Monthly Archives: April, 2015

The House of Bernarda Alba at Shea Theater

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By LaChonne Reese

The play The House of Bernarda Alba written by Federico Garcia Lorca is a drama about a second time widower and her five unmarried daughters living in 1930s Spain. Following the death if her second husband, domineering matriarch Bernarda Alba forces an 8-year mourning period for her and her unmarried daughters, Augustias (eldest) , Magdalena, Amelia, Martirio , and Adela (youngest).

The play was performed without intermission in the Shea Theater on the Ammerman campus. Directed by Jo Curtis Lester, the film was executed flawlessly from the acting to the stage display. The conviction each actress displayed to really become their characters was evident.FullSizeRender (3)

Bernarda Alba, played by Emily Winter, was the most memorable of them all. Her voice every time she yelled or went to strike one of her daughters with her staff kept the audience at the edge of their seats. Winter’s presence on the stage surpassed that of another actress. She owned the stage every time she stepped on stage and stayed in character from the moment she stepped on the stage to the final moment when she bowed in acceptance of cheers from the audience.

One of the most entertaining characters was Poncia, the maid who was a maid for Bernarda for about 30 years, played by Hayley Kinsler. She kept the audience laughing when she would no subtly add her shrewd sarcastic comments. However being that she knew Bernarda the longest, she was always honest about how controlling Bernarda was. Kinsler made the audience laugh numerous of times and more than once conveyed a character that gave the audience a sense of warmth and familiarity.

Maira Josefa, Bernarda’s crazed mother who spent most of the play locked away in her room, is played by Jessica McMullen. McMullen although not on stage very often was the most memorable because of her screeching voice each time she shouted for Bernarda to release her from her room. Hearing her voice gave me chills just imagining her suffering from being locked away alone in her room. Maria Josefa foreshadowed how Bernarda’s strict hold on her children would someday “turn their hearts into dust”.

FullSizeRenderBernarda Alba’s daughters were, Augustias, played by Hannah Morin; Magdalena, played by Debbie Santiago; Amelia, played by Moriah Ritchie; Martirio, played by Rita Sarli; Adela, played by Brianna Carella. Sarli, who played the physically deformed sister in the play, Martirio, gave a moving performance when she confessed her desire to find a husband just as Augustias did with Pepe. Adela, however gave the most intense performance as she approached each sister with hatred mostly towards Martirio who adored her most. Carella had the most diverse of acting expressions when she communicated her love, hatred, jealousy, and sadness to the audience. Carella was the most professional in conveying her character.

Overall, the play The House of Bernarda Alba was excellent. A two hour work of art in presenting the audience with how life was like for a woman in 1930s Spain. The actresses performed the play with great effort and made that evident.

College Provides Students with Recreational Gym Activities

By Jillian Weynand

Our tri-campus college is home to over 21 sports teams and intramural sports for students to become involved in.

photo courtesy of SCCC Athletics Website

photo courtesy of SCCC Athletics Website

With a busy schedule from day to day, it can be difficult to find the time to be active and stay fit.  Luckily, each campus here at the college is fully equipped with gymnasiums that offer intramural activities that take place during common hour each week.

There are only 4 rules to abide by to be involved in an intramural activity: one must be a current student of the college, all participants should sign in with a valid student id card, the student should have a minimum grade point average of a 2.0 and shall be dressed in proper gym attire.

To get involved with intramural sports or work out in the gym you don’t need to be on an athletic team or be a physical education student.  Any full time student of 12 or more credits with a valid student id can join in the fun down at the gym.

The intramural program is a great way to get back in the game if you don’t have the availability to be on a sports team here at school.  The program is a great way to get moving and be active while finding a beneficial way to spend breaks on campus between classes and during common hour every Wednesday at 11 am.

This semester co-ed intramurals began during early Feb. giving students the opportunity to take part in basketball, Zumba, ballroom dancing, soccer, volleyball/badminton, yoga/Pilates, and tennis.  The schedule for intramurals can be found on the SUNY Suffolk Athletics website or in the Brookhaven Gymnasium.

For students who are interested in using the weight or cardio room have full access to work out of free, rather than pay for a pricey gym membership.  Students need to sign in with a valid student id as well as check the schedule in the gymnasium lobby to find out what time the facility is available for recreational use.  Some physical education classes use these rooms for their scheduled meeting times.

