By Andres Castro
With the ending of each semester there are some students that are going to make the decision to transfer from two-year colleges like, Suffolk County Community College, to four-year institutions such as Stony Brook University or Dowling College.
Some of these students are just thinking about their academics and how their grades and credits will transfer while there are student athletes who have to think about that as well as continuing the sport they have been playing or maybe trying out a new sport.
At SCCC, home of the Sharks, the athletic teams that are offered for men are baseball, basketball, bowling, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, and track and field. For women there is basketball, bowling, cross country, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, and volleyball.
Even with all the sport options SCCC has to offer, usually at four-year institutions they have plenty more to choose from.
At Stony Brook University, located in Stony Brook, New York, and home of the Seawolves, they offer very similar athletic sports as SCCC. For men they offer baseball, basketball, cross country, lacrosse, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, and track and field. They differ because they offer football. For women they offer the same sports as SCCC, but they do not offer bowling.
At Dowling College, located in Oakdale, New York, and home of the Golden Lions, they offer men’s sports which include baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, lacrosse, soccer, and tennis. For women athletes transferring from SCCC and that want to try a new sport, Dowling College has its very own women’s field hockey team. They also offer basketball, cross country, lacrosse, soccer, softball, tennis, and volleyball.
At the more well known expensive schools such as, New York University, home of the Bobcats, they have the ability to offer a wider variety of sport options. The men’s sports that NYU offers are baseball, basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, swimming and diving, tennis, and track and field. Men transferring from SCCC, also have the different option of participating in fencing, volleyball, and wrestling. Women can participate in basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, track and field, and volleyball. Women also transferring from SCCC, can try a new option like fencing.
NYU also offers 26 club sports including badminton, crew, kendo, ice hockey, ultimate Frisbee, equestrian, racquetball, and water polo.
Crew also known as rowing is a sport in which athletes race each other in boats on different bodies of water using oars to propel themselves.
“I would absolutely recommend someone take up rowing, you make close friendships with your teammates because it takes a lot of teamwork to control the boat, it’s different and an amazing sport to play,” Dowling College Student and 8 year Crew Athlete, Odane Lewis said.
With all the things students have to worry about, lets make playing a sport not one of them. Whether you are continuing to play a sport you love, or wanting to find a new sport to play, choosing the right college for you can definitely make that decision easier. If you decide to play as a Seawolf, a Golden Lion, a Bobcat, or which ever other team, just make sure that the college and sport you decide is right for you.
By Melissa Kujawski
When facing the stresses of another day at Suffolk County Community College (SCCC), students and staff can agree that cultivating a balanced lifestyle with both equal amount of physical and mental health is a top priority for academics.
When several faculty interviewees were asked how students could cultivate a healthy lifestyle, they all stated that getting proper nutrition, staying hydrated, exercising several times a week and getting enough sleep were all a part of living a successful, healthy life.
Registered Nurse Supervisor Meryn Pilzer, who has been working for SCCC’s Eastern Campus just shy of 20 years, said “No processed foods and eat more fruits and veggies.” She also, added “Do everything in moderation. Life is a balance.”
When it comes to figuring out what works best for you, Associate Professor of Physical Education at SCCC since 1998, Arthur DelDuca, recommended “make time for yourself and plan out your day/week with proper meals and days and times for exercise.”
To reduce stress Dr. Claire Rubman, Associate Professor of Sociology shared “Don’t not work full time and take a full schedule of classes without realizing the commitment. Also, keep contact with your professors.”
Other thoughtful advice came from Dr. Amy Warenda Czura, Associate Professor of Biology, who added, “Minimize the vices: smoking, drinking, and partying.” These, although a part of the young and vivacious lifestyle, can lead to serious, life-long damaging effects if done ritually.
Keeping up with physical spirits – through proper diet and exercise – are some of the ways students can stay “afloat” in the midst of their busy college and work schedules. Usually these are among the first things recommended by professionals when speaking about the subject.
