Category Archives: Editorial

New School! New Sport!

By Andres Castro

Multiple sports to choose from.

Multiple sports to choose from.

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.



Play Hooky When Planning On Doing Hookah

A commonly used water pipe.

A commonly used water pipe.

By Andres Castro

We are always hearing the negative affects about cigarettes and yes they are totally a bad habit but now there is a growing trend with people doing hookah. Hookahs are water pipes that are used to smoke specially made flavored tobacco.

There are hookah lounges popping up everywhere in which people go to these bars drink, party, and smoke hookah. People probably do not realize that hookah is just as bad as or even worse than cigarettes. Hookah smokers probably believe since it is usually flavored that smoking hookah is less harmful.

According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, charcoal is used to heat up the tobacco used in hookahs and this charcoal can raise health  risks by creating high levels of carbon monoxide, metals, and cancer-causing chemicals. The tobacco used in hookah contains toxic chemicals that increase the chance of some cancers. Hookah smokers are at the same health risk for diseases as cigarette smokers, which include oral cancer, lung cancer, and cancer of the esophagus, reduced lung function, and decreased fertility.

Smoking hookah is usually done in a group where each individual smokes from the same hookah using the same mouthpiece. Honestly, just that fact alone is skin crawling, to go to a bar where plenty of people have gone before and sit at this hookah and put this mouthpiece in your mouth and then pass it around the table with different individuals, even though they could be your friends, sounds unhygienic. Nobody knows where those other people’s mouths have been or whether not they could be sick or diseased.

It is no surprise that hookah use has become so popular among minors and college aged students. The use of hookahs by celebrities have popularized this negative behavior. Celebrities such as Drake, Kim Kardashian, Christina Milian, and Rihanna have all been photographed smoking hookah. Celebrities are truly the ones who have the say so to what’s popular and what’s not, and if the very impressionable youth see them doing something, most likely they are going to copy.

There are commercials on TV all the time showing smokers the negative affects of what smoking can do and how you can end up. Like having cancer, having to live with stoma, and what it can do to your teeth and skin. Watching these commercials, I believe it is geared toward cigarette smokers and maybe it should be geared to all types of smoking or maybe there should be a commercials speaking about the negative effects of smoking hookah.

Smoking hookah and smoking cigarettes both have negative effects on the body. Nicotine is the highly addictive drug found in tobacco products such as cigarettes and is found in the same tobacco that water pipes use.

According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, because of the way a hookah is used, hookah smokers may absorb more of the toxic substances that are also found in cigarette smoke. An hour-long hookah smoking session involves 200 puffs, while smoking an average cigarette involves 20 puffs. The amount of smoke inhaled during a typical hookah session is about 90,000 milliliters compared with 500–600 milliliters inhaled when smoking a cigarette.

These facts do make sense, when someone decides to smoke a cigarette, they go outside, smoke their cigarette, and when they are done, they continue doing what they were doing before. When it comes to smoking hookah, people usually sit around a hookah for long periods of time constantly taking puffs.

When it comes down to it smoking is something that should ultimately be avoided. Whether its cigarette smoking, smoking hookah, or any other types, the negative effects certainly outweigh the negative fun you maybe having while doing it. Smoking hookah can negatively affect you as much as cigarettes or even more. The next time you are out with friends and someone is trying to pass you that unhygienic mouthpiece, just say “no thank you,” and get up and get on the dance floor.

Benefits of Community College

 By Kyle Barr

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Student Government Association Elections End With New Government Members


By Ariel Ransom

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

The Student Government Elections sign in the Babylon Student Center

The Student Government Elections sign in the Babylon Student Center

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Professor William Burns Talks About Rising Popularity

Professor William Burns in his Islip Arts Building office

Professor William Burns in his Islip Arts Building office

By Ariel Ransom

     Riveting posters featuring bloodthirsty aliens and grotesque homicidal monsters cover neutral colored walls, and variations of literature textbooks reside in fully packed shelves in Professor William Burns’ office. Burns is content in his domain that praises the fascinating realm of horror and comics, as the professor enthusiastically critics the ideas concerning the architecture of villains in today’s comic book industry.

     The sheer passion that Burns resonates as he speaks is utterly refreshing, and it is no surprise why the students on campus form such an appreciation for the professor. Yet, fans of Burns do not know about the past of the infamous professor on campus.

     “I had a normal suburban upbringing. My father was a policeman, my mom worked for the IRS, and I grew up in Holbrook. We took one vacation a year, and I even played Little League.” William Burns, the Associate Professor of English, said. “Nothing traumatic, just a normal childhood!”

     Burns attended Hofstra University as an undergrad, completing with a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in English and Film. Continuing onto the Southern Connecticut State University, the beloved professor attained a Master of Arts degree in American Literature, and completed his studies with a Ph.D from the University of Rhode Island. However, Burns finding his way as a professor to Suffolk is heartening.

     “I was on the job market, and I thought it was interesting growing up five minutes from the college, and going to school and college here [in Suffolk County].” Burns said. “If I didn’t have that sense of community and connection here, I wouldn’t be here.”

