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A Letter to the Community About Off-Campus Housing

March 2013

Dear Neighbor,

The University is aware of concerns expressed by some local residents regarding rental homes in the community and the number of student renters dwelling in these homes. Although the University cannot enforce town code, we wish to inform you of proactive measures we are taking, both with the Town of Brookhaven and on our own, to address these issues.

First, the University has initiated a system that will require landlords to produce a valid town rental permit prior to listing available housing on the University’s off-campus housing website. We will also cross-reference the University’s off-campus housing lists with the Town’s list of legal rental dwellings.

Second, the University met with representatives of the Brookhaven Town Attorney’s office to discuss steps the University and the Town can take jointly to educate students about compliance with the town code. The Town Attorney’s office has offered to provide us with a memo that will explain the new code provisions in clear and understandable terms. The Town Attorney’s office has also offered to participate in University-sponsored workshops so students can better understand what to look for when seeking off-campus housing.

To further educate our students, we have also compiled “Living Responsibly Off Campus,” a new resource that pulls together useful information about living in the community and the importance of being a good neighbor. On a more long-term basis, the University has plans to construct additional on-campus housing.

Finally, there have been questions raised about the applicability of the University’s Student Code of Conduct. The Student Code of Conduct, in some instances, may apply to off-campus conduct. For example, when the University is informed that a student has been arrested or issued an appearance ticket or other citation, the Office of Community Standards, in limited circumstances, may review student off-campus behavior. The Student Code of Conduct, however, cannot be used as a substitute for Town Code enforcement.

Being a good neighbor is very important to Stony Brook University. We hear you and are working together with the Town of Brookhaven and community leaders to ensure that students understand town code requirements and that our off-campus housing lists do not promote illegal dwellings.

We would like to keep you apprised of developments related to this issue and others that impact the local community. In order for us to do so, please email Joan Dickinson at joan.dickinson@stonybrook.edu or contact Joan in the Office of Community Relations at (631) 632-9117 so that you may be placed on our mailing list.

Elaine Crosson, JD
Vice President for External Relations



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