“They don’t just say ‘you are what you eat’ for nothing.” exclaims Tonianne Reid a 19-year-old SCCC student wishing to continue on to the college’s nursing program. She continued to say how the school offers few healthy choices to snack on or even have a full meal and that she does her best to pack food from home when she knows she will be on campus for several hours.
Staying active goes hand and hand with eating healthy and can produce optimal results. Noah Gorman, a 21- year- old business major at SCCC proudly stated, “I do cardio and weight training at least three times a week for an hour at Planet Fitness in Riverhead.”
However, keeping up one’s physical spirits can be impossible without high and positive mental spirits – which requires lowered stress levels and adequate amounts of sleep. These benefits can help drive students to feel more motivated to pursue their days and keep themselves well.
24-year-old liberal arts- biology student at SCCC Nicole Liebegott, who also strives to get into the college’s nursing program, does not hesitate to explain how she keeps her mental spirits intact. “Yoga, with lots of head stands and arm balances, and I write everyday on 750words.com.” Nicole added, “I think its great. There is something refreshing about being self-aware. You must let out what is bothering you through positive outlets.”
A good nights sleep is essential to most as it allows us to rest and revive our bodies for the next long day. “I need at least eight or nine hours of sleep a night; otherwise, I am un- attentive and lack motivation.”, Andrew Woebbler, a 20-year-old SCCC liberal arts major proclaimed.
Being a commuter student, one would think it would be easier to live a healthy life. However it may seem just as challenging as going away to school. The college life regardless can be stressful and busy. You have to find the time to get things done between several courses and possibly a part time job. You’ll be lucky if you can keep your eyes open in front of a computer at 11:30 PM after being up early at 6 AM or even eat a full, nutritious meal. And many times the college life has you surrounded by other unhealthy students and choices like the pressure to smoke or to choose between a cheeseburger or pizza in the cafe.
All of the faculty and students interviewed agreed that the college has some good options like gym classes and a salad bar, but needs too add more things to remind students that this matter should be taken seriously.
Many were happy to hear that the plans for a gym facility are underway and in the process of being constructed. Yet, Woebbler feels that more gym classes should be required towards graduation and that the college should add a football team.
Several of the interviewees suggested the school use their common hour to place some attention on physical and mental health awareness. Liebegott liked this idea, and added, “An awareness week is important. So is a highly visible and available personal counseling faculty.”
As much as the college can be a source of support and guidance, Pilzer repeated a quote she once heard on the radio: “If you want a helping hand, look no further than the end of your arm.”
By Aiyana Edmund
As a resident and student in Suffolk County, I’ve watched the town of Riverhead grow, expand and develop over the course of the 20 years of my life thus far. Route 58 in particular has undergone so much expansion and commercialization here in Suffolk County, and with this comes more people and more road traffic.
Due to the rapid development of stores and shopping centers here in Riverhead, I believe there should be more sidewalks on the backstreets. With Route 58 recently expanding to two lanes, the amount of road traffic in Riverhead has increased tremendously. Running parallel to this county road is Middle Road. On Middle Road there are three elderly communities and multiple neighborhoods within walking distance to many of the grocery stores on the county road. My concern is that there is no sidewalk on Middle Road for those of us who live here to walk to any of these (extremely) close stores and groceries.
The 2010 census stated the population of Riverhead was 13,299. With this town quickly growing into a shopping-lovers haven and commercialized district, the amount of people coming to Riverhead each day increases that approximate 13,299 population significantly. Aside from this town popping out new department and retail stores, we are also known for our farmstands and pick-your-own sensationalized fields during the fall and summer seasons. That alone brings in a whole new ratio of pedestrians and drivers to the area.
