Monthly Archives: November, 2010

Charm of Downey, Strength of Iron Man 2

By Alexander Helisek

The first words that come to mind when Robert Downey Jr. is discussed, would be his boyish charm, and sweet arrogance, which is displayed yet again in his latest action-adventure-movie Iron Man 2.   This being the second installation in what seems to soon be a series of movies, has more explosions, more machines, and more cleverly placed puns than its predecessor.  With the addition of Samuel L Jackson to the already All-Star cast lineup, there is nothing but improvement  in this feature film.

Robert Downey Jr. really fills the shoes of what an action hero should be in Hollywood, which is a tale as old as time.  We can look back to the days of Sean Connery being James Bond, or Harrison Ford playing Indiana Jones, all of which have the same likeable characteristics.  Also, to many viewers they are attracted to them by their wit and charm.  The special effects department of this movie has really outdone itself when it comes to visuals in this film, as some of them are so realistic it’s hard for the moviegoers to even see what is made with blue screen, and what was actually used in real life.

The new nemesis which was introduced, Mickey Rourke, can be seen as a man who has a dream in which is own mind could work within society, however it turns out that like many other villains, is just as psychotic as the rest.  I believe a stellar performance was placed into this film and that people will be raving about it for this season.

The movie goes through a series of changes at it progresses, and just shows how billionaire Business man Richard Starks is able to maintain his suit, which he says he is“One” with, and will not sell the blueprints to the army who is desperately trying to get their hands on this manufacturing product.  However, an alternative source comes about by Mickey Rooney, teaming up with Sam Rockwell (aka Justin Hammer) to create new machines that are somewhat like the Iron Man model, but of course without the power and technique as produced by Starks.  Action packed, and fraught with witty commentary and explosive scenes, this sequel I do feel tries to top its predecessor with action which can seem a bit much at times, possibly even said to be a drag on for the movie, but in my mind it is a very thin line, and they walked it perfectly.

Don Cheadle, (aka Lt. James “Rhody” Rodes) plays a well done performance as Iron Man’s side kick in this film, which is always necessary when you bring out the sequel to a movie.  Batman had Robin, The Penguin had Cat woman, and in this  has Rhodes, although not  as compatible as some of the others it still works in a somewhat humorous and serious way.

The lifestyle of Starks is one that can be admired to many of the viewers, which was seen in the last movie as well.  Being a billionaire there isn’t much that won’tmaking any viewer jealous anywhere from the beautiful house he lives in overlooking the bay, or his right hand girl (Gwenyth Paltrow) who is beautiful as always.  Not only are the automobiles that he drives amazing to look at, the weapons which can be seen in the film will literally blow you away.  I found it particularly cool when Mickey Rourke puts on his suit and he has created his own little improvements to the iron man suit, which I will not continue to describe, because I believe strongly against spoilers.

Iron Man 2, which was released on May 7th 2010, has made over 312.1 Milliondollars in revenue since it has been in theaters, to the new amount it will collect now that it has recently been released on Blue Ray and DVD video.  Written by Justin Theroux and Stan Lee it has been placed with dialogue that is noticeably suitable for each of the characters to make an enjoyable action adventure flick.  With Stan Lee at the helm of the ship, he being the creator of the iron man comics and character in the first place, was given the right direction by Jon Fauverux to lead the film into a  non-forgetable experience for all viewers young and old.

Overall, with the action sequences tending to be somewhat drawn out, the likeness of Robert Downey Jr. and sinister acting of Mickey Rourke.  This film in my opinion would have to be a sequel that was at the level, but falls just slightly short of its predecessor due to the material not being as new and fresh to the viewers. 

I would rate this film 8/10.   But this is just my opinion of course, go and check it out for yourselves, and enjoy the  film .

Student Enrollment Increase Overpowers the Financial Aid Office

By Colleen Maidhof

Once a new semester approaches students who are in desperate need of the financial aid office can only shutter from the well-known sight of the generously long line that leads to it. Cramped mobs of students wrap around the financial aid office for questions, approval of student loans, and financial Aid applications that need to be dealt with before the new semester begins. The question is what causes such a frustratingly long line?

