Monthly Archives: March, 2009

Ammerman Campus prepares for March 31st security drill

By Lisa Behnke

    Preparations are underway for the 2nd annual shelter/secure-in-place drill at the Ammerman campus. The purpose is to practice essential safety skills to avert a potential threat on campus. 

      Working with faculty and administration, John Williams, director of public safety, is laying out the plans for each building on campus to participate in the drill. Drills have already been completed at both the Riverhead campus and the Grant campus.

     The idea is to secure your place, as best you can, and make it more difficult for a gunman to find you. The longer you can slow a person down, the better the chances you’ll have security and a police presence on scene.

     Cooperation between professors and their students is the key to its success. “They both need to understand the process better and become more efficient at doing it,” said Williams.

     Faculty and administrators are given a checklist to follow for the drill. Students are also encouraged to follow a checklist which can be found on the college website.

     Here are the steps the College suggests you take in case of a threat on campus:

1. Turn off any lights.

2. Close windows, blinds or shades, if present.

3. Lock entry door and windows, if possible.

 4. Block entry door with available furniture, chairs, etc.

5. Move all people in the room away from doors and windows as best as possible.

     Along with these suggestions; officials also advise being calm and not opening the door for anyone. During the drill you will be given an “all clear” by the public safety or college official.

     The need for such action stems from the Virginia Tech killings, April 16, 2007 that made national headlines. Cho Seung-Hui, 23, killed two students in a dorm, and two hours later killed 30 more students in a classroom building. His suicide brought the death toll to 33, the most deadly shooting rampage in US history. In addition, 15 other students were wounded in the attack.

     “Safety of the students here at SCCC is of utmost importance to the administration,” Ammerman campus Executive Dean William Connors said.; therefore, a committee was formed to incorporate the best and most current safety procedures.

     “This drill is designed to raise awareness so that if an event was to occur, it would not be the first time students would be preparing for it,” said Williams. “They (the drills in each campus building) should take less than 10 minutes to complete.”

     On hand to participate in the drill will be the Suffolk County Police, Suffolk County Fire Marshall’s office, and the Deputy Inspector of Emergency Services. 

     “This drill will benefit the College,” said Security Officer Simmonetti, a campus security officer, who will be helping to coordinate the drill on the grounds.

     The Shelter/Secure-in-place drill will begin at 9 am, March 31 and will take place one building at a time allotting for 20 minutes per building until the completion of the drill.

     For those students in the Babylon Student Center cafeteria, provisions will be made to move them either to the Dover area or the faculty dining room. 

     In the Huntington Library, staff will move students to designated rooms as well.

     After the events of 911 and the development of the Department of Homeland Security, being informed of a potential threat became paramount. Ensuring that the nation is prepared for emergency response by federal, state, and local officials has become a coordinated effort.

     Available for anyone to subscribe to, is the NY Alert system. It Is an All-Hazards Alert and Notification system. The website contains critical emergency-related information, including instructions and recommended protective actions. You can receive notifications by either e-mail, or cell phone. Information includes severe weather warnings, significant highway closures, hazardous materials spills, as well as many other emergency situations. New York State Terrorism Tips Line If you see something suspicious, contact your local law enforcement or call: 1-866-SAFE NYS (1-866-723-3697)

Writing Center Tutor Celebrates Hula Hoops’ 50th Birthday

 

By Michael Petroski

      As the crazy American phenomenon that has had more than 100 million hips gyrating since its production by the Wham ‘O toy company back in 1959, the  Hula Hoop is celebrating its 50th birthday this year.

       Local writing center tutor and Stony Brook student Adrienne Lojeck is working to get everyone back in the swing with the plastic hoops that are no longer used as just toys for kids.

     “People don’t know how easy it is to use a Hula Hoop, and I am trying to get the word out and get people re-interested in the hoop,” Lojeck said.

     She said she wants to have the reemergence of the hula-hoop to the modern world and for people to know how to use it.  Another hope for her is for others to realize that the hoop is not just a toy but can be used to help people get into better shape.

     “In the future I want this to be a possible career and hopefully spread the word about my hoops,” she said.

       Lojeck, a striking woman with thick dark hair and hips that easily move to the beat with Hula Hoops intact, makes her own brightly colored and multi-sized hoops. She uses the big rings for presentations and sells them to her friends. For the last two months, she has sold 10 hoops.   She first started making the hoops in December 2008, so it has only been a few months now, but her enthusiasm is contagious.  Her inspiration for starting this is “all the people online having fun and exercising with the hoops, one of them being Hoop Girl,” she said.

