Monthly Archives: April, 2016

Bookstore Profits Soar as Students Struggle: Fighting a Rigged System

By Lakisha Brown
Students are paying markup prices for books and essential school supplies following a backroom deal between the college and Follett Corporation. Bookstore policies and regulations are set up to increase the store’s profit, at the expense of students.

Follett, an Illinois-based private bookstore company, entered a five year contractual agreement with Suffolk on July 15, 2014. According to the terms listed in the contract on the college’s website, “Follett will pay an annual commission to the school ranging from 12 percent of a $5 million profit, and up to 14 percent of any revenue which exceeds $10 million.” The school has incentive to keep prices high, and students are left to bear the cost.

“They’re really high. I try to rent from Chegg because the prices here are ridiculous,” Sara Schabe, Ammerman campus student, said. Schabe expressed a lack of confidence or interest in the schools’ price match program. “I’ve not bothered with price match because most places that do that have too many loopholes, which makes it hard for you to benefit.” All across campus, students are outraged and have voiced their concerns about overpriced books. Online competitors such as Amazon and eBay rent and sell their books at a fraction of the bookstore’s costs, but some practices encourage students to buy from the bookstore despite the high costs. Financial aid becomes available three to four weeks after the semester has begun, forcing some students to rely on advance funding, placed on their school ID’s, from the college in order to purchase books and supplies that would otherwise be unaffordable to many students.

The school has initiated a “Price Match” program in which students provide evidence of competing prices for books or supplies, and the school matches the lower price. In addition, the bookstore will issue a gift card for the difference. However, terms and conditions do apply, but are not readily available on the school’s website. If the product is sold by Amazon, the agreement is valid, but if the product is sold from another carrier through Amazon, the store will not honor it. Students seeking to benefit from the price match program must contact bookstore management to fully understand price match terms prior to participating in the program.

Standard bookstore hours for all campuses are Monday-Thursday 9 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Friday 9 a.m. – 2p.m., and closed on Saturday and Sunday. Average daytime work hours are from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., and there are no drop box locations established, which can cause major issues for working adults needing to return rental books before set deadlines. According to the bookstore frequently asked questions section. “If you don’t return your books by the return date, we’ll charge your credit card a non-return fee as well as a processing fee and you will then own the book. You can keep the book or sell your book back pursuant to the buyback policies of your bookstore. The additional fees cover the expenses of finding another copy of the book before next semester.”

Returning books a couple of days late would still give the bookstore ample time to replace books before the next semester, but rejecting this notion ensures financial gain for their business. The bookstore benefits from late returns because they can charge students full price for their books, buy that same book back for less than fifty percent of the original price, and sell the book again to students for the next semester. In many cases, the decreased buyback prices are so low that students opt to sell their own books elsewhere.

In addition to the annual contractual incentive, Follett Higher Education Group, Inc. agreed to provide an annual $10, 000 general scholarship and an annual $10,000 textbook scholarship in the form of gift cards, both to be paid to Suffolk. The whereabouts of these funds are unknown, and raises questions and concerns for many.

The Student Liaison Committee is responsible for discussing issues that affect students and faculty, representing student to the Senate, and recommending solution to the Senate, according to their webpage.

“Most of the complaints I have heard about the bookstore are in the area of price and availability,” Richard Norman, Chair Senator of the Ammerman Campus Student Liaison Committee, said. “Unfortunately, I no longer get any bookstore reports because the bookstore representative is no longer on the student liaison committee,” he added.

“The Bookstore Committee generally meets at least once per semester, although this semester we’ve met twice,” Deborah Provenzano, former Governance and Students Bookstore Committee Representative, said. Infrequent bookstore committee meetings, and the student liaison bookstore representative vacancy, may be a sign that students don’t have sufficient representation or an active voice concerning the bookstore’s high prices.

Students can rent or purchase books at cheaper prices from websites like,,,, and Alternative options are eBook purchases,, and free Google eBooks. Students should forward their questions or concerns to members of the student liaison committee, Student Government Association, Christina Bosco, Bookstore representative to the Faculty Senate.

