Monthly Archives: September, 2011

Irene wreaks havoc, forces class cancellation on opening day

Hurricane Irene left several trees and branches downed around campus. This tree, which once stood in front of the Norman F. Lechter building was removed by the campus clean-up crew.

By Joe Moyles

In the aftermath of Hurricane Irene,  all campus activities were canceled for the last weekend of August. This also included the very first day of classes which were scheduled to start on Aug. 29.

The make-up date for this class has been re-scheduled for Dec. 21. The C0llege released a campus brief regarding this cancellation of classes.

“With cancelled classes. It was, however, the absolutely correct decision,” stated James E. Sherwood, the Executive Dean of The Ammerman Campus.

Hurricane Irene wreaked havoc all along the east coast, and in some places did severe damage. The calls and texts from the College emergency alert system announced the closing of campuses on Friday, Aug. 26.

College President Shaun L. McKay made this decision based off of news briefings from the state and county emergency management teams and steady tracking of the storm’s progress. Even with an extra day to help with the clean-up of the campuses, it was still a huge amount of work and took a bit of extra support.

The speedy communication within theCollege allowed for the early cancellation of classes which gave the campus ample opportunity to create a safe environment for classes to resume Tuesday.

With the first day of classes known as ‘syllabus day’ cancelled, classes had to be pushed back one day later to Tuesday, Aug. 30. Although this may not seem like it would present much of a problem for the college’s professors, schedules had to be adjusted to best fit the new schedule for the semester. With the new class make-up dated added, professors have aligned their schedules to best help the students, and everyone has been informed. The students themselves have had varying opinions on the class cancellation as well.

“It’s nice having school off, but seriously, half the island had no power, and people were stuck at their houses,” said Sophomore Grace Wichrowski. “Tons of people were not making it to school that day,” she said.
Some students weren’t affected by the storm. Some feel they could have made it to class on Monday.

“Suffolk classes are always cancelled and seems like it can be an inconvenience for students” said Sopomore Matt Cohen of Islip Terrace.

“The cancellation had to happen” said Sohomore Frank Hayward, who lost power for four days due to the storm.

Student’s reactions certainly suggested that for many, Monday would have been a difficult day to make it to class.

Hurricane Irene’s Aftermath Leaves Clean-up Crews Busy

Clean up crews worked about 400 hours on the Ammerman campus removing fallen trees and branches.

By Taylor Baker

As of Sunday Aug. 28 Long Island braced for Hurricane Irene and so did The College. This was one of the worst Hurricanes the East Coast had seen in a while. After the storm cleanup efforts were underway.

“I called a meeting of the College’s emergency response team to discuss the College’s preparation for this storm. Topic areas we discussed included communications, staffing in the areas of public safety and plant operations in the event of a loss of utilities. Please be assured that the College will base its decisions during this period on what it considers to be in the best interest of protecting the safety of our students, faculty and staff,” said  College President Dr. Shaun L. McKay in a brief dissemenated through the College email system.

Two days later on Aug. 27 McKay sent another email.

“As Hurricane Irene has continued its track northward, and the College has been closely monitoring the storm’s progress… I have made the decision to cancel the first day of classes on Monday, Aug. 29. I believe cancelling classes on Monday will enable our plant operations staff to clean up our campuses following the storm and will also provide our students and staff with the increased ability to reach our campuses safely when classes resume,” he said.

Irene hit Sunday, Aug. 28, causing high winds, fallen trees, and damage to structures, and a lot of power outages. The College physical plant and maintenance crews  with the assistance of an outside tree removal company did the clean up for the Ammerman Campus.

“We were very fortunate no damage [was] done to any of the buildings. Just a number of trees fell–eight large trees and numerous branches and leaves,” said Ammerman Campus Plant Operations Director Ed Benz . “We had one tree fall on the NFL Building with minimal damage, ” he said.

Eight staff members were on the Ammerman campus on Sunday and Monday with a sufficient amount of vehicles, which was a full staff. Nine staff member stayed for overtime as the clean up continued into Tuesday and Wednesday. The crews spent approximately 400 hours on clean up all together.

The crews didn’t have to wait for LIPA to fix the lines before working on any trees because as  Benz said, “The Ammerman Campus never lost power. We were very fortunate. Again, most of the trees fell on the roadways or in areas where no damage occurred.”

With power outages on the minds of students, they were pleased with the school’s response to the storm’s clean up, as well as the fact that they had no classes on that Monday.