      Christabel Zamor also known as “Hoop Girl” is a fitness trainer who has been teaching “sold out classes.” She has also worked with Cirque du Soleil, Warner Brothers, and Universal Pictures.

        The Hula Hoop is a very simple, easy to use toy that has been around for an estimated 3000 years. The origin of the name came from the ancient toy and the Hawaiian Hula dance. The original hoops, invented in early Egypt, were made of metal, bamboo, wood, grasses, and even vines. Richard Knerr and Arthur “Spud” Medlin of Wham-O toys that make the current plastic Hoop then remade it.  Twenty million Wham-O hula-hoops were sold for $1.98 in the first six months. The success of the Hula-Hoop has resulted in Wham-O becoming the most successful manufacturer of Hula-Hoops in modern times.  These hoops have lasted for generations and other toy companies have started to make them. Now even people can make them, with a little knowledge on how to.

     “The way I make the hoop is very easy” Lojeck said. “The most important thing to do first is stop at Home Depot,” Lojeck joked. “Next, I buy an irrigation tube, measure to desired length or by how tall the person you are making it for is and make the cut.” She added, “The last thing I do is connect the tubing and use special tape to keep it sturdy.” 

         Thanks to Hoop Girl, “the Hula Hoop has been reintroduced not only a toy, but a tool to help you get into shape,” Lojeck said.

          Lojeck has learned much of what she knows from popular web sites filled with Hula Hoop information. Another web site she mentioned is hooping.org, which will instruct about the many ways a Hula-Hoop can be used. It also shows photos and people using the Hula-Hoop all over the country and the world. Another site she mentioned is “The hooping life” which presents video documentaries in which people find ways to use a Hula-Hoop in fun and interesting ways.

       “I was never really interested in sports as a kid, but then I saw the videos and I started using and making the hoops,” Lojeck said. 

    You can find info at her web site at outtathiswhirld.weebly.com. Lojeck wants to see more people with her hoops and to provide them with more information on how to use Hula Hoops. She also has started up a club of hula hoopers called Long Island Hoops. What they do is go to parks and events and use the hoop any way they want to with music. If you want to join go see Adrienne Lojeck in the Islip Arts building in the Writing Center or you can write to her at lojecka@mail.sunysuffolk.edu.

College accreditation threatened by county oversight

By Liz Capobianco      

 

The struggle continues between Suffolk Community College and their accrediting agency, Middle States Commission on Higher Education, as officials work to secure the school’s current accreditation policy. 

The process of accreditation involves the accrediting agency, Middle States, which expresses confidence in the institution’s mission and goals, performance and resources.  The accreditation allows transferability of courses, allows for receipt of federal monies—both grants and financial aid for students, and attests to the legitimacy of the college’s educational programs. An institution’s accreditation continues unless it is clearly suspended or removed. In addition to reviewing the institution’s accreditation status at least every five years, actions are taken for any substantial changes (such as a new degree or geographic site, or a change of ownership) or when other events occur that require review for continued compliance. The commission also works and assesses both institutional effectiveness and student learning outcomes and uses the results for improvement.

 

                        So what does this have to do with the students? “The current noncompliance jeopardizes the college’s accreditation and could lead to the loss of more than $26 million annually in federal dollars, as well as diminishing the ease of student transfer and the overall prestige of the College,” said interim President Dr. George Gatta. 

             For the 22,839 students and rising number of new applicants each semester, it is important that an agreement be in place that would ensure every student’s educational security. An up to date accreditation agreement would be in the best interest of State and County taxpayers as well as the College’s student body.

 

            Some students on campus are unfamiliar with the accreditation process and what it means for the future of their education. Student’s diplomas could be useless upon transferring to a four-year institution if the reaccreditation is not granted to the College. At the mention of the accreditation and the fact that it is in jeopardy on campus, many students are unaware of the repercussions of this important decision.

              “I would hate for our diplomas to be void once we do graduate and decide to transfer. The same goes for all the people who have already graduated. I hope the school does what it has to do to make sure that doesn’t happen, ” said Jeff Hoogsteden, a second semester student at the Ammerman campus.

 

The team representing the Middle States Commission on Higher Education visited the three campuses at Suffolk on January 6-8 and filed a recent report on their findings, which became available to members of the faculty, administration, board of trustees and students. Representatives from Middle State Commission said, “At stake is more than $26 million annually– $22 million in federal aid for approximately 10,500 financially needy students who receive federal financial aid funds to attend college as well as $4 million in federal grants in areas like adult literacy and workforce development that support the development of this community.” 

