Monthly Archives: December, 2011

Spring into shape with Pilates

By Jessica Radesco-Verdi

Pilates is a form of exercise now offered in many commercial gyms across the country. With many advantages to this workout, it has become as popular with fitness buffs as it has been to professional dancers for decades. SCCC will be offering Pilates this spring to those searching for a challenging and fun PED class.
Desiree Palanisamy has been teaching Pilates for 12 years and describes it as a mind-body discipline that has been around for nearly a hundred years.
“It was developed by a man named Joseph H. Pilates in the 1920s. He studied yoga, acrobatics & calisthenics–to create this method which was developed in Germany,” says Palanisamy.
Both of which are common these days, Pilates often gets confused with yoga which is an “ancient healing science developed in India, dating back thousands of years,” explains Palanisamy. Some benefits Pilates offers is improved flexibility, strength and stamina and has been regularly used by dancers to achieve their physique.
Although Palanisamy acknowledges women are usually the majority in her classes, she welcomes both men and women to join. The class utilizes a mat workout, which has been known to be more challenging than the reformer machines, she admits.
Pilates is beneficial as well as safe to persons of all ages and abilities. “This system was developed for injured war soldiers. Pilates’ also worked extensively with injured dancers and athletes,” Palanisamy said, “The movements are fluid and have no-impact on the body, making this method accessible for people of all ages, sizes and abilities.”
Desiree Palanisamy will be offering Pilates-PED classes this spring at the Ammerman campus on Mon. and Fri. at 4pm.

College Director of Fire and Public Safety Offers Views on Student Safety

A fire truck responds to an incident at the Islip Arts building

By Nicole Brems

Many have wondered if they are safe on the college campus. For the past two decades there has been a system in place for college students to find out about crime statistics on their college campus.

In 1986 19 year old Lehigh University freshman Jeanne Cleary was raped and murdered by a fellow student in her campus residence hall. Following this the Cleary Act was signed into law in 1990. Originally called the Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act, the law puts certain measures in place for student and staff safety and knowledge of incidents on campus.

The number one thing required by the Cleary Act is the security report, which needs to be available by October 1st of each year. The report covers topics such as: criminal homicide, manslaughter, sex offenses, robbery, assault, burglary, motor vehicle theft, and liquor and drug law violations. The report shows the past three years of crime statistics.

Another thing each school is required to have is a crime log, which is a public record, which has the last 60 days worth of information. Each incident must include the nature, date, time, and general location of the crime committed, or complaint that was made. The logs must be kept on file for seven years and made available to the public who requests it within two business days.

The Cleary Act also requires timely warnings about crimes in progress on campuses. In recent years this part of the Act has gotten a lot of scrutiny. In 2007 during the first shooting at Virginia Tech the first warnings about the shooter weren’t issued until two hours after the first person was killed. The University was later, in 2011, issued a fine of $55,000 was failing to issue a timely warning.

At SCCC the Cleary Report was posted to the school website about a week late. According to Director of Fire and Public Safety Baycan Fideli, it was because he noticed there were errors in the definitions of the crimes in the beginning of the report.

The Cleary Report for 2010 showed that the category under which the most crimes were committed were motor vehicle theft, including five on the Grant campus and six on the Ammerman campus. According to Fideli there will soon be a 360* camera mounted to the parking lot 3 security booth. The camera will cost $6,000 but, he thinks it’ll be worth the costs and hopefully will prevent crime in these parking lots.

But, there is a side of the problem that the report doesn’t show- car accidents on campus. According to the crime log there was thirty reported motor vehicle accidents between September 12th and 9am on October 27th. These are only the reported accidents; many more could have happened and went unreported. According to Fideli most the accidents happen on the straight aways and not the turns, with the exception of the corner behind parking lot 5 on the Ammerman campus.

Fideli said he is currently working with an architect to redesign the parking lots to ease traffic flow. He hopes to put a traffic circle near the Coleman Rd entrance and through redesign of the grassy areas hopes to add up to 400 parking spaces, which cost about $2,000 a spot.

In the future Fideli hopes to redesign the security part of the school website, making it easier to access. He hopes to put up information to help prevent crime instead of dealing with the after effects.

The Buzz About A Secular Calendar

By:Erika Ruiz

Will SCCC Be The Next College to Have A Secular Calendar on Long Island?

Having a secular calendar isn’t a topic new to the faculty and student body on all 3 SCCC campuses.

What is a secular calendar anyways? It means having a calendar with no spiritual or religious basis. Adelphi University in Garden City has a secular calendar. While only observing national American holidays, no religious holidays are encountered on their online academic calendar.

The truth of the matter is, having so many religious holidays off has always raised eyebrows at SCCC. If you take a look at the academic calendar, you would notice that SCCC only recognizes Christian and Jewish holidays. Are those the only two religions we have on campus? President of FASCC (Faculty Association Suffolk Community College) Ellen Schuler Mauk, reassured that SCCC students and faculty had much more diverse religious backgrounds then we think. “We tweek the calendar every year but it seems like in the fall semester [alone] there are a lot of holidays that interrupt the academic flow” remarked Schuler. “We need to focus on academics.”

