By Theresa Tudisco
The New York Legislature approved a $135 billion budget last March, and minimum wage workers throughout the state are seeing results. Since this budget was approved, the minimum wage was $7.25 an hour and will increase over three years. As of December 31 of 2013, minimum wage increased to $8.00 and after December 31, 2014 the hourly wage will go up to $8.75. On the third year, 2015, minimum wage will reach its highest, ever seen in New York, to $9 per hour.
“I have yet to receive my first pay check, but it should be a generous amount. Greater than what I was expecting to earn bi-weekly. My hours are the same as I’ve scheduled them, and with the expansion at work my employers have actually been hiring more people. College expenses have been the same as always, but with the hourly increase, it helps me out a lot more than it did,” said Kevin Smith, English major, who was one of many whose hourly wage has increased to $8.
The $135 billion budget included $1.23 billion in tax cuts to middle-class families over three years. The financial statement states that in 2014, families whose incomes are between $40,000 and $300,000 are qualified for a tax credit of $350 who have a child 17 years of age or younger. “The credits will be paid for, in part, by an extension of a tax surcharge on couples earning more than $2 million annually, the “millionaires tax,” which had been scheduled expire next year. This tax raises about $2 billion annually,” stated UPI.com: World News.
“On LI the minimum wage of $8 really does not hold. Most teens are paid $8 or above. More people want a “Living Wage”. A “Living Wage” is just a higher minimum wage. Most economists are against the minimum wage. They rather help poor people with tax credits or direct subsidies. Raising the minimum wage is another matter. Increasing it to $8.50 or $9.00 probably will not result in many lost jobs on LI or probably in other parts of the country,” said John Bockino, professor of social sciences and economics on the Ammerman campus.
According to the New York State Department of Labor, employees who work a split shift or a shift that extends over 10 hours are entitled to 1 hour of pay at the minimum wage rate. The overtime rate of pay will remain 1 1/2 times the employee’s regular rate of pay. For employees earning a living on cash wage less than the minimum wage of $8, the overtime rate is always time and a half minus the tip credit.
“If people do not have sufficient money for food they will never be able to afford goods and services no matter how low the prices. If people do not buy said goods and services, business suffers,” said Professor Andrew J. Monahan, Ammerman campus adjunct instructor.
In addressing why he believes the minimum wage is insufficient, Monahan said, “I live reasonably close to Manhattan, about 25 miles. If I were to take the bus to the train station, the train to Manhattan, and then the subway to work, I would incur commuting costs of $34 per day. A decent wage in retail is about $12/hour. This translates to $96/day. If you subtract a conservative 25 percent in Federal, State, and NYC tax, your take home is $72/day minus commuting costs of $34 and you are left with $38/day or $190/week. This translates to $760/month. One cannot afford living accommodations, let alone food and other necessities with that amount.”
By Renee Senzatimore
Full-time students attending the College have a multitude of fees they must pay each semester in addition to the standard residential and non-residential tuition fees. Fees vary depending on what classes you take, but the one fee that every student is required to pay each semester is the student activity fee. This is a fee which is used to fund,according to the 2013-2015 student catalog, “cultural, athletic, and other activities and programs of the Student Association.” Essentially, this is referring to the various sports programs, clubs, and student organizations that students can join and attend on campus.
Naturally,the need for these fees makes sense; cultural and athletic programs do need funding, and having students financially assist clubs and programs from which they will ultimately benefit is a sensible idea. In the fiscal year of 2011, tax documents show that the College pulled in more than $ 5 million from student fees alone. However, the question we should ask ourselves when looking at a sum this size is, how exactly is it divided among the various programs and activities available on the three campuses? Are they divided strictly according to the necessity of the funding, or are there other factors involved? Who makes the decisions about who gets what, and are they making those decisions with the best interests of the students at heart?
The budgeting decisions at Suffolk are made by 10 Board of Trustee members, which includes one member which represents the student body. Together this Board decides the budget for a given semester, based largely on the projected enrollment for that particular semester. They also make decisions about the student activity fees, along with the Executive Dean for each individual campus, and the College Associate Dean of Student Services. From 2008-2011 the student activity fee was $84. However, it has since seen an increase to $96 dollars.
