By Jenni Culkin
In the past couple of years, the Ammerman Campus has been hit with weather problems that have left students with difficult choices to make. With the consequences of a two-absence attendance policy looming over them, students have tried to brave county and local roads while slippery, icy, and wet conditions interfere with their travels to classes.
Students with cars have faced the frustration of balancing safety and academic responsibility on roads like Portion Road (CR-16), Nicolls Road (CR-97), and other residential roads like South Coleman Road. Even without the dangers of inclement weather, traffic and the high volume of students also creates a concern for areas with high concentrations of congestion and promptly getting to classes.
Brookhaven’s Town Councilman Kevin LaValle, expressed empathy for the students, remembering his own time as a student of the Ammerman campus.
“Having gone through it myself, I know the feeling,” said LaValle.
LaValle mentioned a flow of grant money that will allow for some much needed road work. The road work is supposed to begin in the spring and is intended to improve access to and from College Road and Nicolls Road, roads that are used extremely often during a typical Ammerman Campus student’s commute.
Difficult weather was LaValle’s next talking point. The town has a technological system that will allow for an easier and more convenient way for the people of the Township of Brookhaven to deal with snow.
Trucks are upgraded to track complaints by GPS after a call is put through 451-TOWN, the town hotline for questions, comments, and complaints. Drivers are equipped with iPads to track where the complaints have been sent from can be viewed in real time.
On a much broader scale that affects a larger population of the College’s students from each campus, Suffolk County Legislator Tom Muratore’s office addressed commuter students’ needs from all over the county.
“For the last two years, Legislator Tom Muratore has served as Vice Chair of the County’s Public Works, Transportation and Energy Committee,” said Bob Martinez, Legislator Tom Muratore’s Chief-of-Staff. “The Legislator also serves on the Environment, Planning and Agriculture and the Veterans & Seniors Committees.”
Muratore’s administration has plans for commuter students who use public transportation to get to their classes, especially during times when inclement weather interferes with the ability of public transit to provide a smooth and safe commute.
According to a document provided by Martinez, Resolution 1101-2015, requires the county’s Transportation Division to come up with a maintenance plan for county bus shelters and procedures that will “provide for coordination with other local governments as well as the state and federal government.”
Unfortunately, the office of State Senator John Flanagan was unable to maintain contact for an interview.
A post about dealing with the winter weather on State Senator John Flanagan’s website mentions a system called CodeRED for those who need help in the case of a crucial weather situation.
“The CodeRED emergency notification system is a high-speed mass notification service that allows the Suffolk County Department of Fire Rescue and Emergency Services to deliver customized messages directly to Suffolk County homes and business,” says an excerpt from CodeRED’s description on its website.
People often believe that it’s the responsibility of the local government to stay connected with and serve the people to its fullest extent. This relationship is only possible because the populations of local governments participate in voting that elect the officials they feel will be most suited for that particular population.
As college students, we can maintain this small-scale democracy by using the rights that have been granted to us as adult citizens. The exchanges of ideas and the creation of legislation is only possible because of the voters’ decisions.
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.
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.