By Joshua Blake and Samantha Quevedo
March 6, 2013
SGA Discusses Campus Matters
To address the mobile app, an Earth Day cigarette butt collection activity, and a recruitment and election drive, the Student Government Association (SGA) of the college recently held a meeting in the Mildred Green Room in the Babylon Student Center.
“What I have to present today is a mobile app,” SGA President Brian Moloche said. “The time has not been working out in my favor so far.” Brian Moloche went on to say that he was still trying to figure out a time when he could meet with Dean Sherwood and Dean Bartolatta.
Even though the mobile app will show activities on campus at real time, President Moloche said that he does not know too much about it. “I do know some basic things, hence why I want the Deans to be there if they have any questions like that, that they want to get addressed.”
Senator Mathew Ryerson questioned the app’s capabilities, stating “So, clubs individually would be posting their events themselves?”
Starting in April, cigarette butts will be collected for Earth Day. “April 22nd between 11 to 12:15, we’re going to start collecting them,” said Vice Presdient Darlene Semken. She goes on to say that she is reaching out to other clubs that are willing to help. Vice President Semken also stated that she was looking at prices for containers and gloves.
“One of our initiatives this semester is for the recruitment and election drive,” said secretary Lauren Belzer. Secretary Belzer hopes to promote SGA awareness with the recruitment and election drive. “We want people to want to be on the executive board–we want people to be a senator. We want more people to be involved” said secretary Belzer.
To help with promoting SGA awareness, SGA info sessions were thought of. However, the first info session didn’t go as planned. Senator Belzer went on to explain that she finally had application forms for the senator and executive board. She notes that “all positions are vacant,” and “all board applications are going to be due March 22nd.” Those interested could send them to the office of campus activities and student leadership development by 4P.M.
“I’ve noticed we’ve been starting the SGA meeting a little late,” said president Moloche. “We’re going to start the meetings at 3:30p.m.” he said. President Moloche then opened up the topic to the rest of the board.
“I believe a firm 3:30 start time would be to our best advantage,” said senator Mathew Ryerson. “That’s what we signed up for.” Another member proposed a five minute delay being applicable for lateness to future SGA meetings.
Senator Michael Makinen offered an interesting idea on how to start SGA meetings. “I believe that we should start the SGA meetings informally by, just, saying hello to everybody and introducing some informal topics.” Senator Makinen thinks that this approach would make the air in the room less thick so “You could cut it with a butter knife.”
Senator Ryerson disagreed, however. “This is a formal atmosphere,” said Ryerson. “If we start at 3:30 and allow for perhaps five minutes to go over minutes–that way when, at 3:35, you say ‘Do we approve minutes, anyone want to make any changes to it?’–but at 3:30, gavel slams.”
“Okay, so start at 3:30, 3:35 approval of minutes–can we go forward,” said president Moloche. “Is that what you guys are saying?” Senator Ryerson agreed.
As the SGA concluded their formal business, the discussion shifted to more social matters.
- Sarah Gould
- The Student Governments Association hunts for leaders of tomorrow
- By Kevin Furey
A Student Government Association meeting was held in the Mildred Green Room on Feb. 26, 2013 to discuss the association’s future leadership.
The future outlook of the Student Government Association looks positive with a substantial budget surplus, although future leadership is uncertain as current leaders are set to graduate at the end of this semester. “All positions are vacant — senator, secretary, treasurer, vice president, president — One of our initiatives this semester is for recruitment”, SGA ssa s dstetstecretary Lauren Belzer said. Her statement then prompted an open discussion on how to recruit new members to run the SGA next year.
”We need something new and exciting to put our school on the map,” Michael Makinen, senator of the SGA, said, in rejection to producing a Harlem Shake dance video.
“Our job is to lead, not follow” Sedrick Ambroise, SGA senator added. The idea was overruled so several SGA senators put other ideas on the table. These included a water balloon fight in Veterans Plaza (the campus square) and an environmentally conscious video for earth-day. Those ideas were considered, but not widely applauded.