Suffolk County Community College has more students flowing in than ever due to the current position of the US economy. An increase of around 450 students this semester is making the college experience at Suffolk troublesome for many. With such large quantities of students not only is there a deficiency of parking spots and classroom space, but the lines leading to financial aid and registrar have also exceeded their limit. Lines to financial aid have become so monstrous that they have ascended out into the hallways.

One could compare this wait to a wait at the DMV’s. After waiting a good half an hour on the line to the financial aid office the impatient are likely to walk out the door with displeased looks in frustration. Unfortunately situations like impatient students making a run for it is what you hope for while waiting on the line. To avoid the ultimate test of your patience, some questions you may have can be answered on the phone and on the SCCC website. However; the information that can be acquired over the phone is only general information. On the website in the financial aid section, you can browse through frequently asked questions by other students that have answers provided. These two alternatives can be helpful to some, but the limited information that you can acquire from these alternatives cannot replace an actual person knowledgeable of financial aid information that you should have easy access to. 

Students who are unaware of the chaos of financial aid services can run into a dead end when it comes to being able to afford their classes, textbooks, and class expenses for their upcoming semester. Students who are unable to afford their upcoming semester because of their lack of financial aid may be forced to drop out, to beg family members and friends for money, or they may need to make some extreme sacrifices especially with the increased tuition.

With the increased enrollment of students not only is it making student life more difficult, it is making the very few financial aid administrators lives a living nightmare. They are beyond outnumbered by students. It is hundreds against a handful. They are constantly getting attitudes by frustrated students, complaints, phone calls, and plus they are drowning in paperwork that needs to be processed on a timely basis. The wait for student loans has also increased a good amount. Loans can take up to one month to be processed fully due to student growth that needs them and the overwhelmed financial aid administration. That is an intense wait for those who need of a loan right away.

It is easy to blame the US economy these days on almost anything and everything. Sure SCCC has more students enrolled, but the wait for financial aid that seems to take forever and a day is not the population of student fault alone. The problem is clearly the lack of financial aid administration.

When you walk to the financial aid office you can see that the staff members in that department are few in number. To balance out the enrollment increase, staff members also need to increase, so that they work more quickly and more efficiently. More workers will prevent forms from piling up and student lines from wrapping around the building. The solution is pretty simple. It is hard to believe it hasn’t been done yet. The addition of one more staff member could make a difference for everyone.

Something desperately needs to be done to end this frustration. If staff members do not increase something else needs to be done to organize the monster of a line of students. It needs to be done for everyone’s well-being, and for safety purposes. Too many students in a cramped area is a disaster waiting to happen.

College Prepares for Shark Attack

By Patrick Adams

In the fall 2011 Suffolk Community College will officially have transformed from the Clippers into the Sharks. A Committee was organized to pick the new name for the college, and finally they made the choice and also made the choice to have the students pick the new Shark logo that will be on every jersey, T-shirt, sweatshirt, and on all the Scoreboards on campus. The committee that selected the name included students, faculty and administrators. “The college is going through a transition to one athletic program college wide,” Sam Braunstein College Director of Athletics who was on the committee to change the name said when asked why this change is happening. “The baseball team will be the first to sport the new team name in the spring,” Braunstein noted.  “We will gradually transition to new uniforms and equipment when the new budget comes out.”

Out of about a dozen designs the committee picked the final 3 and are now leaving it up too the students to pick. “I don’t like change.” Lorin Iovino, a freshman at the Brentwood campus said. “What’s wrong with the clippers? I liked that name,” Iovino said. “I will not vote nor will I even look at the designs,” Was the last thing Iovino said before storming off to class.

 But for Jessica Scazzuso it’s the complete opposite. “I love that Suffolk is going to be one school and not three,” Scazzuso said. “The Sharks sounds much better than the clippers anyway. And the designs look great, I voted for the blue shark,” Scazzuso noted. “Since its one school now maybe they will have buses to and from each campus for classes and for sporting events.”