The point I am trying to establish here is the unethical amount of people existing in Riverhead each and every day compared to the serious lack of sidewalks along the roads of neighborhoods and single homes such as on Middle Road. On Route 58 there is an existing sidewalk that does in fact extend along a large portion of this county road, but no sidewalks exist on the roads in which people live. I personally would not choose to walk on the side of a double lane major road, if there was an alternative option to walk on a back road (for safety reasons, and of course scenic enjoyment).
There are no sidewalks on Middle Road. How can children walk home from the bus stop? Middle Road extends from the cement factory in Calverton to Doctors Path on the brink of Aquebogue. That is the parallel entirety of route 58 and personally I would rather walk along this scenic farm field sprawling side as opposed to the gas-fumed and car-whizzing county road.
Where do the elders in the nearby communities walk? Every morning there is a large group of folks enjoying what they can of their edge-of-the-road morning walk. I drive by, swerving into the oncoming traffic lane to avoid causing any harm to these pedestrians. Because as the saying goes, “pedestrians first”, right?
My proposal, my request, my question is- why? Why the lack of sidewalks? Their addition would bring a newfound level of safety, activity and exercise to the community. Bikes can be ridden, dogs can be walked, children can safely walk home from the bus after school. Joggers won’t have to jump onto the front lawns of stranger’s homes when a car comes by. I, for one, have experienced all too many times the feeling of my ankle giving out as I quickly hop off the road and onto someone’s lawn, stumbling on a hidden grass pothole. With the strip of a simple concrete sidewalk, the distinction between pedestrian and car territory can be defined and safety can increase.
I am fully aware of the funds that would have to be used by the Riverhead municipality in order for sidewalks to be installed. The average cost per foot of concrete sidewalk is $3.79. Multiply that by the approximate 6 mile length of Middle Road and then double it for both sides of the road and you are left with a costly project. I understand. But perhaps instead of the staggering yearly salary per Riverhead police officer of approximately $150,000, we can put money towards a beneficial project in our community that increases safety and health- something that can assist our cops with safety but can’t write us tickets.
By Meghan Hennessy
I am writing to express how tremendously impressed I am with the Honors Program at the Eastern Campus of Suffolk County Community College (SCCC). As a member of the program for two semesters now, I have nothing but praise for the program in all regards.
The Honors program offers “interdisciplinary learning opportunities for academically talented and highly motivated students”, according to the college’s website. It is geared towards the fundamental traditions associated with the Liberal Arts and aims to highlight the connections between different disciplines as well as encourage “intellectual creativity”.
According to Carla Sutherland, the Professional Assistant (PA) of the Eastern Campus’ Honors Program, SCCC students may apply for admission into the Honors Program either prior to, or at any point during their enrollment at SCCC. Both part-time and full-time students are “welcome to apply”, according to the college’s website. Applicants are required to submit an Honors Program application, a letter of recommendation, a 500-word essay, ACT or SAT scores, and a copy of their high school transcript, along with any previous college transcripts.
For entering students, the minimum requirements are as follows: a B+ average in high school and a composite SAT score of 1650 or ACT score of 24, as the webpage for SCCC’s Honors Program clarifies. For students to maintain their status once they’re already enrolled at SCCC, a minimum 3.2 cumulative grade point average along with a grade of B+ or better in ENG101 is required.
While I found the application process daunting and overwhelming at first, both Ms. Sutherland and Professor Adam Penna, the program’s Coordinator for the Eastern Campus, helped to make the process much easier to understand and get through. They may require applicants to jump through several hoops in order to gain entry to the Honors Program, but once I was accepted into the program, I saw that it was well worth the effort.
I’ve experienced a marked difference between my honors and non-honors classes in my two semesters as a student at SCCC’s Eastern Campus. For one thing, honors classes are smaller, allowing for more attentive instruction along with stronger relationships between students and professors. It’s nice to not be just a face in a sea of students, but to have an identity in the classroom as an individual. I’ve found my honors classes to be more intellectually stimulating than my non-honors classes in many instances, and I’ve also noticed a higher caliber of scholars in the Honors Program. The students in my honors classes tend to be more mentally present and active in class, and seem to be more motivated to learn than in my non-honors classes.
