Monthly Archives: April, 2014

College takes leap to ban smoking on campus

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 By Taylor Alessi

Suffolk County Community College has caused recent controversy over wanting to ban smoking cigarettes on all of the 3 campuses spread across suffolk county.

The recent idea that has been proposed wants to put a ban on smoking on the Ammerman, Brentwood and Riverhead college campuses. This idea was debated between the College Trustees in a recent meeting, they are positive the ban will be positive for the students attending the college.

According to Newsday 2,875 students and employees reacted and responded to the proposal of the ban on smoking on all SCCC campuses, news day stated that “almost 70 percent “strongly supported” or “somewhat supported” the community college becoming completely tobacco- and smoke free.”.

“I believe the College Trustees see it as a health issue…that second hand smoke provides a danger to nonsmoking students…secondarily there is a litter problem with there being cigarette butts being left all over the campuses.” Inter-Governmental Relations Coordinator Benjamin Zwirn said. “The survey was overwhelming in favor of a more restricted smoking policy for SCCC….I think its reflective of the College Community in General,” when Zwirn was asked is 2,875 students and employees being interviewed was a fair number to base the college becoming a tobacco and smoke free zone﹖

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Smoking on the campus is often seen being done between classes by both the students and the professors. With a ban on an activity that so many partake in, it makes one wonder will the college be able to get away with passing this ban﹖

“There should be designated areas for smoking so non smokers aren’t irritated by it,” student David Dimarzo said. This student wasn’t for or against the ban, the student thinks that there should be restrictions on where the smokers can go on campus. If the ban doesn’t get approved this opinion from the student could be one to think about for the college.

“Since the college is strictly a commuter school, I don’t think smoking should be banned on campus. Students come and go according to their own schedules so I think they should be able to smoke on their own schedule as well, as long as it is not in the buildings,” student Alyssa Meano said. This student was asked what their opinion was on the new smoking ban that is being speculated. This college student isn’t alone on this idea, the student interviewed earlier on in this article had a similar view on this ban. The college is a public place and by placing bans on smoking the result could be several angry college students.

The community college is looking out for its student and staff members health by enforcing this ban on smoking. The ban is still under speculation, the next step will be a public hearing held in March.

March 18th there is a public hearing at the County Legislature in the William Rogers Legislative Auditorium in Hauppauge at 6:30 p.m. for those who want more information regarding the ban can attend this hearing.

Adiós New York. Hola Spain!

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By Theresa Tudisco

On July 2 to the 28th, students and faculty with the study abroad program will leave JFK airport and head to Madrid. Students will earn 6 credits for participating in the program. Each student will have someone of their age, from the university to show them around the campus. The trip will cost $2,725 plus a $200 application fee. It is the student’s responsibility to purchase their own plane tickets. The university has a gym, pool, tennis court, soccer field and basketball courts on campus. These activities give the new students plenty of time for them to bond with the students of Santiago.

After attending the first of two meetings before the trip, all the students agreed that they are going to experience traveling and explore a new environment.  “Once you start traveling, you never stop.” Says Professor Maria Nieves Alonso-Almagro, who was also speaking at the meeting with Dr. Menéndez.

The program fee includes room and board, books, medical insurance, just in case something happens, a cell phone, entrance fees to the museums and a 3 day outing. Those three days include going to La Coruna & Betanzos. Rias Biaxes and Lugo and St. James Way. Students attending this program must come to class every day. Class will start at 9:15 in the morning, where they will take a language and culture class. There will be a break for lunch and then the students are dismissed from class around 5:30 at night.

“This is my 8th year doing this program. The first group from 1996, still gets together in New York City for dinner.” Says Doctor .Ana Menéndez-Collera. College Coordinator of Foreign Languages and Professor of Spanish. “There will be two or three faculty members going to Santiago, Spain with the students.” Adds Menéndez. Students are offered to take any Spanish class from 101 to Advanced Grammar & Composition. The culture classes offered are Spain to 1900. Modern Spain, and Spanish Society through film.

The program also allows students to participate in extracurricular activities. They will take a tour of the universities historical sites, such as the roofs of cathedrals and plazas. A tour of the city and explore the towns central market. There will be a tour of islands, and swim in the waters of Atlantic Islands Park. Students will also be allowed to attend a fireworks, a fair, lights and music show. At the end of the trip, the students will participate in a graduation ceremony and will receive a certificate.

