Monthly Archives: April, 2011

Paving the Way to Safety

By Taylor Baker

College campuses across the country experience  public safety problems. Is Suffolk County Community College prepared for a situation in regards to sexual harassment, theft, and assault. 

The SCCC safety brochure discusses precautions, possible crimes to be aware of, and what to do if one occurs. All members of the college community are encouraged to report any and all suspicious activity they may observe while on campus. Individuals may report any activity to public safety officers on patrol or they can contact the office of public safety.

Beatriz Ezquivel, a sophomore on campus, when asked how the campus officials handle patrolling the school, said, “They do a decent job, especially in the parking lots, because they’re always patrolling.”

At Suffolk some prevention tips to keep in mind, especially when walking alone in the parking lots, are to have a key ready when getting ready to go home, and walk to any vehicle with others. However, students feel that the parking lots are safe. “For late classes campus security are patrolling the lots at night to make sure you get safely to your car.” Said Ezquivel.

Reports from the SCCC safety brochure show a chart of crime statistics. The report states that on the Grant campus in 2008 there was 1 forcible sex offence on campus in 2008, 17 burglaries in 2007, 15 in 2008, and 2 in 2009. In 2007 and 2009 there was 1 motor vehicle theft and the list goes onto other crimes. As for the Ammerman and Eastern campuses, 0 crimes were committed in the three years, 2007- 2009.

Kevin Haley, a sophomore student, exclaimed, “Students need to be aware of their surroundings in any circumstance, whether it be in the school parking lots or in the school itself.”

Students who have witnessed or experienced any problems regarding public safety are asked to seek an officer and/or a SCCC staff member. Public safety officials will take care of the situation, which is located in the shinnecock building, room 120 located on the Eastern campus. The number is (631) 548-3636, in which a message can be left and they will receive the call. In Ammerman a guard booth operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Guard Booth is located off College Road near the bus stop. The number to call is (631) 451-4242. As for the Grant campus the public safety office is located in the North Cottage adjacent to Captree Commons. The Number to the Grant campus public safety office is (631) 851-6777.

SCCC has an Emergency Response Team (ERT). The ERT is responsible for responding to emergency situations. In the event of a serious emergency, when there is an imminent threat to the community, public safety officers are on duty. Depending on the situation, it is the policy of the college to notify 911, and eventually be in touch with the director of public & fire Safety, who will begin the necessary communications to the campus community.

“For the safety of the students, including myself, if there was a chance that someone potentially dangerous was on campus I would want to know right away.” Commented Nicole Canovas, age 22.

A third semester student, Nick Lane, asserted, “I think they have excellent security procedures and although I never had any personal need for the security yet, it’s reassuring to know that they’re there.”

The technologies used by SCCC to communicate with the college community include New York Alert, public systems, administrative message alerts, college e-mail, the college web page and telephone messaging, both calls and texts to make Suffolk a safe environment to be in.

Hidden Addictions Surface on Campus

By Katherine Lloyd

  
After a recent drug-bust in Suffolk county, resulting in the arrest of 23 suspected heroin dealers, students and employees of Suffolk County Community College are aware of the epidemic circulating through the community.

According to CBS news, District Attorney Tom Spota has been on this case for some time. This past January, Spota obtained the location of the “stash house” in Queens, and noted the infiltration of drug trafficking within the county. While heroin addiction is prevalent within this suburb, it has not been the only dependency exposed on the Ammerman campus of SCCC.

Mike Ingenito, of the custodial staff on the Ammerman campus, explained the paraphernalia he has discovered while performing his nightly tasks at the school. Ingenito stated that he had been discovering beer cans, which were jammed into the feminine napkin dispensers in the ladies room of the Islip Arts building.

“It’s been happening once or twice a week,” Ingenito mentioned.
      
In a more apparent case of alcohol abuse on campus, Ingenito recalls finding a young woman nearly passed out in the hallway of the Islip Arts building.

“She must have been about 19, it was her first semester here,” expressed Ingenito. He then continued, “I asked if she was going to be sick, she said no. The next thing I know she was vomiting all over the hallway.”
      