Aside from the benefits of taking honors courses, there are several opportunities, events, and services for honors students at the Eastern Campus of SCCC. Honors students gain access to special trips, such as the World Trade Center memorial trip I look forward to attending next month. Luncheons for the Honors Program are also held frequently here on the Eastern Campus, where honors students get to receive advice and academic advisement, as well as delicious free food. In addition, many scholarships are limited to students who are a part of the Honors Program. There are seemingly endless benefits to becoming a member of this program, it offers so many wonderful things to students who are motivated, intelligent, and deserving.
And it appears that many students on the Eastern Campus are already quite aware of how great the Honors Program is. According to Ms. Sutherland, there are currently 103 students coded as honors, while there are also many additional students who are taking some honors classes without being coded as honors. It’s obviously no secret that becoming a part of the Honors Program offers benefits beyond merely looking good on transcripts.
My only disappointment with the Honors Program at the Eastern Campus is the number of honors courses offered. Because this is such a small campus, even the number of non-honors courses offered here is less-than-ideal for busy full-time students, especially those who also work part-time, like myself. I’ve found it difficult to arrange my schedule so that I am taking only classes that fit into my Liberal Arts degree requirements, while also taking at least two honors classes, and additionally taking into account my work schedule and allotting time for classwork and some semblance of a social life. Although it has been difficult, I’ve managed to do it for both of my semesters so far, so it isn’t a huge concern. I only wish there were more honors courses offered in a semester to make life a bit easier, but even with the number offered now, it is definitely possible to make it work.
Last semester I was fortunate enough to take an Honors English 102 class with the Honors Program Coordinator, Professor Penna, as well as an Honors Issues in Philosophy class. I was happy with both courses, which I found challenging and exciting. This semester I’m taking an Honors Introduction to Dramatic Literature course which I absolutely love, along with an Honors Sociology 101 class that I’m also very happy with. The classes are fascinating and while there is a higher workload for honors classes in my experience, it is work that is interesting and worthwhile. I look forward to taking more honors courses next semester and gaining all that I can from the Honors Program while getting my Liberal Arts degree here at SCCC’s Eastern Campus.
By Doria Canino
“Where there’s a will, there’s a way” believes Mr. Harry Lewis, college
How? This federal government grant-funded organization provides a number of benefits to students in their first semester at SCCC and other colleges across the nation. These include advisement, tutoring assistance, progress reports that are designed to give the student a better understanding of classes they may need to improve in, and exposing students to the different programs available at the campus. TRIO is focused on helping students that fit into three different categories: first-generation college student, student of low income, or student with a documented disabilities. Examples are physical disability, various learning disabilities, and emotional and behavioral issues.
Students are often referred to the program by professors and co-workers, but TRIO counselors also go into Freshmen Seminar classes to talk about the program, what it offers, and how to apply. Information on TRIO can be found in an intake packet available to the students as well.
Mr. Lewis personally feels that students should have time to see how their college experience progresses and then seek help if they find that they are struggling. Unfortunately the grant has a number of restrictions. For example, if students do not apply during their first semester TRIO services are not available to them. Mr. Lewis believes this can be a problem.
Reflecting on his own experience of being a student Mr. Lewis feels “In the first semester you don’t know what you don’t know it’s an overwhelming prospect, it’s a brave new experience, so I don’t think students necessarily know that they’re going to need help.” He agrees that it’s hard for counselors to not only catch students who are still in their first semester, but then convince them that it is in their best interest to join the program. The counselors of TRIO in addition bake and hand out flyers to draw attention to their program. Mr. Lewis adds, while laughing, “You know, nothings better then free food.”