 

The college has been warned of that their accreditation may be in jeopardy because of their noncompliance of the current policies. The Middle States Commission public disclosure report says, ” When the Commission warns an institution, it believes that, although the institution is out of compliance, the institution has the capacity both to make appropriate improvements within a reasonable period and to sustain itself in the long term.”

 

The relationship between the college and the county of Suffolk has also been a big topic of conversation. The college has been fighting for more autonomy and hopes to gain more independence from Suffolk County. Many worry that County officials are imposing their own political influence on the governing duties of the college. In a recent lawsuit filed against the County, former President Dr. Shirley Robinson Pippins said, “This latest decision gets to the core of the College’s ability to operate as an institution of higher education and not as a department of the County.”

College officials are struggling for more freedom to make choices and decisions that impact the educational needs of the school.  Because of the recent friction between the school and the County, the reaccredidation is in question. If the two governing bodies can not work together in the most effective way possible, then Middle States reserves the right to withhold the school’s accreditation.

 

The County and the College boards have a lot to be proud of, as they have mutually established Suffolk Community College as a strong beacon in the community. If all officials involved continue to work together, then the students will no longer be at risk.

“It is important that the County, State and Student investment in this vital community resource be well stewarded by a collective interest in working together to remedy this situation, by supporting the College in protecting its accreditation status, ” Gatta said.

 

Help Alert: Psychology club meetings offer answers

By Lauren Maio

      As students roam  the halls on campus, feedback on the topic of psychology is constantly heard. Many think is it a difficult subject and seek  immediate help, but students do not always know where to find it.  On Wednesday, March 4, Professors Michael Benhar and Julie Hanauer held a club meeting to help any student on campus.
     This meeting was located in room 234 in the Southhampton building. Many students showed up and a movie was presented on the overhead. The movie was an HBO documentary called “Addiction,” which was played to help the students learn more about the brain and its reaction to drugs.
    “This club will help students in the basic psychology class and also help them become aware with different systems,”Hanauer said. The movie had adolescent to middle aged people in America interviewed about their addiction and why it is hard for them to get off certain drugs.  Several educated psychologists from select universities were shown throughout the movie as well.
     “Last time we even had a guest speaker talk about suicide,” says Hanauer, who arranged for the speaker to come in. Both professors who advise the clug and organize these meetings are trying to take more than just tests and reading to teach the subject. They are thinking that visual aids like the movie and people coming in to talk to the students will help students learn from a different perspective.
     At this specific meeting, the psychologists talk a great amount about how the brain works and what triggers cravings. Prior to the movie showing, both professors mentioned how informative this movie was going to be and how it would help on future tests. For all of you students having trouble on your psych tests and have Benhar or Hanauer as your professors, extra credit is offered to those who show up to the club meetings.
    “Addiction” had information such as how psychologist’s study the brain and even presented brain images. The brain images showed how your brain looks off of certain drugs and how it looks when it’s on drugs too. Many of the illegal drug users in the documentary were shocked and appauled by how their body was being affected by their usage of coke, marijuana and even heroin. The film also showed that the psychologists would put patients who abused drugs on other types of drugs to help them terminate cravings, like morphine.
   At the end of the meeting, Hanauer had some closing statements on the film. She said several times that “Addicts not only need medication to help them get well again, but also need therapy often”. Also, she reminded students that if they had any questions, they could come up and discuss them with her.
     The next time you’re having trouble in your psychology class, you can always try the club’s meetings which are held twice a month.

Student from Grant Campus killed in car accident

anthony-cifuentes1

Grant Campus student Anthony CiFuentes shown here in his Facebook photo, was killed on Wednesday, March 18.

By Liz Capobianco

       An early-morning accident claimed the life of a 20-year old student from the Grant Campus yesterday.
      Anthony CiFuentes of 10 Pierre Drive, Commack, was driving southbound on Commack Road around 9:30 a.m when he swerved into a waste removal truck from the Town of Smithtown that was stopped at a red light in the northbound lane at New Highway. CiFuentes’ 1998 Nissan Altima then struck two other cars.
     He was airlifted to Stony Brook University Medical Center where he was pronounced dead about 11:15 a.m., according to police. No one else was injured.
     The Nissan Altima was impounded for a safety check. Motor Carrier Safety Section officers responded and completed a safety check of the other vehicles involved. The investigation is ongoing.
     Detectives with the Suffolk County Police Department are asking anyone with information on the crash to call the Fourth Squad at 631-854-8452.