The calendar committee consists of 3 faculty members from the 3 campuses, the Registrar, the college associate dean for planning and master schedule, and the associate dean of academic affairs. No students are on this committee by the way. Who has the last word on how the academic calendar should look like? According to Dr. Fliz Turhan-Swenson, Associate Professor of English, the president does. No, not President Barack Obama but president Shaun L. McKay. Dr. McKay received the proposal from the calendar committee and he then asked for some feedback from colleagues. Revisions are then made by the president and the calendar is tossed back and fourth from the office of the president to the office of the calendar committee until they reach some sort of agreement on how the 2 school years should “look” like.

“The president of the college ultimately has the last word in compliance with the faculty labor contract and with input from all members of the college” Dr. Turhan-Swenson commented. The deadline for the calendar to be complete is in the beginning of December so that catalogs can be printed and ready to be used for the upcoming 2012-2014 school years. “The calendar will be finalized before Christmas” reassured Dr. Turhan-Swenson.

So what do students think about a secular calendar? Liberal Arts student Jonathan Amaya commented, “Well we would be able to get more assignments done but the work load would be so intense and we wouldn’t have time to breathe aside fro the weekend. But as you know, a lot of students who go to community colleges work during the weekend, so when would the work be done?”

Mathematics major, Jairo Hernandez on the other hand thinks it would be a good idea if SCCC did in fact have a secular calendar. “We wouldn’t lose focus on our school work that’s for sure. We would still have weekends off if anything but I think we would get more for our money’s worth.” Whether SCCC gets the secular calendar or not,  students and faculty wouldn’t be able to find until early January.

After going to Nationals in 2011, the Kara Nenos looks forward to 2012

By Nicole Brems

SCCC beat Westchester Community College last year to become the Region XV Champions. The win gave them the opportunity to head to Rochester, Minnesota to participate in Nationals. The team fell short but, they have high hopes for what is to come in the 2012 season.

The team’s forward, Kara Nenos, got the wonderful opportunity to experience Nationals and hopes to return next year.

“We did very well in our region but, we weren’t at all prepared for what we were going to see at Nationals. We tried our best but, the competition was very tough. We didn’t win any games but, it made us even more motivated to go back this year. It is a beautiful memory though.”

Kara, a 2010 graduate of Longwood high school, came to SCCC after her original plans for college fell through,

“My original decision was to go to a Division II school but, I tore my ACL. So I decided to stay local and rehab my knee, ” she said.

Playing for SCCC has kept her ready to play at a four-year school once she graduates later this school year. Though she doesn’t know exactly what she’s going to do she has a short list of schools to apply to. If she gets in to them she said,

“I would try out for the team.”

Kara would also love to be awarded a scholarship to attend her next school.

“That would help me out a great deal. I believe I keep up the good work on the court and in the classroom I will receive some money,” she said.

But, before looking ahead to next September Kara and the rest of the team have their basketball season to look forward to.

“I can’t wait for this season to begin! We are so much better than last year and we already have amazing chemistry on and off the court. I can’t wait until Nationals again so we can win every game and get that ring!” she said, optimistically about the upcoming season.

Even if the team makes it to Nationals Kara doesn’t hope to go Pro. Speaking about it she said,

“I don’t want to go professional, which is why I try my best in school so I can have a great career.”

Kara will take the court for the team’s first game on January 5th against Gateway Community College at 6pm. The game will be the first game along the road to making it to Nationals once again.

Busy Basketball Day over Winter Break!

By Joe Moyles

For students interested in keeping up with the Suffolk Sharks athletics, the Men’s and Women’s basketball team have a busy day coming up over the upcoming winter break!

Saturday, Jan. 7 is a busy day for both squads. The Men’s teams both have games at there home court. The Grant campus team will be playing Borough of Manhattan Community College at the Grant Campus at 1:00 p.m. The Selden team will be playing later against Queensborough Community College at 8:00 p.m. in the gymnasium at the Ammerman campus. The women’s team from Selden will be facing off against Borough of Manhattan Community College at 1:00 p.m. at the Ammerman campus.

It should be a exciting day of hoops for the college, for more information on more future basketball games, check out the Suffolk event calendar at

Free HIV Testing on the Grant Campus

By: Erika Ruiz

LIAAC will be providing free HIV testing on the Grant campus on Wed. Dec. 21st

Before the fall semester comes to a close, SCCC faculty on the Grant campus will be hosting a free HIV testing program offered by the LIAAC. The Long Island Association for AIDS Care has been conducting ongoing specialized activities targeted to reach individuals and communities who may be at risk for HIV infection since 1986. They are a not-for-profit agency that provides services and support for all Long Islanders.

LIACC was the nation’s 1st suburban-based AIDS service organizations and remains the region’s only HIV/AIDS Hotline and on Wednesday December 21st, they will be conducting free HIV tests for SCCC students on the Grant campus in Brentwood from 10am to 4pm.

