Category Archives: Culture

Destressing at the student center for midterms week

March is the time for spring break. But before, or even after, one whole week of living it up, comes midterms. Students scramble to study and apply what they’ve been taught to ensure that that their grades don’t suffer. Since it’s such a stressful time for students, it’s important to find ways to maintain a more relaxed and focused mindset.

The Babylon Student Center, located between the Smithtown Science Building and Huntington Library, has an assortment of places to visit to help students keep a healthy mindset to help them through midterms.

Grab a bite

The cafeteria, across from the information booth, hosts a variety of vendors, from Moe’s Southwest Grill, to Starbucks, to a station where you can make waffles from scratch. There’s no time limit for how long you can stay, so you can hang out and chill on your own or with friends as long as you like if you have free time.

Game on

The Gaming Room.

Heading downstairs to the basement floor to the right past the library can you find the gaming room. Like all other facilities in the Babylon Student Center, you will need your id card to check in and out of the facility. In this room can students bring their video game systems to play them on the several TVs provided. The room is also has a table with no TV for use of board and card games, so it’s not just video games. The catch is that students have to bring their own entertainment, nothing is provided except the TVs.

You don’t have to play alone, as the game room can be a very sociable hangout for established friend circles. “A lot of the people who hang out in here are friends with each other,” said SCCC employee in training Jeffory Davis, 26. “They probably know each other from before coming in here.”

A place to pray or meditate

The Interfaith Meditation Room

While still in the basement, students can find the Interfaith Meditation Room in the hallway after passing the faculty offices. The room is meant to be a safe place for students to pray in their respective religions. Checking into this rom is a bit unorthodox as you need to return to the lobby on the first floor to check in at the info booth.

The room isn’t solely to be used for religious purposes, however.

“There are students who meditate in there,” said biology major Luis Fernandez, 20, who works at the information booth. “We have students who just go there because it’s a quieter place on campus and you can also do yoga down there.”

Need extra quiet? Try the Quiet Lounge

The Quiet Lounge

If you need a change of pace but still want to work and study stress and distraction-free, on the second floor of the student center can students check into the Quiet Lounge. Students need to use their ID cards to check in. The Quiet Lounge manages to live up to its name, being a small and quiet area for students to work and relax uninterrupted – which is the rule.

“Unlike the library, you can eat here, so that’s a plus,” said liberal arts major Camie Wenicer, 19. “You can also charge your electronics. The charge station in the lobby no longer works so you can come here if you need to.”

4 Alumni rate their SCCC experiences

After high school, every student had a big life choice to make: either going to college or not.

A popular two-year pick is Suffolk County Community College, a stepping stone where students go to get an associate’s degree. After that most students will finish up at a four-year. But how prepared are they for that jump? Does Suffolk do a good job preparing these students for the time after Suffolk?

Four Suffolk alumni gave their thoughts on how well they think their time at Suffolk prepared them to move on.

Elizabeth Bromberg

Elizabeth Bromberg, a 19-year-old fashion business management major at the Fashion Institute of Technology, said she felt positive about her time at the college.

“Suffolk was the perfect transition from high school to prepare me for another college. The professors seemed well educated and experienced enough to guide me to my career path and further my education.”

Anthony Ciraolo

Anthony Ciraolo, a 19-year-old Psychology major at Stony Brook, said SBU “definitely feels more like a college and less like a high school,” but also said, “It was a nice going to Suffolk because, since it was smaller, it was a nice middle ground to learn how to move from building to building for classes.” 

Gerard Brown

Gerard Brown says a student’s experience at Suffolk”probably depends on what major you pick. But I felt like my professors babied us to a certain extent. The first semester at Saint Joseph’s gave me a wake-up call right away that it was not like Suffolk.”

He added: “I don’t know if it is possible but maybe get some stricter professors in there to teach.”

Samantha Glaser

Also, Samantha Glaser, a 19-year-old child psychology major at St. Joseph’s, said transitioning to larger classes was s difficult.

“At Suffolk, the classes were small, with 20 to 25 students. At St. Joseph’s, there’s up to 100 students in an auditorium and it was definitely an adjustment and something Suffolk did not prepare me for.” She suggested to “maybe get bigger classes and have more students learning in that environment so they are used to it.”  

sccc’s most entertaining clubs

There are dozens of clubs and organizations on campus. You might know about the Gaming Club, the Student Government Association and the Anime Club.

But there are some clubs that seemingly fall under the radar that have drawn a lot of student interest, according to Lorraine De Leon, coordinator of the club program in the Office of Campus Activities and Student Leadership Development.