The reason behind this, according to Interim Associate Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. Christopher Adams, who has been in his current position since Jan. 29, is that the fee had not seen an increase in several years and the costs of maintaining the college had been going up; this necessitated the increase in the student activity fee to help accomadate the rising costs of maintaining high-quality programs and services for the students. The money does seem to be flowing in the appropriate places, but another question is; does it flow evenly?
“Each campus has an Association Advisory Committee, which makes recommendations regarding polices, programs, and the allocation of funds to various campus departments and organizations,” states the College web site. Ultimately, these are the people who help the Student Organization decide who gets what each semester, and the budget needs tend to vary each semester, depending on the number of students involved in certain programs and what events or goals the program wishes to accomplish.
The most recently available tax documents from the fiscal year of 2011 show that the Student Association, which receives 90 percent of its revenue from student activity fees, used $914,437 to fund the athletic programs, while $777,180 is used for Daycare services for the students and faculty, and finally, $523,786 was used for various clubs, activities, and student organizations. In particular, the Student Organizations received $207,359.
One immediately notices that a decent portion of the funding is being put towards the athletic department, across all three campuses. However, Dr. Adams insisted that while the sports programs offered at Suffolk are a very valuable aspect of the college, that they do not surpass the importance of academics.
“I would say that having a college-wide athletic program and student life on campus are equally important.” Adams said.
Notably, he also emphasized that sports programs are a great way to promote the recruitment of students each semester, and perhaps this would suggest further incentive for the College to invest financially in athletics; because not only does it provide a great outlet for students, but it also promotes the recruitment of more students, and that particular element should be among any college’s priorities, as long as equal attention is given to the academic needs of the students as well.
The tax documents also indicate that $90,409 was put towards the Visual and Performing Arts Program, which is technically considered an academic program at at the College; however, it still receives funding from the same money which is put towards clubs, activities, and student organizations.
Adams said this is appropriate, considering the fact that the Visual and Performing Arts Program is not merely academic in nature. One example he gave were the plays that are frequently performed at Suffolk; these plays are not presented as part of class curriculum, therefore the plays are not classified as purely academic in nature, and this thought process seems to have driven the school to make the decision to provide the Theater Arts Programs with the same funding reserved for Student Activities. The argument Dr. Adams presented for this did make a good degree of sense; the students at Suffolk are not obligated to put on plays as part of class curriculum; they run as a separate entity, and looked at in this light it does not seem unreasonable to provide funding for the theater art programs at Suffolk with student activity money. Also, the income generated by ticket sales in the fiscal year of 2011 amounted to $81,158. The fact that ticket sales for plays put on by the theater program do generate money for the college is another benefit that having those plays provides for the school, and thus may possibly be an additional incentive to provide funding for those programs.
While most student activities and organizations at the College are receiving the funds they require to operate efficiently, Professor William Burns, associate professor of English and faculty adviser for the English Honor Society, said he believes that currently there are some issues regarding certain clubs and student organizations being unnecessarily denied student fee funds.
Burns said that since Honor Societies are considered “exclusionary” organizations by the College, due to the fact they require certain criteria to join them, they are not entitled to student activity funds, except mainly for the Induction Ceremonies that take place for the students officially joining the societies. This system also is in some cases, requiring students to pay extra to join these Honor Societies because the Societies will charge more to join to compensate for the money they are not receiving from the Student Organizations. Burns said he does not feel this system is adequate, and holds that Honor Societies should be entitled to the same opportunities for funding that all of the other clubs and activities receive.
“I think the college should be doing more for the best students,” Burns said. “We should be doing more for you guys.”
Most concernably, Professor Burns has been repeatedly denied supplementary funds for the Honor Society, which, unfortunately, directly contradicted information provided by Dr. Adams, who stated that Honor Societies did not require a substantial amount of funding to run them, but that if they asked for the funds, they could probably get them. It seems that at this point in time, the difficulties facing the Honor Society and its members regarding funding have not been fully brought to the attention of those in charge of handling student fees.