With a team of over 75 employees and several consultants, LIACC works to achieve the goals of reducing the spread of HIV, Hepatitis C, and other STD infections in the community. All of LIAAC’s programs are confidential, and available in English and Spanish to help meet the need of Long Island’s diverse racial and ethnic population.

For more information, please contact Nancy Schaefer the nurse supervisor of health services on the Grant campus at (631) 851-6709

Final Week of classes changes

By Joe Moyles

Due to the Hurricane that cancelled the first day of class, the final week of the fall 2011 semester has many altercations to its schedule.

Monday, Dec. 19 will run on students usual Wednesday schedules. Tuesday, Dec. 20 will run on students usual Thursday schedules. The final day, Wednesday Dec. 21 will run on students Friday schedule.

Thursday, Dec. 22 will be a make up day in the event of a class cancellation on any of the remaining days of classes.

It is important students are aware of the schedule changes and follow schedules accordingly.

Winter sessions begin Tuesday, Dec. 27. It is not to late to register, so sign up today!

Winter Session Classes Begin at SCCC

By Nicole Brems

As the fall semester comes to an end some students have signed up to attend classes during the winter session. The winter session gives students the opportunity to earn up to 6 credits over 3 weeks between the Fall and Spring semesters.

The winter session begins on Tuesday December 27th. The classes run Monday thru Friday until January 13th. On January 2nd there are no classes because of New Year’s.

Come to campus during your break and earn the extra credits you need for graduation!

Clinics help breathe easy

By Jessica Radesco-Verdi

Suffolk County has implemented a smoking cessation program for those struggling to break the habit as well as prevention education targeting kids before they start it. The Grant Campus will be holding the “Learning to be tobacco free,” clinic throughout November and December to provide support, medical supervision, and education, all free of charge.

Grant Campus is just one of the locations around the county where these smoking cessation clinics are held. Open to the public, this 6 week program meets once per week before finishing with a follow-up class to track progress. Clinics are supervised by Suffolk County Department office of Health Education, nurse practitioners. You must attend at least three sessions and “Furnish a signed agreement from your primary doctor to qualify for FDA recommended prescriptions such as Zyban or Chantix,” Certified Nurse Practitioner, Laura Giardino, says. Behavior modification as well as nicotine replacements are also utilized.

The #1 preventable cause of death in our country, tobacco kills 430,000 smokers each year. The Suffolk County Department of Health Education has devised many tactics to aid in the fight against tobacco use. The strategy is multifaceted compiling of community outreach, training and resources to assist in stomping out this lingering dilemma.

Further information can be found on the Suffolk County Government website or contact Health Services Crabtree Commons 851-6709.

Mayor Paul Pontieri

By Jessica Radesco-Verdi

Paul Pontieri now serves as Mayor of the very town he grew up in. A Patchogue resident for most of his life, he grew up in the house his mother still resides in, two blocks from where his office sits today.

The son of second generation Italian immigrants from Calabria, his grandfather built many of the sidewalks and curbing he walks on daily.

Prior to his present appointment, Pontieri held the position of vice principal of neighboring district’s Bellport Senior High School for many years as well as serving as Patchogue Village Trustee for eleven years. He also sits on the board of a variety of town organizations. Designated Mayor in 2004, he was reelected in 2008 the same year he was appointed a member of the Board of Trustees at Suffolk County Community College.

As a SCCC Trustee Pontieri feels the most challenging aspect of that position is regulating tuition. Declining contributions from the state and county combined with rising operating and personnel costs, especially pension costs and health insurance proves a difficult dilemma for the board. “This combination of limited revenue and increased costs has put us in a difficult situation. The Board is committed to holding down costs and controlling tuition,” says Pontieri.

Affordability for Suffolk residents to utilize the community college is a concern. However Pontieri also acknowledges that college may not be the sole answer for everyone. “Many students, when they graduate, may have skills that are more suitable for the trade’s i.e. Plumbers, electricians, landscapers, truck drivers. Find your love and passion and follow it,” states the Mayor. “Everyone has strength and it should be maximized, it does not always happen in College,” he adds.

Amongst his filled agenda are meetings and fundraising events where he hosts or speaks such as Patchogue Medford Community Youth Services where he is seated on the advisory board. “He is a huge advocate and supporter of the agency as well as assists us with village issues or projects,” states Shawn Hirst, Executive Director at PMCYS. He’s also part of the advisory committee for Suffolk Center for Holocaust, Diversity and Human Understanding at SCCC.

Mayor Pontieri has been honored by the L.I. Housing Partnership, Regional Plan Association and Vision Long Island for his accomplishments in revitalization of downtown Patchogue and the Villages commitment to affordable housing.
Community ranks high on Pontieri’s list, so it was with great sadness that his village was the center of a hate crime killing of an Ecuadorian immigrant in 2008. But three years later, still with a heavy heart, the people of Patchogue and beyond have progressed toward a more peaceful coexistence. “My job as Mayor was to bring the two communities together into one and it is happening,” expresses Pontieri.

Paul Pontieri will serve out his mayoral term in 2012.