SGA Welcomes New President Carlos Cobo

By Dan Howlin

Students at the College voted for the new President of the Student Government Association (SGA) Between April 4 and April 7. After the online polls had closed, Carlos Cobo, a senator with SGA came out on top after running against two other candidates.

Cobo, who is in his second semester here at the College discussed his time as an SGA senator and what his plans are as president moving forward.

“I wanted to join SGA because I knew this club was far more prestigious than others at the school and I felt that this club was the most connected to the actual politics that run this school,” said Cobo, who joined the SGA earlier this year. He added “Being a senator meant I would do very legislative actions with the faculty and I was definitely right. I spoke to so many faculty and staff members that decide the overall presentation of the campus and knew that if I spoke to them on behalf of the students, they would take it into consideration and possibly change.”

His experience as a senator prepared him for a higher position and made him eager and willing to run for the position of President he said.

“I ran for the presidency because I felt I was most qualified for it.” He then added “I felt I was most qualified for it because with the change I hope to bring to Suffolk, whatever that change is, I have the charisma to compromise with the next senators coming in next year, along with the faculty and staff. I was very active in SGA and knew that as a president, I would raise the bar for how a president would act in moving the club forward.”

Cobo said he believes that even though he has only been in SGA for a year he has what it takes to be a leader.

“I never held a major leadership position before, but that doesn’t mean I don’t fit the part; I believe that the presidency was a position I could challenge myself with, and that’s not to say I’m just doing it for kicks. I want to take community college seriously, and being the president of SGA shows that,” Cobo said.

“The current SGA president actually called me that Friday afternoon, the day after the elections ended and told me that I won,” said Cobo, regarding how he found out he had won the election. “He had to tell the other candidates before telling me, so it took until the late afternoon for him to tell me. I’ve actually been trying to take a Friday or Saturday off of work to have a celebration party, but I’ve never had the time to do so. When I get a Friday or Saturday off is when I plan on celebrating.”

As president, Cobo said he hopes to be active with the college, the staff, the students and the community. One of his major goals is to make the college more environmentally aware, because he believes it’s something worth fighting for.

“We’ve had some connections with Melanie Morris, the chairman of the Environment and Sustainability department at Suffolk, so as President I hope to further work with her and push for more environmental projects, other than just Earth Week, an event going on right now,” Cobo said.

One specific goal that Cobo hopes to accomplish is putting a water filtration system in the Babylon Student Center saying he believes Melanie Morris is the key to this accomplishment because “she has worked with previous organizations to get those devices installed in their own schools.”

“Being the only Hispanic to be running for president, I especially wanted to win for the fact that despite a majority Caucasian population in the Ammerman campus, I wanted to make that difference and be of minority race winning a major position for any club in the campus,” said Cobo when discussing why becoming President meant so much to him. Cobo stressed that he was not saying “vote for me because I’m Hispanic” because he believes that the most qualified candidate should be elected, but he does believe his diversity will better prepare him for his role as President.

Looking ahead, Cobo said he knows that being President is a big responsibility, but he looks forward to being involved with everyone at the school.

SVA Hosts Movie Screening to Honor Wounded Veterans

By Sara Schabe

The Student Veteran’s Association from the Eastern Campus hosted a screening of the documentary Welcome to Soldier Ride on Thursday, April 7 . The event was held at the Suffolk Theater located in Riverhead where speakers included the producers of the film, Matthew Hindra and Nicholas Kraus, along with local veterans and families of lost veterans.


Directors Nicholas Kraus and Matthew Hindra answering questions about their film, Welcome to Soldier Ride.


This event was the brainchild of SVA president, Matthew Robar. In 2014, Robar’s wife brought him to see this film at the Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor. The film was about a bartender at The Stephen Talkhouse in Amagansett, Chris Carney who decided he wanted to do something to help wounded warriors. Without any real cycling experience, Carney came up with an idea to ride a bike across country to raise money and awareness for war veterans. He brought the idea to the Wounded Warrior Project and they thought he was nuts. Here was a man who had never ridden a bike for an extensive distance that wanted to ride almost 4000 miles. As outlandish as the idea was, Carney made it happen. For months he raised money at the bar with donation jars, benefit concerts and more. In 2004, Carney embarked on his first soldier ride. The following year he was joined by veterans Ryan Kelly, single leg amputee and Heath Calhoun, double leg amputee. The ride went all the way from Montauk to Los Angeles.