There are two clubs that are particularly popular, De Leon said.

First, there’s the Asian Culture Club, which provides students a chance to experience Asian culture, cuisine and lifestyles. 

Aside from social activities, the club offers a scholarship to support students that have experience living or working in diverse cultural or social settings. The criteria is simple: students must have at least a 3.0 GPA, submit a 250-word essay that demonstrates a financial need, a letter of recommendation, and be an Ammerman campus student. 

“The club offers many cool events such as Tai Chi, taiko drumming and sushi workshops,” De Leon said. Tai Chi is a chinese martial art practiced for defense training, health benefits and meditation. Taiko is a form of Japanese drumming.

The Cybersecurity Club is another club among the most popular. The club offers students an opportunity to expand their knowledge about cyber security. 

Suffolk County Community College has students compete in the National Cyber League, a capture-the-flag-based competition with puzzles. The virtual training ground helps high school and college students prepare and test their skills against cybersecurity challenges. All participants compete in preseason, individual game and team game. Thirteen students from the college, called Suffolk Cyber Sleuths, were ranked among the top in the league.

Cinco de Mayo celebration livens up the campus with Mexican culture

The Spanish Club on the Ammerman Campus held a Cinco de Mayo celebration in the Eaton’s Neck room on May 7. Festivities included a presentation on Mexico’s history, Hispanic cuisine and a live mariachi band. Faculty advisors Kristin Peters and Cathy Garcia-Hill coordinated the event.

The fiesta was held in Eaton’s Neck room on May 7 from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

Kristin Peters, left, and Cathy Garcia-Hill are Spanish instructors as well as the faculty advisors for the Spanish Club.

A common misconception is that Cinco de Mayo is Mexico’s Independence Day. In fact, Cinco de Mayo is actually celebrated to honor Mexico’s victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the French-Mexican War (1861-1867).

An arrangement of tissue paper flowers were on the front table so the girls can wear them in their hair. Sombreros were also available for the gentlemen.

IMG_5450 2

An assortment of traditional Hispanic cuisine was available, including empanadas, fried plantains and rice with beans.

The live mariachi band livened up the room with traditional Mexican music. They also took song requests from guests.

SCCC students Alicia, and Nick enjoyed the festivities with some empanadas and a complementary Cinco de Mayo-themed word search game.

Fun fact: More than 81 million avocados are consumed on Cinco de Mayo every year in the United States alone.

Suffolk Sentinel reporter Mike Guido got to experience the fiesta as well. Check out his audio piece of the event below.


Fun fact: Cinco de Mayo is primarily celebrated in the United States, with the largest celebration being held in Los Angeles. In fact, Cinco de Mayo is not a federal holiday in Mexico. 

All photos by Paula Schultz

‘Walk A Mile In My Shoes’: Spreading awareness about oppression

A group of students who participated at the event, walking through and looking at the signs posted on the walls. Photo by: Maria Camila Hernandez. (April 10, 2018)

On April 10, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, together with Campus Activities and the Center for Social Justice and Human Understanding, held an all-day interactive workshop about forms of oppression and stereotypes in society.

The event, “Walk a Mile in My Shoes,”  was part of a month-long series of activities called “Equal Justice for All” held college-wide. April 10’s event was an experience-based activity, where groups of students could walk between two walls, and look at signs about different forms of discrimination and oppression that were displayed.

Subjects such as racism, immigration, anti-Semitism, sexism and ableism  — discrimination against disabled people — were explained to students in form of graphs, charts, pictures and news. Students at the event could relate to some of the terms, as was the case of Laura Garcia, a liberal arts major and president of the Student Government Association.

Signs, pictures, news and charts were among the elements displayed on the walls.

Garcia comes from a Mexican immigrant family. Even though she doesn’t have to deal with the remarks of oppression, her family does. “My parents or family members who don’t speak the language very well, do face more discrimination when going out. So the event did hit close to home in that instance,” said Garcia.

The Eaton’s Neck Room in the Babylon Student Center was packed each hour, as different groups of people went in to live the experience. Around 30 people were led to sit in a circle for the activities following the walk through the walls. They were given random labels attached to their backs, and then they had to guess the label by stereotyped expressions associated with the word.

“We want to create awareness, to enhance communication with others. It is important now, because with the Internet, people are constantly communicating with others from different cultures. The world is diverse, and we need to learn how to connect better,” said Malika Batchie Lockhart, assistant of the Multicultural Affairs office.

