Stony Brook University, University Senate
University Environment Committee
Thursday, October 12, 2015
Admissions Conference Room Rm 118: 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM
Attended: Paul Siegel, Ann Gleason, Theresa Tiso, Regina Lento, Jennifer Anderson, Fred Walter, Dawn Pappas, Harold Walker, John Sparano, James O’Conner, Dimitri Tsybychev, David Mather, Malcom Bowman, Matthew Whelan, John Robinson,
Introductions: Paul Siegel introduced the new members, Harold Walker and David Mather to the group.
Motion to Approve the minutes: Approval deferred by Paul until the next meeting.
1) New business: Thanks to Jennifer Anderson, we have two new members added to the committee.
Fred Walter gave a presentation on the proposed bike path that would connect SB existing
one with the town bike path. Discussion followed and a sub-committee was formed to
look deeper into bringing it to fruition. Paul motioned to create a committee on this.
The committee was chosen by volunteers, Malcom Bowman, John Robinson, Fred Walter,
and Ann Gleason. Malcom proposes, and John Robinson seconds.
Issues brought up were the lack of sidewalks, traffic moving at too high rates of speed and not watching out for pedestrian safety. What is needed is a usage study, and funding to support this effort. John Robinson reported that a study has already been done. He will look into finding the original. John Sparano recalls the same. Jenn Anderson reports that anything that is proposed to be done concerning this issue has to be ADA compliant.
- East Campus Bicycle safety: When people come onto campus from Setauket/Stony Brook using Daniel Webster Drive, the conditions are extremely dangerous coming out of the bike path in that area. We talked about tying the path through the incubator. Teri says it’s very bad for pedestrians. Traffic safety should be able to tell us how many bike accidents/incidents that have happened. There are no sidewalks on Hospital drive and a very narrow shoulder. No crosswalks, no shoulder, no walkways, no signage, and such. It has been going on 15 yrs, and nothing has been done. Teri Tiso brought up the fact that winter is coming and the conditions are extremely hazardous for pedestrians.
- FASPP- Fire and Water Celebration: Cameras have been mounted on some trees in the preserve as part of a usage study. Special Guardians of the Glade awards were given to Malcolm Bowman and Gil Hanson. Carl Safina gave the keynote address and signed books. Harold mentioned that he currently has students in his Civil Engineering program studying the erosion at the North entrance of the Preserve. This is a yearlong capstone experiential program, one of four projects been worked on by students in Civil Engineering.
- Existing and proposed Liaison/Sub-Committees: Paul thinks having another member from the east campus would be beneficial.
- Paul Siegel is considering looking into having a committee member be a liaison for Landscaping
- Tobacco Free Campus: Tobacco free campaign has been communicated to the campus community. Target date is January 1st, 2016. There was brief discussion on enforcement and hopefully people will self-police themselves. The idea is to affect a cultural change over time for the good of the entire campus community. Paul states that having student ambassadors could be very helpful in bringing the change about. Jenn stated that there needs to be more awareness brought up on this subject as international students are more likely to be smoking on campus.
- Running trail: John Robinson has not heard back from his contacts on the running trail to date.
- Campus Recreation: Ann Gleason reported that the Rec Center has a full house of members. It’s very hard to schedule workout times because of the member base. Projects upcoming include replacing old equipment with new, including trying to accommodate the influx of students.
- Do-IT: Dawn Pappas reported that the wi-fi issues on campus were the result of too many people logging on at the same time and they ran out of IP addresses to accommodate everyone. The iPad program with EOP and Athletics has rolled out and is very successful so far. There was discussion on Open Access and a conference is coming up on that issue.
Re-energize previous initiatives:
- Lake Briana: Which is also known as the east re-charge basin. It has been declared protected wetlands by the DEC and it cannot be altered in any manner. It is a resource that can be used in a more natural productive manner. The DEC supports this as well as previous employees who had interest in the matter. Some ideas thrown around were giving the community access to view and lounge in the area. There needs to be risks established and restrictions clearly defined. It was mentioned that SUNY Binghamton has two very large similar lakes on campus and their system works very well. Our plan unfortunately has fallen off the grid. The University council is well informed on this matter and has been consulted. Matthew states that it is in need of dredging as it drains but laterally. Not the way it is supposed to drain. John Robinson gave the committee the history of how the lake was named.
The sustainability conference was held on October 5, 2015 and was very well attended. Next year it will be hosted in New Paltz.
- Malcom Bowman informed us that a new Civil Engineering program was brought to fruition. The announcement came out via the Provosts office. Former Provost Erik Kahler had initially put this into motion. It’s a wonderful initiative. Harold Walker, the head of the program hopes to educate the campus on the environment and that the committee will bring it all together in alignment. There are eight new faculty members in this program.
- Jenn stated she is working on a new initiative in the Geospatial labs, mapping Long Island. She is working with students in the classroom and out in the field.
Motion to adjourn: John Robinson motions, Dimitri seconds.
Meeting adjourned at: 2:30 PM.