 

Wife faces facts: Husband’s best friend is gun

By Samantha Lujan 

      The smell of gunpowder and the echo of shots being fired at the Medford shooting range seemed exciting at first. Twenty minutes went by, and the noise became vexing.     

      As my super-girly friend Gina and I walked into the basement, I began to notice the misogynist aroma of the place. Once we entered the main room, the look that was given to us by a tall balding man made me realize that perhaps the men standing there were a little taken back by our chestnut-colored Uggs, Brightly colored scarves and flower-scented perfumes.  As we began to talk and express what we were there to do, we were presented with a .22 Caliber Rifle, 100 rounds of 22 Golden Bullet Hp’s and a huge target at which to shoot.

 

     “You must wear earmuffs and eye protection at all times,” said four signs posted around the shooting area. As I shot the first round, I thought to myself,’ the sound is not so bad.’ Once I loaded the second round and the third and fourth it got easier. It became a routine— load, rack, aim, shoot…load, rack, aim, shoot, – over and over again. The sound of the shots fired by the rifle began to get overwhelming; it was loud even with earmuffs on. That is when I began to think about how Christopher Stewart (My husband, a rifleman in the Marine Corps currently stationed in North Carolina) does it? How does he put up with the noise? And chances are he has more than one weapon being shot at a time. Along with the noise, the smell of gunpowder began to make us nauseous. 

      “You get used to it after a while. You begin to ignore the sounds and you just push them out. The smell begins to become normal and familiar just like when you smell food,” Stewart said describing how he deals with gunshot sounds and the smell of gunpowder.

    After it sunk in, I realized that it was not just about the smell or the noise; it  was also about how powerful a weapon is, and perhaps the most fascinating and scariest thing about the idea of him carrying a weapon, is the fact that in his hands he possesses the decision to terminate someone’s life. Though it is not his choice, he is taught to protect himself and others around him.

      Once deployments come around, I know that I am replaced and not by a breathing, walking human being but perhaps by an M-16,M-4, M-9,M-249 Gulf, Shotgun, or a .50 Cal or any other weapon that it is assigned to him by the Marine Corps. One of these weapons becomes his best friend, his companion through the lonely and cold nights.
       Many like me wonder how is it that soldiers have the courage to carry something that can either harm them or save them. I even wonder how they feel the first time they have to use a gun.

      “I’m scared. A gun, a rifle can do so much. He is not used to it, so I am scared how he will take it. ” said Paola Campos a student of the College concerned about her husband who has recently enlisted in the USMC.

       “You feel powerful. You have an equalizer. You feel like you are unstoppable,” said Stewart when asked how he felt the first time he shot a weapon.

          Laws regarding guns and any type of weapon that is out there are on the books to protect us. The two most important ones that control firearms in the civilian population are the National Firearms ACT of 1934 and the Gun Control Act of 1968. The act of 1934 states the rigid registration requirements and a transfer tax on machine guns as well as short-barreled long guns. The 1968 act prohibits mail-order sales and the interstate sales of firearms, prohibits the sale or transfer to minors, and penalties and licensing requirements for manufacturers, importers as well as dealers.

        Despite these laws, gun violence has evolved into a serious problem. According to the National Institute of Justice, “In 2006, firearms were used in 68 percent of murders, 42 percent of robbery offenses, and 22 percent of aggravated assaults nationwide.”

        In New York, you do not need a permit to purchase rifles and shotguns. You do not need to register them. No license is required for the owner and as scary as it sounds, you do not need a permit to carry them, except in New York City where all these laws apply.

        In essence, New York’s view toward guns is split between the whole populations. Some are pro-gun; others just simply oppose it completely. Consequently, many incidents have occurred involving a weapon. In data provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, we learn that weapons used in crimes in schools have only increased since 2000. 

     I understand that perhaps a .22 cal. rifle is not even nearly as strong as an M-16 or any other gun. Now I have an idea of the feeling you get once you pull the trigger and that bullet comes out so fast you lose sight of it.

     “Once you pull the trigger, that’s it. You know…you have to be a 100 percent sure why you are pulling it,” Stewart stated.

     There is no set data on guns on college campus, but in the recent data provided by the FBI, in 2004 there were 25,050 offenses committed in schools with the use of a personal weapon, 497 offenses committed with handguns, 146 done with other firearms, 37 done with rifles and 24 done with shotguns.