Being a veteran, Robar was inspired and thought what an excellent thing this would be to show to the veterans and community of Suffolk County. Before pitching the idea, he went to an Angel Bikes event where they were giving a bike that allowed physically injured veterans to cycle without the use of all their limbs. Angel Bikes is an organization that provides alternative bicycles to veterans. Qualifiers for these bikes are referred to as “Angels.” Robar said he thought, “It’d be a great idea to hold an event where we showed the film and gave away one of these bikes.”

It was then that he took this idea back to the SVA. Everyone seemed to be on board so they began planning and fundraising. “Our fundraising included two 5K runs on campus,” Robar explained, “We went to American Legions, I went door to door with Abigail (Vice president of the SVA) to get donations from business owners in Riverhead and Sag Harbor.” Other members of the SVA also did their own fundraisers with everyone promoting it on their social media. “We did quite a lot to fundraise,” Robar said.

With all of their fundraising, they were able to raise enough money to purchase an Angel Bike and cover miscellaneous expenses but they couldn’t collect enough money to pay for the venue. Shannon O’Neill was hired by the College to be the head of Veterans’ Affairs on all three campuses and she was able to convince the Wounded Warrior Project to sponsor the venue.

Along with the film screening, the SVA presented money to the Wounded Warrior Project and an Angel Bike to Fabrizio Bustos, a disabled veteran and peer to the late veteran and Angel, Bobby Hommel.

The event had a few missions. The main point of the event was to raise veteran awareness. “We wanted to show that even though there are things that disabled veterans can still do, they still need help and resources. There are so many ways out there that we can help them,” Robar explained, “We wanted to get the community involved and just spread total awareness of the issue.”

Also, the event was a way to raise money. “All of [the event’s] proceeds will be going towards two memorial scholarships and to emergency funding for all student veterans on all Suffolk Campuses,”   said Shannon O’neill, head of veterans’ affairs.

Matthew Robar will be graduating in May but he hopes the SVA will continue to host events like this and he is more than willing to help.

“Without members of the association, none of this would have been possible,” Robar said.

Long Island Radio Legends Gather On Campus

By Jignesh Majmundar

Many legendary household names of Long Island Radio gathered at Ammerman Campus on April 6, 2016. This was a first-of-its-kind on-campus gathering of 10 radio icons. Legends of Long Island 005

The icons present on the  college stage, from left to right, were Mark Daniels, Cindy, Donna Vaughan, Jay Letterman (aka Charlie Lombardo), Steve Harper, Bruce Tria, Rob Miller, Wendy Wild, and Jarrett “Skywalker” Galeno. Among these icons, Cindy, is a proud SCCC alumnus, Steve Harper is a graduate of SCCC and Bruce Tria had also taken some communications classes at SCCC before opportunity knocked on his door in 1976. These icons have worked their entire life and vested their careers in radio broadcasting. They have not only helped evolve Long Island broadcasting from a smaller radio market to one of the largest markets in the country but have also shaped the industry in such a way that it is a distinct “niche” in today’s radio broadcast business.

The event was co-sponsored by the Suffolk Broadcasters Club and Long Island Radio and Television Historical Society. The event was webcast live on Sharks TV through college’s website at Alan Bernstein, Assistant Academic Chair and Professor of Radio and Television production here at SCCC was the host speaker who introduced these radio legends.

“The point of this whole exercise is to take these people who have been a part of the life of Long Island Community for the past 20 to 30 years and put them together on the same stage to discuss the evolution of Long Island as a radio market,” Bernstein said in his opening remarks. He also added, “Being brought up in Flushing, Queens, I am a city kid. But when I moved to Suffolk County in 1974, I had a fascinating experience of listening to Long Island Radio. I had never heard such a localized, community spirited radio as the one on Suffolk County that has obviously evolved quite a bit over the years.”