Overall, the process behind funding student activities and organizations is a complicated process, and while the various programs do tend to get disproportionate amounts of funding, this doesn’t seem to be an issue that is negatively affecting the students. While it seems there is a pattern of programs that advance the interests of the college financially, such as the athletic and theater programs, receiving a decent percentage of student activity funds, it also seems that other student organizations such as the Honor Societies, are being denied funds unfairly due to being classifed as exclusionary organizations. The Board of Trustees Student Representatives, which act as the voice of our students, should in the future bring these problems to the attention of the Board, and work to ensure that all student clubs and activities have an equal opportunity to receive the funds they need.
As for any students wondering if another increase in the student activity fee should be anticipated, Adams has stated that at this point in time, he does not feel another increase in the student fee is currently necessary.
By Michael Gormley
Members and advisers of more than 40 campus run club activities on the Ammerman campus met for the monthly officer, adviser meeting regarding affairs with the clubs and planned activities for this semester on Feb. 12 .
“We are here to talk about all the major updates needed for clubs on campus and programs being offered to further the experience given to the students” said Frank Vino, Ammerman Campus Activities Counselor. Outside of the general introductory announcements for new clubs, some talk ensued about some major updates regarding the leadership program.
Campus Activites will be offering the opportunity for group leaders to “enhance their leadership knowledge by exploring theory and leadership in action though various discussions” starting Feb. 24 at 3:30 p.m. in the Old Field room of the Babylon Student Center. Also noted was the guest speaker Christopher C. Irving, M.A. appearing on the Mar.12 (11 AM – 12:15 PM Q & A session, plus a general 2-3PM hosted session)to further the experience of those interested in this program. Also noted was a Student Lunch with President Shaun McKay & members of Central Administration for Wednesday Mar. 12 from 12:30 PM – 1:30PM in the Montauk Point Room. A request for students to contribute toward the Ammerman F.E.A.S.T. pantry was also requested of attendees. Any sort of non-perishable goods that can be accepted are to be dropped off at the Babylon Student Center, Suite 100, Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM.
Up next for announcements was Sylvia Diaz, PhD, Director of Development for the College Foundation. She notes of the Ammerman campus offering a nonprofit charity that “helps students and faculty develop better programs to teach individuals”. Basically she means that involvement with your campus is important for recognizing the talents that an individual may discover from the classes offered here. Support has helped create 364 different scholarships that can be offered to students discovering their potentials. Helping students through these resources not only helps create success for the campus, but also allows the students to become “successful members of the economical workforce”.
Adding to her message, Diaz noted the upcoming Open House for the campus being offered on April 6 from 1-3PM. Volunteers are asked to help for the same reasons she noted when presenting the importance of helping those who use this campus for educational purposes. Students who are interested in participating are told to contact Prof. Every-Wurtz at 451-4465 or email by email@example.com (RSVP’s must be before March 31). Also mentioned is the Restaurant Fundraiser for the student development program being run by Ruby Tuesday on March 11. Twenty percent of the total proceeds of the day will go toward the development of the foundation, so your purchases from this restaurant chain on that day will greatly help the creation of more student programs.
For some of the final announcements of the meeting, Campus Activities Director Sharon Silverstein along with Vino helped bring the final announcements of the meeting to a close. All of the announcements that closed the meeting had to do with the CAB (Campus Activities Board) and various activities being offered under this section of the campus. One major Common Hour event that has been getting a lot of buzz is the newly founded Pokémon Tournament on Wednesday Feb. 26 in the Montauk Point Room from 11AM -12:15PM. Set for 32 Participants, all participants will receive a Pokémon figure and the grand prize will be a $50 Gamestop gift card. Two major CAB related trips going on this semester include a Broadway play & dinner theater event. The play for Kinky Boots takes place on March 5 & a trip to the Medieval Times establishment will take place on March 14. Prices for both events are the same – $35 for full time students, $40 for Part Time students & $45 for Faculty & Staff. Tickets can be bought in the Office of Campus Activities on weekdays from 10AM til 4PM. Both Silverstein and. Vino suggest that students visit the Office of Campus Activities for all further announcements regarding major club plans for trips and events. With time running short by the end of the hour, Vino and the staff wished all attendees a good day and he said he hopes that the club programs “continue with the successes expected from the ever-growing population of students at the campus.”