“This is my first time in the study abroad program to Spain. The only fear I will have is when would be the best time to call my mom and my friends. “States Jose Santiago, a Liberal Arts major. Once the students are done with their school day, they are allowed to explore the streets of Spain. There are many restaurants and bars to explore.  Students who can’t afford to pay for the trip by themselves, are eligible for financial aid or a $1,000 scholarship and grants from USC.

Professor brings energy and humor to classroom

Professor Morelli in his classroom.

Professor Morelli in his classroom.

By Michael Gormley

He’s creating the experience students crave from their teachers: Enjoyable atmosphere, positive energy and bits of humor thrown in to relate the materials toward the student’s own experiences.

With an eccentric and energetic approach to his teachings, Communications Professor Dante Morelli means to show his effort and experiences in ways that are helpful for students looking to relate their lives toward the material being taught.

“I have managed to find ways to relate the materials for students by using humor and techniques I’ve learned from years of experience”, said Morelli. “I’m quite proud to be part of the faculty here and I love working with my students and colleagues”.

Morelli’s history behind getting his current position started back in Radford, Virginia, where he got his Master’s Degree while gaining a teaching assistantship in public speaking classes.

“Once I started getting job offers for my work, I was given two main decisions to work toward. Either I could take up a position selling Life Insurance in Roanoke, Virginia, or I could take a one-year teaching temp job at the Ammerman Campus”, said Morelli. “The decision I made felt to be the correct one at the time and still is as of today.”

With Morelli recently gaining the title of Associate Professor and becoming a faculty union representative of four areas of study here at the college (Communication, Foreign Language, Reading & Freshmen Seminar), he has the credentials in study to prove his worth.

The classes he teaches range from three communication classes (101, 102 & 105) plus a partial semester class of Freshmen Seminar.

“I implement the D2L program offered from the school’s web site to help students with their studies in these classes. They have the ability to access all the study materials before class in order for them to better their understanding of the topics and to have a great studying compliment” said Morelli on the usage of internet in his class.

After sitting in on one of his classes, many students in attendance refer to his comedy as “dark humor” for defining what he uses to make the materials enjoyable. This dark humor may be considered obscene by more sensitive students, due to the seriousness on communication in difficult situations, but his main emphasis is to help the student find humor in both positive and negative sides of communication.

“He is a down to earth teacher who is just as trapped in society as we are. Knowing how to make life in communication seem relatable makes his classes worthwhile” says Anthony Otters, a student of both his 101 and 102 communication classes.

“In a silence experiment that I tried last week, I basically couldn’t talk and had to rely on gestures to communicate. Morelli made it pretty clear that it would be difficult, but it teaches you how important communication is in daily life”, Otters said when discussing a recent activity in COM 102.

“Encouragement for students to be self-expressive and learning how to better ourselves though situations in communication makes up the basis of what’s most important in his teachings” says Vincent Amendola, a student of his 102 class. He notes that Morelli makes a point in his classes to show “value behind relationships of all types and that communication is our way of showing the world our emotions”.

Google Glasses Make Appearance at Computer Science Club Meeting Today

google glassesBy Sara Wagner

Imagine a pair of glasses that could function as cellphone, camera, and computer screen all in one.  According to the Computer Science Club at the Suffolk County Community College, these glasses are possible and are being created and sold as we speak.

Do you want to know more about these glasses?  Join Troy Hahn, the Associate Dean of Instructional Technology, for a discussion you wont forget!  Troy will be speaking at an event, hosted by the Computer Science Club, where he will discuss Google Glass and his experiences with it.  He will also discuss what he is currently developing and will answer any questions the audience may have.

Criminal Justice Major, Zekiye Sezer, is excited for this event.  “Normally I would not attend a speech or anything related to computers,” says Zekiye, “however, Google Glass is something that might become an important gadget in my life and the lives of students in the future, therefore I want to know as much about it as I can!”  Other students such as Meghan Barnes, liberal arts student, feel that all students should know about this event.  “I think that everyone attending college, and young people in general, should be aware of what is going on in the world of technology” says Meghan, “the future is happening whether we want it to or not, so it is important that we make it a point to know what is going on as far as gadgets.  Plus it doesn’t hurt to be technology savvy.”