Student registration for the program has a number of processes due to the restrictions of the grant. First, students must apply during their first semester by filling out an interest card. If there is a spot available they are called by Mr. Lewis to set up an appointment. Then they receive an intake packet which the student must complete. The intake packet includes various questions about the student’s basic information, statistical data, family history, financial aid, and a series of interview questions.
Now many may wonder, why bother? While the amount of paper work involved sounds like a hassle, there are a few details about this problem that may be worth it. According to
Mr. Lewis, “TRIO provides a lot of good things that are beneficial to a student, such as one-on-one tutoring, which is an hour long with the same tutor at the same time each week. So the tutor and the student have continuity and are able to help each other in a more thorough way.” He not only believes this is a helpful attribute of their tutoring services, but he has also witnessed firsthand its successful outcomes. Mr. Lewis himself has tutored students, but he jokes, “Don’t ask me for any math help because you’d be in trouble, fractions are not my friend.”
TRIO furthermore provides students with academic advisement, faculty and student assistance, and help involving transferring, and it also provides students with a progress report. Mr. Lewis explains that by using a progress report “We are able to let students know if there’s a problem before it gets too far along. Sometimes students think they are doing better than they are, and sometimes they think they’re doing worse than they are.” By doing this, they are able to help address the student’s problem areas and offer to set up tutoring for them to remedy the situation.
When asked how beneficial the program’s services are to the students, Mr. Lewis replied, “I would say they are extraordinarily beneficial, because for the students that they are able to help those students are extremely grateful. It’s sort of like all things, as much as you put into it is what you’re going to get out of it. If the student is enthusiastic about learning about the class and learning things and getting help, they will definitely do better.”
Mr. Lewis joined TRIO in 2002. Prior to joining what was a three year old program during that time, Mr. Lewis worked as a tutor in the Academic Skills Center tutoring in sociology and computers. His knowledge on computers, Mr. Lewis explains, came from attending H.B. Ward Technology and Academic Center in Riverhead as a teenager. “It was fun; I enjoyed it” Mr. Lewis said with a smile and chucked after talking about his previous attendance at the school. Mr. Lewis was approached by SCCC Student Services Coordinator Mary Dernbach, founder of TRIO working in 2002, after her secretary left the program. “She said to me, “Would you be interested in this program with me as a College Aid Secretary?” and I said yes, and the rest is history” Mr. Lewis shared when describing how he got is job in TRIO.
Mr. Lewis as College Aid Secretary of TRIO has various responsibilities, which include answering the phone, helping to set up appointments, handing out the forms, assisting students with the computer, and tutors if they need help, sending out progress reports, alphabetizing the returned progress reports, and also putting them in order of priority.
“I really, really enjoy helping people, whether it be a student or a co-worker… I like the joy on their face when I’m able to help them. I look forward to my job every day, I’m not one of those people who says ‘oh man I have to go to work I hope I can get out of it’”, he said when asked what motivated him to work with TRIO. He further expressed how lucky he feels to love his job.
By Joshua Blake
For those who don’t already know, the college’s tuition has gone up $250 next semester, bringing annual charges to $4,390. Many people may blame the school at first glance, but the real problem lies within the state.
“It costs a lot to run an institution of higher education,” said Dr. Christopher Adams, Executive Assistant to the president.”We are not getting the percentage of increase of our sponsor share.” Last year, and the year previous Suffolk was able to get $150 F.T.E. This means that for every full time equivalent student, the college gets $150 dollars. “We thought we were going to get that this year, or possibly,” said Dr. Adams. The senate came in with $200, while the state assembly garnered only 50..
Students pay more than half of the college’s operating budget, the county pays 23.8% and the state pays 25.9%. The initial rules for state community colleges was to have each party pay one-third of the operating budget. Part of this is due to the fact that this isn’t going on is because the state can super-cede their own law.
If you’re still worried about the $250 increase starting in the Fall, keep in mind that it’s for the whole year. Currently, students have been paying $517.50 a month. Since the $250 raise, students will now pay $548.75 a month. This comes out to $31.25 more a month starting in the Fall.
