Monthly Archives: April, 2010

Nutrition Club Shares the Health

Amy Joy Hellermann and Marissa Hellermann, both members of the Nutrition Club, teaching elementary students the benefits of being health conscious.

By Jill Frank

Suffolk Community College has encouraged good health in their students and others since the opening of the school by creating special clubs for students like the Nutrition Club. Whether you have heard of this club or not, most don’t realize how much the members actually do for the community.

The Nutrition club that particularly stands out is the one located on the Eastern campus. Professor Jodi Levine of the eastern campus, who is the director of the department of dietetic technician program, is the leader and founder of this club. She also participates in many other health related clubs on the Eastern and Ammerman campuses.

The club has done many helpful services not only for the students at the school but for the local community as well.

One of the things they are best known for is their Health Fair they are in charge of, which takes place every few months in the main courtyard of the Eastern campus. At this fair the students that are involved in this club help other students, families and local community residents by answering questions they may have about their health.

Marissa Hellermann, Nutrition major and a member of this club, said, “We even have a special machine in which a person can hold and it will read their BMI and other healthful information to let them know how healthy they really are. The fair is a really great place for anyone to come and get their health questions answered.” According to this student, the last fair was held at the beginning of April, so the next one shouldn’t be until the fall semester begins.

The club also volunteers at nursing homes, hospitals, school districts and other facilities such as Long Island Cares. According to their website, Long Island Cares is an organization that provides nutritional food and support services for a network of more than 540 community-based agencies. Some of these agencies include pantries, soup kitchens, emergency shelters, child care programs, disability organizations and veterans’ services. It was founded in 1980 by Harry Chapin who was a songwriter, singer, and social activist.

The main leaders of this club are the senior students and each year when the leaders graduate, the ones below them will become the new leaders of the club. They are the ones who organize the volunteering and community service that the club participates in.

Amy Joy Hellermann, another student member of the club, said, “right now we’re planning on organizing a group of students and club members to volunteer and help out the community. Hopefully we can get this started in May before school ends.”

The last time the club took a part in community service was at the Salvation Army, in the town of Riverhead, during the month of March. “It was really great,” said member Marissa Hellermann. “We gave out meals to people who needed them. They consisted of healthy servings of potatoes, meat, vegetables, and bread. Personally handing out the dishes made me realize how great of a thing I was taking part in.”

Amy Joy Hellermann also spoke of another community service act the club participated in recently. “We went to an elementary school in riverhead and taught the children about their health and why it is so important to remain healthy as they grow up. It was great working with the kids and teaching them something that they may not realize now, but will ultimately be very important as they grow older.”

If you are interested in educating and helping people with their health, the club leaders encourage you to come to the Eastern campus and sign up to be a member. Whether you are a member of the Eastern campus or another, you don’t even need to be nutrition major; an interest in the topic is all you need to join.

Chocolate-Covered Strawberries for Love


Fatima Shafig and Jaswinder Rathour (L to R), members of the Muslim Student Association selling chocolate-covered strawberries to raise money for the Make a Wish Foundation.

 By Donna Lynn

The Muslim Student Association will be selling chocolate strawberries in the Babylon Student Center from 11 2 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. They will be on sale until May 13. The strawberries are priced at $1 each and the proceeds from the sale will be donated to the Make a Wish Foundation.

            The Make a Wish Foundation works to grant wishes to children with life threatening medical conditions. The organization was founded in 1980 and is one of the world most well known charities. A wish is granted to a child every 40 minutes. By granting wishes they enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. 

“We do charity work as part of our religion. We give to the needy and the community” Sharig said.

            The Muslim Student Association has also done other charity work. They sold chocolate lollipops to raise money for the earthquake victims in Haiti and Pax Christi Homeless Shelter in Port Jefferson. Nusrat Sharig is president of the club. 

            “We do charity work as part of our religion. We give to the needy and the community” Sharig said. 