By Taylor Alessi
Whether some like to admit it or not , challenges exist
with being a commuter student. But can these challenges be fixed by the students themselves or are they inevitable?
“I think that being a commuter student does present a lot of challenges but its does not make it difficult to get involved at school, it all truly depends on the desire a person has. College is what you make of it.”. The question “Does being a commuter student make it more challenging for a student to get involved?” was presented to Deyana Cassiani a Suffolk County Community College honors program student. This students opinion on the topic shows that getting involved at a college or university doesn’t matter, it depends on a person’s drive to want to succeed.
Having a job can pose as the struggle of going back and forth between work and school and never getting the opportunity to get involved in what the college has to offer. This challenge of working and going to school is not to blame on the college and universities, it is simply because we live in a society where in order to commute you need money for gas to get to and from classes. Whereas opposed to going to a four year university the student has dorms provided on campus and having a job isn’t so vital to the student.
Luckily there are programs at colleges and universities set up to push students to get involved even if they are a commuter student. At Suffolk County Community College there is a course set up encouraging students to get active in what the school has to offer. The course is called Freshman Seminar and is required to take in order to graduate from the college. When asked about how the professor hopes the class will benefit students Professor Bradley-Hart of the course at SCCC said “I hope the course will help to inspire the students by letting them immerse themselves in the campus and to push them to get involved”. It is courses like these that help those students that are commuting get a better understanding on how to get involved.
“Being a commuter myself I miss out on a lot of opportunities FIT has to offer, its difficult to participate in clubs and extracurricular activities because they are held on the days I don’t commute. In addition designers such as Michael Kors and Betsey Johnson have made visits on days I unfortunately wasn’t there.” were the words spoken by a student from the Fashion Institute of New York Andrea Cataruzolo. This commuter students take on the question was different and makes one wonder does commuting really make it more challenge for a student to get fully involved in what a college has to offer?
So the question still stands, does being a commuter student really bring challenges to the table for those wanting to get involved? If you ask a professor and a student they would say that getting involved is up to the student and how much they are willing to get involved. There is also the speculation as shown by the FIT student interviewed in this article that those commuting to places such as NYC brings about an obstacle and takes away vital opportunities, even if the student is trying to be involved. So can these obstacles of commuting to college be fixed by the student or does commuting truly cause a threat to those actually wanting to get involved at their colleges?
By Kyle J. Barr
The line next to the Ammerman Campus Bookstore stretches back to the end of the hallway in the beginning of the semester. Most Students have been waiting for over an hour. There are students standing there with strollers. Friends stick together sometimes just out of pity for the ones still waiting. The employees of the bookstore dart this way and that filling in the needs of the other students who groan as they take out their wallets to pay for this semesters books.
For years now, students have been finding ways to avoid the lines and the prices. The latest trend of money saving happens to be the most ethically extreme. E-textbooks, online versions of textbooks that are readable in e-book or pdf format, are on the rise in popularity. Along with that comes the rise in the textbook piracy, the act of illegally downloading copies of textbooks for free through online sites.
Next to tuition, for the majority of students, textbooks are the third largest expense for students attending college. According to College Board in their 2013-14 study, in Public Two-Year institutions, the average student spends $1,270 on books and supplies. The price is also similar for public and private four-year institutions.
In 2012, Apple expanded its Ibookstore to include e-textbooks. One of the leading textbook manufacturers McGraw-Hill currently has about 8,000 books with a kindle edition. In most cases around the publishing world, e-books are much cheaper than a regular textbook. But similar to how textbook rental prices range anywhere from close to the original price to over 75 percent off, e-books are even worse.
An e-book of “Campbell Biology 7th Edition” will cost just over $100 on sale from Amazon, marked down by only 60 dollars for something that requires no materials to publish.
According to Ms. Kelly Anne Lynch at the ammerman campus bookstore, less than 10 percent of the full books available to buy have a e-book version. The inclusion of such books is mostly determined by the publisher.
