By Melissa Ann Bornschein
Head Cross Country Track Coach Bob Mott is more like an educational and inspirational adviser than a typical coach. Speaking of his team, Mott mentioned that only three runners are returning. He explained that the runners have team practice every Monday through Thursday and run an average of 3-10 miles during practice. They train weekly in the school’s weight room focusing on upper body, endurance, strength and speed.
Since the team this season is a young one with many new faces it’s important to gain input from returning team members.
“Running keeps me occupied, and I enjoy the challenge running long distance provides,” Claudio Barros a sophmore said. Kristen Mortak a sophomore who has run since she was in seventh grade agrees with Barrios about running and its benefits.
“It releases stress, helps to stay fit and gets you evolved with your school and community whether it be through fundraisers or running meets, ”Mortak said.
“Running is an undesirable thrill” said sophomore Bryan Coyle. and when asked what advice would he would give to a younger student who just started his running career Coyle stated “Patience! You have to have the drive within yourself to carry out your tasks and faith in yourself that you will see it through.”
With three meets completed, mens and womens cross country team members are preparing for an Oct. 3 race at Van Cortlandt Park, hosted by the College of Staten Island. They will compete in the Highlander Invitational on Oct. 10 in New Jersey.
By Patrick Adams
Nothing makes you feel like you did something greater than to volunteer to make yours or someone else’s lives better. The College hosted a Volunteer Fair in the Montauk Point Room at the Babylon Student Center from 11 am to 2 pm Sept. 15.
Many organizations came to inform the students of volunteer opportunities in our county. Such organizations include Long Island Association for Aids Care (LIAAC), the Peace Corps, and Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind, The American Red Cross, YMCA Family Services (The William Floyd Project) and others.
Nina Scollo is a case worker for LIAAC which is a nonprofit organization delivering comprehensive services to all Long Islanders infected and affected by HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases.
“I believe my words and information really touched the students I
with,” Scollo said.
Most tables had pens to give out to students but LIAAC provided a bowl of condoms. They were gone before she knew it.
“At least most students practice safe sex,” Scollo said. “I was surprised to see the girls wanted them more than the guys.”
Everybody has in one time in their lives heard about the American Red Cross but do you know what they do? And did you know that you could be a part of it? Tembi Jenkins is the director of the Suffolk county chapter. She was really informative about the programs offered to students. You could be a part of the Disaster Action Team, Client Caseworkers, or Logistics. For Thanksgiving you could do more than eating and watching football. The Red Cross is sponsoring the Harry Chapin Food Bank. If you chose to volunteer, you would be a server and help the people who do not have anywhere to go on Thanksgiving. If you are interested in helping out for one day or for life you can call (631)-924-6700 x209. Jenkins last note was “And remember YOU can make a difference!” other services the Red Cross offers is CPR and first aid training.
One of the most interesting places to volunteer is the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind. This non Government funded organization focuses on training dogs to improve the quality of life for people, who are blind, visually impaired or have other special needs. There are a number of programs for students to volunteer. One of the favorites is to volunteer in the kennels. If you are a dog lover, this is the job for you, as a kennel volunteer you provide hugs, kisses, and exercise for the dogs housed in their kennels. Volunteers play with their dogs in enclosed indoor and outdoor play yards. And if you’re a dog lover and don’t have a dog of your own there’s a program for you too.
Puppy Walkers is a program to make a commitment to take a puppy home for approximately 12 months. Puppy Walkers provide a safe and loving home where the puppy will learn housebreaking, obedience, excellent house manners, and socialization in public places. You will undergo an obedience training course and ongoing professional training and education while the puppy is in your home. If you love dogs, check out their website at www.guidedog.org.
One of the organizations that the students spent the most time at their table was the Peace Corps. The Peace Corps is the most intensive volunteer program at the fair and in life. The rewards of joining are great. Their presentation was about 10 to 15 minutes long and some of the students took chairs from the cafeteria and sat and listened and asked questions. It was like they were in class. Some were taking notes as well. Eddie Lennon a freshmen majoring in computer science asked the most questions. He was the most interested in joining. When asked what he liked the most in the Peace Corps he replied “I had never traveled or helped anyone in my life. I was thinking of joining the Army but my mom would have killed me.” Eddie said. “I didn’t even think of the Peace Corps until I saw the sign.”