Vandals show true colors

By Katrina Fallon

 

Racism, though it has been around for decades, always demonstrates hate and discrimination in people. And for years it has spread.

Now even today this still goes on. Some are offended by it, and others laugh. Today this is used among comedians who talk about bad things in a humorous way.

Even people of different races call themselves the words that would normally offend someone; you would think people who had such a big problem over it wouldn’t say anything. But now days it’s quite frequent.  

Just recently here on campus a Nazi sign was painted in the men’s bathroom in the Riverhead building. It’s been said that this would be the second time it has happened.

Here’s the thing though, was it put there out of hate? Was it a reminder to everyone that there are some people who will never change their ways? Or was it someone just bored who decided to be stupid and put it up there? Who knows?

The world changes and some people change, but like I said there are those few groups that haven’t. So the question is. Who’s to blame? Is it Friends? Family? Maybe society itself?

The one who did put this up there, was that person found? If so were there any consequences for their actions? How can you hold someone responsible for that sort of thing? I can see it as vandalizing, but it’s also a hate crime if you think about it.

All I’m saying is what can you do? What can any one do? Say shame on you and let them walk out with a slap on the wrist? It’s a cruel world out there but maybe it’s people that make it cruel. Society itself can be cruel.

 

 

Interim college president’s salary questioned

by Elysha Giatras

          A couple signatures, a few handshakes and $200,000 later, George Gatta Jr., steps up as the new interim president of the college, and that’s just the beginning.

          The Board of Trustees appointed the then Executive Vice President shortly after then College President Shirley Pippins announced that she would be resigning after a new job offer. As interim president under a four-year contract, Gatta will earn $35,000 more than his prior salary at $163,500. Gatta will then be returning to his initial position; however the pay will only increase.

            If Gatta’s salary increases by the consumer price index, which for the past 10 years has been 3.1 percent, another $38,000 will be earned over the span of the four year contract. This would bring his salary to $219,000 by 2013.

          In addition to the 22 percent increase, Gatta will also be receiving further annual raises based on the cost of living, and the power to cash out or bank his five weeks of vacation under certain stipulations.

            One of the larger advantages Gatta receives is the change in his pension. If at the end of the four year contract, Gatta decides to retire at age 62, his pension could pay approximately $140,000 a year.

Pricey or reasonable? Depends on whom you’re asking.

Spokeswoman for the college, Mary Lou Araneo, said she believes “[Gatta’s] compensation is reasonable and comparable with other college presidents” and she notes that the college“continues to have the lowest total administrative cost of any community college in the state.” According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, Gatta is actually earning $46,000 less than the average salary of Chief Executives at two-year institutions.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy, along with many others however, believes that it is the responsibility as the person second-in-command to take over a president’s obligations as it is, and does not deserve any further compensation. Levy, representing 1.3 million taxpayers within Suffolk County with a $179,000 salary, said he believes the contract to be “extravagant”. Gatta will be accountable for the college and all of its 25,500 students and staffs combined.

“That’s what a vice president does,” student Doug Weiss says. “He’s supposed to take over while they search for a person that actually wants the job. He wants the title and the pay, but not the commitment.”

Levy believes that the 22 percent increase is verification of the college’s dislike of supervision by the county, referring to the ongoing lawsuit concerning the college’s fight for autonomy. The college states that its lack of financial freedom ‘threatens its accreditation,’ while Levy says he believes “[SCCC] want there to be a playpen where they can do whatever they want with taxpayer money and not be held accountable”.

            The college’s fight for autonomy can mean a number of things for students. With the college in control of budgets and how much money is spent on what, there could be a lot of changes both positive and negative. There may be new programs offered, various renovations as well as more available activities.

          However, without the county overseeing the college’s finances, some students are worried that ‘extravagant’ salaries will be offered up more often and without much reason, ultimately raising tuition even more so.

Where does the money for Gatta’s growing paycheck come from? Directly from the taxpayers of Suffolk County, or from the already emptied pockets of students?

           Suffolk Comptroller Joseph Sawicki refused to process Gatta’s pay increase last month because former President Shirley Pippins was still receiving pay from the college.

       “I will not use taxpayer money to pay two college presidents at the same time,” said Sawicki, who also believes the interim president deserves no further increase. “No one should be giving away money like water when students are scrapping for every dime to go to college,” he said.