 From a small survey of fifty students on which logo will win, the blue shark won by a big margin. The time to vote is running out, from now until the 12th of November students and faculty can cast their vote for their favorite design. To cast your vote log onto MySCCC and follow the instructions and be a part of Suffolk County Community College history. Some of the students at Suffolk do not agree or support the change but when we asked Sam Braunstein about that, he said “Most people do not like change, but this change will grow on people.” To see which logo will be chosen go to MySCCC on November 22nd and to see your new Suffolk County Community college Sharks in action. To see how the new colors and logo look, be sure not to miss the baseball team’s first game in their new uniforms against Mercer Community College on Friday march 11, 2011.

Loan Applications Flood the Financial Aid Office

By Brandon Mazzei

It has been no secret that enrollment at Suffolk County Community
College has been on the rise in recent years. Each semester the human
traffic at Suffolk seems to rise substantially, continuously testing
the effectiveness of Suffolk’s resources. While it appears to be
business as usual for most, many students have discovered the horrors
of an institution not prepared to shoulder the excessive workload.

Suffolk’s Financial Aid office has been the subject of much scrutiny
from students lately, as excessive waits have interfered with
students’ ability to effectively secure information regarding
Financial Aid applications, as well as the approval of student loans.
Long lines, even longer waits to have a loan application evaluated,
and the office’s inability to release personal information over the
phone have hindered the progress of the Financial Aid program in
recent months.

“We’ve seen a very large increase in student aid applicants during the
past two academic years” notes Katie Briscoe, the Director of
Financial Aid. “Among those applicants, many require special handling
due to a change in their family’s financial circumstances, i.e.,
parent loss of earnings, etc.”

Recent economic decay has further complicated the process, forcing
those who work in the Financial Aid office to further evaluate
applications that previously would not have been accepted, with a
parental loss of earnings being the most common reason for such
extensive handling. Indeed, the dwindling economy has funneled
prospective students into community colleges at an astonishing rate.

According to Suffolk’s Official Enrollment Comparison Report, the
Ammerman campus at Suffolk alone has noted an increase of roughly 450
students from the fall 2009 semester to the fall 2010 semester. These
new students have done little to ease the congestion of the Financial
Aid office, bringing with them an entirely new set of issues and
applications that must be sorted through.

Student loans, which are often the lifeblood of students struggling to
make ends meet while pursuing a higher education, have taken on
average 3-4 weeks to complete in the past. This year, the wait has
increased to 5-6 weeks on average, with some loans requiring over two
months for processing. This has thrown a wrench in the collective
plans of students looking for monetary relief during the Fall Semester
at Suffolk.

“The increase in student enrollment has had a direct impact on the
number of loan requests” explained Briscoe. “During peak periods,
upwards of 30-40 per day were received.”

Receiving an upwards of 30 loan applications a day during a time of
increased traffic at the Financial Aid office has provided a daunting
task for its employees. Fortunately, Suffolk is constantly looking for
solutions to the challenges that plague students, and have hired
additional help to shoulder the excessive workload and provide relief
for overworked Financial Aid representatives.

“Fortunately, we were given a new counseling line in September and our
new counselor has been “learning the ropes” in order to assist the
other four full-time professionals” explained Briscoe.

Students are hoping that appointment of an additional Financial Aid
representative will ease both waits to speak with members of the
office, as well as shorten the time in which loan requests are
processed. While many students were forced to endure college life
without the assistance of a student loan for the first couple of
months at Suffolk, most are hopeful that next semester order will be
restored and all will be well.

That is, if recent trends regarding the inverse relationship between a
failing economy and a growing community college don’t persist.

Youth Vote Dwindles in Recent Elections

By Matthew Kogut

The foundation of the United States of America was built on a democracy, it was how the Declaration of Independence came about and how the Constitution was written. Now this article is not here to teach you a thing or two about American history or politics but the meaning of a democracy is that the citizens get the opportunity to speak out against their government. One of those ways occurs once a year. The first Tuesday after the first Monday in November is Election Day and Americans are encouraged to vote. What is not so encouraging is the numbers of today’s youth when it comes to hitting the polls. The 26th Amendment was ratified in 1971 to allow people to vote at the age of 18. Where are they?

According to a study done by a Suffolk County Community College (SCCC) student journalist the day before election day, shows out of 85 people polled aged 18-26, 36 percent of them were likely to vote the next day. In a similar survey done after Election Day by the author of this article, out of 66 people that were polled from age 18-27, just 27 percent of them actually went out and voted.