The governor came in with a flat at $75. This would cut $3,000,000 to the college. Not much lee-way. Suffolk really wanted $250, but the $150 had to suffice. “So, something had to give,” Dr. Adams said. “We didn’t want to raise tuition.” He notes a problem with Suffolk’s accrediting body, Middle States.They expect the school to keep 10-20% of their operating costs in the fund balance in case of emergencies. This amount can range from 19 million dollars to 38 million dollars.
One way that the college may do this is by capping class sizes at 37 students – saving an estimated $750,000 a year, as well as an additional $500,000 for a paperless payroll system. “Keep in mind that we’re trying to update out facilities as well,” said Dr. Adams. A one-shot use of $4.3 million was used from Suffolk’s $24.9 million reserve fund to stop further increase. It’s possible that with the new payroll system and class size cap, this won’t have to happen again in the future.
“We’re working with our elected officials, both in the county and the state,” said Dr. Adams. “We also understand that the county is in a budget hold themselves.” This being said, the college can’t get what they always ask for. “It’s not sustainable for the institution as well. I admired our college president [Dr. Shaun McKay] who predicted these things were going to happen in 2010.
Even though Suffolk is an institution, it’s still a business – but this process of increasing tuition is not manageable. “If we don’t get increases on a yearly basis, we will have to continuously raise tuition.”
If you haven’t already heard, Suffolk Community College has plans to create a tobacco and smoke-free environment for the 27,000 students inhabiting the campus. This truth has generated great annoyance and frustration in some while for others, it is merely a gift they’ve been awaiting for too long. The question of whether or not it is ethical to ban a personal choice has raised controversy among students. However, the tables can be easily turned. Is it ethical for smokers to be inconsiderate to the health of those around them?
In my opinion, it is not. Liberal Arts Major, Eric Blanco’s opinion coincides with my own. Like myself, Blanco, 20, does not deem it ethical for cigarette users to blow smoke in the face of non-cigarette users. “I have asthma, and it’s already difficult enough for me to breathe on some days. I don’t need to sit next to a classmate who smells like they dumped an ash-tray on their head,” Blanco, 20, said. “It’s disgusting,” he said.
Like Blanco, I’ve had the same experience where the professor calls a 15 minute break during a three hour class, and everyone comes back, only to leave the room smelling like a chimney.
Student Jonathan Chu, 20, also says that if it were his choice to make, he would ban all smoking on campus to benefit his health and the health of others. “It’s not fair that I have to suffer second-hand smoke because of somebody else’s poor decision. I don’t ask to inhale the smoke. I don’t have a say,” Chu, 20, said. He also added that tobacco litter makes the campus look unclean and ugly. “I want to learn in a well-kept environment; not in a dump,” he said. A News 12 report indicated that 70 percent of the population agree with Chu when asked about tobacco litter in surveys recorded by Trustees. However, 24% oppose the proposal of smoke-free grounds.
Student Eddie Nunez, 19, is part of this 24 percent. When asked to share his opinion, Nunez, 19, said, “Why ban it? You can’t stop people from smoking. They should just make separate smoking sections further away from the school,” he said. Nunez said that people will continue to do what they want no matter how many limitations are imposed on them, and he does not think this plan of action will follow through.
Unlike Nunez, I believe the plan will follow through because it has already been successful in other colleges in New York State. It’s about time we try to make our college the first on the island to be completely smoke-free. “I’ve been to lots of places in Suffolk County and noticed that we have a lot of strict policies on smoking. Why not take it a step further?,” Blanco, 20 said.
Taking it a step further is what Suffolk Community College has been trying to do since 2013. The school is already following Suffolk’s law banning the use of cigarettes within 50 feet of any county edifice according to a News 12 article. Now, they are hoping to restrict the use of tobacco everywhere but on the inside of the personal cars of students and employees.