Later on, while sharing their stories, each radio icon agreed that Long Island Radio, although much evolved, is still pretty localized and family friendly as opposed to New York City radio market.

While on the stage, these icons shared their stories of how they got involved with LI radio broadcasting, their unique career experiences and challenges they faced. They also discussed the Long Island radio and broadcast market.

“I think the first thing that comes to my mind is to remember and make sure that we are the mirror image of our listeners, may be not necessarily in terms of what they look like, but in terms of their life-styles, their parenting, about the challenges of living on long island. Some of the funny things that we call ‘Long Island’ that only we know, and just present something that they are already familiar with. So in designing the show, we try to stay as local as Long Island only that we possibly can. We think that that has helped keep people interested in ‘WALK’ because it is like we are part of their family, their radio family,” said Mark Daniels of breakfast club morning team at ‘WALK’.

“I grew up in Nassau County and moved to Suffolk when I started working at ‘WALK’. It was always kind of a culture shock because Nassau is kind of Western Suffolk and everything that people really listen to are New York City radio stations. New York City Radio is not very family centered, it is very edgy and trendy where as in Suffolk County, the radio stations are very local, family and community centered. This move took a little bit of ‘getting used to’ for me personally. That was kind of intimidating for me initially and it was a lot of responsibility, too, to walk in sort of the last frontier for radio news because a lot of radio stations were cutting back news to the point where it was almost non-existent and ‘WALK’ still has weekly news, afternoon news and evening news. That was a lot of responsibility to keep the news local to Long Island,” said Donna Vaughan, the news director responsible for keeping news local to Long Island, of ‘WALK’.

“It is the connection with the morning audience and the feeling that they are relevant. I think that is why a lot of us still love radio. We are just relating people to what has happened before and things that are happening in real-time. We get to convey that to people.” said Steve Harper of WBLI morning show when asked about what was so special about morning audience.

“It is all about the locality. You can not just take my radio station that serve the Brooklyn, Staten Island and Queens Community and drop it down somewhere in Long Island,” said Miller, the programming director of iHeartmedia.

All of them stressed the importance of knowing the community they serve and being relevant in order to satisfy their audience needs. They all have a common goal of becoming a specialized radio station in the region and being successful. This is critical to keep the audience loyal to their program broadcast. It shows how focused and community centered they have been in shaping the Long Island region into a distinct “niche” in the radio broadcasting business and helping it evolve from a traditional smaller radio market to one of the largest technologically intense markets in the country.

Foley Set To Return as Head Coach

By Nick Abate

The women’s basketball team has been extremely

Coach Kevin Foley will be coming out of retirement to return to coaching the Lady Sharks basketball team in Fall 2016.

Coach Kevin Foley will be coming out of retirement to return to coaching the Lady Sharks basketball team in Fall 2016.

successful during the tenure of Kevin Foley, who coached the women’s program to 21 straight playoff appearances, as both the women’s head basketball coach and the school’s athletic director.

After a total of 23 years at the helm, Foley along with his assistant coach Kerry Swanson stepped down in 2015  down. During his 23 years coaching at Suffolk, he led his teams to a  410-130 record, recording nine 20-plus winning seasons, including 12 semi-finals, six regional championships, andone national title in 2003.

After some players learned of a coaching change and that Foley would be eventually stepping down, it did not sit well with most of the players that Matt Brisson would be the new head coach and by Thanksgiving the outnumbered team’s roster went from nine women to only five, just enough for a starting lineup.

“There had definitely been a low turnout during tryouts which did not bode well for the season, but we figured that at one point the numbers would increase and that just never happened,” Foley said.

Meaning so much to the women’s program and athletics in general, it was a hard for him to watch the program he helped build to respectability. “When you work that hard to build a powerful program it was definitely hard to watch these players suffer especially when you have a personal relationship with these players.”
What should have been a relaxing year off from coaching started to become a disaster for Foley, as he was forced to cancel the 2015-2016 season, forfeiting all regional games and putting an end to what had been a nightmare first season away from the game he loved.