“We don’t have a draft,” said June Lang, associate professor of social science, “That was a push then from those who didn’t want to go to Vietnam. What is the push now?”  As per CNN, in New York, for the United States Senate seat, out of about 17,500 respondents, only five percent of those ages 18-24 came out to vote between Charles Schumer and Jay Townsend. Out of nearly 1,800 of respondents for the Governor’s seat, those who are between the ages of 18-29 comprised of just 13 percent of the vote. But why did so many young people choose not to vote?

“No I didn’t vote this year,” said Jill Mackiewicz, 21, majoring in liberal arts. “To be honest, I don’t know anything about the candidates prior to election day, or even now.”

“I didn’t vote this year due to a limit on time and the busy schedule,” said Connie, a 21-year-old nursing major at SCCC. She chose not to give her last name.

According to The New York Times, the 2008 presidential election saw 22 percent of New Yorker’s came out to decide on who should be our next president. Still, the numbers of youth voting were not that high, mid-term elections generally see a lower turn-out in voters.“It was a good payoff for the millennial generation in 2008 because the younger generation got out and voted,” Lang said, “Student loans would not be as important in 2008 if not for the youth turnout.”

The millennial generation is referred to the generation born between the mid-1980’s and the mid-2000’s who have the increased familiarity of technology like cell phones and other hand held devices that could also easily connect to the internet, computers, and television with its vast array of channels. Social networks like Facebook, Myspace, and blogging all play into today’s millennial generation.

“There was instant information during the 2008 presidential campaign, there was a need to connect,” said Lang. “The youth showed an interest and their interests were addressed,” she included.

There is still that decline in youth voting with youth issues that still need to be addressed that might not be without young America voting.“It is important for young people of our age group to vote because we are built of mostly students struggling to pay off school loans and bills. We need government assistance a.s.a.p” said Mackiewicz. Lang also added that a higher college education and the cost of tuition is being paid for at the youth’s expense.

“I can relate to this age group of people. Some may believe their vote/voice doesn’t count or isn’t heard. If you want change, you should make it yourself,” said Connie.

“I just never registered for voting and I don’t have time,” said Silvia, 27, also a nursing student who chose not to give out her last name, “I didn’t even know who was running.” She also added there is a large population of America’s youth and voting is for their future and that they can make an impact on who gets elected.

“Government certainly won’t get any better if people don’t get involved. Young people can shape the atmosphere. They proved to be a force in the 2008 election,” said Lang.  Lang mentioned how politicians listen to those who vote. Students are just not showing up to vote which is why their issues are not being addressed. She also said how the youth of today is the counterpart to the elder vote.

Lice Spread through Suffolk County

By Barbara Donlon

Since the 1960’s head lice have increased nearly 80 percent. As of late, Suffolk County schools have been encountering Pediculus Humanus Capitis, better known as head lice. While head lice are common in children, the cases of lice that have been appearing in the schools are alarming. The actual truth about lice, and what it is, is misunderstood.

 While lice have been primarily seen in children, lately they have  been seen in people of all ages due to the spread. Each year, schools throughout the country see cases of lice.

According to Lice Fighters, a lice removal company, there are 6-12 million cases each year in the United States. While it’s typical to see a few cases of lice in schools each year, they are on the rise. Ereena Schwartz, a mom of three, says, “My youngest daughter got head lice when she was in kindergarten. My son, who is elementary school, never got it, but my eldest daughter who is in middle school got it because of visiting the elementary school.”

 There are many misconceptions about lice and their ability to travel off the human body and how they travel. Some quick facts about lice are; they don’t jump or fly, lice are unable to live off the human body for more than 48 hours, poor hygiene has nothing to do with lice, and the host won’t know until about two weeks after infestation that they have head lice.

 Robin Reynolds, a licensed practical nurse says, “Lice are not dangerous. Just make sure you catch them at the right time.”

 It has been proven that head lice are not dangerous because they don’t carry any diseases unlike body lice. You will also see head lice in girls rather than boys as girls have a four times higher chance of getting it than boys.