A number of students don’t know about the intramural program or what kind of access they have to the athletic department even though they aren’t a phys. ed. student or team member in the department.  Students aren’t fully aware of the programs at hand and don’t take advantage of them as a commuter student.  Being a commuter student means that the student probably lives at home, attends school and is holding down a job or two and may not have the time to be a member of a gym or have the desire to pay for a membership.

The “open gym” concept that the college is advertising helps put students in the mindset that they can fit the time in to take care of themselves and stay fit without having to pay the price.

American Sniper To The SVA: Bringing The War From The Movie Screen To The Homefront

By Kristina Nolan and Stephanie Lemus

(Photo Courtesy of Google Images)

(Photo Courtesy of Google Images)

The film American Sniper has not only been a blockbuster hit since its debut in January 2015, but has sparked conversation across America about our military, and bringing attention to PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). The film, American Sniper has now surpassed Saving Private Ryan to be the top grossing war movie of all time, with 217.1 million dollars.

The movie depicts, the journey home and abroad of Navy SEAL Sniper Chris Kyle. It is a perfect resemblance to what our troops face not only during their deployment but when they return home. In most cases the silence and guilt they face after war is more haunting then the war itself. We decided to bring this issue from the movie screen to our neighborhood.

It is important to understand that not all veterans suffer from PTSD. PTSD by definition is is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.

Eight year United States Navy Second Class Petty Officer E5, Erik Heitz said; “I don’t think that I suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), I have quirks like anyone else. The only thing is that small spaces like elevators can be a little excruciating”

Heitz did see the film, American Sniper and thought that it was a good film but he says that his experience has been different as his deployments were abroad a battleship. “I have never been shot at,” Heitz said. Heitz does remember a time that a rocket was shot at the ship but missed the target, thankfully.

Heitz went on to say, “I joined the military because I was not ready for college or a job. I was just eighteen years-old, graduated from Comsewogue high school…My advice for people who want to join the military would be to choose a job that you are interested in. I got into carpentry after the military and I am trying to get my engineering degree,” Heitz concludes.

Heitz attended a school while being in the military for 2 and a half months for 7 days a week learning how to work in labs and testing fuels and it transferred as a basic science credit with no lab at Suffolk.

But there are those like Army Staff Sergeant William Smith, that greatly suffer from PTSD.  “I have woken up screaming a few times, and have changed my sheets because of sweating probably once a week for about two years.”

“My friend and I were planning on joining the military together, but life happened”. Smith joined after his friend later in life at the age of 25. It was at this age that Smith was working in New York City about 2 blocks from the twin towers on September 11, 2001. He joined shorty after. Smith was an Airborne combat medic who was enlisted for 8 years and was deployed to Iraq twice.

“Some things you can’t get over you just learn how to deal with them,” Smith said. “Anytime I hear a loud noise I automatically position my arms as if I were holding my gun,” Smiths adds.

Smith stated, “It’s an awesome experience, it is not for everyone but if it is something that you want to try, and then do it for you, your country, and your community.”

Smith mentioned that he wants to become a nurse; the only problem is that SCCC has the lowest rates of transferring for veterans. The only advantage they receive automatically is both of their physical education credits.

“A lot of people join the military for particular reasons,” Oscar Salgado, prior Army Sergeant of four years, said. “I did not know what to expect. I am the only one in my family who had joined,” Salgado said.

“It definitely changes who you are. You become weary of everything and everyone around you. It does isolate you once you are out of the military you are really all alone. In there you always have someone around you.” Salgado said.

“The military prepares for everything, but the emotions can hinder you for life and the way you function. Leaving the military, you may forget that you do not have to think that way anymore,” he adds.

“I do suffer from PTSD and from nightmares, it does effect you one way or the other,” Salgado said. Salgado does not seek any counseling or treatment for it currently.

“The truth is a lot more painful and brutal. We are not proud of some of the things we have done, and we are not going to brag about it. It is not something anyone shares,” Salgado concludes.

Salgado did attend Suffolk and was the first Student Veteran Association president in the Ammerman campus in 2012 and is now a student at Stony Brook University.

The SVA is located downstairs in the Babylon Student Center, it is no longer held in the Huntington Library. It is an environment devoted to helpveterans and where members in the military can relate and spend time with one another while attending the college campus.

The Benefits of Yoga on Students


Photo Courtesy of Stephanie Lemus

By Stephanie Lemus

For many years yoga has been known for its religious gratitude and medical cures on meditation and flexibility. From its religious Hinduism roots it has become secular and accessible for many individuals all around the world. Yoga is also being taught in classes and gym sessions for students.