     The sense of kinship Burns has for his childhood community aided him in gaining a position on campus, but the professor did not always want to be a teacher despite his astonishing fame among students. Burns was more interested with being an artist or movie director in his early schooling years, but admits that his skills are well-founded in being a professor.

     “I don’t have an aptitude for anything else. Everything before teaching was an abject failure.” Burns said. “I just fell into it [being a professor at Suffolk]. I never thought about it.”

     Professor Burns, despite his rising popularity, is humbled by the idea that students on campus are fond of him. Yet, students are not the only individuals who praise Burns, for his fellow peers acknowledge the unique charisma the professor has.

     “He [William Burns] is in-tune with the modern trends in literature.” Edward Eriksson, a Professor of English, said. “He is into sci-fi and horror, and he has a lot of energy when he works with the students.”

     Burns’ work with the students and devotion to their success is notable not only through his class lectures, but through his extra work in the Library Writing Center where he aids struggling students. The professor is proactive in helping students understand the mechanics of writing and literature, while still maintaining his comfortable atmosphere.

Zombie Statue situated in the corner of William Burns' Islip Arts office

Zombie Statue situated in the corner of William Burns’ Islip Arts office

     “I met him at my first semester of the Horror Science Fiction Club, and then I met him again in the writing center. When it comes to the Writing Center, I thought he was really hands on and helpful to everyone who sought help.” Donna Ossenfort, a Liberal Arts Major, said. “When it comes to the sci-fi club, I like that he showed movie clips because it opened your eyes to all the elements and different categories in sci-fi. I wasn’t in the club for long, but with him being in the writing center, he stood out because of his helpfulness and kindness towards the students.”

     Burns has proven that he goes far beyond what is typical of a professor, as his unyielding kindness and energetic nature tares him apart from the typical campus educators. The unbridled passion and devotion Professor Burns emits when working with students is an astonishing trait that has fostered many supporters of the educator over the years, but Burns thinks of his popularity mildly.

     “I don’t believe it [being a popular professor] what-so-ever. I just care about them [the students], and want to help them succeed in all aspects.”

     Professor Burns’ humble nature is encouraging, but the wave of students who admire the professor is extensive. Witnessing the unique characteristics of Burns is encouraging, and reassures the students that the devotion associated with teaching is still alive on campus. Burns’ office is in the Islip Arts Building, teaches English 121 and 202, and is in charge of the Horror Science Fiction Club which is welcoming to enthusiastic new members.

Dealing With Stink Bugs

By Adam Winfield

Small brown insects have migrated north to Long Island. They are named Maromated stink bugs because when they are alarmed or disturbed or threatened, they let off a foul odor. These bugs eat plants such as fruits and vegetables and they have been destroying agricultural crops. Stink bugs are also looking for a place to live and this can cause problems as they enter into student’s households.
Students were asked what they thought of these smelly brown invaders. “I have never heard of Maromated stink bugs said Claire Poitvien a Liberal Arts student at the Ammerman campus. Even more surprising was that these stink bugs were coming in large numbers. “I didn’t know there was an invasion of these bugs, that’s crazy.” said Peter Carroll a Liberal Arts student at the Ammerman campus. A prominent question asked is if they are dangerous. No they are not. This biochemical reaction is not as it is designed to keep predators away. The smell permeates through a large area causing one to want to leave the room.
How can one keep out stink bugs from their household? To keep them out you should seal up every possible opening. The same things that you would do to weatherize your house will keep stink bugs out. Yes, this is a time-consuming, difficult, and expensive process. But physically sealing out stink bugs is the most effective way to keep them out, especially once they’ve discovered your house.

The worst mistake a person can make is squashing a stink bug. They will release their odor when provoked and you will not be a happy camper. The best way to kill individual stink bugs is cheap and easy. Get a jar and fill it about halfway with water, and mix some dish soap into it, like Dawn. Flick the stink bugs into your jar with a sheet of paper or a paper towel. Stink bugs don’t like water, and the dish soap helps penetrate their armor. The soapy water is a surfactant which reduces the surface tension of their membranes so the water can penetrate their bodies. You’ll see them die after a few minutes of struggling, and they won’t leave their lingering stink. You can put the soapy water in the bottom of the vacuum bucket. When you suck them in, they’ll plummet into the water and die.
How can the stench be removed from the surfaces that the stink bug was in contact with? In order to get rid of the stench Orange juice or lemon juice should be used. The citric acid helps to remove the smell from the surface, leaving the surface smelling as it did before the incident.

It is very easy to get rid of stink bugs by using a vacuum cleaner. Dead stink bugs leave a residue inside your vacuum cleaner, which can stink up your home. Once you suck them up, their smell clings to engine parts, and any vacuum attachments you used. A small, handheld vacuum might be best, and empty the bag as soon as possible once you’re done. Put the vacuum bag in a thick plastic bag and tie it tightly before throwing it out as far as possible from your house. Then spray some air freshener or deodorizer into the vacuum while it’s running.