This event will take place on Wednesday, April 23 from 11 am to 12:15 pm in room 233 of the Riverhead Building on campus.  The address of the college is 533 College Rd, Selden, NY 11784.  For more information or to download a map of the SCCC campus, please visit the college website at http://www.sunysuffolk.edu/index.asp.  You can also contact Troy or other members of the Computer Science Club by calling the College-Wide Office of Instructional Technology at 631-451-4656, or the Campus Activities Center at 631-451-4376.

4 Tantalizing Tips For Stress Free Semester

By Karina Baxter

With the end of the school year rapidly approaching and the warm weather creeping up on campus, students are falling into summer mode. The sun will seem brighter and the air will feel fresher. But school is not over yet! While the semester is winding down, the workload may be piling up. By following these simple and easy steps, enrolled students can feel stress free for the last weeks of the semester. These rules have been designed to motivate people into a life changing routine that will leave the person well organized, maintain an effective timeliness and most importantly, become stress free.

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Photo taken by Karina Baxter

  1. Organization Is Key: Buying a planner is one of the most important items any college student should own to keep organized. A student taking 12 or more credits can have a hectic schedule and might have a harder time keeping track of all the assignments. This is especially important toward the last coming month for test and assignments tend to be due the same month, week, even the same day. The organizer will be your new best friend, and a person will never have to worry about forgetting an assignment.
  1. DO NOT PROCRASTINATE! One of the most stressful things any one enrolled in classes can do for themselves is wait last minute to start an assignment. NEVER WAIT UNTIL THE NIGHT BEFORE. This is when a student can feel the most stressed. Some feel as though they work better under pressure when they are close to deadline. WRONG. So many things can come about delaying your assignment and possibly giving you a failing grade. The printer breaks, the printer runs out of ink, the computer shuts down, there is no more printer paper. A million and one things can happen that will be against your favor in delivering a well quality paper, never procrastinate.
  1. Break Down The Assignment: To insure that each student is not under an enormous amount of pressure, divide the paper out throughout the last coming weeks. Instead of doing a five-page paper in one sitting, do one page on a Monday, maybe two pages on Tuesday, finish it on Wednesday, and revise and edit it by Thursday. Do this for every assignment. This way the student consciously feels as though every assignment is being worked on and the overwhelming feeling of stress is completely cut out of the equation. Time should be used for you, not against you.
  1. Do Not Be Afraid To Ask For Help: ASK FOR HELP. If there is a feeling of uncertainty about a particular assignment, ask the professor as soon as possible for assistance on leading you in the right direction. Show them the work in which is being constructed and ask them to look over it. If there is a big test coming up make sure to ask the professor what it is that everyone should be studying for.

Students, especially those who are graduating should enjoy every moment possible at school. By following these simple steps, no individual will have to feel the overwhelming and stressfulness the last month of college brings about.

Benefits of Community College

 By Kyle Barr

The first thing they tell you at Suffolk is that eventually you are going to leave.

They tell you that after only two years that you will go off to either the workforce or some other school. You slip through the advising center without any idea of where you’re going or what else to really do but to attend the next class. Theres no mission objective, but some vague line at the end of distant road. A line that, when you finally cross, there’s not much time for reflection.

It is the distance that makes everything seem so pointless. Suffolk is often counted as that distant school, or the easy school, the poor school, the school that the people who couldn’t get into the better schools.

Suffolk is a far away school. It is a distant school. It doesn’t matter how close or far away you live. When you attend Suffolk County Community College the first recognizable distinctive feature is the inherent distance a student feels to it’s grounds, it’s students, its faculty and atmosphere.

Other 4-year schools have one distinctive advantage over Suffolk. They not only have the option of letting you room and board, they allow you access on a constant basis to all it’s activities. Many more students at 4-year room and board colleges do not have jobs, where most in Suffolk do. It is a drive to get into Suffolk, to attend lecture and to do the work.

But the truth is, Suffolk counts as much as you make it count.

It’s distance is it’s advantage. When a student comes to Suffolk, he is coming to it in a certain mindset. Most students are fresh from high school where their experience there has not taught them much at all. It doesn’t matter how much they paid attention in class or how high their grade was. High school was a enclosed system. The outside world was just that, on the outside.