As the 2015-2016 season was marked as a failure, it was time to make sure the problem wouldn’t repeat into the following year. As recruiting for the next season started, Foley noticed Brisson making the same mistakes from the previous season, as the tryout numbers continued to disappoint and the team started to see a significant drop in dedication from some of their best players.

“When I saw the lack of dedication from players that I knew loved the game, that’s when the alarm went off in my head that this was getting to a point of no return and my job was to make sure it did not hit that point.”

After long talks with administration, Foley and others felt it was time that he and Kerry Swanson return as assistant and head coach for the 2016-2017 season, restoring order in a program that has seen tremendous success with Foley at the helm.

“It’s all about building relationships in this kind of sport and in any sport. When you show your hard work and dedication as a coach, it has a tendency to have an effect on your players. They see it. They feel it, which helps them buy in and stay dedicated throughout a long rough season,” Foley said.

Foley said he believes he brings a great attitude towards the game and if there’s one thing for sure, it is that the women’s basketball program should be returning to elite status.

End of Semester Calls For New Excuses

By Thomas Reilly

With the spring semester coming to an end in the next couple weeks the stressful times are approaching for all college students. Final exams, projects that require you to stand in front of your classmates and speak, or ten page long papers are soon to be due. With every college student looking ahead a couple weeks and losing sleep over the work they are going to be required to do, the classic excuses as to why they cannot make a class or why they missed the assignment deadline start to come out. Yes this happens all semester long but it really seems to happen quite often towards the end of each semester. Some excuses over the years became so cliché that professors knew that it was all you know what, which forces students to become creative, some even dark and depressing. Suffolk is no exception as some students have come up with some pretty weird excuses as to why they either had to miss a class or why they couldn’t hand in the assignment on time.

Perhaps the most popular excuse from a college student at Suffolk is something was wrong with their car. Students who go away to college do not have the luxury of using the car as an excuse, so Suffolk students make sure they take full advantage of it. “My car has broken down many times over my time at Suffolk,” said Billy. “I might have told every professor I’ve had so far my car broke down. Hopefully they don’t get together to talk about this stuff.” It is crazy just how easily college students’ cars break down nowadays.

The car excuse is an easy excuse for those students who drive themselves to class. Students who dorm at college have to come up with different reasons why they missed class. According to USA Today, the most common excuse a college student gives their professor is “my alarm didn’t go off.” This is the most obvious and least believable excuse out there. Professors know a student is lying when this is their reason for missing class. USA Today says that the second most common excuse is “my internet was not working.” Now this could happen sometimes, however it is an excuse that is used so much that it has become unbelievable for professors.

The excuses for being absent are fun and crazy; the excuses for missing assignments are even crazier. Perhaps the reason why these excuses are more far-fetched is because they apply to every student at any level, not just college. Every excuse has been used before so creativity is a must.

“My professor once said on day one that he does not want to hear any reasons why we missed our assignments. He said he has heard every excuse and does not want to hear it,” said Keith, a former Suffolk student.

The most common excuses for missing work according to USA Today is my printer did not have any ink. Please, do not ever use this excuse, it will only get your professor to hate you. Although I would much rather somebody use this than a “death in the family excuse”. Yes, students do lie sometimes about this.

“I would never lie about something that serious only to be excused from work. I do believe it has happened before, but I would never do it,” said an anonymous student at Suffolk.

Some college students may lack in motivation and commitment to succeed in class. However no college student lacks the ability to come up with a creative excuse as to why they missed class that day.IMG_1848

Heroin Epidemic Must Come To An End

How Music can Save Your Semester

By Fabrizio Salerno

While doing any school related activity, it is important for students to listen to the proper music to get them through it. Music is good for your soul and can get anyone especially students on the right path to more success.

As students it is important to listen to music because it just clears you mind and can make you focus more on any specific topic. Streaming services worldwide understand that college students need music now more than ever which is why they implemented a student discount to subscribe to their services. Spotify, Tidal, and Pandora all have student discounts which charge around $4.99 a month which is more than half of the regular going rate. Apple music is in works to implement a plan to have users at an affordable price because most people have iPhones and those people are students so put two and two together, and you have a leading streaming service.

