Monthly Archives: May, 2012

Mario Kart tournament being held at Grant

by Daniel Reyes
Children from the 90’s it’s time to dust of those old controllers and start growing in your mustache, the Grant Campus will be holding a Mario Kart 64 tournament on May 15.

Get retro with the 64-bit styles that the Nintendo 64 has to offer. Relive those rainy nights at your parents living room with nothing illuminating yourself but the electric glow of the tube television screen. The tournament will be held in Captree 114 from Mario Kart 64 is a racing game developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo 64. It is the second installment in the Mario Kart series. It was released in 1996 in Japan and in 1997 in North America and Europe. In January 2007, Mario Kart 64 was released on Nintendo’s Virtual Console service for the Wii.

Competitors are encouraged to join in this kart madness, if students have any questions please call the office of Campus Activities at 851-6702.

Sports Options Aplenty for Students

By Matthew DeBragga   

      Many students are unaware of the different benefits offered to them by being enrolled as a full time student here at Suffolk. One such benefit is the low cost of membership to the school’s health sports and education center. Full time students can get a full membership to this facility located on the Grant campus for only sixty dollars! Included in a membership to this fitness center are such programs and facilities as any public health club would offer such as free weights, cardiovascular machines, aerobics classes, tennis courts, locker rooms, saunas, even an eight lane pool!

       The school stresses physical fitness and education to all of its students by requiring two sports credits be earned no matter what degree the student is pursuing. Not everyone has to be an athlete in order to earn their sports credits, many low impact classes are offered like tennis, dance, and even a class that simply involves walking! Some students gripe about this mandatory physical exertion that is a requirement for a degree, “It’s annoying, I don’t want to have to work out” says Melissa Hall, nineteen, a liberal arts major freshman. “I don’t mind it but I wish it was not mandatory, I think school should just be about learning, physical stuff should be on your own time.” says twenty year old Kevin Kalberer. The mood appears to be split and it is certainly a hot button issue depending on who you ask, but one thing is certain, the facilities and options are abundant, so at least there is something for everyone

School’s almost out! But if you Missed Classes, Attend These Make-Up Days

By Maria P.

Another academic year has officially almost come to an end to those who have attended all classes necessary.  However if you haven’t, be sure to inform yourself on the final days to make up any missed work and classes that are vital to your associate’s degree.

Tuesday, May 15th will be the final day of scheduled classes.  Any make-up dates for day and evening classes (if necessary) will be held on Wednesday and Thursday, May 16th and 17th which may be required by the instructor due to any campus or college-wide closing. Finally, any weekend classes’ required for make-up  will be held on Saturday, May 19th.  Be sure to check with your professor to make sure of any mandatory make-up sessions.

Enjoy your summer!

SCCC Students React Positively to the News of No Tuition Increase for 2012-2013


The state of New York recently approved a budget for the 2012-2013 year which now greatly benefits community colleges throughout the state.  The agreement now allows approximately $3.0 million in additional funding for Suffolk County Community College, however will not increase the price of the school so annual tuition will remain the same.

Community colleges serve as vital importance to many students.  They provide a quality education with an available associate’s degree upon completion and give students the opportunity to advance to a four year university afterwards.  Along with this, they are known to have a much more reasonable and affordable tuition for those attending. 

Now that the budget is passed and it is official that the overall tuition of our school will not be raised, it results in being nothing but beneficial for our students, facilities, and faculty.  Many students attending the college receive financial aid, so the thought of our college tuition potentially rising might not be the best news to hear.  Although the campus Financial Aid Offices provide individual counseling, group workshops and scholarship searches, the possibility of our college tuition increase might only make financial aid students’ undergraduate experience more difficult.  Thankfully, the budget pass of annual tuition increase for the 2012-2013 academic year along with other benefits to our school is great news to hear amongst those particular students.

Along with the tuition at our college not being raised, Suffolk will also be experiencing positive changes for our upcoming 2012-2013 academic year.  The budget agreement will be saving the school $1 million annually and in addition, the faculty also agreed to increase all class sizes by 2 seats.  The college also decided to forego purchases and lastly, has secured many major grants with a resulting total of over $4 million towards the college each year.  This decision saved the college an addition $1.5 million in the past year alone and will serve as nothing but beneficial in upcoming years when combined with the other changes that will be occurring.