Out of high school, a person has few choices. One is to throw themselves completely in the deep end of the workforce, or go to a more expensive college, where you enter another enclosed system and spend a lot of money doing it.

Suffolk is a medium. It is not perfect, but that distance that is Suffolk’s greatest enemy is also it’s greatest strength. You can invest in Suffolk as much as you wish.

In most other colleges, a years tuition can go into the tens of thousands. When you enter on a major, you either stick with it, or you drop it, and many times effectively waste thousands of dollars.

At Suffolk, you are more than welcome to explore. Some majors are more restrictive than others, but Suffolk is the best opportunity one has to truly explore different subjects. It is not so much about throwing a dart at a dartboard filled with possible jobs and just picking what sticks. A student can take that extraneous class without feeling like one is just wasting money. It allows you the years that were said to only exist in high school where young people can test the waters. See where one wants to be.

That distance allows a student the ability to get experience in both work and school. That distance is the same space that allows you to ask the necessary questions, to ponder what might make you happy in life. The pressures of life from money to relationships are all still there, but compared to other schools, that pressure to stick to a major is not nearly as much present. Good grades are all still important especially for transfer students, but that Liberal Arts degree is not an employable death sentence.

Suffolk hires many Adjunct professors, who essentially amount to part time professors. The requirements for this position are somewhat less exclusive than full-time professors, most need a masters degree in their subject.

Just like any other job, these professors could range from terrible to the most memorable you have. But these professors have a often unseen benefit, the Adjuncts are usually hirees from people in the workforce in jobs that pertain to their subjects. They understand what the job is like, what are the difficulties and what are the benefits.

The distance isn’t an excuse for Suffolk’s problems, the campus isn’t perfect and there is more than one nasty or boring professor. The advising center often shoots you out into the Suffolk environment without a thought to your personal desires or character. But Suffolk isn’t the lazy school. Suffolk is the distant school. You take out what you put in. It allows you to decide what inside makes it all worth the drive.

2014 Yonex US Open Badminton Championships to be held on Grant Campus

By Renee Senzatimore

 

Badminton enthusiasts at Suffolk may be interested to hear that this July the 2014 Yonex Open Badminton Championships will be held on the Michael J. Grant Campus in Brentwood-notably the first tournament of its scale to ever be held on the East Coast.

The Yonex US Open, a tournament sanctioned by the Badminton World badmintonFederation, is open to anyone who is currently a member of US Badminton, an organization which is recognized, according to their website, as “the largest governing body for the sport of Badminton in the United States.”

This tournament was originally held in Orange County California for the past 18 years, but tournament officials stated that moving the tournament from California to Suffolk County Community College was an action motivated by the drive to broaden the appeal of Badminton.

While this event, which will last a total of 6 days, is taking place on the Brentwood Campus, it is an event geared more towards professional, rather than student players. The Yonex US Open is part of a series of eleven tournaments being launched by the Badminton World Federation that will showcase badminton players from various locations, including Bangkok, London, Taipei City, and of course, New York. Also, all of these individual tournaments are going to be broadcast together internationally for the first time by IMG Media.

In addition to the tournament gaining global exposure, local businesses in and surrounding Suffolk County are also going to have the opportunity to gain exposure, both on a local and global scale, through advertising opportunities that will be available through this tournament.

Players for the Yonex US Open Championships often come from many different parts of the globe. The champion of last year’s competition was a woman from Thailand named Sapsiree Taerattanachai, who also was the first woman from Thailand to ever win the Yonex US Open. She played alongside opponents from Japan, Vietnam, China, and Hong Kong, who came to represent their nations in this prestigious tournament.

The Yonex US Open will conduct tournament play in five different categories, men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles. The total amount of price money that will be distributed during this event is $120,000.

The event will be held inside the 57,800 square foot Michael J. Grant Field House on the Brentwood Campus. This building opened in 2000 and can seat 4,800 spectators for exhibits and conventions, as well as 2,700 for sporting events, adding up to 7,500 that it can seat in total. It is the largest facility of its kind in Suffolk County, making it the ideal location to hold this event.

Tickets to attend this tournament will cost between $15 and $30 for adults, but the exact price will vary depending on the event. However, the entry fee for this tournament is considerably more pricey; the fee for one or two events being $120, and the fee for three events being $180.