He went on to explain that after he called upon the aid of a school nurse, he came to find out that this young woman was pregnant, and indeed drunk in the hallway.

“She could have been just hiding the fact that she was pregnant, I believe she said her mother had no idea. I have no clue as to why she’d be drinking,” noted Ingenito.
      
In other cases of evident addiction-related issues at SCCC, Soutara Vongsoury, student and college aid at the school, has witness students using drugs inside their vehicles.

“I would say the most frequently used drug at Suffolk would be marijuana, but it is beyond that,” stated Vongsoury. “I look outside of the NFL building (where I work), and see students inhaling and sniffing things, then go off to class. Most people wouldn’t notice but I know exactly what they are doing.”
      
This was not the only instance where security guards and employees of the school have been oblivious to the outright use of narcotics before their very eyes.

“There was a kid in my English class who was clearly a heroin addict. He would nod off in class, and the only person who didn’t seem to suspect anything was the professor.” Vongsourt then added, “After he stopped showing up for class, it turned out he was battling a heroin addiction. I think the only person surprised by this, once again, was the professor.” She also expressed the excessive use of prescription pills by many of her peers, and how this particular addiction is something that is easily concealed.
      
There is a clear understanding that some may be oblivious to the substance abuse problems many college students struggle with, but there are cases where the issue has been acknowledged, and nothing was done. Toddy Merrotta, current employee at the SCCC writing center, and former student recalls a situation when she was attending classes at the college.
      
“I would constantly smell pot on other people, but sometimes students appeared to be on something stronger,” stated Merrotta. “I remember there was a student completely out of it, and he stated that he was on Percocet, and the professor just laughed. I couldn’t believe it.” Merrotta also acknowledged that this could be the result of the social acceptance of many prescription pills in modern society.
      
As a result of the January drug-bust, members of the community have become aware of the existing problem within the county. As issues arise on the Ammerman campus, students appear to be most conscious of drug and alcohol issues their peers face. The regulations for narcotic usage on campus are listed on the school’s web site, and abide by federal law; enforcing the rules is optional.

Lack Of Enforcement

 By. Jennifer White

Driving at the college has become a major safety risk. The lack of enforced rules regarding vehicles is a very much ignored issue. “The speed limit at the college is 15 miles per hour, if everyone went 15 miles per hour people would be more cautious of things happening around them. The problem is that a majority of the students and staff do not do 15 miles per hour”. Stated, Alyssa Antola who is a student at the college. Students and staff simply don’t have to do the speed limit; because speed is not enforced at the college.

“It seems as though, the only people getting ticketed are the students who park in staff parking spaces”. Stated Tara Menten who is a student at the college. The lack of enforcement on speed is just one of the problems, another issue is vehicle registration. Most students on campus don’t have their vehicles registered. According to http://www.sunysuffolk.edu/forms/Policies, “all vehicles on campus must be registered, and if you are using an unregistered vehicle, you must get a temporary parking pass”. Most students have never even heard about temporary parking passes on campus. When asked if he has ever heard of or seen a temporary parking pass, Suffolk student John Queen said, “I have no idea what they are, I have never even heard of them”. John was not the only one. Not one of the 23 students I then went on to ask knew anything about this policy. Most students don’t even know they have to have their vehicles registered. And the other half doesn’t care to register their vehicles. “Why would the students register their vehicles if it’s not mandatory? I mean there are no repercussions if they don’t”; Said Dan Patterson, a student at the college.

According to, http://www.sunysuffolk.edu/forms/Policies, it states, “The following Traffic and parking regulations are designed for the safety, of all of the members of the college community. We ask that your cooperation in complying with them and all other campus policies and procedures. Thank you for your cooperation. The college state that they ask for cooperation but that doesn’t mean you have cooperate. The college needs to demand that people do these things. If they demand that students register vehicles or they will be fined. Then there most likely wouldn’t be very many unregistered vehicles on campus. Unregistered vehicles are a safety concern because that means that anyone can park and come on the campus. No one would even know they didn’t belong here, and they could possibly be a security threat. According to, http://www.sunysuffolk.edu/forms/Policies, it states the fines you will receive for speeding, not stopping at stop signs and many other things. The fines go from 10 to 100 dollars, but it isn’t being very well enforced.