“I decided to take yoga because I wanted to learn how to properly practice it.” William Banks, Liberal Arts major, said.

Banks shares that yoga has definitely had an impacted his life and that it has helped him build a lot of strength as well.

“I’ve discovered new ways to control my breath: slower and deeper breaths allow an individual to relax their body and muscles. It also releases stress,” he adds.

“I highly recommend other people to take yoga classes; it is much more than just stretching and posing,” Banks concluded.

“It helped me concentrate instead of turning to medication,” Mabilia Betagon, Nursing major, said.

Betagon decided to take 7 A.M. yoga classes during a very stressful time in her life. She was also while being pregnant.

“Too many things and too many events were going on at once in my life when I decided to take a Yoga class. Everything was happening so quickly and I needed to find a way to relax,” she adds.

“It was not dreadful taking the class at all while being pregnant. It was perfect. My professor actually encourages people to take the class when you are pregnant.”

Betagon discusses how it changed and impacted her lifestyle.

“I am more relaxed, energized, and it helped my posture. Not only that, but I analyze things differently. I recommend the class to everybody,” Betagon concluded.

“The ups and downs of life in general have inspired me to not only practice yoga but also to teach yoga.”  Denizzie Kearns, Adjunct yoga instructor at SCCC, said.

“Over 15 years ago, while I was living in New York City, I was looking for a way to take care of my stress and to take on my exercise routine from a new angle.” She said. “After one yoga session, I was hooked and ventured to different classes throughout the years.”

She personally has learned that no matter the kinds of obstacle she encounters in her life she can always rely on her yoga practice.

“My own practice has shown me that there are many paths to happiness and peace, and there are also many paths to unhappiness and chaos. I am fully in charge of the path I follow,” she said. “Every step is a new discovery and a new experience. Exploring this journey goes hand in hand with being a teacher.”

Professor Kearns was always interested in yoga before she became an instructor, and that her own life experiences have inspired her to teach it to others.

“I think just like yoga has impacted me, my teachers, my teachers’ teachers, and the lineage of teachers who taught them, it has indeed impacted my students. I see how many of my students have become so disciplined and now able to practice daily. They have also been able to make better choices such as changing eating habits, breathing through stressful situations, or avoiding unnecessary conflicts.”

Kearns explains how yoga involves a lot more than the physical body and stretching.

“The practice is not only about stretching or twisting the body into pretzel shapes like poses, but by doing the poses and breathing we calm the mind and move towards a deep understanding of ourselves,” Kearns shares.

It is important to keep in mind that everyone is different with learning the postures.

“There is something for every person, for every physical level, for every ability level. One thing to consider is you should take it step by step, breath by breath, without paying attention on what others are doing. The key to getting the best out of a yoga class is to consistently focus on your breathing.”

Kearn shares how yoga releases so much stress and tension in people’s life.

“Practicing an exercise where you move physically and mentally will actually teach you how to deal with stressful situations more easily. You see what works for you on a certain day or at a certain stage in your life, learn to listen to your body and simply be open to what comes up.”

“A yoga practice focuses heavily on the breath. Breathing is an automatic function of the body that is controlled by the brain. When we are under stress our breathing pattern changes and it disrupts the body as well as the mind. By learning to control our breath can help to manage stress and stress-related conditions,” she concludes.