Vincent Wickes is the regional manager for the Peace Corps had a lot of information to give to the students. He made us think about what to do after college or even before. The Peace Corps offers free Graduate school at 60 accredited colleges around the United States. By joining the Peace Corps you will learn a different language, different cultures, and Leadership skills. Once you join you will go through three months of intensive training and then go in the field for 24 months. But as Wickes says “it is the most enlightening moment to see what volunteers do.” If you would like to know more about Volunteering you can contact Career Services & Cooperative Education in the Babylon Student Center on the Ammerman campus.
By George Verity
The college has eliminated five duplicated sport teams following a series of student forums in January and the hiring of College-Wide Athletic Driector, Samuel Braunstein in February.
“Here at this institution we want to accomplish one central theme, one Suffolk identity.” said Dr. Marvin Bright, vice president of student affairs. “But this is a process, a process that has a series of phases.”
Bright has been the Vice President of Student Affairs since the fall semester of 2007. He has worked as an educator in the field of student affairs and athletics for the past 19 years at the higher education level. Braunstein has been Athletic director for the past six years at the college’s Grant campus, to go along with six previous years in the New York City system.
Together they created what is now called the “One-College Athletic Program” model.
“We have had positive feedback and no complaints from student leaders” Said Dr. Bright.
Before this model, intercollegiate athletics were run independently on separate budgets that competed against one another with different mascots and colors. It consisted of duplicate sport teams on both the Grant campus in Brentwood and the Ammerman campus in Selden. Men’s baseball, men’s basketball, and women’s volleyball were all duplicate sport teams offered at the college. The Eastern Campus did not, and will not have sport teams because of its facility and size.
“Our goal is to have a seamless transition” Braunstein said. “Basically we are taking two separate teams and putting them together to form one competitive team.”
With enrollment on the rise as a result of the economy, and more than 200 students participating in athletics at the intercollegiate level already, this vision and model appears to be successful.
“I don’t see how this could be anything but beneficial because we are opening competition and putting the best athletes available together. This will allow our athletes to become leaders and display excellence against other rivalries like Nassau Community College,” Braunstein said. “Not only that, but now for the first time I have an assistant athletic director, Joseph Kosina.”
In addition, the “One-College Athletic Program” is looking to expand intramural programs by providing more opportunities for students to get involved on campus. Intramural programs like dodge ball, flag football, ultimate Frisbee and basketball are now available for all students. Students with an i.d. card can participate in intramural registration in the Brookhaven Gym or on the student portal at MySCCC.
The college has already combined the two men baseball team’s into one sport team at the Ammerman Campus. As of right now men’s baseball, basketball, cross-country, golf, soccer, tennis and women’s basketball, cross-country, softball, tennis, and volleyball teams are played at the Ammerman Campus. Men’s basketball, bowling, lacrosse, outdoor track, swimming, and women’s bowling, outdoor track, soccer, swimming, and volleyball teams are played at the Grant Campus. The remaining duplicated teams will be blended and fused together in September of 2011. At this time one official mascot and school color will be announced to complete this vision of one identity and unity.
While students voiced their support in January’s forums, some athletes are concerned about the changes.
“The only difference is having to prove yourself all over again to a new coach because he has never seen you play before” said Anthony Eilers, a former baseball player for the Longhorns at the Grant Campus who will be joining the baseball team at Ammerman. “Also transportation will be kind of a pain because of the time distance and the cost of gas,” Eilers said.
Each week practices and home games will alternate on both campuses. One week the team will play at Grant, the next at Ammerman.
“One issue is transportation but because of our budget and ADA compliance we cannot provide transportation to these students as of right now. We are continuing to investigate a solution, but you are always going to have snags and hurdles in such a process like this,” Bright said.
As a result of the “One-College Athletic Program” model there will be also a vigorous competition for coaches. All intercollegiate coaches at the college serve on a yearly basis. After every year the coach has to re-apply and interview for the position and the best candidate will be hired. The athletic department has opened the search for coaches nationally.