Michael, a freshman at Suffolk currently receives financial aid for his annual tuition making it more affordable while he is attending.  He seemed relatively happy once he learned about the tuition not being raised along with the benefits our community college will have in the upcoming school year.

“I wasn’t aware that the budget was passed or that the tuition wasn’t being raised, however now that I do know I feel very relieved.”  Explained Michael.  “My family is always flustered once they get the tuition bill in the mail trying to sort out the costs and see if my experience at Suffolk is worth the price, and now that I know about the upcoming changes, it seems completely worth it to me.”

According to Dr. Shaun L. McKay, President of Suffolk County Community College, the school is and always has been hesitant to the idea of raising their tuition in order to meet the needs of the students.  He and the rest of the college faculty are glad they won’t see an increase in annual costs for the upcoming school year.

Brittany, a 21 year old student at Suffolk does not receive financial aid however pays a portion of her tuition every year.  She has dealt with having to owe more money to pay for her education before, and is also very relieved knowing that she won’t have to owe any extra money this next upcoming year.

“Fall 2012 is my last semester at Suffolk, so knowing I won’t have to give more money once my credits are complete makes me really happy.  It’s a good feeling knowing I won’t have to budget my funds more than I already do, and can put any extra money I’d have to owe to the college towards something else I need.  Maybe music concerts and cute clothes, I certainly need more of those in my life as a 21-year-old.”  Brittany said.

Currently at Suffolk, approximately 90% of students receive some form of financial aid or grants.  With the $3.0 million in additional funding for the college, this increase will enable the school to finalize its operating budget for the forthcoming year without requiring an increase to annual student tuition cost.  It is the largest community college in the state of New York (SUNY) system and enrolls approximately 26,000 students at its three campuses in Selden, Riverhead and Brentwood.  It offers degrees in the Associate in Arts (A.A.), Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.), and Associate in Science.  With its affordable tuition (now more than ever), a respected Honors program, various transfer programs, and award-winning athletic teams, Suffolk County Community College is a first and popular choice amongst the students of Long Island.  For more information on the college, visit us online at

Angry at the world; Is there still hope for bipolar people?