            Religious holidays are acknowledged by the group. They held an Eid Festival. This festival was held last semester during the month of Ramadan. The students dressed in traditional costumes, ate cultural food and listened to cultural music. 

            Lectures are given about Islam. The lectures educate the students on the Islamic religion and traditions. 

            The group meets once a month in room 205 at common hour. They use to meet every week but now only meet monthly. This is due to the small size of the group. The students keep in touch on Facebook and the group president keeps them informed of when the next meeting is taking place. 

            Anyone interested in joining the Student Muslim Association can contact the group’s adviser Carol Dukakis in the ESL room of the Ammerman building. 


Taxes: Who are they helping?

By Casey Schneider

     As a nation, Americans are continuously looking for ways to save money, and wondering where all their hard-earned money has gone. 

     According to Theresa A. Kopp, Assistant to Suffolk County Comptroller Joseph A. Sawicki, New Yorkers pay on average 78 percent higher tax burdens than the rest of the country, but for what?

     On the federal level, taxes are collected to mostly fund defense/security, Medicaid, Medicare, and CHIP, as well as Social Security, with the three areas making up over 60 percent of federal tax income. All this money is being spent, while the remaining 20 percent, according to Catherine Rampell of the New York Times Economix blog, is left to be divided between Benefits for retirees and veterans (6 percent), scientific/medical research (3 percent), Transportation infrastructure (3 percent), Education (2 percent), Non-Security International (1 percent), and the remaining 5 percentleft for other miscellaneous needs.

Only 2 percent of all national spending is put towards education, as opposed to 26 percent of the state budget which is put towards schools grades K-12. Higher education, according to Rampell of the New York Times, receives just 12 percent. According to Theresa Kopp, “State tax dollars provide funding for public institutions (State Universities of New York), while state and county tax dollars are used to fund the community college system.”

     “Traditionally, costs for community colleges have been shared equally by New York State, Suffolk County, and student tuition,”  Kopp said.

     Community Colleges are funded by a combination of state and tax dollars, as well as student tuition, yet tuition at Suffolk County Community College rises every semester. With funding coming from a variety of sources, why is there a need to raise tuition for students who are already struggling to make their tuition payments? Students are now having to work more hours, or more physically taxing jobs just to afford their tuition payments, and in some cases it will affect the student’s performance in school.

     In order to keep up with tuition and car payments, former Suffolk County Community College student now at NYU, Kip Denicola is forced to work overnights at the Executive Inn in Westbury, NY.

     “Some days I work from 11pm to 7 am, and then I have to go to class from 8am to 2pm, and I find it nearly impossible to stay awake or get any work done,” said Denicola about working overnight while being a full time student. When asked how working affects him doing schoolwork outside of class he replied, “When I get home from school all I want to do is go to sleep, and although I plan on doing my schoolwork at the hotel, once I am there, schoolwork is the last thing on my mind, and I end up being behind on my work very often.”

     The rise in taxes and tuition makes it difficult for college students, and especially the parents of college students now, but what are parents with small children now going to do when they reach the age where they go off to college?

     Babylon resident, and mother of four, Denise Delio works full-time at Western Suffolk BOCES as a mechanics instructor, is worried about how she will send her kids to school.

     “My husband and I both work full time jobs just to support our children and ourselves, and without a drastic change I don’t see how I am going to afford to send four kids to college” replied Delio when asked about the rising cost of college in these days of economic turmoil. Even worse, Delio’s oldest daughter, Samantha, a freshman in high school, is only a few years away with her younger sister Kimberly only a year behind.

    None of us are immune to these tough economic times, and with no real sign of relief on the horizon Suffolk residents may have to hold their breath before letting out a sigh of relief. This may lead to Suffolk residents asking the question, “Who are these taxes helping?”

How to pay for college with no money!

By Danny Mounce

You’ve waited so long to be an adult, now you’re in college preparing for life. Just one thing that troubles people is how to pay for it.  