More Tuition Same Wage


Photo Courtesy Of Pixabay

By Jamal Jordan
Over the past years, inadequate funding from New York State and Suffolk County has leave the burden of funding the college primarily on the shoulders of the students.
Ideally, the formula to operate the campuses is, “1/3 from the students, 1/3 from the county and 1/3 from the state.” This is in reference to New York Education Law 6304: NY Code-Section 6304: Financing of Community Colleges. However, this is not the case being.
In a previous interview with Robert Lipp, The Director of the Budget Review Office, he made it clear that the County is contributing their fair share.
“What the college uses to calculate the relative share of the State, County and student is based on SUNY methodology, which employs logic that is hard to follow. The percentage that are referenced exclude over $15 million in revenue that SUNY categorizes as “Offset Revenue” and approximately $3 million in grants. That’s over $18 million that doesn’t fit into any of the three categories,” said Lipp.
The State on the other hand has made no effort to increase funding for the upcoming 2015-2016 year and in order to bridge the gap of inflation, it’s rumored that the Board Of Trustees has approved an increase in tuition.
Students are already paying almost 46 percent to operate the college when they should only be paying 33 percent and increasing tuition while wages are stagnant is unjust and unfair to students who’re trying to earn a degree.
The fact still remains that students have bills to pay. Whether its rent or credit card payments, these are all factors that diminishes their paychecks and increasing tuition inclines student financially.
“More than 18,000 students receive some form of financial aid that enables them to attend Suffolk County Community College,  and even though there will be a  tuition increase, students with full TAP will also receive an increase in their TAP award,” said Drew Biondo, Director of Communication at the college.
Tanisha Garrett, a second year student at the Grant Campus received full TAP coverage for her tuition but she’s concerned for the students who work and pay tuition from their own pockets.
“People can’t afford to go to school, tuition is expensive enough,” Garrett opined. “How can they afford it if they’re working full time or part time and their wages are not increasing?”
Although some students do receive TAP awards, other have to pay their way through college however, Biondo said they don’t have to because they also receive an “award.”
“First year students are allowed $3,500 per year between subsidized and unsubsidized loans plus an additional $2,000 in unsubsidized eligibility.  Second year students are allowed $4,500 in subsidized and unsubsidized loans plus an additional $2,000 in unsubsidized funds,” said Biondo.
With the help of “Subsidized and Unsubsidized loans,” student are financially being placed into higher and higher debt every semester.
One of the main purpose of community colleges is to give people an affordable chance to attend college.
Many students such as Elizabeth Foster depends heavily on the Financial Aid Office. According to her, she “Applied for Financial Aid too late,” and is currently taking the semester off. Even though she works 25 hours per week, she’s not able to pay for the semester herself.
By no doubt, the college and the County has very close ties and as a result, the county gets away with contributing less than required funding.
Students need a break from hikes in tuition but most of them are too busy to realize there’s actually a hike.
I’ve covered a few articles of the college going after the State to increase funding and not the County. Many students were surprised to know that they were paying almost 46 percent in tuition.
The hike in tuition is something that only a few people knows of and students are way too busy with work and issues at home than to pay attention to unjust hikes.
The college is this to their advantage in that they don’t provide sufficient information for anyone to fully comprehend. The administrators at the college runs the campuses like a secret institution and getting any information in regard to any topic is funneled through Drew Biondo who strays away from answering directly

Students Choose Community College Over Four Year Institutions

By Jeanine Biggs

For students leaving high school, choosing where to continue an education can be a daunting task. A big decision for students is to figure out whether to go away to a four-year school, or stay home and attend community college. For students at SCCC, different reasons went into the decision to attend community college. A big reason why thousands of students choose community college over a four year institution is the money. Community college is significantly cheaper than universities, especially if the student plans to dorm on the campus.

“You can’t beat the price. That’s the main reason I went to community school, I’m receiving   education but at half, maybe three-quarters, of the price” business and administration major Kyle Schneyer, said. On average a semester at SCCC costs around $2,100 for a full-time

Photo courtesy of Google Images

Photo courtesy of Google Images

student. At the University of Albany, for a New York resident, a semester can cost around $10,000 and around $20,000 if the student chooses to live on campus. Students coming out of high school do not always have a clear idea on which career path they want to pursue in school or in their futures. For those students that don’t have an idea about what they want to do, it is smarter to go to a cheaper community school until they figure out their next move. Why waste thousands of dollars on an education and major that might change over the course of an education?

“A pro of community school is that if you did poorly in high school you are able to get your grades up so four-year institutions have something to look at other than your high school transcript” Liberal Arts major Kimberley Schwinge, said. Community college is almost like a second change for those who maybe slacked off or lost focus in high school. Community college is a place where a person can apply themselves and raise their grades as well as finding what they are truly interested in. Doing this allows students to move on to a four-year school with a goal and a better understanding of their path in life. Since students typically commute to SCCC and other community schools, they are given the time and opportunity to work their own jobs of campus. For people hoping to move on to other things in life or even another school down the road, a steady income can be a difference maker.

“A huge thing for me is that I also get to work while going to school. When you go away to a four-year college most students don’t work, so being able to bring in some money at the same time is huge” Schneyer, said. For many students, community college is the smart choice in planning for their future, and for some it works out in their favor.