By Robert Frenke

He sat in a 10×10 room, in one of seven chairs, evenly spread throughout the room. The walls sported an unappealing shade of beige, each donning modern paintings. In one of the corners stood a statue; almost menacing him. Its twisted pieces of metal intertwined and overlapped one another as sporadically and angrily as the thoughts in his mind had become over the past few months.
Wyatt Brown sat and waited, unsure of his reasons for being there. He could feel something dark rising within him, threatening to take over. Still the urge to walk out and forget about the whole thing seemed almost too tempting.
Resisting temptation, he took his first steps into Dr. M. Devaul’s office, his new psychiatrist. Brown had been facing some disturbing problems that he needed to discuss with the doctor. His anger had soared to new heights, his sleeping patterns had become erratic and he had experienced elevated, expansive and irritable moods throughout his days. He felt like he was losing control.
“I told her that I have major problems with society and that I get angry all the time and just want to hurt people,” Brown said, recalling his first session with Devaul. “I told her I have all this irrational anger toward people, who I had no reason to. Even on my way there that morning I wanted to knock out like seven people just for being there.” After the session Devaul diagnosed him with bipolar disorder.
The onset of full symptoms generally occurs in late adolescence or young adulthood, like Brown. Each person may experience different symptoms such as being depressed most of the time or going from one emotional extreme to another. All these symptoms can be treated with the right dosage of mood stabilizers and anti-psychotics.
The National Institute of Mental Health characterizes bipolar disorder as severe and unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and a person’s ability to perform day-to-day tasks. And like in Brown’s case, diagnosis of bipolar disorder is heavily based on the person’s self-reported experiences, as well as observed behavior.
“It started out with a creative cycle where I spent two weeks doing nothing but painting and then another couple of weeks writing; and I kept getting all these new ideas and it started getting overwhelming,” Brown said, speaking almost fanatically. “It’s like a flood of information that starts out good and you’re like ‘I can go with this,’ but then it keeps coming at you and you can’t get a break from yourself. That’s when I just started getting angry and depressed all the time. In fact the first few weeks of school I kept getting real angry and leaving school just because I couldn’t deal with all of this and the public too. I felt like I was going to loose my mind or more on somebody! That’s when I decided I needed to get help. Otherwise I wasn’t going to make it through school!”
Generally there are considered two phases associated with bipolar disorder, a manic phase and depressed phase. The manic phase can range from days to months. During this phase sufferers can experience agitation, hyperactivity, increased energy, lack of self-control and their self-esteem is exaggerated sometimes to the point of delusions of grandeur, and some may believe they have special capabilities.
“One thing about being bipolar is that sometimes I feel almost invulnerable and super confident,” he said, speaking articulately and self-assuredly of his highs. “You get all this energy. It feels like your whole body is vibrating. You’re just like ‘I want to get all this creative flow out. I want to express this somehow.”
The depressed phase of bipolar disorder involves very serious symptoms of major depression. Some of the symptoms include difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions, fatigue or listlessness, loss of self-esteem, withdrawal from friends and activities they once enjoyed.
He began to falter to a sunken and almost droopy state as he spoke of his lows. “When I feel down though, I feel real tired all the time, and just depressed. I lose all my motivation. The waves, as I like to call my mood swings, go from high to low tide in an instant even on the meds. It gets frustrating cause you have to go to school; you have to go to work and you’re like ‘Why am I like this? Why can’t I do this?’ I have responsibilities and I need to be a functional part of the world. That’s why I went to go get help in the first place!”
To try and quell the symptoms Brown had experienced, Devaul prescribed him depakote, a prescription medication licensed to treat mania. Brown’s moods began to even out with the use of the drug, but he still found himself being overtaken with emotions or completely despondent at times.
“I was about to be homeless and on the streets, which I would’ve been okay with,” Brown said; his face beginning to turn a blotchy shade of red and his voice taking on a deeper, grimmer tone. “There’s all these people who look down on you if you don’t conform to society’s standards. I think the whole thing’s bullshit, but you have to conform if you don’t want this society to look down on you.”
After a few more sessions with Brown, his psychiatrist added seroquel to his daily regiment of medications. People diagnosed as bipolar, like Brown, and even those suffering from schizophrenia use the antipsychotic medication to treat their symptoms. Seroquel, depakote and other medications like them cannot completely cure a person. The patients may still experience elevated emotions even while taking the prescribed dosages.
But like the moon rules the tides of the world, emotions rule the lives of the bipolar. Although we have no control over the moon and the tides, people suffering from bipolar disorder may still attempt to seize control of their lives. New research indicates that nearly half of people who are diagnosed with bipolar disorder between the ages of 18 and 25 may outgrow the condition by the time they reach 30 years old. A recent survey by the University of Missouri found a considerable diversity in the prevalence of bipolar disorder as people got older. Results found that 5.5 to 6.2 percent of the Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 have bipolar disorder, but drop to about three percent of people 29 and older.
“I know I need to function in society,” Brown said. “I can’t just be a high school grad, who got kicked out of the military, forever. I can’t function in society without the meds right now and that’s the bottom line. If this just takes time to go away then I’ll wait and hope for the best. That’s all I can do right now.”