It’s hard being a college student, all the work you get you do what ever you can to get by. For many people college isn’t the first thing on their mind because of the money. College tuition has gone up in the past years and is expected to get higher. Here are some ways students can pay for college with no money.

1) Be Smart. Many students who are smart have many options. Taking many AP classes in high school will help many students enter college as a sophomore cutting their college cost down by 25 percent. Students are also given scholarships or grants based on how well they do in high school. Scholarships are also given to student’s who take part in sports, clubs, and organizations. This may pay for half or all of your college tuition. So study hard, join a club, and be active.

2) Financial Aid. According to “over 50 percent of college students today use need-based financial aid”. Students who are eligible for this are based on two issues the cost of education and the families’ ability to pay. Cost of education varies from school to school. To apply for financial aid students must complete the Free Application for Financial Aid (FAFSA) and if needed, the College Scholarship Service’s Profile. Both documents are used to determine how much, if any, a family can provide towards college tuition.

3) Student Loans. Student loans are offered to college students to pay for tuition, books, and sometimes living expenses. Students are able to borrow money from the bank at a reduced interest rate and don’t have to pay it back until they are done with college. All college students are able to get some kind of student loan but the amount they can borrow may vary based on financial income both the students and the parents.

4) Join the Army. Many students join the Army right out of high school in quick way to pay for college. According to the Army website the Army will pay for soldiers to go to college or pay off their existing student loans. The Army tuition assistance covers 100% of course costs up to $250 per credit, with a maximum of $4,500 per academic year. Not only do you get free education you get the honor of protecting your country, just remember the Army is not for everyone.

5) Community College.  Many students chose to go to a community college to get a head start before entering a 4 year school. By going to a community college students cut the cost of college in half. Community colleges are cheaper and you get the same kind of classes you would get at a 4 year school, plus they don’t have dorms so many students live at home saving even more money.

There are many ways to pay for college. Whether you’re an adult or a high school student, the possibilities are endless. Just remember to check out the costs for each college first, it will make your planning a lot easier when you know what prices you have to work with.

Feminist art displayed for ‘Women’s Week’

By Danny Mounce      Students will have a chance to see some great works of  art during woman’s history month. Suffolk County Community College’s Grant campus, located in Brentwood, is showcasing an art exhibit of Nancy Azara’s Visual Diaries, from March 17 through April 14, in Gallery West located in the Captree Commons building.

According to the SUNY Suffolk press release, “Visual diaries is a powerful exhibition of feminist artwork from participants at the New York Feminist Art Institute (1979-1990) that uses drawings as a personal diary to express the inner life or landscape of the artists.

The diaries are from 1979 to the present as many artists have continued contributing to their diaries over the years.”

Azara is no stranger to Suffolk Community College. She has had her art work shown here before. “She had stuff here last year; I had to do a paper on it,” said Samantha Jackle, a liberal arts major.

“She really likes using hands and leaves in her art work. It’s beautiful.” said Casey Farrell, a liberal arts major, “I like that it’s a collection of art from different people instead of just one person.”

According to her website “Azara is a sculptor and book artist who has displayed her work in New York City and throughout the United States. She was a founder of the New York Feminist Art Institute (NYFAI) in 1979, where she served on the board and taught a workshop called “Consciousness Raising, Visual Diaries, Art Making” for many years. She is also the author of the book, Spirit Taking Form: Making a Spiritual Practice of Making Art, and wrote an essay, “In Pursuit of the Divine” for The Kensington and Winchester Papers: Painting, Sculpture and the Spiritual Dimension.”

Azara’s exhibit is on display for the rest of woman’s history month, until April 14. Gallery West is open Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and Friday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. for more information call 548-2559.

Artist Nancy Azara's work was exhibited during Women's Week along with the work of other feminist artists. The showcase was presented on the Grant Campus.

Students jam BSC for chance to join clubs on activities day

Posters like this one encouraged attendance at the annual Student Activities Day.

