An Ode for SBU

By Joe Labriola

What can I say about this school
Without sounding unfair and cruel?
Where should I start my description
To draw you a fair depiction?

Perhaps the name itself is fair;
For I see little to compare.
I see nowhere a “stony brook.”
The closest claim is “stony books”

Maybe one time there was a creek;
One that now sleeps beneath concrete.
We have fountains and waterfalls,
But those are barely brooks at all.

Once lush forest, now woods of brick
With scattered trees stuck in the mix.
These lovely limbs surrounded by
The drabbest blocks that Earth supplies.

I understand that most of these
Were built during the drugged sixties,
But who devised buildings so sad
That suck from you all joy you had?

The new buildings are not as bad,
And for this I am very glad.
Humanities is one such case,
Built specially with sleeping space.

The SAC is also quite a sight.
Its rich glass skin allows in light.
And lovely art that makes no sense:
What makes those green bike wheels commence?

And “ballrooms” that seem more like gyms,
Named “A” and “B” and look like twins.
And then that lounge that says “no food,”
But no one adheres to signed rules.

And all its other secret jewels
Like that game room where some play pool.
Check beneath the commuter longue
Where you always hear gaming sounds.

And food worthy of noble kings.
At least that’s how my pocket stings
If I should dare to buy some lunch,
Or even just some fruit to munch.

And few (thank God) know on the third
Floor is where treadmills can be heard.
And weight machines; all that one pays
To use elsewhere on other days.

And what about the Wang’s weird wang?
What is that huge antenna thing?
And fishpond lined with thick bamboo
Supplies a very pretty view.

And don’t forget our great clock bell
That chimes each hour so loud and well.
And has no tower that I have seen.
Instead such sounds the admin screams.

And what about the cursed South P?
That sinful scourge of all that’s free.
Banished onto the ends of Earth
I’ve never once parked there with mirth.

Satan himself fell for nine days
All through chaos down into blaze.
And in our time when time flies fast,
Nine minutes seem to equally pass.

To be exiled to parking hell
Itself is not the worst to tell.
But first they cruelly make us drive
Right past campus when we arrive.

And all the space that lies between!
A longer course I’ve never seen.
Surrounded on all sides by trees.
There’s not one place where we can squeeze?

And curse you jerks that pay to park
In closer lots while we embark
On odysseys to get to class
Cause South P was made by some ass.

If South P’s hell, then North P’s bliss.
This metaphor shows why we’re pissed,
Because North P still sucks compared
To stadium spots so unfair.

And slave shuttles where no one knows
Of etiquette, ’cept making rows.
And so we push to win a place
Aboard slave ships with little space.

Like squished sardines we suffer so.
Us commuters are held below
Those dopes that pay for dorms so pressed.
At least we save through our distress.

In fact, I’ve never seen a more
Unfair deal for such dorms before.
The same price for a small double
You could rent a whole house as well.

But I feel for you dorming dopes.
You’re just like us cursed South P folk.
West Apartments is your North P:
All full of those rich and lucky.

Some say you get what you pay for.
And what we pay lets us ignore
These old buildings of sappy stone
Which we together pay to own.

Or more like rent, but anyway
It still ain’t bad for what we pay
Compared with private schools at least,
Whose choking costs always increase.

But then again this bankrupt state
Cuts more funding with each debate.
Each year we pay more and get less,
Because they claim they’re penniless.

Southampton’s school has been destroyed;
Although from this few gained much joy.
So what’d we gain from such a loss
When we lose out and pay the cost?

But that’s the way of budget cuts:
To wipe away those small enough.
Those few who only dream to fight
For what their heart’s feel is so right.

Admin blames the economy
For what we see as treachery.
Whoever’s fault, I warn you new
Students beware new cuts on you.

But let’s brush off such grim worries.
Our school’s still top in our country.
One of the hundred best out there.
Few other public schools compare.

And what about our characters?
I wish I could show you pictures
Of all these strange but unique types
From zombie hordes to men with pipes.

The shoeless that sometimes skateboard
And roller-blade can’t be ignored.
I even saw some dude once ride
A unicycle with great pride.

And guys that do shirtless yoga,
In rainy mud I onetime saw.
And some that pray outside the SAC,
At least it seemed; hands interlocked.

That is the gift of diverse peeps:
The strange, stranger, funny, and creeps.
It would take too long to list all.
You must know some, here’s space to scrawl.

And last, who claims they have seawolves?
What are those? Some genetic ghouls?
At least we can say we’re unique.
For public schools, we’re at the peak.

It has its faults like any home.
No family works without some
Dissent among its many kin.
Though through strife is how the strong win.

It’s not perfect like I have said,
But after all you now have read,
I hope that you will keep in mind
How your time here’s been cruel and kind.

For a degree spent in B.S.
I’d say perhaps the brook’s the best.
For what we pay and what we get
I don’t think there’s more to expect.

Like loves now lost, one day look back
Onto your school you once attacked,
And I am sure you’ll remember
The better times you had with her.


4 thoughts on “An Ode for SBU

  1. some fun facts:

    many of the older buildings you see on campus were built with mob contracts during the town’s “Crookhaven” days.

    The “clock tower” is a speaker system on top of the admin building.

    The famous film “Debbie does Dallas” was filmed, in part, in H-quad dorms (with permission – some admins lost their jobs for this).

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