Malika Batchie Lockhart
Malika Batchie Lockhart, assistant of the Multicultural Affairs office, talks to the attendees about labels and what they mean for a person.

In addition, students were shown a video regarding microaggression, generally defined as indirect, subtle, or unintentional discrimination against members of a marginalized group. In this way, students could understand such term and the effects it has in the process of communicating with others.

“People are treated differently and given privileges depending on who they are. We have to see from different perspectives to all the alternatives to look at things,” said James Banks, college coordinator of Multicultural Affairs.

All the information and the subject matters of the program were intended to leave students with a sense of respect and tolerance towards others. As Batchie Lockhart said, “People don’t walk around with labels, so you don’t know who are you hurting with the things you say.”


SCCC students embrace Black History Month

Photo: Xavia Simmons a Communications in Journalism major at Suffolk Community College. Photo by Jacob Alvear

For students at Suffolk, Black History Month held many meanings.

Trenton Cockerl Patrick, a language major who has a combination of Jamaican, Native American and Irish heritage, said Black History Month “is just another reason why all blacks should come together and celebrate, work hard, and ultimately succeed greater because at the end of the day we all are one body.”

Kwabena Shine Jr., a business major who recently moved from Africa, Black History Month means that “the lives of black people are not taken for granted anymore and our ancestors’ struggle to victory are celebrated and appreciated.”

Kwabena Shine Jr. is a business administration major at Suffolk who recently moved from Africa. Photo by Jacob Alvear

For Xavia Simmons, “To me it means showing our culture our excellence and what we as a culture bring to the table that table being America. Also, just embracing, which I believe at this time in history is extremely important….”

Simmons says she and her family tend to look at February as just another month in the year.

“We don’t have any traditions in particular; we just celebrate it by acknowledging the fact that it’s Black History Month. But generally, we celebrate it every month and by that I mean for us it’s every month. We tend to embrace it all year round.”

Business major Zach Aberg, who has German and Hungarian roots, likes to watch documentaries that shine light upon great black leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X.

To Aberg, “Black History Month is an important month to recognize black history and black excellence. It is important to share cultures and understand each other’s history.”

SCCC celebrates the Lunar New Year

At a Feb. 10 celebration of the Lunar New Year hosted by the SCCC Asian Culture Club, tradition and culture were the main dishes on display.

The Lunar New Year is one of the biggest holidays in the Asian culture. It is the start of their year based on the lunar calendar. There is no specific date for this celebration, but it is generally held between Jan. 21 and Feb. 10. This year it was Feb. 16. Each year is represented by an animal from the Chinese zodiac, and 2018 is the year of the dog.

Red and gold, which represent good luck, positivity and festivity in the Asian culture, decorated the entrance.

“There are different ways to celebrate this holiday, depending on the country. What we do here is a Chinese celebration, since there is a big Chinese community around,” said Linh Cai, a student at SCCC and member of the Asian Culture Club.

Suffolk County is the home of more than 50,000 Asian people, which represents a 3.7 percent of the county’s population, according to Suburban Stats.

A Tray of Togetherness, an eight-compartment plate composed of preserved vegetables for prosperity, coconut for togetherness, and seeds of plants for good wishes, was placed on the entrance. Next to it, there was a basket with red envelopes, which people give on New Year to their family members for good luck and abundance.

Sponsored by the Office of Campus Activities and the Asian Culture Club, the event was held in the Montauk Point Room of the Babylon Student Center and included members of the college community, as well as representatives and families from the Long Island Little Dragon Chinese School and Authentic Shaolin Kung Fu School.

“This is a space for families and all of us to enjoy. We are here to celebrate together,” said professor Vera Hu-Hyneman, faculty advisor of the Asian Culture Club.

The tables had tangerines, as the lucky fruit, arranged in groups of eight by table, since eight is also a symbol of luck. In addition, traditional food was served, such as rice, noodles, sweet and sour beef, spring rolls and dumplings.

Artistic acts, such as the Lion Dance, performed by the Authentic Shaolin Kung Fu School, and some storytelling performed by students of Long Island Little Dragons Chinese School, immersed the attendants into significant representations of the culture.

This culture has a big influence locally, and they wanted to create a space on campus to cherish their traditions away from their homelands.

Adriana Gonzalez, who attended the event, said, “It is important to encourage more people to participate, so we can open our minds to different ways to see the world around us.”

The Authentic Shaolin Kung Fu school performing the Lion Dance, a tradition in Asia, while people from different ethnicities enjoy this cultural exchange.