By Danny Mounce

     Students all over campus gathered into the cafeteria last Wednesday to check out the clubs and organizations the College  has to offer. The cafeteria was jam-packed with students. It was hard to move through the event, but students found a way to make it through the crowd.

     The school gave away free lunch to the first 350 students that showed up. Many students were there for the free lunch; however, other students were there to sign up for clubs and student organizations.

     One of the newest clubs that everyone was talking about was the Harry Potter club.

“I can’t believe we have a Harry Potter club.” Said Knaishia Grovera liberal arts major, “that’s awesome.”

     Many of the same groups such as art club, theater club, and the campus newspaper “The Compass” are back and better than ever.

     “I joined the philosophy club.” said Cat Salvatore a student at the Grant campus “and if I have time the photo club.”

     Students may not know about some of the other clubs Suffolk has to offer such as the Anime club, American Sign Language club, Dead Improv Society, and Muslim Student Association. All groups and organizations are available for students, so get involved, join a club and make new friends. For a list of all clubs and student organizations check out the school website for more details.

‘Day of Silence’ brings awareness to GLBT harrassment

By Danny Mounce

      The Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) had their first meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 10 to discuss plans for this year. The GSA educates people as to the awareness, tolerance and acceptance of alternative lifestyles of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community.

     One of the events discussed was the day of silence. The day of silence is national protest held every year in which people of the Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgendered (GLBT) community and their supporters remain silent for a day to bring attention to GLBT harassment and name calling in schools. The goal of this protest is to create a safer school environment for all, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

     The day of silence is designed to illustrate the silencing effect of bullying and harassment on GLBT students and those perceived to be GLBT. On the day of silence students hand out speaking cards that explain the reason for being silent and ask the question “What are you going to do to end the silence?”

     This year the day of silence was Friday April 16, but the event was celebrated on campus Wednesday, April 14.

     “Not many students have Friday classes so it would be pointless to do it that day” said Erik Normandin, president of the GSA. “It makes sense to do it on Wednesday because there are more students on campus and we have our meetings that day as well,” he said.

      The group is hoping for better results than they’ve experienced in the past.

     “Last semester we tried doing national coming out day and it was a disaster” said Normandin. “I was told we had a table set up in the Islip arts building, but when I got there we were pushed outside, so hopefully we can get a table in the Babylon Student Center this time.”

     One problem the group discussed was ideas of explaining the day of silence to others while still being silent. “One idea we came up with was having a video made that will inform students about the event” said Normandin.. “We should have cards that let people speak, but still show their support,” said Dan Brown, a student attending the meeting.

     Other ideas the group talked about included how to end the day of silence. “We will try and pick a time around 5 p.m., and everyone participating will let out a loud yell releasing their voice back into the world,” said Spencer Batho, a member of the GSA. “We need to make sure it’s in between classes so everyone can hear it.”

     “It’s important for people to know about this issue and bring attention to the fact that students are being harassed and put a stop to it” said Normandin. “I really want this to be a success. I hope we can make a difference and open up peoples mind about the gay community.”

     For more information about the GLBT community contact members of the GSA, who meet every Wednesday in room 202 of the Riverhead building during common hour. All students are welcomed.

Actor, director Sean Astin to appear at Shea Theater

Actor Sean Astin recently spoke at Wilson College to celebrate a visit from Chelsea Clinton. The actor will visit the Ammeran campus April 26.

By Donna Lynn     

Actor Sean Astin will be on campus at the Shea Theater in the Islip Arts building April 26 at 11 a.m. Astin will be discussing what he learned as a Goonie, as Rudy and as a hobbit named Sam. Astin is well known for his role as Samwise Gamgee in Peter Jackson’s trilogy “The Lord of the Rings.”

          Astin starred in the Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The two Towers (2002), and the Return of the King (2003). His is also well known for his leading part in the movie “Rudy.” His role in these films was a career breakthrough boosting him to instant stardom.