SGA President Brian Moloche then introduced the idea of having a campus-wide Easter egg hunt. “Each egg would contain a ticket, and they would have to come down to our office to receive their prize,” he said. When students would visit the SGA office to receive their prize, they would also receive paperwork and information on the SGA. Many members applauded this idea, as it would raise SGA awareness in a way that is both fun and creative.
Belzer then went on to discuss awareness for future SGA elections. “So, we started coming up with all of these ideas and one of them was the SGA info sessions,” she announced. Since all the positions are vacant, SGA information sessions plan to be held to promote the SGA and get students more involved. The SGA information sessions will be held on Feb. 25, 2013 at 11a.m. in the Orient Point Room, and Feb. 28, 2013 at 3p.m. in the Orient Point Room. Belzer also noted that the first SGA information session didn’t go as planned; she made no further comments on the matter.
The upcoming election of new SGA leaders is expected to have record turn out due to the new SGA twitter account. SCCC_SGA@twitter will be posting live updates in the leading months up to the election. Any current SCCC students who want to run for an SGA position must submit an application no later than Mar. 22, 2013, to the information booth in the Babylon Student Center.
Although the future leadership is currently unknown, the current SGA members are still planning numerous events to bring the SCCC community closer together. The SGA currently has a budget surplus of over $11,000. This means that the new leadership of the SGA, whomever they may be, will be inheriting a well-oiled machine. That is, as long as the current members of the SGA can recruit new representatives to keep the organization running.
On Feb. 28, the Sachem board of education discussed a $1 million loss in state aid, which now puts schools and programs at risk of being cut. Even with the expected turn out, some of the 800 attendees were still left standing in the Samoset Middle School auditorium once the meeting came to a close.
“Believe me, not one member of this board wants to cut programs or close buildings, but the state has put us in such a position,” explained Sachem board of education member, President Robert Scavo.
The $1 million loss has forced the board to review the 2013-2014 budget. Due to this cut and in order to make up for the deficit of funding, a tax increase of 16 percent is necessary.
Associate Superintendent, Bruce Signer, presented an eight percent tax increase in a budget outlook to the board. However, even with the tax increase, the deficit will not be met and will result in changes among the Sachem schools. This means several extracurricular activities including sports and clubs will still be in jeopardy of being cut. Two of the districts middle schools and full day kindergarten classes will also be affected by the budget.
Both students and parents pleaded with the board of education to keep schools, sports, and activities available to students. Sachem students explained to the board how much music and clubs meant to them and their education.
Parents discussed their concerns regarding overpopulation of schools and classrooms. Other parents were worried that with the clubs and activities being cut, the chances of their children getting into college could be lessened.
“The thought I have to beg you (board of education) for an education is something I never thought we would have to do,” said Sachem dad, Pat Hardy.
Hardy is the father of two boys who both participate in Sachem’s sports. He was worried about what athletes would do with their free time if sports ceased to exist.
“It would be terrible for all those kids hanging out on the streets and stuff,” said John Farrel of Holtsville.
Representative from the office of Assemblymen, Al Grad, and Sachem alumni, Doug Smith addressed the audience and encouraged them to continue their letter writing to Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Out of the 7,000 letters that were sent to the Governor’s office in Albany, Smith read an excerpt from Kyle Killkenny, Sachem North High School sophomore student. His words received a standing ovation.
“Speak for sachem, be the voices for those who do not have any,” Killkenny said as the crowd cheered. He spoke on behalf his brother who is autistic and others that face challenges alike.
He additionally commented that the teachers which the board wants to cut are the same teachers who have provided him with the ability to write letters and be an advocate for his high school. An even larger applause in the crowd took place when Killkenny said, “I’m sorry, Mr. Governor, this will not stand with the Sachem Community.”
After hearing concerns from the community and witnessing the support, Scavo asked Singer to create a new budget outlook that would propose an 11 percent tax increase as opposed to the originally proposed eight percent.
This increase would leave full day kindergarten classes along with both middle schools open. However, some clubs and programs will still have to be cut across the district to ensure that no single school suffers.
“Everyone’s a little mad, but no one hates us,” Scavo said.
In the history of Sachem school district, a budget over five percent has never passed. In order for the proposed budget of 11 percent to be accepted, 60 percent of the voters must agree.