These services all provide a playlist for any type of activity you can think of whether it is cooking, or working out, and most importantly studying. They have a playlist which includes sounds of even beats to songs without the lyrics so that students can realize they are focused and in the zone to make the test the best thing they have studied for.

“Music makes the world go round and without music, I wouldn’t even know what to do with myself”, Liam Stevenson, a student at Suffolk Community College states. Stevenson says that his best genre to study to is hip-hop. The rea

son being is that the beats that producers use to make hip-hip music make your brain click and you just feel like you are more focused. Liam says that pop and country music are good but he feels that hip-hop is the number one answer to studying.

John Balfe says that “Hip-hop with no regrets, is the best choice to study to”. He states that Future, J.Cole, and Kendrick Lamar are his go to artist to make a playlist to when he has review to do whbeatsen it is test day. “Future has the most creative beats to listen to, Kendrick (Lamar) makes you think about what life is really worth, and J.Cole is the most influential to my life”.

Music in any way, shape or form, is art and as students we respect people’s art and it shows that today, it’s easier than ever to bring your music with you wherever you go as music has become inherently portable. We listen to music while we walk, cook, drive when we want to feel happy or relaxed. Music has become a fundamental part of our lives, which is why students are so eager to know whether it will negatively or positively impact their studying. Nicholas Choo loves listening to music while studying. “It takes you out of the world and puts you straight into the zone to where you would want it to go.

Since music can impact and regulate your mood and the best mood to study in is a more relaxed mood, choosing music that helps you relax but also with enough beat or rhythm to ensure you don’t zone out while studying is crucial. But music that’s too loud or with too much of an upbeat tempo can also be distracting, so having a playlist or specific artist you turn to for studying music can really help.

If you’re the type of person who has more difficulty multitasking and is easily distracted, listening to music while studying may just cause your attention to drift to the music rather than help you concentrate on your material.

Sharks Rip Apart College With Parody Twitter

By Julianna Buscemi

Twitter, one of the largest social media platforms is home to the college’s 9,000 follower, student run parody account. SCCC Problems, known as @SuffolkCCCProbs, has featured nearly 6,000 tweets and 40 images on its page since its creation in December 2011. It’s feed primarily maFullSizeRenderde up of ‘retweets’ of other Suffolk students, showcases common issues and complaints regarding professors, parking lots, unsanitary bathrooms, or sometimes simply funny moments captured on campus. Some of the most popular tweets include, “College is cool because if you relax for 5 seconds then all of a sudden you’re failing 11 classes even tho you’re only taking 5” from @MarioPalush, and “There is always that one person who drives the wrong way on a the one way road” from @MCimmy12.

Owner of the account, who chooses to remain anonymous, says that “I started it because I thought it would be fun and a good way for students to interact knowing they all have the same problems on campus”. Although humble, the page owner says that they did expect the account to become as popular as it did, their reasoning being “Only because I know I’m very social and try to help out as much as I can when it comes to students asking questions”.

Along with the always popular *picture of the outrageous park job* and “We’re supposed to get 12 inches of snow tomorrow when is Suffolk going to cancel classes” crowd favorites, the twitter page with close to a 9,000 student following creates a platform for students to be able to interact about things that can aid in their success at Suffolk. Students can tweet questions regarding professors available for classes they are registering for and are ‘retweeted’ by @SuffolkCCCProblems, which can lead to an overwhelming response by its large following, and can help the student make a decision based on the response. An additional benefit to students of the parody twitter page is the opportunity it presents to buy and sell textbooks outside of the campus bookstore. The same way in which students can interact with each other about professors through ‘retweets’, it can be done through images uploaded of certain textbooks students need and or want to sell, which can be much more beneficial than bringing in an old textbook to the bookstore and being offered $20 when you purchased it from them for $300.