Photo courtesy of Google Images

Photo courtesy of Google Images

“Life at a four-year school is probably better” student Jeff Bischof, said. This mind-set seems to be how a lot of students feel. Four year schools have a different atmosphere than community schools have. A major reason for this is the fact that students do not live on campus when attending a community school, they go to class, get their work done and go back home. It is a lot harder to meet people and become friends when you are rarely on campus rather than living with thousands of people your own age. The types of lifestyles lived on the different schools is a lot different from each other.

“The bad thing I believe is that you don’t really get to experience the real world, like doing your own laundry or deciding what to do for dinner. Also you’re not really putting yourself out there that much compared to a four-year school where you’ll be more interactive” Schneyer, said. Going away to school gives students a sense of being an adult, they live in the real world with real responsibilities to deal with without the help of their families.

“If I were to do it over again I would still choose community college. I will be able to get my associates without having any debt, and then I can move on to a four-year school” Schwinge, said. For those attending community school, having a game plan about your focus and major along with a time frame to stick to can be very beneficial for your future. People should not take community school lightly, it may be cheaper, but it is a quality education that can be the stepping stone to further your ideas and live out your dreams.

Gender Divide: The Difference Between Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse

By Kristina Nolan

Lacrosse, the ever growing popular game has extended its borders outside of its origin nation of the United States. It has been in America’s history since the beginning, it was the Native

(Photo Courtesy of Google Images)

(Photo Courtesy of Google Images)

Americans that invented the game. It has changed its form since the days it was played with rocks and two sticks strung together, to today where the mesh is artfully crafted and tightly strung with netting, the plastic shaft is crafted for each Individual player. The sport has gained worldwide attention.

The game is played by both men and women both with the same objective to score and win, but the game itself, rules and equipment and regulations, differs from each gender. A side by side comparison of a male and female lacrosse player would be an obvious distinction as the man has much more padding and protection, opposite of the female who has eye protection and a mouth guard.

The field size itself is different In men’s lacrosse, according to US lacrosse, the field measures 110 yards long and 60 yards wide. In women’s lacrosse, the field is a bit bigger: 120 yards long and 70 yards wide.

Suffolk Men’s Lacrosse Coach Greg Taylor stated, “It was a big argument 3-5 years ago, girls wearing googles it would be the ‘first step’ towards becoming more like men’s, the women’s senior purists of the lacrosse culture believed that googles would be the first step then the helmet then to full contact”. Basically saying that the art of women’s lacrosse would be lost and adopted into the ‘man’s game’.

Though Coach Taylor said that he does not for see that happening, he personally has never coached women’s lacrosse as the differences between men’s and women’s is so massive. But Taylor has tremendous respect for the female athletes.

According to the US Lacrosse organization, there are many differences not only in equipment and contact but in the rules itself. “The stick/shaft is not used the same way in men/ women’s lacrosse. Cross-checking is not allowed in women’s lacrosse and the stick cannot be used to hold, hit or detain other players in women’s lacrosse. In men’s lacrosse, stick-on-body play is permitted, as long as player is in the act of passing, shooting or attempting to scoop the ball”.

When asked what he thinks will change in the way women’s sports are viewed and judged compared to men’s, Coach Taylor said, “ It is a cultural question more than a lacrosse question, but women’s sports in general has come a long way”. He referenced the UCONN Women’s Basketball team and their success and understanding of the game and how underrated their skills go because it is women’s. Taylor went on to say. “They (male athletes) don’t notice the big picture until they have a daughter”.

The differences in equipment is the most notable, US Lacrosse Organization states again, “No pocket in stick is allowed. Shallow pocket rule allows for easier ball dislodgment. Mesh pockets are not allowed. In men’s lacrosse, Deeper pocket rule requires more aggressive checking”.

In men’s the usage of their stick differs from that of a woman’s as they have more free range in terms of checking and cross-checking. The biggest difference is that stick-on-body lacrosse is allowed in men’s which calls for different equipment and regulations. Men play what some may call a more ‘physical’ game.

St. Joseph’s College Woman’s Lacrosse Goalie Katie McGarrell stated, “the way our culture views females in lacrosse is widely different. You can see this by simply taking a look at the difference in equipment between the two. Men tack on pads, and helmets, and gloves. Us girls put on some goggles and a mouth guard and we’re ready to go. This is because, based on the way the rules differ, the additional equipment isn’t even necessary. No shooting if somebody is in front you, no putting your body in front of a shot, no cross-body checking! In fact, I think the only place it doesn’t differ is from the back of the net”.