However with the advent of e-textbooks, the piracy networks on the internet has latched onto the high priced textbook market. So far they show no signs of letting go.
Many sites are very explicit for piracy sites. One Reddit thread presented over 70 potential websites to download textbooks. One such site read in its banner “Your source for free textbook and e-book PDFs.” Some sites require knowledge on how to torrent, others offer simple downloads.
Suffolk student Brandon Kay has payed about $500 for textbooks during the current semester, but he still feels that when people pirate textbooks it is unfair for the people who have paid. “I wouldn’t do it,” he said, “Not only is it morally wrong but it’s not legal.”
The reaction to e-book piracy among the major textbook publishers have been lukewarm at best, especially compared to other forms of piracy like music. The biggest problem companies face with e-textbooks is the ease of transferring files online. Many booksellers are allowing students to ‘rent’ e-books. The campus bookstore website displays that most e-books are available for both e-reading apps and sometimes on PDF. When rented, these books will display a registration key that will expire after the allowed time is up. One example of “Introduction to Law and Legal System” textbook ends up costing $46 to rent an e-book for a period of 180 days, comparing to rent a used version of the same textbook for $80.
“If a textbook is more affordable, then buy it,” said student Ed Crawford.He has been economical with his textbook purchases, having only spent 70 dollars this semester because having many classes he didn’t buy for because he believes he “won’t need them.” He feels for some textbooks it is more ethical to pirate simply based on price. He referenced one textbook costing over $120.
According to a study by Dr. James V. Koch in 2006, the price of textbooks increased 186 percent between 1986 and 2004. Koch claimed that one of the reasons the price of textbooks have increased is due to the way that all institutions of higher education have a financial stake in higher textbook prices. The drawback for higher textbook prices for the colleges themselves means that the college has to recognize more student aid.
The bookstore is one of the most popular places on campus to buy textbooks, yet it is also one of the most expensive ways to attain them. The bookstore does not markup most prices, and most often uses the base list price for the specific Textbook. A new edition hardcover copy of “Campbell Biology 7th Edition” list price is $230 while it is $220.75 at the bookstore. Meanwhile the same book is $165 on Amazon.
The Ammerman bookstore is currently run by the Follett group whose contract will be up as of July 14 with an option to renew for another 5 years. Follett operates about 55 stores in New York state alone. In the agreement between SCCC and Follett, SCCC will receive 12 percent of all gross revenue up to $5 million, then 13 percent between $5 million and 10 million, and then 14 percent of revenue over $10 million.
By Jim Ferchland
Students are buzzing about the Winter Olympics and showing immense pride for the United States of America. This year’s Winter Olympics is being held in Sochi, Russia where twenty-five countries compete in winter sports and events.
NBC (National Broadcasting Company) is proudly televising the prestigious event. According to Nielsen overnight numbers, 23.5 million views have been calculated. The 2014 Winter Olympics have clearly grasped people’s attention and have certainly received attention and interest from several students. A majority of them have been impressed and fascinated mainly to what has been occurring on the ice; speed skating, ice skating, and hockey.
Ryan Bossert, a former Ammerman campus student mainly not concerned on the US Men’s and Women’s hockey teams, but more on a broad sense of safety, security, and unity in Sochi.
“The American hockey team looks great along with the women’s team,” Bossert said. “I think the Sochi Olympics though starting rough due to problems around the possibility of terrorism has been a successful event and has shown once again that the world can cooperate peacefully.”
Bossert is currently attending St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue after transferring from SCCC in January.
Liberal Arts major, Austin Kraft, has perceived the competitiveness and challenge that the USA Men’s Hockey team has to overcome in the Olympics.
“I think the USA Men’s Hockey team has been fun to watch and their games have been very exciting”, Kraft said. “But it’s going to be hard to win the gold because of Canada or Russia.”
Canada has yet to lose one Olympic game. However, USA Men’s Hockey defeated Russia 3-2 in a shootout in a non-elimination game on Feb. 15.
Jackie D’Anna, who is another Liberal Arts major. The female student is very spiritual and passionate about the Olympic games and her country. She really enjoys speed skating because it motivates her and it’s quite different from other Olympic events.