 Head lice are usually only seen on the head and scalp because they need the warmth that comes off the head to survive. They also survive by biting down on your scalp and sucking blood. This is what usually causes the itchiness that comes with head lice.

 The life cycle of head lice is a 4-5 week process. Lice eggs, which are formally known as nits, start on your head. The nits usually hatch a week after, and than they molt three  times over a period of 10 days. Around 2 ½ weeks, the males and the females begin to mate. A female is significantly larger than a male. Two days after mating, eggs are laid; the female lays 4 to 8 more eggs the next week before dying. The cycle will still continue until the head is treated.

 Head lice are spread from direct head to head contact; sharing hats, headbands, hair ties, and brushes. Head lice are also spread by bedding, and touching the hair of an infested person and than touching your own.

There is no one treatment for head lice, and unlike other problems, you can’t go to a doctor for this. Pharmacies sell products that are used to kill the lice, but a comb is needed to comb through the hair and take them out one by one. They sell lice shampoos, which kill the lice, but also can make the lice resistant to the shampoo.

 “I had to shampoo my daughter’s hair three to four times a day, to make sure I was getting everything. It took me a good three days to get rid of all of the lice in her hair,” says, Ereena Schwartz.

 In addition to the shampoos that are sold, they also make ‘lice repellent’ which is suppose to kept the lice away from your hair due to the citronella smell, but has no evidence to back it up.

 The only way you can protect yourself against head lice is to stay away from an affected person, and wear your hair up. Lice also do not like products such as gel, mousse and hair spray. It is also recommended to wash your hair with the lice shampoo at least once a week for a few weeks after infestation.

Fantasy or Nightmare

Fantasy FootballBy Jennifer White 

Many Football fans around the world have been looking all their lives for new ways to get into the game. Besides just watching the game on television, listening to the radio for scores or going to the stadium; sport goers want to become even more involved in the game. So when Fantasy football came into the lives of many football fans over thirty years ago, it was the next best way to get into the game. Fantasy football really hit its peek and got its biggest fan base about 10 years ago. It is a very big hobby in today’s society. Everywhere you go you hear about it, from all types of people. Men, women, adults and kids, it is a hobby for anyone with a passion for football. 

Are fantasy sports all it is made out to be?  Is it really as entertaining and fun as it seems? Yes, I would say it was.  I mean for many football fans it is what they spend most of their time doing. It is a pretty intense hobby; I mean it makes you feel like you’re really in the game. If you’re not setting line up’s and making your team as good as it can be you are trading players.  This makes you feel like your apart of the game.  It is a network of people acting as managers for their own hand picked teams. It starts out with a draft; this is where you each get a turn picking the players of your choice. This is the key part in the game, picking your favorite or best players. The only downside is sometimes someone snags your favorite player before you get a chance to pick. Other than that, you want to make sure you pick the best players with the best stats. I really was impressed how they had the stat’s listed next to each player. So if you don’t know much about football you still had a good chance of picking a descent player.

I liked how you could pick your own players and make your own team name and team logo. It makes it your own and I was fond of that.  I think the fact that it is so realistic makes it really satisfying, the amount of points your players get in a game determines your wins or losses. So now when you watch the games you’re not only watching for entertainment, you are watching on to root for your players and hope they do the best they can in order for you to get points. Each week you go against another person in your league. You do this until the fantasy playoffs begin and that’s when the top teams compete to see who will win it all. Sometimes there are money bets and the winner wins all the money that was bet.

  The only thing I personally didn’t like was the fact that you have to set your line up’s each time. I mean it’s not required but if you’re not going to set your line up’s why even bother playing. It’s just is too time consuming for my taste, I would prefer it to automatically put in the players that are playing. But, in the same argument, I have talked to fans that were a lot more into the games then me; who have said the line up setting is the whole point. It makes them feel more into the game, and that if it set’s its self, what’s the point. So that can be a positive or a negative depending on the person’s point of view. As well as depending on the amount of time they are willing to spend on the game.