By Matthew Kogut
“I am an activist for the common struggling person in this country, the underdog, the person whose consciousness and voice has been shut down in mainstream America. I don’t dare have the nerve to think I am better than someone because I am more fortunate. I respect all people.” William O’Connell
William “Bo” O’Connell, instructor of communications on the Grant campus, has become a powerhouse when it comes to his work with the homeless. In his new book, “Chief Keetoowah “Legacy,” ” O’Connell details his experience with Chief Keetoowah and other homeless people in Venice Beach, Ca., through pictures.
It all started with his first book, a Lulu Press worldwide best seller “Homeless In Paradise : Communicating with the Bohemian Venice Beach, CA Subculture”, where he talks about Chief Keetoowah, also known as Chief Soaring Eagle. As stated in the book’s synopsis, Chief Keetoowah is a Native American man who is an astrophysicist with a PhD. He is called “The Chief” and although he has been homeless for 27 years, “he has been a civil rights activist through all of the movements against oppression, which transformed America in the 1960’s.”
O’Connell first met the Chief four years ago in the underbelly of Venice Beach, Ca., living among the homeless. What drew him to the Chief was, “his vision, his sense of reality, and his ability to communicate and articulate on a level which for me was compelling enough that I wanted to know more,” O’Connell said. “Chief is a spiritual force,” he added.
“The book was easy to write,” O’Connell said. “I am the type of person who sets up what I want to do in my mind well ahead of time and then I just go out there and do it! I am not waiting for the world to come to me — I am out there everyday living life to the fullest — you should too! We never know how life can change from one second to the next. There are people who lift and people who learn in this world — my mind stays busy.”
O’Connell is now an expert when it comes to the homeless. He has studied the homeless for five years and has stated he is one of a few people in the country who has spent more than 2,000 hours with homeless people. Being around homeless men, women, children, and even animals, has changed his way of thinking in life.
He got inspired to work with the homeless by a Vietnam Veteran named Pruitt. When asked about how he got inspired, he said, “His story moved me because he only had one arm. The other arm he lost on the battlefield of Vietnam. Pruitt’s fascinating story is captivating. Every 18-year-old has a dream. His was taken away fighting for the American Flag. When he lost his arm, he lost inspiration to fulfill his dream. My dream is not to the elitist mentality…Most people go through life talking about making a difference, while I am making it in the lives of complete strangers whose voices would otherwise never be heard,” O’Connell said.
What does the Chief have to say about this? On being a member of the homeless community, he stated, “Being homeless on the beach there is really no want for anything. There is nothing there but the sand, and the sea, and the sky. As far as the subsidence by prayer, meditation and getting focused and balanced in that arena, everything I received in the last seven years I did not have seven years ago. I received nourishment, good information, good entertainment, everything that a person needs to have through a movement achieved on a daily basis.”
In O’Connell’s research, it is also important to state that the Chief, for a number of years, has worked for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, Ca.
But when it comes to working with the homeless, why Venice Beach, California? Why not New York City or any other places with an elevated level of homelessness?
“Venice Beach and Southern California has more homeless than anywhere in the country. More than 250,000 people are homeless in Los Angeles compared to 55,000 in New York,” O’Connell said.
The communication instructor’s hard work is finally paying off. He is currently working on a documentary called Voices in the Sand which is based on his books on the homeless of Venice Beach and the people who he has built close relationships with, including gang members. He is not giving much information out about his documentary. He has also been hired by British actor Russell Brand to serve as a contributor and consultant on a feature length documentary film titled Russell Brand’s Happiness Project. He set up locations, scenes, and brought the homeless to Brand, educating him about the crisis of homelessness. That movie is expected to air during the summer of 2011.
On the topic of “fame,” The Chief was asked about how he felt about becoming more recognizable, “It’s the greatest honor that a person can be recognized and to be on a front cover of a book is extra love…You know I think that the spirit at this time in my life is calling me to be part of something that’s never been thought of or created.” He also stated, “Since the release of Professor O’Connell’s popular book I have been interviewed six times already. The Thai media recently interviewed me on a piece that they plan to use for children.”
The Chief told O’Connell, when O’Connell went homeless in January of 2010, “it doesn’t matter if a person is homeless for 30 years or 30 seconds–what changes when someone experiences homelessness is that a person develops a deeper level of understanding of how important it is to help people.”