“I look forward to the Olympics , especially the Winter games every four years!”, D’Anna exclaimed. “Speed skating is my favorite sport to watch because to me, it’s unique. It really amazes me to watch all these athletes from all over the world work so hard to achieve their dreams for gold. It really motivates me in my life, and pushes me to work hard for my dreams.”
D’Anna also believes that the United States speed skating team has been represented well mainly due to their solid effort.
“The pride and dedication they express is really what America is all about”, D’Anna said.
Corie Leigh, a music major, has paid close attention to the Olympics because it is a conceivably vital and significant event to watch with her loved ones. She is not really concerned or disappointed about how USA plays; she just enjoys watching it in general.
“It’s sad that the USA is not winning a lot of medals but the Olympics is a huge thing in my family, so I always love to watch it”, Leigh said.
The expectations for USA in the WInter Olympics is sky high. Families and friends all gather around to display an enormous amount pride for their country. Currently, USA is tied third overall with the Netherlands in the Gold Medal count with six. Norway contains seven, and Germany leads with eight.
For more information and news on the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, tune in to NBC for comprehensive coverage or log on to olympic.org. The major event concludes on Sunday, Feb. 23.
By Robert Mantesta
“Surprised”. That was the reaction of Baseball Coach Eric Brown when he got the news that he would be one of the four new inductees to the NJCAA Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
“I was surprised but it’s a great honor.” Coach Brown will be inducted in May alongside two other coaches and a former assistant tournament director from across the country.
Coach Brown is now entering his 26th season as Head Coach. The legacy he has been carrying on has been undeniably something special. He has posted an overall record of 540-286-4 (wins-losses-ties). During his time as head coach, he celebrated 4 regional championships as well as 4 trips to the NJCAA Division III World Series.
He attended Suffolk Community College where he was a 3-Star- Athlete in Baseball, Basketball, and Soccer. After leaving Suffolk, he admits that he had no intentions to come back. “I really didn’t see myself coming back to Suffolk. It feels as if it was fate for me to come back. “
The funny thing was that the first job he would have was as the Assistant Basketball Coach. Coach Brown wasn’t too sure about coming back to Suffolk at first until it hit him. “It felt like it was home. When I got back at Suffolk and started coaching, I said, I was home.”
It was not long after, that he began coaching the baseball team. Ever since he started coaching, his plan and ways of teaching the game have stayed the same.
He got his start coaching when he was offered the chance to help coach a summer league team here on the island.
While Coach Brown carries the title of baseball coach, he tries to be more to his players. “I want them to be able to move on and be ready for what is out there. Whether it is with academics or baseball, I want to get them ready for the next step. I want them to be able to look back and have fond memories of playing the game they love.”
Jose A Kortright, a local Travel Baseball Coach, met Coach Brown in 2000 after coaching against him. The following year, Coach Brown hired Kortright to his summer league baseball staff where they got to learn from each other and see how one another goes about their job.
Coach Brown is never done learning. “He is a student of the game and a coach that is willing to learn from others. While other coaches believe they know a lot Eric will give good advice and also listen to others”, Kortright says.
Kortright acknowledged that Coach Brown does more than teach them the game of baseball but also the game of life. Kortright goes on to say, “What I like about Eric is that he wants all his players to go on to four year schools. He really goes out of his way to make sure the players do well in the classroom and looking at his track record all one needs to see is how his players have gone on to four year schools and some have gone on to higher levels of baseball.”
Kortright adds that Coach Brown is one guy that anyone could get a long with. “I can’t ever think of anyone who had a negative thing to say about Eric. This coach is nothing but first class”.
With the busy schedule of a college baseball coach, the head guy in charge still finds time to help out local kids that love the game including Kortright’s new travel team. “While coaching for my new organization the New York Diamonds Baseball Club he kindly accepted my invitation to instruct my players. He along with Coach Davies has provided nothing but knowledge and my players look forward their visits every year”.