School’s Intramural Sports Comes to a Close

By Robert Frenke

The intramural sports program held on the Ammerman campus came to a close on March 4. The games included basketball, volleyball and occasionally flag football, badminton and ping pong, depending on the amount of willing participants. The intramurals are held every Monday, Wednesday and Friday in Gunners Gym from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Although not as popular nearing the end of the Spring-semester, according to Alyssa Kinney, the Intramural Supervisor and Assistant Coach of the Woman’s Basketball team, the intramurals provide students, who have no alternative but to stay on campus in between breaks. The intramurals are a fun way to meet new people and take advantage of the student activities fees fund charged to all students.
“I think it’s a good for students, who can’t leave campus,” said Kinney. “It gives them something to do while they’re waiting around for classes.”
Some student’s, looking to perhaps join the basketball team, such as Salvatore Manno, a freshman enrolled in the Liberal Arts program, find the intramurals helpful. Manno was cut from the basketball tryout, but uses the intramurals to both have fun and practice for tryouts next year. He says there’s usually a few players from the team who come down to play and he likes practicing with them.
“I come down every Monday and Wednesday and we usually play three on three or four on four basketball games while I’m waiting for class,” said Salvatore Manno, a freshman in the Liberal Arts program. “I’ve met a few people here when I first started, so it’s a good place to meet people for the students who have trouble just going up and talking to people.”
Intramurals have been held at the college for the past 15 years for on and off and are based student interests. The Athletic Director makes the final decision, based on how many students are willing to participate. The amount of students, who participate, changes every day, according to Kinney.
To participant in intramurals students must be full time, and has a valid student ID card. They must also where proper gym attire. The students must scan their ID cards so the coordinators will know if a student is a full time or not. Intramurals will return in the Fall-semester.
Students can go to to vote which sports they would like to participate in for Intramurals. Currently basketball is at 46 percent with 77 votes; badminton is at 13percent with 23 votes; ping pong is at 8 percent with 14 votes; and volleyball is at 32 percent with 55 votes, according to the website.

Gardy Jeanty, a sophomore in the Nursing program plays basketball in Gunner’s Gym during an intramural sports game on May 2, 20012.

Employment Opportunity for Walt Disney

By Dan Bruno

The Grant Campus will be hosting a Walt Disney recruitment session from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on March 28th, sponsored by Disney.

Students will have a chance to meet and discuss possible internships and jobs for Walt Disney, who has a college program in place where students can study while they work for Disney and get valuable employment experience. Current full and part time students taking classes at an accredited college can apply for the Disney program, be at least 18 years of age, meet their school’s curriculum requirements (which may include GPA) and be able to work in the United States.

Students can apply to go to Orlando, Fl or Anaheim, CA for their employment opportunity at Disney. Applications are accepted on the basis of performance and all students are welcome to apply if they meet the criteria above.

Students can contact Mabel David at 851-6876 for more information or they can contact or go to the Grant campus for more information.

Sharks Face St. Joe’s JV after 0-4 start

By Dan Bruno

The baseball team will play against St. Joe’s JV team on Friday, March 16th at 3:00 P.M. After reporting to North Carolina to start the year on February 17th, they had a memorable start to the season. Unfortunately, it will be one to forget as they went 0-4 against Louisburg College being outscored 44-11.

The sharks went 31-11 last year and won regional in 2011 while finishing the season in 2nd place. They will look to rebound against St. Joe’s in frustration of a 0-4 start, for a team that hasn’t finished lower than 3rd place in over a decade, with head coach Eric Brown leading his team to 5 regional championships since 1998.

The game will be played at St. Joe’s college.

Music Department Established as one of the Best among America’s Community Colleges


Community colleges are often viewed as an institution for students to attend prior to a four year university, giving them easier accessibility and preparing them for the future at a more affordable cost. Here at Suffolk, the music program at the Ammerman campus has created a name for itself as one of the leading programs offered at a community college in the entire country.

Along with course offerings and various other opportunities for students enrolled in the program, they are also able to embrace a unique learning environment which focuses on preparing them for their future at a four-year university and career in music somewhere down the road.  With the program housing nine different ensembles, it provides students with a sequential music degree program that will enable them to have an easy transition into a future university upon receiving their associates and completing their credits.  The music program offers a variety of courses such as education, conducting, theory, composition, performance, therapy, arranging, songwriting, law, and audio recording.  It also offers music courses for non-majors as well as modernized classes with seemingly interesting titles, such as “The History of Rock n’ Roll.”

