Students at Stony Brook University rally in front of the...

Students at Stony Brook University rally in front of the administration building to advocate for the reopening the university's Southampton campus. The campus was closed earlier this year due to fiscal reasons. A judge recently declared that the closure was done illegally. (Sept. 29, 2010) Credit: Gordon M. Grant

Scores of Stony Brook University students who once attended the school's Southampton campus held a rally Wednesday hoping to influence the university's advisory council to reverse the administration's decision earlier this year to close much of the campus.

Chanting slogans like "SBS SOS," a reference to Stony Brook Southampton, about 60 students marched around the fountain outside the administration building on the Stony Brook campus. A similar number of students sympathetic to their cause gathered to watch.

At one point the rallying students chanted for several minutes, "Who broke the law? Stanley broke the law," a reference to university president Dr. Samuel L. Stanley Jr.

The university's decision to scale back the campus, citing budget cuts, hit a roadblock earlier this month when State Supreme Court Justice Paul J. Baisley Jr. ruled the university did not follow state education law by closing much of the campus without getting prior approval from its 10-member Stony Brook Council.

Noting the council is slated to meet Monday, Lilia Kolbert, 19, of Glen Cove, a sophomore majoring in environmental studies and organizer of the rally, said: "We just want to give them the insight that we still want to go there. . . . We're not done fighting. We want to go home to Southampton."

Another rally organizer, Tara Linton, 19, a junior from Staten Island who was also part of the lawsuit against the university, was hopeful the council would reverse the administration's decision. "I think there's been enough public pressure and enough bad publicity and enough demonstrations," Linton said.

The university responded to the day's events with a statement on behalf of itself and the Council, which is chaired by former LIPA chairman Kevin Law, who now heads the Long Island Association. The university said it "respects and supports the students' right to voice their opinion as it has throughout the duration of this entire matter." The university wouldn't comment further, citing litigation.

The students were joined by Assemb. Fred Thiele Jr. (I-Sag Harbor), a vociferous critic of the university's decision to shutter most of the Southampton campus. Greeted with thunderous applause when he arrived near the end of the 90-minute rally, Thiele said: "I think we've sent a message, certainly for myself and all of you, that this is not over. It will never be over until the Southampton campus is open."

Thiele, who said he planned to attend Monday's council meeting, called on that body to "listen to all of us who are making the case for this college. There is absolutely no reason for the university council to go out and rubber-stamp this decision."

He said should the council approve the campus' closure, "we would again be looking at all legal, legislative and other remedies that might be available to us."

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