“It sounds really cool,” said Billy Kalavanos, a student who has an interest in Badminton. “If I had the money, maybe I would go.”

 

 

Student Government Association Elections End With New Government Members

 

By Ariel Ransom

The campaign trail for several ambitious students on campus yielded astounding results, as the Student Government Association Elections, in progress April 14 to 17 online at MYSCCC, recently released the poll results via email and text messages to anxious candidates and inquiring undergraduates.

The Student Government Elections sign in the Babylon Student Center

The Student Government Elections sign in the Babylon Student Center

According to the Western Student Press, the “Student Government Association (SGA) is the top organization of each Suffolk County Community College (SCCC) campus that oversees the needs of the students and makes sure the student body is appropriately, fairly, and accurately represented with their voices heard; even through to the top echelons of the SCCC administration,”.

The SGA’s desire to ensure proper representation of students on campus is an ideal that resounded with several of the aspiring candidates in the Spring 2014 elections, for campaigning students emphasized their need to improve the experiences of their fellow campus goers and to better the college overall.

“I chose to run for the student government this semester because I wanted to become more involved with campus life and the student experience,” Steven K. Curcio, appointed Senator to the SGA and Honors Program student, said. “I’ve had a great time at Suffolk, and I’d life to pass that on.”

Curcio’s new position as Senator to the Student Government Association is highly anticipated by his supporters and by his fellow SGA members. Curcio’s determination to become a Senator for the college is not only emphasized by his need to help his fellow peers, but to hone his skills in leading others.

“I ran for the Senatorial position as it gave me an opportunity to practice and further develop my leadership skills,” Curcio said. “Had I ran for an Executive Board position, I might not have been equipped with the skills necessary to effectively lead.”

The Student Government Association is assembled with students that have a high regard for the campus, and members admire the influence the SGA has toward the highest levels of administration in the SCCC. Noting the benevolent power of the SGA, candidates want to be part of the Association and represent the student body.

“I moved here, came to the SGA, and had no experience with the student government in high school. […] I went to a meeting [SGA Meeting] for my freshman seminar and I liked how it worked, what we were talking about, and the influence they had on campus.” Alexander Alvarado, current President of the Student Government Association, said. “So, I applied for a Senator position, then a position opened up for Treasurer. The second I got to the Executive Board, I decided next year I should go for President.”

However, the SGA Election’s voting system, which is online and accessible through student’s MYSCCC accounts, has mixed reactions. Not many campus goers would have realized that voting was an online event if posters did not promote the voting format.

“I don’t know exactly when they started online voting, but it is somewhat new. They used to have paper ballots, but since we’re trying to be Eco friendly, we do it online. I believe we have a much higher voter turn out if there were both.” Alvarado said. “Vote online, and also during that week, have a section where you [the voter] could physically turn in a vote. People are more likely on campus to go bubble in a scan-tron than log on My SCCC and click the link.”

Despite having online voting for the SGA elections, there are positive outlooks to using the internet for Student Government elections. To help students decide on which candidates they wanted, only the online voting system had brief statements about each candidate and what they wished to accomplish.

“Online voting is certainly beneficial. I see no harm in voting online, as a majority of our students would be more inclined to vote online than they would in person,” Curcio said. “The statements of candidacy were posted online so that the students could make a more informed decision, and the Student Government even set up a table so that the students who wanted to vote on campus could.”

The SGA’s elections has inducted new faces into the Association, along with invigorating new ideas to better the experiences of students and to add volume to the voice of campus attendees. Anthony Cheslock, the newly appointed President, and Kaitlyn Altamirano, the new Vice President, start their terms in office June 1 to May 31.

The Student Government Association pride’s itself on the open meetings that any student can attend and present questions to the SGA members. The next Student Government Association meeting is May 13 at 3:30 p.m. in the Mildred Green Room at the Babylon Student Center, and the SGA enjoys seeing the students they represent sitting in on meetings.

 

College Provides HIV/STD Screening For Students

Flyer in the Babylon Student Center where Health Services is sponsoring the HIV/STD Screenings for students.

Flyer in the Babylon Student Center where Health Services is sponsoring the HIV/STD Screenings for students.

By Robert Mantesta

Why do we as students and a society tend to care about what other people think about what we take part in as well as us in general?