All courses offered in the Music Department lead to an associate’s degree in the field, allowing graduates to transfer into a Bachelor’s program as a junior.  Some schools that students have continued their musical journeys at include Mannes College The New School for Music, Stony Brook University, Queens College, Ithaca College, The Crane School of Mus

Music Department Faculty (source:

ic, Westminster Choir College, and Berklee College of Music.

Professor Craig Boyd is the Academic Chair and College Coordinator of music here at Suffolk, and seems to be nothing but passionate, vibrant and enthusiastic when speaking of the program and its success and progress throughout the years.  Boyd, who is an Alumni of Suffolk and also attended Berklee College of Music post-graduation, began working at the Suffolk in 1987 and became chairman of the music department in 1994.  By 2005, he was the college coordinator of the music department for all three of the Suffolk campuses and has been pleased with the growth and improvement of it ever since.

“Music ensembles are enrolled by students, college wide.” says Boyd.  “Here at Suffolk we house most ensembles at the Ammerman campus, but we outgrew ourselves in recent years and are now working on expanding our program to the other campuses.”  At the Ammerman campus, the music department provides recital and practice rooms along with a piano and computer lab in the Southampton building open for use by the students and faculty.  Due to the success of the program, the college is working on adding these facilities to the other campuses as well.

The program’s success is directly stemmed from the hard work put into it by the professors, faculty and students enrolled.  Not only are they scholars with a music background, but they are also active conductors, composers and performers.  The fact that they are all so active in music outside of Suffolk results in even more credibility to their teaching, and greatly benefits their classroom work when supported by their practical experiences with the music field in the real-world.  Jimmy Vilardi, a sophomore at Suffolk completely agreed when asked about the faculty of the music program being helpful and informative.

“The staff in the department is really great and all have an extensive background in music, whether it’s in performance, composition or anything in between.”  Explains Vilardi.  “Every student takes applied music in the department, which is private lessons once a week with an instructor to prepare you for your jury at the end of the semester.  Although starting after this year you will now need to audition for applied music, but the private lessons adds to the intimacy that you get within the program. Since it is not a huge department, you get lots of one-on-one time with the teachers which can help you to learn and grow as a student so much.”

The program also houses a diverse variety of students from all different backgrounds, allowing them to be exposed to different types of approaches and personalities when dealing with the industry.

“What I like about it is that being at a community college you see a very diverse group of students age wise and academically.”  Said Vilardi.  “There are some people in this program who have been playing and learning music since they were small kids and then there are some who started the program not knowing a thing about music theory or how to play an instrument. I’d say I’m somewhere in the middle, playing piano for a couple years but really only getting serious about it this last year.”

As any major, the music program requires a lot of dedication and hard work but seems to be extremely helpful to those passionate about perusing a career in the industry.  Although there are different types of students in the program with different career goals and ideas, it is known to provide them with proper knowledge and experience for the future.  Many alumni of Suffolk’s music program work as public school teachers in the community, as well as on-staff ajuncts at surrounding colleges.  Some Alumni even belong The Metropolitan Opera House, a leading establishment for successful musicians.

“We have such a super great department!” Says Boyd enthusiastically.  “I have a lot of confidence in my people.”

The Music Department recently finished up yet another successful year with their spring concert.  It was held last Thursday and Friday, May 3rd and 4th in the Shea Theater of the Ammerman Campus.

College Hosts Comedy Event to Relieve Stressed Students

By Valerie Polite

As the Spring 2012 semester goes into full swing both full-time and part-time students find themselves overwhelmed by the amount of work demanded from them. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a moment to yourself during the day, where you’re not fighting for a computer in the library, or cramming a quick study session before your next test? Time to just breath, relax, and laugh?

On Wednesday, February 22, 2012, from 11:00 AM to 12:15 PM, the Campus Activities Board will be hosting the hilarious comedian, Josh Rabinowitz to help give students time away from their stressful studies.

The event will be held in the cafeteria alcove of the Babylon Student Center, located on the Selden Ammerman campus, and is available to all students free of charge. Any concerns or questions should be directed to the Campus Activities Board of the Ammerman campus, through either the college student portal or by telephone at (631) 451-4376. You can’t afford to miss it; come early and get a good seat.