“Chief Keetoowah “Legacy” “can be purchased at www.lulu.com , and all proceeds go to the Chief. O’Connell’s first book is also available for purchase as well on the same website. More information on Professor O’Connell, his books and current movie projects can also be found on his website www.williamoconnell.net.
By Kendra Mercer
A tidal wave of hype preceded Hurricane Earl’s predicted arrival on Friday, September 3, 2010. That particular Friday marked the unofficial start to the Labor Day weekend that so many people celebrate to mark the end of the summer season. During the entire week leading up to Earl’s impact with Long Island, news channels, both cable and local, radio stations and the internet were inundated with possible worst case scenarios and “cones of uncertainty”. Unless you were living under a rock, it was next to impossible to be unaware of the impending doom the storm presented. Or not.
Much to my surprise (sarcasm), the majority of the students in my classes had absolutely no idea the storm existed. They also had no idea what to do in the event this storm or any other actually made landfall on Long Island. Really? Really. I am willing to cut my fellow students some slack since many of them were toddlers or not even born the last time a major hurricane made landfall on the island. They certainly don’t remember our old friend Gloria from 1985, or even Bob from 1991. What did surprise me was the lack of hurricane preparedness information, specifically the fact that not one piece of information was distributed by the college. Nothing noted on the main college website, nothing mentioned on MySCCC, no emails sent out listing tips on how to stay safe, not even a memo to be read out loud by the professors at the beginning of class. I seem to recall at least once last semester, a lock down drill college wide as a precautionary measure to help educate the students in the case of a campus shooting or similar threat.
Every news organization I tuned into, as well as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association called for a strong probability that Earl was going to make landfall in the North East. The only area of uncertainty was how close it would come to Long Island. Some of the early prediction models showed the possibility of Earl actually making landfall here on the island. Either way, we were going to feel the effects of Earl, at the very least, tropical storm conditions. Was the college remiss in notifying students on contingency plans and tip sheets related to preparation? I think so. I actually posted a few comments on the SCCC Facebook page, asking why they hadn’t posted information for the students with regards to storm preparation. My questions were met with a link taking me to a Facebook page for SCCC’s own Professor Mandia, a meteorologist, and another response included a link to his blog and weather page. I had never heard of Professor Mandia and wondered how many other students were in my boat. Casually asking my classmates through out the week, I discovered that a large majority of them, both new and continuing, had not heard of him either. I was annoyed by the response given to me, and felt the college, at least on the Facebook page, was being very flippant about a potentially serious situation. (Don’t worry; I made a point to share that opinion with the College on their Facebook page.) What’s my point? My point is this. If the College has time to send out emails in error to students telling them they are losing their schedule, and has the time to keep up a Facebook account, and has the time to practice lock downs in case of other emergencies, then shouldn’t the College make the time to inform and educate students on what to do in case of severe weather, such as a hurricane or tropical storm? YES, they should. I’m no Chicken Little and the sky is not falling. I understand, especially being a journalism student, that T.V. sensationalism and media hype is overwhelming common sense and responsible reporting. I also understand that you can’t believe everything you see and hear, and need to maintain a reasonable and logical sense of perspective when it comes to any type of natural disaster or weather event.
Now we find ourselves half-way through September, which by the way is considered by many weather experts to be the peak time of the hurricane season. Two major hurricanes (a category 3 and 4 at the time of this writing) are churning in the Atlantic and a third has already made landfall in Mexico. It would be prudent to make sure you and your family know what to do in case of an evacuation, or if you choose to ride out the storm, how to prepare your house and protect your loved ones. If the College won’t fill you in on that information, then we will. Please see the links provided below for information on Hurricane preparation, safety precautions and other information about hurricanes and Long Island. Are you ready?
By Jennifer White
“ This can’t be happening, I don’t want to go”, Latoya Remy said, as her father started the moving van. This was it they were leaving their old lives behind. There sat Latoya, as she was holding her hand to the window. She was looking back at the place she lived all her life. Slowly wiping the tears from her eyes; knowing her life wasn’t going to ever be the same. They were on their way to a new future, one that Latoya wasn’t at all ready for.
She was thirteen years old; when her parents moved from Queens New York, to Suffolk county Long Island. “ I was in complete culture shock”, Latoya said when asked about her move. She was in an entirely new environment, one very different from the one she spent most of her life in.
