Photo from StonyBrook.edu
By Giovanni Ortiz
Stony Brook University President Dr. Samuel L. Stanley refused to address Stony Brook University’s Muslim population on Trump’s new immigration laws during his Media Avail on Wednesday, February 15.
“If I send a message about the importance of respecting diversity, the importance of respecting our concept of inclusiveness, of respecting others,” President Stanley said. “That seems to be a message I would want to send to others, rather than a specific group.”
He referenced his campus-wide message sent in November where he spoke about the changing political climate.
Stanley said, “The work we have accomplished through HeForShe and the Diversity Plan is a symbol of our unwavering commitment to create a strong and united campus community.”
He sent an email this past January, stating that the Stony Brook campus is non-discriminatory, and he commented that the email should be accepted by the whole campus.
President Stanley said that if discrimination is a current issue, he would want the campus community to receive the message as a whole, instead of small sectors.
“My messages are going to tend to be focused on what Stony Brook represents as a welcoming community and as an inclusive community,” the president said.
He still declined to address the campus’s Muslim population specifically when presented with the on-camera opportunity from the Stony Brook News team.
He again stressed that the United States President Trump has threatened Mexican immigrants and members of the LGBTQ these past two months.
“[Muslim’s] safety and security is important to me,” he said. “As well as every other student on campus’s safety is important to me.”
The likelihood for Stony Brook University to become a sanctuary campus or a campus that protects undocumented immigrants is not his and is low. President Stanley cannot change its status as a non-sanctuary campus because Stony Brook University is a part of SUNY.
SUNY made a statement this past December saying that schools would likely lose federal aid if becoming sanctuary campuses.
Funding for SUNY has also lowered this past year again, so students are expected to receive higher tuition costs next year. Tuition is expected to rise two percent every year as well the governor plans to increase tuition by $250.
The repeal of the Affordable Care Act would affect Stony Brook Medical Hospital negatively, which in turn would affect the medical school. Although there is no official number being put on it, Stanley expects millions of dollars, possibly tens of millions, that goes to the hospital to be impacted.
“Reduction in dollars to the hospital would have an impact on the medical school and its other alliances,” President Stanley said. “We’re lobbying at the House of Representatives and at the Senate level as well as with the White House to do our best and get our voices heard.”
President Stanley promised to mandate courses on diversity issues to further the knowledge and construct an open-minded campus during his call for diversity last Spring. However, no move towards it has been made.
“We’ve been pushing the ‘Ready Training’ across campus,” Stanley said. “But in terms of content classes, there needs to be a follow up on that.”
No comments about the previous Blair Mendy case, where he was accused of raping a minor, were made.
There were also no comments about Dean of Students Timothy Ecklund’s abrupt departure from the university.