That was the message this past Thursday when the Grant Campus in Brentwood held an HIV/ STD Screening in the Captree building.

Health Services at both Ammerman and Grant Campuses hold these testing and screenings each week. They allow students to come in and get tested for any kind of Sexually Transmitted Disease with no charge.

While setting up for the four-hour-day, one nurse said that the total number of students that show up differ greatly because of the different times and days they are open.

However any type of turnout is good because it shows the younger population wanting to stay up to date with their personal being.

First year student Mason Medina was one of the first to show up and took some time to talk about why he decided to go through with it.

“I just want to have confirmation that I am okay” Medina said. “There is a feeling of relief I get when I understand that there’s no problems with myself internally”.

The procedure that the nurses go through to perform the test is actually pretty simple. They take a one swab of the mouth with a certain tool and you’re done.

The results will not be available right away, as they take a few months to get back but are definitely well worth the wait.

There has always been a sense of embarrassment from students to be seen going and getting tested but second year student Mike Skoller spoke as to why that is “absurd” to think.

“Why are we embarrassed to make sure that we don’t have any serious health problems with ourselves? Just because I want to know if I have a STD, I should be made fun of? That is the problem with some people. They tend to make jokes at the wrong times” Skoller said.

While talking to Mike, the emotion was pouring out.

That is why Health Services plan and set up these types of things for the students. They want them to get tested at school and not make it a whole day thing in a clinic.

There are flyers around campus and the times are on the website events calendar however some students still don’t realize that they can do that.

Chris Nast, a first year student, acknowledged that he has never heard of this type of thing at Suffolk but would like to try it out.

“I can probably speak for a lot of the male population when I say that this is a cool thing that we should take advantage of” Nast said.

Nast went on to say, “Who wouldn’t want to know how they stand when it comes to STD’s?”

Health Services want the students to take part in this and encourage it. They do understand the thoughts that would go through their head but the outcome is worth it.

The next testing will be held on the Ammerman Campus on Wednesday April 23 from 10-2 in the Babylon Student Center Lobby and Orient Point Room.

 

 

“The Shrew” Hits Ammerman

By Taylor Alessi

I had the privilege of seeing “The Shrew” on Saturday, April 19. As soon as I had entered the theater and saw the set I was drawn in and intrigued as to what the show would bring.

The shrew playbill and admission ticket

“The shrew” playbill and admission ticket. Photo taken by Taylor Alessi

The audience was a full house, filled with audience members from young to old. The show began at 8 p.m.and had a run time of about an hour and half. The stage had an eery dim lighting, with a backdrop that was illuminated by dark blue stage lights. The background was life like trees with a house hidden behind. Before the show started background music filled the theatre and set an undertone for the play about to start.

“The Shrew” was written by Charles Marowitz and is an adaptation of Shakespeare’s play “The Taming of the Shrew.” The show transitions from Shakespearean times to modern day times. Although both have a big cultural gap between the two, the plot remains the same, but with a modern twist to it. The Shakespearean language being spoken forces the audience to listen to the words carefully, allowing for a full understanding of the plot. The characters “Kate,” played by Haylie Kinsler and “Petruchio,” played by Joe Sergio transitioned with the modern day versions of them named “He,” played by Rob Greene and “She,” played by Nikki Findel. The cast included 8 members, all from the college.

Jo Curtis Lester, Professor of theater directed the production. The direction of the show had the audience members attention on the stage at all times. Between scene changes the cast would pick up the set pieces and rearrange them while background music played on the dimly lit stage.

Alyssa Coia, Assistant to the Director, was also apart of the cast by playing “Grumio.”

“I’ve never worked on a show before where I was in the cast along with the creative team,” Coia said. The hard work of Coia and the cast and crew, had their hard work blossom on stage.

Presenting student ID allowed for free admission.Therefore, the main population were students.

“I thought it was well delivered and I felt every emotion,” student Jasmine LaRocca said.

“It was absolutely entrancing from start to finish. Amazing cast,set and costume design and brilliant director,” student Alex Natale said.

These two student reactions to the production couldn’t be anymore spot on. The show had a captivating quality from the actors, the set, and the lighting.

The show opened up on April 16 and will run until April 26 with performances at 8 p.m. and a final showing Sunday, April 27 at 2 p.m. This show is a sure crowd-pleaser with a plot to keep you drawn in.