“ I walked into school the first day, feeling out-of-place. No one there talked to me, no one even cared to get to know me”. Latoya said as she recalls her first day of junior high school. She was placed in the Three Village School Districts. She didn’t see many African-American students as she roamed the halls of her new school. “ It was hard because I knew I wanted to fit in. I just didn’t know how, or even where to start. I never really felt at home, I went from a school with the majority of students being African-American and Hispanic. To almost every student being white. I couldn’t find any other students who were like me. Not just because most of the school was Caucasian but because I was a city girl living in suburbia”. Latoya said while talking about her feelings of coming to Long Island.
“I told Latoya to never let anything keep you down! I encouraged her to try new things. I wanted her to join a club and get involved in her new school. This was to be her new home and I felt that she should try her best to like it here. I wanted to make sure she kept who she was intact. Most kids who move at such a crucial age as Latoya did find it can be hard. Especially when you feel the need to fit in. What made it harder was she couldn’t find a common ground to stand on. She couldn’t find friends who she felt she connected with. She didn’t feel that anyone understood her culture and came from the same backgrounds as she did”. Charmain Remy said, speaking about her daughter Latoya.
It had nothing to do with color, it had to do with culture. Latoya did make and had a lot of friends. By the time she went to high school, she made life long friends from all different cultures. She loved the friends she kept near and dear to her heart. It wasn’t that She didn’t love them, or consider them good enough. It was just that she wanted a home like feeling. “I wanted someone to talk to about certain things. That some of my other friends wouldn’t understand”. Latoya said describing her need for familiarity.
Latoya joined some clubs in high school and they didn’t really fill the void for what she was looking for. She never truly felt at ease, or at home in her school. No matter how long she had been there. It was like she was always searching for a place to feel 100 percent herself. She graduated in 2008 from Ward Melville High school, it was a sad and happy time for her. She had been accepted to St. Johns University in Queens. She was hoping she would finally be able to move on. To find what she left, Maybe even fill a void she had for many years.
She started at St. johns in the fall hoping to feel at home again. She stayed for a few semesters. It went well and she liked it, but even being back in her old neighborhood didn’t feel like home. She couldn’t find the unity she longed for anywhere she went. She moved back home on Long Island with her family. So without any other options she figured she would enroll at Suffolk Community College.
“ You have to talk to Malika Lockheart”. Charmain Remy, Latoya’s mother insisted. So Latoya set up an appointment with Malika who works on campus; as an admissions counselor. It was the day of her appointment and she walked in and met Malika. Who right away looked and talked in a manner that was inspiring. Malika was trying to convince Latoya to join extra curricular activities here on the campus. “ I didn’t want to join anything here at Suffolk. I liked Malika but I didn’t want to join any more clubs. Up to this point I was sick of trying new things. All they did was just leave me feeling empty”, Latoya said.
Malika was wise and she was proud and she asked Latoya to come and check out her club. “ We help each other and others, it is a club for everyone. Not just African-Americans, its open and anyone and everyone is welcome. it’s a place where everyone can take pride in African culture”. Malika said about the African-American Culture Club.
After talking to Malika, Latoya went to check out the club, she was shocked to find. How homey and comfortable it was there. So she kept coming and slowly becoming apart of the club. “ I felt at home, it was a place where we reflect on our day and get things done. We help others by put together benefits. We are planning a lot this year! We will be planning benefits, to help many people. I want to try to have a fundraiser for Katrina and maybe an African Fashion show”. Latoya said while talking about upcoming events.
After being in the club for a while Latoya can say she found a place to express, learn and become a part of helping others. Not to mention she is now the president of the club. She was voted to be president by her fellow club members. She is finally in a place where she can help others, learn and be a apart of something that helps her feel at home. For those of you who are interested, in joining or checking out this club. The African-American Culture Club meets on Wednesdays, from 11:00 to 12:15. In room 108, in the Islip Arts building. They have a Facebook page which you can find on Facebook, under AASU Selden. Latoya is encouraging anyone who feels or has felt as she did; or anyone who feels like they need a place to feel at home. To come and be apart of something more than just an extracurricular activity. To find a sense of not only culture but of awareness.