The best thing the college can do is take a stand for the health of others. Change can still be made in a crowd where “everyone is doing it,” as the majority likes to say. It is always important to push for a positive change, and a smoke-free campus will imprint nothing but a positive outcome.
By Robert Mantesta
“I go from class to work then end up in my bed ready to wake up and do it all over again”. That is how Jake Hillenbrand, a liberal arts major, describes his life.
Hillenbrand goes to school Monday thru Thursday while working just about everyday at Southward Ho Country Club. At the club, he does a little bit of everything that deals with golf. From caddying, to picking up balls on the driving range to cleaning clubs, he does it all.
From the classroom to the golf course, exhaustion is obvious. However, the 20-year-old Hillenbrand said he doesn’t mind his weekly schedule. “I like it actually because it keeps me moving and staying busy”.
Hillenbrand is not one to be found laying on the couch watching television during is off days. The gym is one of his favorite places to go as it helps him relax and relieve stress.
“Jake is a kid who just keeps running around no matter what he does. I honestly don’t understand how he doesn’t stop and rest”, Chris Saltys, a co-worker of Hillenbrand said.
Saltys has been working alongside Hillenbrand for the last three years and could not say a bad thing about him. “He is a hard working kid who loves to be out in the world”, Saltys said.
The fast pace life of Hillenbrand is nothing out of the ordinary for him because before the golf course, he was working with his dad in construction. This was back in high school but the work was just as demanding as it is now Hillenbrand said.
“The construction job with my dad was fun but it is nothing like the golf course. I really feel it couldn’t get any better than this”, Hillenbrand added.
Another co-worker of Hillenbrand’s, Chris Murkerson added on to what Saltys had said earlier. “Jake is a kid who will come to work and be at work. He won’t focus on anything else but what he has to do when he’s there with you”.
With all the time spent at work, Hillenbrand still somehow finds time to study and take care of his schoolwork. He has maintained a 3.4 GPA and says that no matter the circumstances he knows school is always most important.
“There are times where I don’t want to go to class and sleep in but at the end of the day it wouldn’t benefit me in the long run”, Hillenbrand said.
Hillenbrand plans on transferring to Farmingdale State next fall and continues to take on the heavy workload at the golf course.
By Robert Mantesta
A final at the end of the semester is okay but having to take a regents exam
that supposedly meant a lot for college was not ideal. These regents were made
out to be something that would be unforgiven if we failed. The other thing was
the difference between graduating with a regular regents diploma or an advanced
My high school guidance counseler let me know however that
these two had no effect on my acceptances to college. For my parents and I, a regents diploma and an advanced regents diploma meant nothing to us. The only thing that mattered to us was that I stayed on top of my work and graduated. Not to mention that these were New York State given and not every state had them.
I eventually applied to a few out-of-state schools that did not even care about a regents exam. The school that I first went to, SUNY Purchase had told me that they didn’t care about what type of regents diploma I had or took because the grades as a whole as well as the character of a person is what makes the decision.
These teachers spend countless classes telling us how important these
tests are and getting us ready for something that will not matter. As students we get put into categories on how far we went in our high school career. By doing this, some students may be hurt emotionally because they are basically saying we are not smart enough to get an advanced regents diploma. Taking a test and seeing our results should never tell how smart a person is because some of the most successful people today have not finished college let alone high
I believe teachers and schools pinpoint the wrong things that we should
be taught. My high school guidance counselor said that just about half the
students she had that went to college didn’t graduate with an advanced regents diploma. Why stress students with these kinds of tests when they won’t matter with whatever grade we get. The pressure of taking a test is hard enough so why bring more pressure saying colleges put some focus on them.
I never got an advanced regents diploma and I think I am turning out fine. Although I did fail out of my old school, it was not because my outcome of the regents exam but other dumb choices I made.