          A limited number of tickets is available to students, faculty and staff for free at the information desk in the Babylon Student Center. A student or employee identification card must be presented to receive a ticket. Admission is $5 for the general public, and tickets should be purchased prior to the event.

          Astin is the eldest son of actress Patty Duke and Michael Tell, a music promoter and writer. He was raised by his step-father John Astin. He was born in Santa Monica California on Feb. 25, 1971. From a very young age Astin aspired to be an actor. He avoided the hazards of Hollywood life, and refrained from drinking, doing drugs and being narcissistic.

          Astin attended Crossroads High School for the Arts and Los Angeles Valley College. He graduated cum laude from the University of California with dual degrees in History and American Literature, Culture. In between attending school he pursued his acting career.

          At the age of 13 Astin starred as Micael “Mikey” Walsh in Richard Donner’s children’s adventure film“ The Goonies” (1985). Astin received his first young artist award for his work on the film. He starred in the Disney channel television movie the B.R.A.T. Patrol, (1986), and appeared with Kevin Bacon in “White Summer Water” (1987), and he had a part in the comedy “Like Father, Like Son” (1987). In 1988 Astin’s own production company financed a film about the relationship between an American GI and a Viet Cong solider titled “On My Honor.” Astin won his second young artist award for his performance in “Staying Together” (1989).

          Also in 1989 Astin portrayed the son of actress Kathleen Turner and actor Michael Douglas in “The War of the Roses.” Astin had a starring role in “The Memphis Bell,” a movie depicting the crew of the Memphis Bell Bomber on their final flight over Germany. Astin played the crew’s tail gunner Sgt. Richard “Rascal” Moore. He also starred in the picture “Toy Soldiers,” playing the role of a rebellious student who saves his prep school from South American terrorists. “Encino Man” (1992) was the next film that Astin had a role in. He played along side Pauly Shore and Brendon Fraser. It was a comedy about two California high school students who discover a caveman. Astin then went on to play a part in the drama “Where the Day Takes You (1992). He played alongside Will Smith and Christian Slater. His next role was in “Rudy”. This role was a very memorable one. In the move Astin stars as Rudy, a boy who aspired to play football for Notre Dame.

          The remaining of the 90’s Astin went on to star in several other roles. He appeared in “Sage Passage” (1994) with Susan Sarandon and Sam Shepard. He won the Best Actor Award at the Fort Lauderdale Film Festival for his part in the independent film “The Low Life” (1998). He directed, wrote and produced “Kangaroo Court,” a film that earned him an academy award nomination for best short film. Astin starred in Showtime’s adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.’s futuristic short story “Harrison Bergeron.” “Courage Under Fire” was the next picture he starred in. He then went on to star in “Snap Ending.” Astin narrated “The Long Way Home,” an academy award winning Holocaust documentary.

          Astin then worked on a string of independent films such as “Boy Meets Girl” (1998) “Dish Dogs” (1998) “Kimberley” (1999) “Deterreure” (1999) and “Icebreaker” (1999). Astin continues to work in television and film and has directed and appeared in several movies including ”50 First Dates” and “Click.”

          Astin is married to Christine Harell Astin. They were married on July 7, 1992. They have two daughters. They met when she worked for Astin’s talent agency, and together they co-founded Lava Entertainment.

          It is known that when Astin gives a speech in a public forum, fans like to show up dressed up as hobbits or other characters from his films. It you attend this lecture don’t be surprised to see a few hobbits in attendance.

Students voice concerns about college attendance policy

By Jill Frank

Riverhead and Ammerman campus students surveyed are frustrated with the College’s strict attendance policy. The attendance policy has been in place since the school started in 1959,  however; many students can’t help but ask, why?

           “Yes, it is a given that there would probably be a lot of students who would never show up but what most of us are asking for is not to have a no maximum absence policy. We’re just asking for maybe a higher maximum like five allowed instead of three. I went to Dowling in my first semester and we were allowed seven absences. That maximum is a lot more reasonable,” said Marissa Hellermann, a nutrition major at the Riverhead campus.