“I was very happy with how the school acted. It would have been difficult for people to park on Tuesday with tree limbs in parking spots; it’s hard enough trying to get a spot in the first place. I was also happy to hear they closed the school Monday,” said Doug Baum who is in his fourth semester at the College.

In a later email on Monday Aug. 29 McKay stated Long Island had a date with Irene. What a way to begin the semester, with cancelled classes… that was the absolutely correct decision. The brief mentioned that McKay extended the College’s thanks to the men and women from various College departments who worked all weekend to keep the college up and running.

Cars 2 Comes to Grant Night at the Movies

By Alexander Corrigan

Critically acclaimed animated feature “Cars 2” comes to the Sagtikos-Van Nostrand theatre on the Grant campus on Friday,  Sept. 16 at 7:30 pm.

The sequel to the wildly successful Cars follows the fast-paced exploits of Lightning McQueen and his bumbling sidekick tow-truck Mater. This new film takes the duo across the streets of Japan and Europe in the first ever World Grand Prix in order to find and crown the world’s fastest car. Mater, however, gets caught up in the clandestine world of international espionage as the road begins to take twists and turns never expected.

The sequel promises a brand new action packed story, complete with new twists and turns and excitement. An all-new all-car cast is complete with secret agents, menacing villains and international racing superstars. A stellar all-star cast including Owen Wilson and Larry the Cable Guy, reprising their roles as McQueen and Mater, voices the movie. New additions include Cheech Marin, Michael Caine, NASCAR’s Jeff Gordon, Bruce Campbell, Peter Jacobsen, John Turturro and Tony Shalhoub.

The movie will begin at 7:30pm at the Sagtikos- Van Nostrand theatre on the Grant Campus in Brentwood. The campus is located off exit 52 on the LIE on Crooked Hill Road. Once on campus the theatre is located adjacent to Parking Field Two, to the right of the parking lot, to the left of the Crooked Hill Road entrance.

The film will be free but there will be a suggested donation of non-perishable food items, like canned foods, for the campus food pantry.

For any further information or questions please contact the campus activities office at (631) 851-6702.

Irene Leaves Long Island in Shambles, Leaves LIPA in the Dark

By Alexander Corrigan

Topical storm Irene blew into New York with an unparalleled fury, making landfall around 9 a.m. on Aug. 28 and causing billions of dollars worth of damage. 

The damage caused by the storm is monumental, an estimated $10 billion in the United States, including nearly one billion in damages here in New York state alone. The scene was something from a disaster movie; there were toppled trees, downed power lines, crushed houses and completely destroyed automobiles littering the streets. The flooding was enough to have small cars float away and made the roads only suitable for kayaks and jet-skis as a means of transportation. A reported 400,000 power outages on Long Island, left roughly 500,000 people and whole towns without power. In some instances the damages were irreparable, like cars pinned and crushed by 60-70 foot tall oak and maple trees. 

The moments that lead up to the storm were equally as chaotic on Long Island. Lines at the gas stations spilled into the streets, the gas stations that still had gas that is. The supermarkets were overcrowded with doomsday revelers spending their final moments procuring as many canned goods and ready to eat meals as their shopping carts could manage to fit. The picture painted by and for Long Island residents resembled something from a Michael Bay movie where the destruction of the earth wasn’t merely a question but was basically assured. This is how Irene greeted Long Island. 

The aftermath was severe, but nothing the resolve of New Yorkers couldn’t overcome. One troubling fact was the power, Long Island became crippled by Irene and her path of destruction, and then we were left in the dark. 

In times of emergency Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) hires recent retirees to help increase man power and manage the destruction. Islip resident Arthur Lawton received this call a few days before Irene was expected to make landfall. He was told to report to the Uniondale Marriott, which is where he was based, to receive his instructions and meet his team. His instructions were simple, follow basic emergency protocol and act fast to repair the most affected areas on Long Island. The task at hand was quite daunting, considering the large scale of power outages and the excessive damage. This task was further complicated on the Monday following the storm as the winds were still whipping too hard. With the weather still too dangerous for LIPA employees to be suspended 50 feet in the air in a Cherry-picker (a work vehicle with a hydraulic arm and bucket) or hanging from a power line, the crews and their leaders sat in the Uniondale Marriott waiting for their orders. 

Even Suffolk Community College did its part to help the storm effort; college president Dr. Shaun McKay opened the Brentwood campus to set up a temporary shelter for the hundreds of LIPA and National Grid employees. Dr. McKay opened the campus in an attempt to help the community regain power.

“We believe our effort will help support everyone’s goal of returning power to Suffolk’s neighborhoods and restoring a sense of normalcy in the lives of our residents,” said McKay. Suffolk County Legislature presiding officer William J. Lindsay added, “This is yet another excellent example of what an essential part of our community the college is.”