The biggest part of any lacrosse players game is their stick. It is the ‘tool of the trade’ one may say. Women’s lacrosse sticks do not have a deep pocket this ties back in to the rules, since there is no aggressive cross checking like there is in men’s, hence a deeper pocket is required for a man’s pocket.

Every field player in woman’s lacrosse whether they are a midfielder, attack or defenseman they have the same length of stick. Attack man and midfield man (offense), have the same length of stick but the defenseman have a six foot long stick to be  able to be more aggressive on the ball.

It will be interesting to see how the game will adapt for both men and women in the years to come. What started in America continues to flourish and expand not only within our borders but outside of them as well, both for men and women.

The Benefits of SGA (Student Government Association)

By Ryan Wooley

All students at some point have been asked how they like Suffolk Community College. Each student at SCCC has a different school experience and is entitled to their opinion regarding the strengths and weaknesses of the school. Students who are unhappy with certain aspects of the school or have a concern with issues on the campus are given the option to voice their opinions. One of the best ways to be heard is to contact the SGA. The SGA, or Student Government Association, exists to represent the students at Suffolk Community College.

As with most government offices, the SGA holds regular elections. This year, the elections were held on April 13th – April 16th. Each of the campuses of SCCC have their own elections. The candidates for this year’s Ammerman campus elections are: Katie Nowak, Emily Vaughan, and Justin Micozzi. Students were given multiple options for voting. They could vote at the North Babylon Student Center or they had the option of voting by using their mySCCC account. On mySCCC, there is a student elections tab. On this tab, you can click on each of the candidate’s names to view their mission statement. Their mission statement outlines the candidate’s goals for the upcoming year. This allows for Suffolk Community students to evaluate each of the candidates and compare each to the others

Visiting the Babylon Student Center earlier this week, I was able to meet the current president of the Ammerman Campus SGA, Anthony Cheslock. Anthony was keen on promoting this year’s election. He told me, “The SGA in 4 year schools is much more popular and interactive than what we have at a commuter community college, but in this year’s election we are hoping to get at least 300-500 votes.” He also informed me of what SGA is about and how they aspire to be both leaders on campus and serve as the voice for all students. Even if a student is a “short-timer” at Suffolk, it is worthwhile to have some relationship with the SGA. This experience is valuable so that when you move on to a four year university, you are familiar with and have a basic understanding of how you can have an impact and potentially make a difference for your school.

I also was able to discuss the SGA and the election with one of the candidates as well as our Vice President Kaitlyn Altamirano. It was Kaitlyn who informed me of when current members of the SGA would be available in the Babylon Student Center. The candidate who I was able to get in touch with was Emily Vaughan. Emily is currently a senator within the student government. She went on to tell me of how she was promoting not just SGA, but the whole college as well. “ I’m an advocate for community colleges and was just in Albany a month ago advocating for SUFFOLK community college, doing everything possible to represent the students back at home. I’m currently in Texas right

now at ACUI, a conference which is a leadership development week long workshop.

I have gained so much experience in the last year and I’m super excited about running for president!”

One important thing to remember about SGA is that each campus at Suffolk has different candidates running for that specific campus. Seeing this sort of dedication from just someone who was running for president of SGA was something that was inspiring and surprising. SGA is a resource that should be taken advantage of. The more feedback our students give, the more results and action might take place afterwards. Most students here don’t know where to go to express their concerns or ask questions. Going to ask the SGA is a great option because they cover all issues and ideas that could help the student body at large. Researching and talking to people involved in the SGA was a motivating experience. The SGA protects our rights as students. Promoting the SGA and encouraging students to become more informed and involved will only help our school. The feedback and questions that are proposed might make a certain area develop and grow. Getting insight at what this group brings to the table and how they try as best as possible to represent our student body is a great challenge. Luckily we have leaders within our campus who are trying to take charge and make things as nice as possible for all students at SCCC.

Scholarship Info for Upcoming Graduates

By Jeffry Hernandez

With the semester coming to a close, many students are wrapping up their time at Suffolk and snagging their Associates Degree this upcoming May.

The college offers two types of degrees, an AA degree which is the popular of the two; a degree that focuses on a specific area of study that serves as a starting platform for students who plan on continuing their studies and achieving a Bachelor’s Degree at a four-year institution. Then there is the AAS degree, a degree that has a lighter load of work required than an AA and specifically focuses on a particular career path.