          “I won’t be surprised when next semester I see tuition go up again,” says concerned student Karin Tryller. “At least we’ll know what it’s from this time around.” Tryller, like most students on campus, has education loan payments, along with car payments and insurance, phone bills and other monthly expenses. “I have a feeling that there will be a huge drop in enrollment nation-wide. With the economy the way it is now, it’s hard to choose between education and sustenance,” she said.

SGA Strives for Students

By Tristan Gourdet

The Student Government Association discusses important topics and makes essential decisions regarding students at SCCC. Whether it’s for scholarships, textbooks, helping students transferring to four year colleges, more funding for activities, or supporting victims of terrible crimes on campus, student governance is vital in voicing student’s needs. At a recent meeting held in the Orient Point, the SGA worked to make positive changes for students on campus.

            Melissa Marx, the president of the SGA starting off the meeting on topics that needed to be discussed.  One topic that the group addressed was a way of funding money.  J.B. Bolvadlin, a student who’s a member of the association suggested way of getting some money towards the school.  “I saw this “Eat With Us and Earn for Your School”,” Bolvadlin said, “we don’t have to give any money basically, you have your president or school fill it out and tell how many students you have, they send you cards and every time you go to Subway you present them the card and you get a percentage of that profit.”  Bolvadin hasn’t found out yet if it only applies to high schools and not colleges.  Patty Munsch, the faculty advisor for the SGA also chimed in with suggestions that the SGA could also do as well.  “Instead of putting the money towards the school you could put the money in open an act account and then put it towards a fund raiser if you wanted to,” Munsch said.  “If anything that they wanted something to change that we didn’t have the money for, the money could go towards that…like you said the money could good for anything,” said Bolvadlin. If students do decide to do this the profit they would get from subway would go towards the SGA, thus, enabling them to fund money for scholarships or other needs that will help students down the road.           

In the past, many other needs that the SGA has able to fund money were for important events and causes.  Last year in December of 2008, the SGA were able to get a fund raiser approved to sell T-Shirts for Marcello Lucero, an undocumented immigrant, who was attacked by seven Patchogue-Medford High School students and fatally stabbed on November 11th. Money was being raised to send his body back to Ecuador at a cost of $20,000. The back of the T-Shirts were read, “Suffolk Community Unites Against Hate” with two hands that are joined.  The T-Shirts were a total cost of $10. $4 was the cost of the shirt and $6 would go to the family of Lucero. T-Shirts were purchased in the SGA Office between 8am to 4 pm.

            Ms. Mucnsch also told the members directions that needed to follow such as filling out a fundraiser request form and then getting it signed off by the administration in order for the idea to be push through.  If money is raised by this, it could also go towards other needs, such as for students that go to SCCC.  With the certain suggestions and ideas that were discussed in the meeting the SGA main goal was having money towards things that would produce change for student and faculty members.

The SGA main objective is to represent the student body and promote democracy by supporting the goals and objectives identified by the student body. The organization acts as a liaison between the students, faculty, staff and administration.  It was formed to serve to define, defend and protect all student rights, responsibilities and freedoms as well as the general welfare of the SCCC.

Altercation in cafeteria stuns witnesses

By Jessica Reed

     A brawl erupted in the Babylon Student Center at 4 pm Thursday. According to Suffolk County Police officials, the fight broke out in the cafeteria between a group of students and off-campus visitors. Several students who witnessed the scene unfold said the fight quickly escalated into a sprawling melee involving more than half a dozen people.  

     One student who didn’t want to be recognized for fear of reprisal said the scene prior to the fight was a calm one with students eating, conversing and studying. One student was struck on his face with a padlock, Suffolk Police say, and was taken to Stony Brook University Medical Center where he was treated and released.

      Campus Security officers were present when the fight started and rushed to intervene. A brief lull in the fighting occurred when a security guard ordered the combatants to stop, before the altercation continued.

     According to several eyewitnesses, the brawl didn’t end until one person attempted to throw a chair at another combatant fleeing the scene. The identity of the individual remains unknown at this time, according to Suffolk Police.

     “I am from Medford, and nothing goes on in my town. I had never seen a fight like this before. It’s my first time seeing a fight on campus before,” Freshman Ashley Dibble said.

     Students were forced to evacuate the building for a half-hour due to the incident. Other students were overheard asking questions as they evacuated the building, among them, “What happened?” Immediate student reactions to the event ranged from being upset over the fight to being frightened over the incident. Five cop cars were lined up outside the Babylon Student Center, along with two ambulances around 4:35 pm.

     Suffolk police say that an investigation of the incident is underway, and asks anyone with information to call 1-800-220-TIPS. All calls will be kept anonymous.