In the immediate aftermath of the storm local authorities’ main objective was to clear the roadways of downed trees and other debris. Again to further complicate the clean up nothing could be cleared until LIPA deemed it was not dangerous and had not affected the power lines. This further slowed LIPA’s response time and left thousands of Long Islanders with out power for longer. 

Unfortunately the vast majority of Long Islanders did not share these sentiments. Many residents especially in hard hit areas like Smithtown, St. James and Port Jefferson were left without power for several days. St. James resident Thomas Hernandez claims to have a generator running “Non-stop for four days” just to power up a refrigerator and lamp. SCCC student and Nesconset resident Jack Massaro lost power for two days and had a flooded basement, but no power to pump out the water or turn on fans to dry his basement apartment. 

In a poll conducted on campus the vast majority of students claimed that LIPA did not do enough, fast enough in response to the storm. As a result LIPA’s board of trustees has called for a vote to restructure the utility company and their future. In the upcoming weeks there will be a number of town hall and trustee meetings, some open to the public, to discuss their missteps and to discuss the future of the company.

Pets sheltered from hurricane at Eastern campus

More than 40 pets from throughout the county found refuge on the Eastern campus during Hurricane Irene.

By Eric Santucci
RIVERHEAD- Dozens of pets were sheltered and cared for on Saturday, Aug. 27 at the Eastern Campus of Suffolk Community College during Hurricane Irene.

In the wake of the tropical storm that hammered away at the East Coast Riverhead residents avoided potential disaster by moving themselves and their pets into one of several buildings at the Eastern Riverhead Campus.

“Over 40 pets including; cats, dogs, birds, and hamsters were sheltered on the campus during the storm,” said Professor Marilyn McCall whose classroom was used to shelter the animals. She went on to state that all the pets had been cleared out by Monday morning.

McCall’s classroom, as well as the rest of the Woodlands Art Studio was used as the basis for the pet shelter itself. “The decision was made to use the art studio by administration because of the fact it was a free standing building and would not have an impact on other classrooms when filled with animals,” McCall explained.

While the 40 pets were being sheltered in the art studio, about 100 to 120 people, including many of the pet owners hunkered down at the nearby Peconic building on campus. Many of the pet owners cared for their respective pets during the hurricane.

In both buildings, Suffolk SPCA (Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) representatives assisted in the containment of the pets during the worst parts of the hurricane as well as overseeing and administrating the pet shelter itself. In addition, the SPCA supplied various supplies to the shelter, including the crates that the pets were held in.

According to a related news article by the Riverhead News Review the SPCA’s Chief Roy Gross stated that those sheltering pets at the campus were required to wear an arm band with the pet’s name and a specific identification number in the event that the pets were separated from the owners during the storm for any reason.

Suffolk SPCA Operations Chief Stephen G. Laton stated that local Riverhead residents initially found out about the pet and human shelters at the campus through local news as well as the Suffolk County Emergency Operations Center.

“Pet owners cared for the animals themselves while we (SPCA) supplied crates for them. There were no complications with the pets or damage to the shelter,” Laton said.

By Tuesday, when classes officially started, the pets and owners had left the shelter with little to no complication. The maintenance staff at the college had cleaned the art studio by the time classes had taken place in the building. The pet shelter did not damage or affect any of the artwork or materials being housed within the studio.

The Suffolk SPCA is a nonprofit law enforcement agency located in Smithtown. Aside from establishing animal-friendly shelters the SPCA also provides veterinary and medical care to animals and enforces regular animal protection and anti-animal cruelty laws.

The Suffolk County Emergency Operations Center (EOC), one of the ways that residents found out about the shelter, is located in Yaphank. The center initiates regular storm watches and relays information about hurricanes and tropical storms to county residents and provides them with vital information. In the event of a more serious storm, they would also issue evacuation announcements if necessary.

The Suffolk County SPCA can be contacted at (631)-382-7722 and is located on 363 Route 111 Smithtown, NY. Its website, also provides more information on animal protection and adoption, as well as donations.

Student Jobs Affected by Hurricane

Home Depot before the storm.

By Amanda Bernocco
Many students felt the effects of Hurricane Irene at their jobs. When it came to retail, many stores were forced to close. However, other retailers that sold hurricane essentials actually benefited financially from the storm.

James Rameizl, journalism major, said that he received two extra shifts, or 16 hours, overtime from his job at Home Depot before the storm.

