sustainability and the health of our environment. these are sad times indeed and i find the administration of the suny system shortsighted and filled with ...more
By concerned east ender (49), Sag Harbor on Apr 16, 10 6:08 PM
I'm all for saving the college (just like I was the first time around). I do, however, find it ironic that people are donating money, to keep NYS from closing SBS due to financial reasons, which results in the NYS spending $$$ in order to "save" money. I understand there are separate funds and all of that, but it seems like some circular logic to me - though I guess it will pale in comparison to the $78 million already spent.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Apr 16, 10 6:08 PM
I think Joseph Heller might be able to explain it to you.
By heatherdune (12), Hampton Bays on Apr 17, 10 12:17 AM
1 member liked this comment
So proud of my students and our local support: The SH Press and Peconic Public Broadcasting. It is amazing how many have again come out to save this campus. it has been a bitter blow dealt after three years of hard, dedicated work to our students and this innovative college with its cutting edge educational approach and curriculum.
By heatherdune (12), Hampton Bays on Apr 17, 10 12:20 AM
The Stony Brook Southampton students met their $10,000 goal at approximately 10 p.m. The $10,000 raised will be matched by an anonymous donor.
By BOReilly (135), 27east Web Editor on Apr 17, 10 1:23 AM
A lawsuit?

Time to get over it and attend another college. Life goes on.
By slamminsammy (104), East Moriches on Apr 17, 10 8:37 AM
Students were not given an opportunity to attend another college. Due to the timing of this announcement the majority of students will be pigeon-holed into attending the Main Campus. Most transfer application deadlines passed months ago. Instead, we are forced to attend, and pay to tuition to, a school that we did not choose to attend. It seems that you are concerned about the way that your money is spent so perhaps you can understand how I would like to have a choice in how I spend mine as well. ...more
By Cdwyer213 (68), Quogue on Apr 17, 10 9:44 AM
Now my taxes will be spent fighting this lawsuit....ill pass on this effort.
By slamminsammy (104), East Moriches on Apr 17, 10 8:38 AM
I believe the reason the students raised money is so taxpayers would not have to pay for the lawsuit.
By Sad Student (3), East Hampton on Apr 18, 10 8:21 PM
Slamminsammy was reffering to the State AG fighting the lawsuit brought by the students. So, NY tax dollars will be spent, fighting "Save Southampton" to move forward with closing the campus, to save money. It unfortuantely is circular logic. At least when it happend with LIU there were no tax dollars being spent.

Additionally, the local Pols are reportedly bringing action against the State on their own terms, which will cost tax payers more.
By Nature (2966), Hampton Bays on Apr 19, 10 4:28 PM