 These are just a few of the driving problems on this campus; the main problem is the lack of enforcement. Also the lack of knowledge about all these rules is a big problem. Many students have no idea that many of these policies even exist. “The students need better informing and the college needs to step up the enforcement of these issues”; stated matt Clunie a student at the college.

Professor can’t stand the heat (literally)

By Victoria Sacino

Meteorology Professor Scott Mandia gave a lecture on global warming at 7:30 p.m. Friday night at Suffolk County Community College. Professor Mandia presented “Climate Change is Not Being Kind to Mother Nature” as part of the Earth & Science lecture series to a crowd of about 100 people.

The crowd was composed of many different age groups which ranged from children to older adults. The majority of the crowd was composed of young adults, who were either required to attend the lecture for a class or were attending for extra credit.

Professor Mandia brought up many key points concerning global warming, such as the following: what he believes to be the cause of global warming, what we can expect for the future, and the devastating impacts that could occur if people don’t start taking action. The cause of global warming, according to Mandia, is humans. Humans are responsible for the widespread of harmful emissions.

 “The planet is getting warmer, and humans are primarily responsible because we are overloading the air with carbon,” Mandia said. “This carbon is causing less heat to leave the planet which, in turn, is warming the oceans, surface, and atmosphere.”

As for what to expect by the end of the century, the world will look much different compared to today’s world—for example, no rain forests will remain. Devastating impacts, including animal extinctions, will occur, such as part of the United States becoming submerged in water. Many people differ on this issue, but  Mandia said he doesn’t think it’s too late to change the current course of global warming.

Some people who attended appeared to find the information very interesting and informative, while others found it to be quite depressing.

“I don’t believe some of it,” said student Michael Polzella. “There are a lot of other natural things on the Earth that contribute to the problem we’re having, besides humans.”

If You See Something, Say Something

By Patrick Adams

Selden- Car thefts and car break-ins is an unknown and increasing threat to the students of Suffolk County Community College. This problem is going unnoticed because there are no flyers or announcements anywhere on campus that warns the students of potential dangers regarding their cars.

Most college students drive older and rundown cars that can be easily broken into. With the hiring of Baycan Fideli as the schools public safety and fire director crime has still been rising and there is still no announcements or warnings about fire or public safety. However he has implicated a few crime preventing acts since he was hired, and he has goals and ideas on how to fight this ongoing battle with criminals.

Since this year started there has been four confirmed car thefts and since car break-ins is in a different category of crime he was unaware of the number of break-ins. This number of car thefts jumped from the one they had last year that is an increase of 75 percent.

All four cars that were stolen were Honda Civics, because older versions of the Honda Civics he said that those cars are easy to steal and most of them do not have low jack or alarms that make it even easier. That doesn’t mean if you don’t drive a Honda that you have nothing to worry about.

The Directors hiring of an unknown number of undercover officers to try and catch and prevent threats to the students is one of the acts Fideli has done since the beginning of the semester. “It’s all about timing.” Fideli stated “these guys are good, all they need is 7-10 seconds to break in to your car.” he believes with the help of his officers and the students this problem can be prevented. If you see something say something is his unofficial slogan for this campaign and asks the students to call 311 if they see anything out of the ordinary anywhere on campus.

 “Lock up your car” Fideli said “and don’t have your personal belongings like purses visible so the criminals have a reason to break into your car.” 80 percent of car break-ins are preventable if only the student locks their cars and hiding their valuables. Fideli was explaining.

This effort to stop car thefts is not only being worked on by public safety, the Suffolk County Police Department is also on the job. SCPD is now the lead for this problem, however this is a team effort and the public safety officials are still a major part in making your college experience a safe one.