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Ribbon-Cutting Marks the Completion of Chávez and Tubman Residence Halls and East Side Dining


Honoring diversity and emphasizing technology and comfort, Stony Brook’s newest state-of-the-art student facilities were officially opened in a ribbon-cutting ceremony on February 22, 2017.

ribbon cutting
Ribbon Cutting for the new Cesar Chávez and Harriet Tubman Residence Halls and East Side Dining facility. Far left, Cole Lee, President of Undergraduate Student Government; front row, left to right, Vice President for Student Affairs Peter Baigent; Stony Brook University Council Member Frank Trotta; Kevin Law, Chairman of the Stony Brook Council; President Samuel L. Stanley Jr.; Speaker of the New York State Assembly Carl Heastie; New York State Assemblyman Steve Englebright; Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn; Brookhaven Councilwoman Valerie Cartright; Lisa Santeramo (representing Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone); and Kevin Molloy (representing Town of Brookhaven Supervisor Ed Romaine)

Chávez and Tubman Residence Halls and the East Side Dining facility are fully equipped to provide a modern and convenient student life experience, as well as a safe and inclusive environment.

“Stony Brook strives to create an environment that welcomes all,” said Stony Brook University President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. “This new complex was designed not simply to house and feed students, but to give them a space where they can engage as part of the Stony Brook community.”

Part of a $168 million project to meet the needs of Stony Brook’s student body, the new residence halls accommodate a total of 759 upper-division students in fully air-conditioned single rooms, arranged in a suite-style community. The University now boasts 30 residence halls, 23 apartment-style buildings and more than 10,000 beds.

“We have solidified our position as SUNY’s largest residential campus,” Stanley said.

President Stanley, left, with Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie ’90

Diversity and Inclusion
Symbolizing Stony Brook’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, the two new residence halls were named for civil rights heroes César Chávez and Harriet Tubman.

Chávez Hall, which opened its doors in September 2016, honors the late Mexican-American labor organizer and civil rights leader César Chávez, who co-founded the United Farm Workers Union, and helped organize thousands of farmworkers in California’s Central Valley. Tubman Hall, which opened in January 2017, honors Harriet Tubman, the African-American abolitionist, early promoter of women’s suffrage and humanitarian who escaped slavery in 1849 and became a legendary conductor of the Underground Railroad.

“Each day as students walk through these doors, I hope they embrace the legacy of these two activists and think how they, too, can be agents for change,” Stanley said.

More than 500 members of the Stony Brook community attended the event. Dignitaries in attendance included Speaker of the New York State Assembly, Carl Heastie ’90; New York State Assemblyman Steve Englebright; Kevin Law, President of the Stony Brook Council; Frank Trotta, Stony Brook Council member; Suffolk County Legislator Kara Hahn; Brookhaven Town Councilwoman Valerie Cartright; and representatives of Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone and New York State Senator John Flanagan.

East Side Dining
East Side Dining

The event included performances by the student Gospel Choir and last year’s Spoken Word Contest winner, Zoe Sumner.

State-of-the-art facilities
The residence halls are designed to support various studying habits, featuring smart lounges for group study, quiet areas and multipurpose rooms, all equipped with high-speed wireless. Laundry lounges on each floor let students maximize their study time while doing the wash, and fully equipped kitchens in each building feature booth-style seating.

East Side Dining is the largest dining facility on campus, designed to combine dining, social and academic activities for the campus community. It offers multiple food-court style and dine-in restaurant options, including international and made-to-order foods such as kosher, halal, Southwest, Caribbean and Southern cuisines. It also features an open-concept kitchen and exhibition-style cooking, so customers can see their food being freshly prepared at both dine-in and retail areas. The dining facility offers seating for up to 700 guests.

“Residence halls and dining facilities play a vital role in the lives of students, fostering their development and enriching their academic experience outside the classroom,” said Peter Baigent, Vice President for Student Affairs.

William Kennedy  ’17, President of the Resident Hall Association, praised the new facilities as “a place where you feel safe, and a place to build camaraderie when you have a little time to relax.”

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