@SuffolkCCCProblems, an anonymously run parody twitter page whose name owns up to its content, has seen great success since its start in 2011. It has proved that students of Suffolk are not shy about the issues they are having on campus, and that they are not alone. Those who are interested in starting a twitter page of their own are most likely guaranteed success. According to the owner of this popular twitter page, @SuffolkCCCProblems, “I just think the key to popularity with these things is being nice and outgoing”. The 9,000 followers the page has earned in the 5 years of existence would certainly agree.

Scholarship Awareness Importance

By Deanna Honett

More than 400  SCCC scholarship opportunities are available for students, but a major dilemma seems to be the lack of knowledge of where to look when someone wishes to find out more information.

Students are not aware of informative faculty members who are not only passionate about helping them,  but also happy to do so when students come seeking help or guidance. By discussing and forming bonds with the faculty, students can gain knowledge from people who not only have hands on experience, but have years of advice they can offer.

Dr. Donna Ciampa, campus associate dean of academic affairs on the Grant campus talked about an app called “SCHOLLY.” This app is not free, costing $2.99 through an APP store, but those that decide to download the app will find rewards and countless scholarship opportunities. The minimum cost is setting you up for a future that could potentially save you thousands of dollars in the long run.


Edwin Roldan, Grant campus admissions counselor offered a pamphlet that presented a list of college names that were all located on Long Island on the inside.

“Do you like any of these colleges? We have a program here that you can apply to that gives you a chance to attend any of these colleges for free,” Roldan said. For any student, no matter what their circumstances are, being able to attend and receive a college degree for free seems too good to be true and impossible. This chance for students could lead to so many different opportunities, and experiences, and relieve many of the anxiety of not being able to afford continuing their college education.


The scholarship program is called “It Pays to Stay on Long Island.” College President Dr. Shaun L. McKay created this scholarship program in 2011 so that Long Island could keep young and talented students on the island, while also giving qualified students a chance to attend the Long Island Colleges and Universities for a full ride. This scholarship program has awarded a sum of approximately $640,000 annually to 31 students. More than $3 million have been awarded in the form of different sized scholarships to over a hundred students in either full ride scholarships or partial scholarships.

This program gives students the opportunity to be provided with both full and partial tuition scholarships if they are qualified, as students transfer to one of the partnering four-year Long Island colleges to finish their education and receive degrees. The schools  partnered with this program are schools that many of students are already looking to attend. They include Adelphi University, Briarcliffe College, Dowling College, Farmingdale, Five Towns College, Hofstra University, LIU Post, LIU Riverhead, LIU Brentwood, New York Institute of Technology, The College of Old Westbury, St. John’s University, St. Joseph’s College and Stony Brook University.

Kimberly Desz, an Ammerman campus student, is transferring to Stony Brook in the fall for the social welfare program. She is a hard worker and goal driven student who wants to help people. She admits that her biggest downfall though is that she tends to be on the quieter side, causing her to not interact much with staff or professors outside of the classroom. When learning of the scholarship program  and what it offers to students like herself, with Stony Brook being one of the partnered colleges, she looked disappointed.

Photograph of current Suffolk student Kimberly Desz taken on April 11, 2016

Photograph of current Suffolk student Kimberly Desz taken on April 11, 2016


“I wish I knew about this sooner so I could have applied to it. I just didn’t hear anything about it so the only reason why I didn’t apply was because I didn’t know,” Desz said.  This shows the importance of asking around about what options there are for  students because these opportunities were created in order to fit  students’ needs.

Students seem to not realize how many faculty members enjoy interacting with us. Being able to talk to people, to pick their brains and not be afraid to ask questions is so important. It could lead to some life changing answers, like finding out there are opportunities for  students to continue their education at colleges on Long Island for free.

Hopefully more of our students can begin to see the many chances and opportunities that are out there for them as they pursue their passions and strive for their goals. There is a famous saying “when there’s a will there’s a way.” Our college helps ensure students to have options in whatever direction they choose to lead.

“Follow your passion and always be true to yourself. Be a person of your word. Follow through. These are all ways to be successful. Be a leader,” Ciampa said.