By Cody Prawicka
It was brought upon the Islip Town Council to determine the possible fate of Fair Harbor, Fire Island and other towns on Mar. 5.
Dave Jenner, Town Engineer, brought about the topic of trying to have the Supervisor enter into contract with J.M. Nassau-Suffolk Landscape Company to help rebuild the sand dunes of Fair Harbor as well as some other counties on Fire Island. It was the mission of Jenner to lay down sand bags along the beaches of Fire Island in order to fortify the dunes that were initially destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. It would cost around $80,000 to lay the bags on the beaches per county, giving the
total amount of money spent around $800,000.
In a quick interview before the meeting this is what Jenner had to say on the topic, “My main goal is to help protect Fire Island and its residents. Sandy literally has wiped away the dunes and unless they are rebuilt quickly this next Nor’Easter could destroy the island.” However as the meeting began and Jenner explained his case, Councilman John Cochrane Jr, and resident of Fire Island began to raise his voice and cut off Jenner in the middle of his explanation. In order for this contract and
order to be carried out, the main concern would be how the Army Core of Engineers would take this.
Councilman John Cochrane Jr had this to say about the idea, “The Army Core runs everything when it comes to the beaches, my
main concern is if we followed out with this order and laid the bags on the beaches, come October when the Core comes to add to the dunes there is a possibility that they will remove the bags and we would have wasted money that we cannot afford to waste.”
Council woman Trish Bergin Weichbrodt agreed with the concern that Councilman Cochrane made by saying, ” It seems like a
risky move to lay sand bags on the beaches, when we don’t know if they will only be removed a couple of months later, it can either pay off or hurt us.” Eventually after Cochrane was asked to stop interrupting Jenner the Council made a compromise that if this project was brought to the attention of the Army Core, and if the Core agreed that they would not remove the sand bags on the beach, then the Council and Supervisor would happily sign the a contract between the
Supervisor and the landscaping company.
The J.M. Nassau-Suffolk Landscaping Company is planning to lay down the sandbags by the end of March, however if the Army Core denies them the right to put the bags on the beaches, then most of Fire Island and its residents will have to deal with no sand dunes for protection till October of this year. This project seems that it will carry on till there is a final resolution in the best interest of the town.
By Ally Lashley
Student Government Association [SGA] discussed new ideas on how to recruit students at the Feb. 26, 2013, SGA meeting in the Babylon Student Center.
“We want more people to be involved in the SGA and all positions are vacant,” Senator Lauren Belzer said.
President Brian Moloche was the first to get the attention of students to join the SGA. Each member of SGA proposed an idea on how to interest students in becoming a part of the SGA. However, the most favored ideas were a Harlem Shake video and an Easter Egg Hunt.
President Moloche believed a Harlem Shake video would be a great way to expose the SGA to students in order to get them involved. However opposite opinions were expressed by other board members; Sen. Robert Grisafi was disinterested by the idea of the Harlem shake video.
After a board vote, 5-4 decided against the Harlem Shake video.
Sen. Matthew Ryerson proposed the final new event to be considered for the SGA to discuss; An Easter egg hunt throughout the campus during the coming weeks of March and April.
“Plastic eggs will be hid throughout the campus, and each egg will hold a prize. Students won’t know what they have won, but will have to report to the SGA office at a certain date and time. This way, students will be aware of the SGA office and will receive their prize at our next SGA meeting,” Senator Ryerson said.
Many of the SGA members agreed that this idea would be a fun and interesting way to gain popularity among students; though the hunt was not confirmed President Moloche has made a suggestion box located outside of the SGA office in case onlookers of the meeting have any ideas.
By Julio Avila
The Town of Huntington’s Zoning Board of Appeals met on Feb. 28 at Huntington Town Hall to discuss property changes proposed by applicants.
It was quiet with some movement going on in the public meeting room as the board was setting up their positions on the elongated desk in front of the meeting room. The clock struck 6:00 p.m. and the panel took their seats.
The board consisted of seven members; James Rogers, Jeff Naness, Carol Guaghran, Angela Cowie, Scott Frawler, James Mathews, and Robert Sling.