     An ongoing anger is felt by students who discussed this policy because they often feel it is unfair. Because they are paying for the classes they are enrolled in, they said they think it is an unreasonable policy. Though students are often in conflict with the rule, teachers insist the policy is smart and something that must be kept.

     “It is important for a strict absence policy at this school because I think students believe they don’t have to take this college as serious as others since it’s a community college and not a university, or that they don’t have to do as much work. But that’s not the case here. This school is just like any other college and we intend to keep it that way,” said Christopher Schmidt, a professor in the science department at the Ammerman campus.

     According to the SCC student handbook, the current absence policy is that a student is allowed three absences before a professor can withdraw them from the course they are enrolled in. Some teachers interviewed said they are instructed to take attendance every class and report to the registrar’s office with the attendance sheets so they can keep track of a student’s absences. Other professors have stated attendance is determined by individual professors.

     According to a survey taken of 10 professors, 7 out of the 10 agree that the absence policy is not overly strict and that it is a good idea.

     “If students had lenience, I don’t think they would show up. They would take advantage of it,” stated Chris Cosenza, a physical education professor and tennis coach at the Ammerman campus.

         Professor Edward DeLia, an adjunct professor at the Ammerman campus made an interesting point as well, by saying, “Students shouldn’t be allowed to miss class more than three times. If they’re not interesting in coming to class as much, then why do they bother coming at all? They’re supposed to be here to learn, not be absent.”

But students say that isn’t the case.

            “I think the max absences allowed should depend on the course you’re enrolled in. Some classes I have taken we don’t even take notes or anything. We’re just assigned reading and papers; it’s more like a workshop. If you want you could just do all the work at home and then hand it in on the due dates. So why should it matter if I’m present in the class more than three times? I obviously wouldn’t have been missing anything if I missed one or two more classes than allowed. I would have just made up the work at home later on anyway,” said a former student, Michael Finnerty, stated something similar.

Horror Science Fiction Club Donates Food to Hungry

Looking their creepiest, members of the Horror Science Club strike a pose. The group has worked hard this semester to aid the homeless and hungry.

 By Donna Lynn

                  The Horror Science Fiction Club had a food drive from Feb. 1 to March 25. Food was donated to the Interfaith Nutrition Network and Food Not Bombs. Anthony Giansante, co-president of the club is heading up the initiative with the Interfaith Network and Amanda Murray also co-president, is starting the first Food Not Bombs outreach in Suffolk County. The club collected nonperishable items in a box outside the writing center, room 101. Another food drive starts April 12, which will end on May 21. Boxes will be available for food drop off outside Islip Arts room 101.

                “We are all in a position to help others and decided to take advantage of that position” Giansante said.

                The Interfaith Nutrition Network provides food and shelter to the hungry and homeless on Long Island. They began with a simple mission of feeding hungry neighbors with an atmosphere of dignity and respect. They are a not-for -profit and volunteer- based organization.

                Food Not Bombs is an organization for peace and to end the occupations of Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine. The group has worked for nearly 30 years to end hunger and support actions to stop globalization of the economy. It is dedicated to non-violent social change. They provide food and supplies to survivors of disaster.

                The Horror Science Fiction Club has done a toiletry drive for victims of domestic violence. They have also done a bake sale for victims of the earthquake in Haiti. The club has 25 members from diverse backgrounds. The group is composed of artists, writers, film fans and eccentrics who are interested in horror and science fiction, the paranormal, conspiracy theory , underground films books, music and culture. They watch and critique films, discuss conspiracy theories and strange phenomena. They go on field trips and do community projects. They have gone to a haunted house, corn maze, NYC and Salem. They had a Halloween party for the residents of a nursing home.

           English Professors William Burns and Kim Ng  advise the group. Anyone interested in meeting a diverse group of people with a variety of interests and doing community work can meet up with the Horror Science Fiction Club on Wednesdays, room 206 at common hour.