There really isn’t anything negative I can say about fantasy football. If you like football and you like being in charge of a team; this would be a great hobby for you.  I would give it 9 out of 10 for sports fans. I think it’s very interactive between the player trading, the chatting between players and the setting of line ups. It is competitive and is perfect for football fans. Not that you have to be a football fan to play, it is for everyone but if you have not been involved before it can be a little complicated. Overall, I think fantasy foot ball is a great invention for fans. It is also a fantastic way to unite fans all over the world and get them into the game.

Student Plagiarists Beware

By Colleen Maidhof

In attempt to control student plagiarism, U.K academics proposed a strict plan. If they have their way, students worldwide could face a tax for cheating.

A Student Plagiarism Tariff has been presented by Peter Tennant, a Newcastle University research assistant, and Gill Rowell, academic adviser at plagiarismadvice.org. Their finalized version is to be launched at the Fourth International Plagiarism Conference in Newcastle.

 Plagiarismadvice.org, an advisory service formed a point-based system that deals with the penalties of those who plagiarize. Each offense equals a certain amount of points with a penalty, and as the points spike up so does the penalty. A greater penalty is given for each repeated offense.

An academic integrity policy and program that lists the penalties of those who plagiarize exists here on campus. However if a student decides to transfer from this two year college to another, it most likely will have a different set of penalties. This new college may have a more lenient or aggressive system. To equate all the different systems into one, the plagiarism tariff was proposed.

According to the Center for Academic Integrity, housed on the campus of Clemson University in South Carolina, “In a sample of 1800 students at nine universities 84 percent admitted to cheating on written assignments and 52 percent had copied a few sentences from a website without citing the source.”

When balancing work and a social life with college exams, essays, and term papers, it is likely that a frustrated student will search for the easy way out when possible. Copying, stealing, and purchasing words of others are tempting forms of plagiarism. A student may think plagiarism is their easy way out, but there are penalties when they are caught red handed.

Students and professors seem to have the same idea when it comes to why students plagiarize.

“Students plagiarize for two distinct reasons: a) to save time; b) to avoid failing owing to poor knowledge of the topic and poor writing skills,” said Professor Eriksson of the English Department.

“I believe most students plagiarize because they are too lazy to do the work themselves, they don’t care, and they think their professors aren’t really going to look into where their paper came from to make sure it wasn’t plagiarized,” said Early Childhood major Amanda Meyer”

When it comes to the most common form of plagiarism, students shine the spotlight on the internet.

Copying words off of the internet must be the most common form of student plagiarism. With a few words typed into the Google Search Engine, and a few clicks all their work is done for them, said Meyer.

Ghost-writing websites where students can purchase essays are readily available to anyone with an internet connection. I believe the internet has made it extremely easier to plagiarize. It being so easy makes it even more tempting, said Mike Reilly, Biochemistry major.

 “I think the internet may make it easier for students to have access to material they can plagiarize, but it’s actually made it harder for students to succeed in getting away with it because it’s easier for faculty to track down the original source. I don’t think many students are aware of the multitude of sites teachers have access to that detect plagiarism.” said Professor Gaete of the Communications department.

Is such a strict system a good idea? When it comes to the idea of the tariff expanding worldwide, both students and professors have different opinions.

“I believe the tariff should be adopted worldwide. It is a set way of dealing with plagiarists, and there isn’t just one strict rule. There are different consequences for different levels of the offense,” said Meyer. 

Another student also in favor of the idea says “Personally I believe a universal plagiarism system is a great idea. It allows all institutions to figure out exactly how to handle each situation rather then play it by ear” said Reilly

 “The tariff seems a bit complicated to me.  Could it be used worldwide?  I doubt it.  There are too many modifications available.  The more “points” there are for application, the more negotiation between student and teacher occurs.  The British may find it workable, but the American system doesn’t sweat the small stuff.  To award points for a missing quotation seems a bit fussy to me. To suppose that this is a problem that can be solved with points, or with any approach, is simply naïve,” explained Professor Eriksson of the English Department.

Overall, I think we as students need to be more educated about plagiarism, as well as warned by our professors. It is more likely a student who is not warned will commit the crime. They are more likely to fear that the professor is constantly checking when they are warned. I feel that some professors just give up with stopping plagiarism because plagiarism is constant, explained Reilly.