The room was almost abandoned and barren. Aside from the board members, there were only five other people, four of whom were there to make appeals, and one security guard.
As the hearing began, an introduction was made by Scott Fawler, the vice-chairman of the board who was filling in for Paul Mandelik, the incumbent chairman of the board.
“Good evening everyone, welcome to the Huntington Zoning Board of Appeals meeting….this meeting helps decides applications for variances within the Town of Huntington…..with respect to non-conforming uses and other zoning matters….”, said Fawler as he commenced the meeting.
He concluded his introduction and then called the first applicant to approach the podium; a man from Centerport whose name was not audible at the moment he introduced himself. He owns a single family one story house.
“On my property, there is only one house but ample space for an additional two homes”, said this resident. His appeal was to build two additional homes along with the home he already had on the property.
“Has someone from the Planning Department inspected your property and gave approval for your property to be sub-divided?” asked Jim Mathew.
“No. Not yet it hasn’t-,”replied the speaker were upon he was interrupted by Mathews.
“It sounds like you want to split up the property by adding more houses on the lot, and under the town’s zoning code, there can only be one dwelling on a single parcel of land,” explained Mathews.
Before continuing with his appeal, Angela Cowie made mention of a required affidavit that the speaker did not have, resulting in requesting the adjournment of his appeal. The board accepted his motion to adjourn the hearing and would continue with his appeal in a future meeting.
As the previous speaker was organizing his documents, Frawler then called out the next appeal. The next speakers were Anthony Ordino of TD Bank and his partner Joseph Calucci, a construction engineer.
Anthony Ordino was the first to speak, “We are here on behalf of TD Bank to propose the construction of a new bank on Route 110 in Melville, next to the Rosewood Inn”.
Ordino presented sketches of how the constructed bank would look like, a diagram of the parking lot with entrances and exits, and a satellite image of the property between Route 110 and Old Walt Whitman Road in Melville. With each piece he presented, he went on to explain the design and geometrics of the proposed bank.
“Where is the closest TD Bank in regards to distance?” asked Jeff Naness, to which another board member responded, “probably the one on Jericho Tpke by Dix Hills Road”.
As the topic of the construction procedures came up, Joseph Calucci then approached the podium. He then reviewed the same diagrams and images his partner presented but was talking about how the bank and surrounding areas would be constructed.
“We would have two entrances and exits on either side leading off into Route 110 and Old Walt Whitman Road while the building would be here” says Calucci as he pointed to the spot on the diagram with a laser pointer as to where the building would be.
“First off, do you have a construction license to do construction work?” asked Frawler to which Calucci answered no. “You need to have one if you plan on doing any construction work in the state of New York.” Calucci acknowledged and proceeded with his appeal.
Unexpectedly, Carol Gaghran had to leave at 6:42 p.m. due to family issues.
A board member immediately brought up another issue, “By law, there needs to be a five foot buffer between the parking lot and a major roadway and reading the measurements, I only see a one and a half foot buffer from the edge of Route 110”.
Calucci responded, “That’s the best we can do because of the design of the building”.
James Rogers looked at the design and asked, “Couldn’t you just turn the building?” as he noticed the rectangular shape of the building.
Calucci acknowledged this, as a possibility and continued with his proposal for the next few minutes.
The two speakers wrapped up their appeal at about 6:50 p.m. and gathered their files. No other speaker was called up and the hearing ended for the night.
Scott Frawler and Jim Mathew made their way out to the exit and were talking to each other in the main lobby. There they were approached and asked if they had some time to answer questions.
“The zoning code requires and regulates area variances, for example, that uses area and physical attributes that the code allows for”, said Frawler explaining the town zoning code. “Like the first speaker, he wants two additional homes on his property while the code only allows for one dwelling”
“These hearings provide a chance for residents to request changes and additions to their property. If everything complies and is allowable, they can then proceed but there are still more procedures to follow” said Mathews. “We usually get an even amount of both residential and commercial applicants”.
The Zoning Board of Appeals, which works in conjunction with the town’s Planning Board, holds these meetings every week.