Directors Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer who are popularly known for such Sub-genre satires as ‘Scary Movie’ haven’t moved forward from their moderately long string of disasters including their 2008 ‘Disaster Movie’.
Their film ‘Vampires Suck,’ a parody of the ‘Twilight” series by Stephenie Meyer is not only a disaster, but a hilarious one. It is so terrible, yet so true. It intensifies some of the nonsense of ‘Twilight’, and it truly but cruelly brings to light the fact that one of America’s top-selling series has simply become a sick obsession for some of its fans.
The parody ‘Vampires Suck’ truly did suck. It received a 6 percent rating on Rottentomatos.com. The original 2008 ‘Twilight’ received a 50 percent rating. In the film, characters are given creative spoof names which are similar to their original names in the ‘Twilight’ film. Bella Swan becomes Becca Crane, Edward Cullen becomes Edward Sullen, and Jacob Black becomes Jacob White. The plot consisted of scattered moments from the first two ‘Twilight’ films where the director believed puns could be inserted, and scattered tidbits of pop culture could be included in attempt to add more humor. For example, when Bella does the whole ‘I know what you are’ scene from the original ‘Twilight,’ her guess is ‘the Jonas Brothers’ instead of a vampire. Then in attempt to make that scene even more comical when he tries to explain to Bella that he is a killer, he shoots Alice from ‘Alice in Wonderland’ to prove his point.
At first these random scenes were sort of funny, but when they continued, it just became embarrassing to watch.
“I thought the movie ‘Vampires Suck’ was bad, but I also found it kind of funny, too. It brought to attention how silly the ‘Twilight’ movies actually are. Hopefully, others also see that while watching it,” said theatre major Jose Garcia.
America is becoming so obsessed with the ‘Twilight’ series that the ‘Edward Cullen’ has become a well-known hair style, and parents are even naming their children after their favorite characters. Cullen, the surname of Edward leaped almost 300 spots from the 2008 popular boy’s name list according to the Social Security Administration’s Annual Rundown of most popular names for newborns; however, Vampire Cullen has a slick competitor, his rival Jacob Black the wolf. Jacob is currently the most popular boy’s name on the list , and we can’t forget about Isabella Swan the indecisive lover.
The most common name for female newborns is Isabella, and Bella her nickname is placed number 58 on the chart.
“Twilight has very strong messages that I don’t agree with, and I don’t think society should be responding to in the way it is. To name a child because of a certain character out of respect for his/her actions is understandable, but what has Bella done? She doesn’t go to college. She gives up any semblance of a normal life for a boy. If you take Edward out of the equation, Bella has no friends, no income, and no real personality in my opinion. Her biggest decision in life is whether to choose one boy or another, and this is the decision that will impact her life the most. As for Edward I think it places unrealistic expectations on guys. I mean, are they really supposed to be able to physically stop a speeding Volvo with their bare hands and not get a scratch,” said Journalism major Pamela Cori.
The obsession doesn’t stop there. Large arrays of ‘Twilight’ supplies are not only found in places where most would anticipate them to be like in movie rental stores or bookstores. Shelves in various stores and supermarkets are filled to their brim with ‘Twilight’ folders, backpacks, lunch boxes, fangs, underwear, buttons, posters, life-sized cardboard shrines, and even shirts that say Team Edward or Team Jacob on them.
Kids are wearing ‘Twilight’ backpacks and fangs, and young teenage girls are worshiping their life-sized cardboard Edward Cullen. People of all ages are going vampire crazy. People are becoming so vampire crazy that the entertainment industry has even caught on.
After ‘Twilight’ gained so many fans ‘True Blood’ and ‘Vampire Diaries’ came out to ride its coat tails. Several other movies that are vampire-related also have been released this past year like ‘The Vampires Assistant’, ‘Day Breakers’, and ‘Transylmania’ another vampire spoof. America has had obsessions in the past that have simply turned into memorable fads. In the 1990’s for example ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’, ‘Jaws’, and ‘Friday the 13th’, were so popular that many sequels followed. On top of that, there were tons of children that dressed as Freddy Krueger or Jason for Halloween. Also, in the 1970’s the ‘Rocky Horror Picture Show’ was the young adult obsession for a long time. America’s new fad seems to be sparkly vampires, but just in case keep garlic and sun glasses handy for your own sake.