I feel that regents exam in no way determine your
future but you as a person and the choices you make will. I wish they would get us ready for the real world instead of making us living in the new york state dream world of tests deciding our future.
By Andres Castro
“I hope there is a much better turnout next time. Doing shows like this spreads awareness for people that have been ostracized,” Journalism major and Drag Show competitor Jenni Culkin said.
The Gay Straight Alliance club of the Ammerman Campus put on their very own Drag show. A Drag show is where men and women dress up as the opposite sex and perform. Men who dress up as women and perform are known as Drag Queens and women who dress up as men and perform are known as Drag Kings.
Men dressing in drag has become very popular in the media and society, it could be due to the fact that there is a highly rated television show called “Rupaul’s Drag Race,” in which men compete on television to become America’s Next Drag Superstar. Women dressing up as men is not as popular as men dressing up as women but is growing throughout the bars and nightclubs.
The Drag Show was held on Monday, April 28th in the Montauk Point Room and was scheduled to start at 5:00 p.m. and end at 8:00 p.m.
“The main reason for throwing the Drag Show is because the club wanted to have a signature event that the club would be recognized for in the future. Since the drag community falls heavily under the LGBT community we thought why not throw a Drag Show,” GSA’s Secretary and Drag Show Host Kevin Hill said.
The Drag Show was a fundraiser and donations were being accepted at the door. All the money gathered from the event would go to the Long Island Association for AIDS Care, Inc.
Unfortunately all that showed up to the event was about eight people, so it can be assumed that there was not a huge donation amount.
“The event was funded by out of pocket, because no club/organization has an actual budget. Meaning all money for club events, not fundraising, have to be requested. We are forced to pay for the prizes out of pocket to support the event,” Hill said.
There were only two contestants that signed up to compete in the Drag Show. Johnathan Davis Kruger played by Kristy Kruger and Fantastic Frankie played by Jenni Culkin. The contestants were judged on originality, crowd pleasure, performance, and their answers.
The judges were Assistant Academic Chair and Associate Professor of English Leanna Warshauer and GSA representative Alex Algeri.
For the talent portion of the competition Johnathan Davis Kruger’s talent was putting on makeup without a mirror and Fantastic Frankie performed an original monologue based off of the movie “Frozen.”
For the question and answer portion of the Drag Show, both contestants were asked a few questions each. The first question was, “how did you come up with your drag name?”
“I choose Johnathan Davis because of the lead singer of the band “Korn. He is constantly getting kicked down and he is my inspiration to keep getting up,” Contestant Johnathan Davis Kruger said.
“I choose Fantastic Frankie because it sounded like Magic Mike and that movie was awesome,” Fanatic Frankie said.
The next question was, “Why did you decide to participate in the Drag Show?”
“I am actually transgender female to male. I want to be the voice of reason. I want to make a difference in the world, even if it’s a small drag show I believe it can make a huge difference,” Kruger said.
“Well it’s something I wanted to do for a very long time. It spreads awareness that doing drag is not crazy its self-expression. It’s hard to find places that I can get in and do drag shows,” Frankie said.
After the questions, the judges deliberated and they decided who would walk away with the title of Drag King. The winner of the first GSA Drag Show was Fantastic Frankie!
The prizes were a Truth or Dare card game, a $15 ITunes gift card, Dirty Minds on the Go card game, a $20 Visa gift card, Every Ticket is a Winner sex scratch card, and a $35 Visa gift card.
The two contestants split the prizes fairly and equally. That is a lot of great prizes to split between two people. It pays to participate.
“It was a small competition, but it was nice to win something like this. Guys clothing is more comfortable than girls clothing, so I won in comfort,” Frankie said.
“It could have been better, the campus doesn’t seem to make this club a priority like other clubs on campus. I think the school should do more things like this. They can open up the eyes of the public. This is a big part of the community, I know there is so many judgmental people and that really needs to stop,” Kruger said.