“It was pretty damn busy. There were a lot of lines and it was very crowded,” Rameizl said. He also added that Home Depot ran out of C and D batteries, generators, flashlights, plywood, bags of sand, window well covers, tarps, water pumps and first aid kits.

Some customers were buying lady bug shaped flashlights for $25 because they were all Home Depot had left. Others bought $50 and $70 high intensity LED flashlights because nothing cheaper was in stock, Rameizl said.

“Customers are buying products almost as fast as they get here,” Steven Holmes, Fox spokesman, said.

Over 500 truckloads were sent out by Home Depot stocked with flashlights and generators to over 400 stores that were predicted to be hit by Hurricane Irene, according to

Rameizl said that Home Depot posted signs to help deal with irate customers. Despite the upcoming hurricane, Home Depot did not give their employees any special training to help deal with emergency situations.

“Home-improvement retailers and the discounters are likely going to be the biggest beneficiaries,” said BMO Capital Markets analyst Wayne Hood to “It’s very important for them to make sure they are in stock of those in demand items, and make sure they open back up for business as early as possible. But there is no question [that] you lose business when you close stores. Department stores and specialty retailers will likely be most hurt,” he added.

Liz Ruales, liberal arts major who works as a sales associate for Nike in the Tanger Outlets in Riverhead, said that the store closed at about 3 p.m. on Saturday and didn’t reopen until Monday at 9 a.m. “We were fortunate that the storm didn’t leave any damage,” she said.

Ruales did not have to work any extra hours to make up for the ones lost during the storm, since Nike paid them as if they were working a normal shift. However, she still had many worries about the storm; Ruales’ family was called to evacuate during the hurricane.

“We don’t have any relatives on Long Island, so we didn’t have anywhere to turn to,” she said, “We decided to stay home and stay all together.” Ruales added that she felt very lucky the next morning when nothing bad happened to her family.

Like Ruales’ job in Riverhead, “The storm forced many Long Island businesses to close its doors, which resulted in losses of revenue. Seasonal businesses that rely on summer clientele, and local businesses that suffered power outages were hit the hardest in the wake of Irene’s impact,” FiOS news online announced.

Have you met Miss Jones?

by Arielle Tipa

If you’re in need of a session of pure pep talk, Alexis Jones has something much bigger in store for you.

The Grant Campus in Brentwood wants you to get inspired, with just a dash of star power in the mix. On Sept. 26, Alexis Jones is making her way into our hearts and minds with words of encouragement and motivation, through her own accounts of life experience.


Survivor's Alexis Jones will visit the Grant campus soon.

Jones began her career as a teen model, gained notoriety as a contestant on Survivor:Micronesia, and recently earned her Master’s in Communications from the University of South Carolina. A true example of beauty and brains, 26 year-old Jones is also the founder of I Am That Girl, an international campaign for young women to discover the real meaning of self-esteem.

So, head on down to the Grant Campus and get ready to be motivated!

Visit for more information on Jones’ mission for worldwide female empowerment.

Hurricane Irene impacts faculty

By Jessica Radesco-Verdi

Hurricane Irene was more than an imposition to many Long Islanders. More than 270,000 Suffolk County residents were without power more than four days after she blew through. For some it was challenging–even life-threatening.

Flooding and damage from Hurricane Irene left many faculty members without power for as many as seven days. This picture shows flooding in Patchogue.

Hurricane Irene though expected to be at least a category one Hurricane was in actuality a Tropical Storm when it struck Long Island, but still created devastation and havoc on many towns. Patchogue residents were flooded with up to four feet of water. The Hamptons took quite a hit with downed power lines and fallen trees, while Riverhead High School was used as a shelter for many of the Patchogue residents evacuated from their homes.

The Ammerman campus is comprised of students from many parts of Suffolk and during the first week of classes there was plenty of buzz of pre or post Irene stories. Some students live in towns that weren’t affected by the storm and therefore aside from watching the news or reading Newsday might not even have been aware of the dreadful time others were experiencing. But being on campus has allowed students to hear firsthand accounts of what those few hours or even days have been like for them.

Amongst those affected was English Professor Leanne Warshauer of Commack. She, her husband, 6 year-old twins and one dog had been without power from Saturday night until Wednesday afternoon and briefly lost power two more times thereafter. Though she did a lot of candlelight reading and spent time with friends in her neighborhood, when asked what her biggest challenge was in caring for two small children with no power for four days she replied,

“I think the kids coped better than my husband and I did. At first I was worried about keeping them occupied all day, but they didn’t miss television and computers as much as I thought they would.”