When asked about the one thing he learned from Coach Brown, his response was, “I learned that teaching the players the fundamentals of baseball from every aspect of the game will ensure that the team will be competitive every time they put on their spikes”. He goes on to add that Coach Brown preaches this from day one.
Kortright finishes giving us some insight to how himself and Coach Brown are very alike. Kortright said jokingly, “We both share the same love for white castle burgers”.
There is no doubt that Coach Brown Is well deserving of being inducted into the Coaches Hall of Fame.
The thing that stands out about Coach Brown is not his coaching accolades but his drive to help others before himself and the openness to learning from others no matter how experienced he is.
By Joshua Blake
The college has acquired a new sports team. It may not surprise sports fans to find out that it’s a women’s lacrosse team – considering lacrosse is one of the biggest sports, and has been growing in popularity over the years.
So, that leaves one question: How did this whole thing start? That’s where Coach Tom Carrro comes in. He sat down at The Babylon Student Center to speak of the whole story, while waiting for his assistant coach and a player. Coach Carro has been coaching for over 20 years and was the assistant at Dowling last year. “I was at the Brentwood campus often over the summer, and I used to just drop in there and say ‘Oh, no girls lacrosse team yet?’” Then one day, Coach Carro gets a phone call from Interim-Athletic Director and Women’s Basketball Coach, Kevin Foley. “Somebody had given him my number and asked would I like to come in and just speak about possibly starting a lacrosse program here,” said Coach Carro.
Since it’s the first year, it’s most likely going to be difficult. However Coach Carro believes the more people hear about this team, the more people will be willing to check them out. He already has a full roster of 17-19 players. “I can step on a field right now with a team,” said Coach Carro. However, a constant issue that pops up now and again with any sport is recruiting – especially at a commuter school like Suffolk. “When you start school, and you didn’t play lacrosse – and you got into the whole work thing – it’s very hard to step back because you’re making money,” says Coach Carro. “It’s hard to convince them that you only have a very short period of time in your life to play lacrosse.,” he adds. “Once it’s over, it’s over.”
The team is comprised of kids fresh out of high-school, along with some sophomores. Coach Carro says he really wants to make an impact this year so he can attract newcomers fresh from high-school. “Our home field is at Ammerman – here,” says Coach Carro. “But, because of the weather situation, and the facilities at Brentwood, we’re able to share with the boys lacrosse team.” “Weather permitting,” he says “as soon as we can, we’re gonna get back here, because I want them to know this is their home.”
After a few minutes, Assistant Coach Ken Costa and defensive player Mel Kahn arrived. When asked what position she plays on the team, Mel said “Up in the air right now,” with a laugh. “I’ve played defense for the majority of my life,” she says. “But, every time you change teams your position’s up in the air, you don’t know where you’re going to be, because you might have to help the team out somewhere else.” Mel has been playing for 12 years – since she was seven.
Her father and her brother inspired her to play lacrosse. “My dad played in high-school. He played baseball but there was a zillion catchers – and that was his position – so one day the lacrosse coach came over and goes you ever heard of lacrosse? And my dad said no.” He’s been playing since then and wanted Mel to do the same. “My mom wanted me to cheer – dance – when that was the only sport I played,” she said.
Assistant Coach Ken Costa who’s played in South Hungtinton, Maryland, Nassau, and many other clubs, talked about injures, and concerns people may have. An ongoing debate is whether the women should wear helmets. “Safety is paramount,” he said. Some players opt to wear helmets. “People can get hit in the head with a stick, people can get hit in the head with a shot – absolutely.” Make note that the biggest concern of the coaches is their player’s safety, and they will do all they can to keep them safe.
Aside from this Mel said she went to a school in Pennsylvania, and if she knew on her search for college’s Suffolk had a women’s lacrosse team, she would’ve come here first. “It’s so beneficial,” she says in regards to the new program. She also stressed that everyone in the lacrosse community is connected. “You know a lacrosse player when you see one.”
And in an odd twist of fate, Coach Carro and Coach Costa played lacrosse against, and with one another, and now they’re coaching with each other. Mel Kahn played against Coach Costa’s team while she was at Sachem North, and beat his team in overtime. Now they’re all on the same team. It’s funny how things come together.