Any resident or business owner in the Town of Huntington who wishes to request a zoning appeal and look up information may do so by visiting the Huntington Town’s website at http://www.huntingtonny.gov, click on the departments link on the left side of page, scroll down and click where it says Planning and Environment where there will be a list of FAQs as well as what is needed in order to make a zoning appeal.
The next zoning board of appeals hearing will be held on Mar. 7 at 6:00 p.m. in the meeting room in Huntington Town Hall located on 100 Main Street in Huntington.
Governance Meeting Article
The future outlook of the SGA at the Ammerman campus looks positive, although future leadership is uncertain as current leaders are set to graduate from SCCC at the end of this semester. A meeting was held in the Mildred Green room of the Babylon Student Center on Feb. 26, 2013 to discuss the SGA’s future leadership.
“All positions are vacant — senator, secretary, treasurer, vice president, president — One of our initiatives this semester is for recruitment.” said SGA secretary Lauren Belzer. Which then prompted an open discussion on how to recruit new members to run SGA next year.
Lauren Belzer introduced the idea of having the current members of the SGA perform a Harlem Shake dance and video. This idea received much criticism as many SGA members felt that the Harlem Shake fad is dying. “We need something new and exciting to put our school on the map.” said SGA senator Michael Makinen. “Our job is to lead, not follow.” added SGA senator Sedrick Ambroise. The idea was then voted on by all SGA senators and lost in a five to four vote.
Other ideas were put on the table by several SGA senators. An SGA rap and dance was considered, but then the idea was deemed too overrated. Other ideas included, a water balloon fight in Veterans Plaza (the campus square), and an environmentally conscious video for earth-day. Those ideas were considered, but not widely applauded.
SGA President Brian Moloche then introduced the idea of having a campus-wide Easter egg hunt. “Each egg would contain a ticket, and they would have to come down to our office to receive their prize.” said Brian Moloche. When students would visit the SGA office to receive their prize, they would also receive paperwork and information on the SGA. Many SGA members applauded this idea.
Lauren Belzer then went on to discuss future SGA elections. “So, we started coming up with all of these ideas and one of them was the SGA info sessions.” said Lauren Belzer. Since all the positions are vacant, SGA information sessions are planned to be held to promote the SGA and get students more involved. The SGA information sessions will be held on Feb. 25, 2013 at 11a.m. in the Orient Point Room, and Feb. 28, 2013 at 3p.m. in the Orient Point Room. Lauren Belzer also noted that the first SGA information session didn’t go as planned, she made no further comments on the matter.
The upcoming election of new SGA leaders is expected to have record turn out due to the new SGA twitter account. SCCC_SGA@twitter, will be posting live updates in the leading months up to the election. Any current SCCC students who want to run for an SGA position must submit an application no later than Mar. 22, 2013.
Although the future leadership is currently unknown, the current SGA members are still planning numerous events to bring the SCCC community closer together. The SGA currently has a budget surplus of over $11,000. The new leadership of the SGA, whomever they may be, will be inheriting a well oiled machine. As long as the current members of the SGA can recruit those new members.
Board of Trustees Meeting at the Ammerman Campus
A Board of Trustees Meeting was held on Thursday February 21, 2013 in the Brookhaven Gymnasium in the Alumni room at the Ammerman campus.
The meeting focused on financial reports and ten resolutions the college has currently issued. The college is governed by a board of ten trustees in which five are appointed by the Suffolk County legislature, four by the governor of New York State, and one student trustee elected by the student body.
“We expect expenses to go up $4.5 million. As far as revenue, we do projections and revenue coming in now is roughly 2.5 percent less”, Vice President Mazzarelli stated when discussing financial reports. The reason being President Dr.McKay says is “we are seeing a lot of our part-time students attending all three campuses.” These campuses are located in Brentwood, Riverhead, and Selden.
“While our head count is looking at 26,000 less credits on all three campuses. This year coming in 400,000 going forward we look forward to see what the state will come back with. We are hoping to get something to the board once the state comes back. There are students working three jobs and attending all campuses, so we have to factor that in”, Dr.McKay declares.