Warshauer hadn’t spoken to LIPA until the day they fixed the lines on her block and while she admits coping with cold showers was not fun, she has no complaints about how they handled the storm.

In areas where neighborhoods were without power, residents pitched in and helped each other out with meals and entertaining the kids. She spent extra hours at the college to catch up on professional obligations and relied on her car to keep cell phones charged.

Warshauer stated, “These experiences bring out the best and the worst in people. I’m lucky to be surrounded by so many caring people-my colleagues, my friends, my family-everyone offered to help.”

The same sense of unity was also true for College Associate Dean Bernadette Garcia of the Grant Campus, who also was without power for five days. In the Village of Stony Brook, Garcia’s block was the only block with power loss; the surrounding neighborhood did have power.

“It was frustrating to come home and see lights on and turn down my block which was dark” says Garcia who tried to contact LIPA but to no avail.

Ironically their land line phone was still functioning but their cell phones had to be charged in her car. She managed to keep up with work and correspondence at friends’ houses using their computers until Tuesday when school was reopened. Entertainment during that time mainly consisted of grilling or eating out, visiting friends, sitting by flashlight or lantern making phone calls and going to sleep much earlier than usual.

When asked what the most difficult part of her experience was she responded like Warshauer, “the brutal COLD showers” admitting that aside from that they managed pretty well. Garcia did state she doesn’t understand the rush to the supermarkets to “stock up”; saying most people she knew had to throw everything out after having done so. But most of all, she was surprised at how well they were able to manage without the power.

Garcia acknowledges, “We sat outside more; the kids in the neighborhood were outside on their bikes and playing longer. We didn’t need to unwind with the TV, but I did miss being able to read before bed.”

Others weren’t as fortunate as we have read and watched on TV, as the Nassau man who called in a bomb threat to get power turned back on for his ailing grandmother who he claims was ‘dying of heat’ or residents who came back to homes that were no longer standing.

Either way whether Irene was nothing more than a nuisance for some or a true natural disaster for others, it gave plenty to think about for all of us.

Suffolk Center hosts ‘Goose-stepping on Long Island’ exhibit, seeks students to form campus club

Let the CHDHU tell you a story
By Jessica Radesco-Verdi

The Suffolk Center on the Holocaust, Diversity, and Human Understanding, Inc. is presenting the Goose stepping on Long Island: Camp Siegfried exhibit through Oct. 28. It will explore Nazism in America and focus on the German-American summer camp in Yaphank. The center features artifacts, photographs and documents relating to many monumental events in our history.

This current event is on loan from the Harriet and Kenneth Kupferberg Holocaust Resource Center and Archives from Sept. 15-Oct.28. Exhibits range from Slavery and its Long Island Connections to Darfur Awareness Day to this past March’s Hate Crime Awareness with guest speaker Joselo Lucero, the brother of slain Ecuadorian immigrant from Patchogue, Marcelo Lucero. You can visit this center in the Ammerman Campus Huntington Library on the second floor.

Professor Steven Schrier, Executive Director of CHDHU says, “We are currently looking for students who would be interested in forming a student club that would parallel our activities. Their objective would be to prevent hate crimes and promote cultural understanding and peaceful coexistence”, which is the mission of the Center ‘to educate the community on historical events and acts of genocide, such as the Holocaust, and on human rights atrocities, such as slavery, to teach and demonstrate approaches to preventing such acts and events from occurring in the future’.

CHDHU is an independent not-for-profit corporation founded by the action of the College’s Board of Trustees, it was established January of 2004 and more exhibits are available on other campuses. These exhibits provide knowledge, insight and compassion about the struggles endured by those from the past or to strengthen the hope of a better tomorrow. If you feel you would like to be a part of club that can make an impact and positive change contact the center at 451-4700.

To find out the upcoming events for CHDHU check out the calendar of events or log onto their site or you can drop by the center where videos of previous programs are now available for borrowing. Bring a family member or a friend as all the exhibits are open to the general public. These programs promote unity for not only SCC students but our community as a whole and to teach our history so it can be learned from not repeated.

Volunteer Fair at Ammerman Campus

By Nicole Brems

Have you have been passionate about charitable cause and thought about volunteering? On September 14th from 11am-1pm you will have your chance. Multiple organizations will be gathering in the Babylon Student Center for a Volunteer Fair hosted by the Career Services and Cooperative Education Office of Suffolk County Community College.
Non-profit organizations will be on campus to speak to students about volunteer opportunities available. For more information contact the Career Services and Cooperative Education Office of the Ammerman Campus at (631) 451-4049.