Even though it would be better to keep your windows closed, if you have them open and see stink bugs outside on the screen, put the soapy water solution into a spray bottle and spray the underside of their bellies. It won’t be enough to kill them, but it’ll send them flying off of your screen. If stink bugs gather on the side of your house, you can hose them off with water, or attach a hose sprayer full of the soapy water solution. Spraying them will send them flying and drop a lot of them to the ground, but this method is only effective if you plan to scoop up the fallen bugs into your soap bucket, or vacuum them up with a wet-dry shop vac.

While stink bugs can be a hassle, one should not worry about them. Simply following these steps and accepting that nature sometimes stinks will make for an easier time when dealing with tis invasion. If one does have a very large amount of these bugs one should contact their local exterminator. “I will certainly be more aware of stink bugs” said Bryan J. Magnam a Liberal Arts student at the Ammerman Campus.

Problems exist with MySCCC

By Lou Figurito

It’s hard not to feel like you’re getting ripped off when you’re dealing with the College’s web services, and students agree.

“It’s frustrating when I’m trying to sign up for a class and get kicked off the site for hours, only to come back and find the class has filled up and closed when I get access,” said a frustrated Ninamaria Barbara, a full time student. The website is unreliable, noticeably only on the student side, called MySCCC, during peak times. The unreliability of the site is highlighted the night of “drop day”, when there’s a big influx of students to the site trying to pick up on classes that were dropped by others that held the spot, but didn’t confirm their attendance. These issues, while frustrating, are usually taken with a grain of salt by most of the student population, as if it’s a fact of life that has to be dealt with. In addition, the wi-fi on Ammerman campus that’s offered to students is generally slower than your regular cell phone reception, especially at peak hours during the day in certain buildings. If you’re accessing it from your phone, it’s also prone to drop. The school website states that service and bandwidth isn’t guaranteed campus wide.

Every semester students pay thousands of their hard earned dollars, or take loans, in order to be a student at Suffolk. Associated with their tuition are numerous fees, one of which is the “technology fee”. The school’s website offers the explanation for the fees as such: “The Technology Fee is a dedicated fee charged to students taking credit courses offered by the College. The fee is committed to fund technology and equipment; it is non-refundable on or after the first day of the session.” The technology fee is $80. Now take that $80, and multiply it by the 25 thousand students (on average) that are enrolled at SCCC. That’s two million dollars from the technology fee alone.

So why, if the school is making at least two million dollars on the technology fee per semester, averaging four million or more a year (not considering winter and summer sessions) is the service not upgraded? “You would think that after all these years of collecting these fees they add on, the school would have pumped some of this money into creating a more reliable website…I have spent hours of my busy days on line at registrar because the website has been down,” said Adam Matros, a part time student who has attended sporadically over the course of five years.

Hosting is not an expensive commodity nowadays. There are websites that offer hosting for websites, offering plans where a terabyte of bandwidth (1000 GB) cost roughly $1000 a year. The average page size of MySCCC is under 200 kb to load. If all 25,000 students tried to access at the same time, that’s roughly 5 GB of transfer. Do all 25,000 students ever try to access at the same second? Probably, most definitely not. It’s time for the school to address improvements in the website, and the wifi. They seem to have the resources allocated for this area, so why not use them?

Remedial Courses Helpful or Harmful?

By Matthew DeBragga        

      Remedial courses give students the opportunity to brush up on skills that may be sub-par for a college level class. The fact that these classes are offered is a great asset to many students who may not have been prepared properly for college work. It remains the student’s responsibility to prepare him or herself for classes. But why is the percentage of students that are taking these classes so high? What is going on in our public education system that is graduating students without properly preparing them for what lies ahead in the realm of further education? Though the student’s themselves are ultimately responsible for their own lives, it is difficult to prepare yourself when the proper tools are not provided.

      One reason these remedial classes are so packed could be that the public education system is funded by a flawed system that disburses school budgets based on irrelevant standardized test results. The teachers are pressured to “teach to the test” and consequently have their hands tied. Life is not about multiple choice tests! The real tools that need to be taught to high school students involve comprehensive reading, organized writing, and the ability to think critically. Alternatively math can easily be standardized and measured as such because it only has one standard, right or wrong. The best way to prepare students for life is by having students write more, which is what happens in college. Unfortunately in high school the amount of essay or report writing is fairly limited and a majority of the tools used to measure progress are these standardized tests. Yes, writing is subjective and difficult to grade on a standardized basis, but this is a great preparation for life! Life is not standardized, and a great deal about where you get in life depends on who you meet and how you come across to them!

      Students are coddled and the bar is lowered for them in high school, only to leave them with an inflated sense of self confidence that comes crashing down upon them when they enter the adult world of college and or careers. The people holding the purse strings need to stop trying to influence the education system. It is as if the education system is a company being run by shareholders demanding more profits! Schools need to be about learning, and that involves mistake making and lots of it. The schools are so afraid to submit poor results because they are afraid of losing needed funding! Forgive me for saying so, but perhaps the administration of these schools does not need six figure salaries. I imagine if their salaries were contingent upon how many students did not need to attend remedial college classes, things would be much different.