Throughout a student’s time at Suffolk, the college has offered the Get There from Here which is a scholarship awarded to students who have at least a 3.0 GPA and have performed ten hours of community service or more.

The amount given to the student is up to six thousand dollars annually to up to five semesters which can fully cover tuition for an in state student and have about six hundred dollars left over than can be used as college bookstore credit.

Along with the Get There from Here scholarship, the college also offers a scholarship called the Stay on Long Island scholarship (SOLI). This scholarship is aimed at students who are graduating from Suffolk with an Associate’s Degree and who plan on continuing their studies on the island.

The requirements for the SOLI scholarship are at least a 3.75 GPA and completion of an AA degree, the deadline for this scholarship is usually February 1st.

These are the only two scholarships the college offers (without specific course requirements) along with an extensive number of scholarship opportunities partnered with other four year institutions in the State of New York and a few schools in the surrounding areas.

But what about students who aren’t graduating from the college with a degree but plan on transferring anyways with just credits the accumulated? What about the students who plan on transferring to institutions across the country rather than staying home? Sadly, there are no scholarship opportunities for those students coming directly from the college.

During a conversation I had with Thomas Law, the man in charge of promoting the SOLI scholarship and other scholarships for graduating at the college; I asked why no help for students who plan on continuing their education without the emphasis on obtaining an Associate’s degree.

Law said “We encourage students to get a degree rather than just transferring without a degree because they’ll enroll into a four-year school for a few semesters then might possibly drop out – when you go meet with a potential employer it looks better on your resume that you have a degree rather than have sixty college credits without a degree”

Law also mentioned that “Today, you can’t really go far with just an Associate’s degree” understandably so, Apple Inc. won’t even hire you without a Bachelor’s degree.

Although Suffolk really has no scholarships to offer to those students who plan on transferring without an Associate’s degree, students can find scholarships at their transfer school’s website along with numerous scholarship websites such as and scholarship apps for your mobile device such as Scholly.

Campus Strikes a New Deal with Aramark

Courtesy of Google Images

By Jenni Culkin

Nine members of the Board of Trustees unanimously decided to approve Resolution 2015.14 on Thursday, Feb 19 as a part of their monthly meeting. The meeting ran from about 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the alumni room with a full-capacity audience of student leaders, college officials, the president of the college and the board members

The resolution authorized a contract with Aramark Education Services LLC for food and vending services, a follow-up to the contract with Dover that is going to expire in June of 2015.

Three companies initially proposed to fill the food service provider spot after the Dover contract expiration. The opinion-based data collected from students through an online survey was used to make the final decision.

Gail Vizzini, the Vice President of Business and Financial Affairs, stated during the meeting that the switch the Aramark will include such brand name selections as Starbucks, Chick-fil-a, and Subway.

“It’s a good deal,” said Brian Darwell, treasurer of the Student Government Association, when talking about the new brand name choices. “It’s all the stores we go to off-campus anyway.”

Vizzini also mentioned a few of potential benefits to student life from the switch. The opportunity to renovate the cafeteria to become a more social environment, later hours to accommodate evening students, and internship opportunities for graduates with the company were all discussed during the meeting.

“I believe the students deserve better,” said Grady Amilcar, the student trustee, about Aramark. “[They’re] going to offer better quality, better overall service.”

“I’m looking forward to seeing the renovation and the bigger selection for the students,” said Ammerman Campus Executive Dean George Tvelia.

The Aramark decision also sparked debate about whether or not to offer a prepaid card for students. At first, some student leaders had their doubts about the card, which would require students to fill a card with $100 or more at the beginning of the semester to swipe and go, like a gift card.

But the benefits outweighed any faults, according to the students who came to speak at the February 19th meeting.

“I feel like the card will be beneficial,” said Diondra Lane, a peer mentor from SCCC’s Eastern Campus in Riverhead.

If the card method were to be used by students, purchases of food will be tax exempt, cards will be valid at vending machines, cards will be available to employees and students alike, a discount will be available for students who put more than a certain amount in their card at one time, and leftover financial aid money can be used with the card as long as the student opts in beforehand.

Fortunately, the card isn’t the only way to make a purchase. Cash will still be a payment option for students, but the convenience of avoiding a line by a quick card swipe is an incentive for students to use the new card.

The discussions from the Feb. board meeting could mean tremendous changes for the college’s students. Lowering tuition, serving better food, and providing a more extensive educational environment all sound like positive points that could bring optimism on students that will attend the college in the fall semester of 2015.