The first resolution discussed was on approving monthly sponsor services for the college. The board has resolved that the health insurance payment in the amount of nearly $2 million had been approved for the month of January 2013. The board has also resolved and authorized additional fees to be paid to BBS Architects, which sum is estimated to be $147,522 for the design of roof repairs at the eastern campus in Riverhead.
The board authorized the appointment of new members to the Board of Directors of the Suffolk center on the Holocaust, Diversity, and Human Understanding, Inc. The meeting continued with the acceptance of an additional sub-award from the Research Foundation of SUNY for participation in a project known as Iracda- the New York consortium for the advancement of postdoctoral scholars.
The requested 2014-2016 capital program and 2014 capital budget was approved. The board awarded a consultant contract to conduct a feasibility study for the use of a Project Labor Agreement (PLA) for the construction of the new learning and resource center on the Grant campus and the new health and wellness center on the Eastern campus.
As far as monitoring the schools reports progress, Dr. Christopher Shults, Director for Planning and Institutional Effectiveness was “Pleased to say we are on the right track. Operation planning is part of integrated planning”, he informed. A member of the board, Saul R. Fenchel had some concerns. “Do they [students] get jobs, do they continue to go on to another school, are they unemployed? How effective are they?” he inquired.
Students receive follow up surveys when they complete their degree. However, there is only about a 17 percent turn out rate, which can make it hard to rate a student’s success. Schults stated, “If you have a 100 percent graduation rate and a 100 percent unemployment rate, you have nothing.” Dr.Mckay argued, “The Federal System does not allow us to track it that way. We do conduct those surveys and we are working towards that.”
The meeting also emphasized new marketing strategies so the college can appeal to future students such as juniors and seniors in high school’s right now who are applying to colleges. The college has recently released a commercial and that is just one of their implemented strategies. Suffolk wants to be considered as the first choice and not a last minute one.
The meeting was adjourned three hours after it began and was an overall success. Many important issues were discussed and many important points were made. When the meeting concluded, all those who attended were welcomed to join together again on March 21, 2013 at 4 p.m. in the Lecture Hall at the Montaukett Learning Resource Center on the Eastern Campus and then again on the Ammerman Campus in the Mildred Green Room at 7 p.m. on April 18, 2013.
The Student Government Association discussed ways to enhance the amount of student participation in the student government, at the SGA meeting, on Feb. 26 in the Babylon Student Center.
“We want more people to be involved in the SGA, and all positions are vacant,” Senator Laurne Belzer said.
The main concern of the meeting had to do with low amounts of members in SGA, and each member of the board came up with ideas on how to promote their cause.
Vice President Darlene Semken, suggested an Earth Day event of cleaning up all the discarded cigarette butts on campus, scheduled to take place in the beginning of April.
“We are reaching out to all clubs interested in collecting all the cigarette butts on campus,” VP Semken said.
Another suggestion made, was for SGA members to create and post their own version of a Harlem Shake video.
The Harlem Shake videos that have been bombarding the internet, is a new version of a dance called the Harlem Shake where groups of random people in random settings, “Harlem Shake” to a latin/techno beat. The SGA thinks this would be a great way to promote, but the room was divded on whether or not to go through with it. President Moloche directed everyone to vote on the Harlem Shake video. The vote was 5 to 4, denying the use of a Harlem Shake video to increase the SGA’s popularity.
“We’re supposed to be seen as leaders no followers,” Senator Sedrick Ambroise said.
Senator Matthew Ryerson proposed the final event for consideration: An Easter egg hunt throughout campus, for the coming weeks of March and April.
“Plastic eggs will be hidden throughout the campus, and each egg will hold a prize. Students won’t know what they have won, but will have to report to the SGA office at a certain date and time, this way students will be aware of the SGA office, and will receive their prize at our next SGA meeting,”Senator Ryerson said.
“Although we are a community college we are our own little family, and we need new ideas,” President Moloche said in an attempt to gain new members for SGA.
Any student interested in joining the SGA, or with questions or concerns on upcoming events can report to the Information Booth in the Babylon Student Center for more details.
The SGA office, it is located down the hall from the bookstore in the Babylon Student Center.