New friends, new stories

The Robert W. Greene Institute for High School Journalist has officially begun. Among what has already been many long hours of lectures and hands-on experience with new technology and equipment. The institute has already provided the framework for what it means to be a true journalist.

Prior to meeting with my fellow Greene Team members, the first thing to address was where everyone would be sleeping. I was assigned a dorm on the ground floor of O’Neill Hall. After settling my bags and belongings down (in what is a rather comfortable space), I came across who would be my roommate for the duration of the program, Russell Stern.

All of my journalism experience revolves around my love and passion for sports. Therefore, as soon as I noticed the Jets T-shirt in Russell’s suitcase, I knew we’d get along just fine. Soon after check-in, when the parents departed the campus, Russell and I managed to go on and on about the latest stories surrounding our favorite sports. Whether it be the struggles of the New York Giants or the overhype of the Liverpool Football Club, we both recognized the high knowledge each of us have of sports. In addition to that, it was relieving to interact with a male who shared a common interest, especially since the male-female ratio in this year’s program is 20:4.

Now that the getting to know each other portion and introductions concluded, it was time to shift into being true journalists. Our first activity as a team was brainstorming story ideas that will take place on the Stony Brook University campus. Knowing my experience and background in the world of journalism, all of my proposed stories revolved around sports on campus. This included a story detailing whether or not student-athletes should be compensated for playing their respective sports.

Although this story was one I was looking to cover, program coordinators Cathrine Duffy and Zachary Dowdy had story proposals as well. Among that set, one that immediately caught my eye was a story surrounding the new indoor turf facility being built on campus. Cathrine allowed us to express our opinions on each topic and I made sure to make it very clear that the indoor turf facility was something I wanted to cover. Among other stories that were pitched by other members of the Greene Team were everything from a “critique on criticism” in the arts to ways to prevent goose poop from wreaking havoc campus. We concluded the day by getting to know each other more while eating pizza. Although it was a bit overwhelming, that was the calmest day we should be expected to have.

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