As the days go by, the need to fill one’s day with activities and hobbies increases exponentially. To address this Suffolk County Community College recognizes this want, and has presented its student and faculty with opportunities to provide enough incentive to pass the time.
One such incentive started on April 22, otherwise known as Earth Day.
By participating in environmentally friendly activities sponsored by Suffolk, one can remain actively aware of their environmental impact as well as assist others to create a safer, cleaner community.
At Suffolk, students and faculty are encouraged to “get green” by participating in the “one less challenge,” a challenge which pushes for people to use one less plastic item from their everyday lives.
The challenge, aptly named Suffolk Gets Green, while active during the month of April, does not need to end simply because it is no longer April. Indeed, students and faculty – especially those in need of an activity to pass the time – can take up an actively green lifestyle at any time.
“I think it’s nice for Suffolk to keep this up on their webpage, even after the allotted date has passed because it’s a nice message: going green,” said Jessica Dennis, an environmental science student says.
Dennis, who is currently not working and remains at home for most of the day continued, “I like the idea of being able to fill up my day with little activities; it helps the time pass and keeps my anxieties at bay.”
Above all else, Suffolk commends those participating to do so with creativity. In fact, anyone who wishes to be recognized for their efforts can do so by sending in their pictures which document their environmental efforts to firstname.lastname@example.org.Suffolk will then share the image on their college social media channels.
Additionally, for anyone who is uncertain of how to start their green lifestyle, Suffolk provides a few ways to reduce. They start with, “brew a pot/cup of coffee instead of using a coffee pod; use a glass or reusable water bottle instead of a plastic bottle,” and close with, “wear your glasses instead of contacts for a day or two.”
Although, these are not the only ways to be green.
Milton Moore, a sociology major who has, “an avid love for all things green,” said that people can take it one step further.
“Shop from small, local businesses to improve the local economy; use tooth tablets instead of toothpaste; buy in bulk, with your own glasses and containers to avoid plastic packaging and eat less meat.”
Moore said that the agricultural industry is “one of the highest contributing factors” to greenhouse gases, so when one “reduces the incentive to buy, and encourages others to do so as well, the agricultural industry, cattle included, may have their numbers reduced, and their environmental impact changed. At least, I hope.”
Regardless of how to “get green,” being green is important as maintaining a healthy and stable environment to live in is a worthy, and exceedingly necessary cause.
Susan Hayword, a 21-year-old chemistry student adivsed, “We only have one Earth, so it’s important to take care of it.”
As a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic, as of March 19, New York state switched schooling to be completely online. Teachers, professors, and students alike at SCCC have been forced to become accustomed to a new approach to studying, working completely at home for every class.
The move to remote learning has been a challenge to some students, who, while not having to commute to school, either have had a hard time adapting to the new way of learning or miss the interpersonal relationships.
“One thing that’s been pretty difficult is trying to stay motivated and on top of all my assignments amidst all the chaos and uncertainty.” said business major Ruth Blasczak, 22. “The professors seem to be doing their best and I’m very thankful for their efforts, but at some point it’s hard to expect too much since we’re all struggling one way or another.”
Due to the sudden switch online, some instructors, such as Spanish professor Jeanne Castano, canceled midterms and finals and instead created new assignments.
“The reason I did not give a midterm or final online is that I did not think it was necessary,” Castano said in an email. “The Chapter tests online are all open book. Most students do well on it. They review it and look it up in book for answers which is educational and more realistic in real life. Both exams (midterm and Final) were in class tests. However, now, they would be exactly like the on-line chapter tests which I thought were repetitive. I added the Paragraphs on certain topics because I thought the Mindtap lacked good written exercises.”
Out-of-class assignments, such as homework, were already online, so the switch was much smoother for the course to handle.
Some classes that met a specific timeframe on a certain day(s) of the week before the switch are still meeting up online through Blackboard Collaborate Ultra or Zoom at the same times as before the switch to remote learning. Some professors still offer office hours.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, whether or not the fall 2020 classes will be all online is uncertain, but both summer sessions will be all online.
Regarding the fall, “We are in regular calls with SUNY and are awaiting the guidance of Governor Cuomo and our Chancellor,” vice president of accedemic affairs Paul Beaudin said via email. “At this time, we simply do not know whether instruction will be remote, online, or face-to-face in classrooms with some form of social distancing. It could well be, too, that it is a combination of all of them. What do we know, then? We know that in a time of uncertainty faculty and students are seeking some level of reassurance. We know that we miss seeing our students and colleagues very much, so please stay in touch with us. We know that the health and safety of every student and employee of the College is paramount at this time.”
Suffolk County Community College is making sure students are recognized despite the cancellation of the commencement ceremony
Graduating students of Suffolk County Community College will not be having graduation ceremonies this spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic
And while SCCC will not be conducting a virtual ceremony like some other colleges, it does plan to distribute a “SUNY Suffolk celebration box” to graduating students, acccording to email from the school. The box will include, “a congratulatory letter, the Suffolk County Community College alumni pin and decal, as well as a commemorative gift.”
“It’s an appreciated gesture, especially with all the stress we went through this semester,” said 21-year-old computer science major, Elijuwon Mitchell, of Mastic.
“That’s really cool,” said Gio Hernandez, 21, of Shirley, who is studying architect technology. “Something’s better than nothing, so it’s nice that after years of work students can get something from the school as an award since they’re not getting the experience of walking across the stage.”
Liberal Arts major Thomas Piña, 19, of Centereach, was overjoyed. “I think it’s great! During this time especially, it’s nice that my hard work is getting recognized and now I’m able to look forward to something else.”
According to the school’s email, SCCC is in the process of creating an online frame for students to use and interact with on social media. They are also producing a video along with a collection of photos that can be viewed on a site for the 2020 graduation once completed. This website will also feature a scrolling list of the graduates’ names.
“I think Suffolk did a very good job at communicating with students during this unusual time,” added Piña.
The current crisis has taken a toll on many individuals and their families around the world. While most students understand that not having a commencement ceremony is for the safety of others and not the most severe repercussion given the conditions, graduating is a milestone that deserves to be celebrated with or without a ceremony.
“Ultimately, I never imagined that my journey at SCCC would end like this,” Piña says, “but it goes to show that anything can happen life.”
Keeping people safe on campus is the No. 1 priority for public safety officials at Suffolk County Community College. One way they do this is with the help of more than 100 security cameras throughout the Ammerman campus.
Some of the visible cameras are upside down dome-shaped, and their main purpose is to record evidence to finalize incident reports. The footage isn’t being actively watched but is there to serve as proof, according to public safety director Baycan Fideli.
“The cameras are used to record the specific area so we can go back and see what happened during or after an incident,” Fideli said.
At SCCC during normal circumstances, thousands of students come in and out with no way to prove that someone is a student unless approached by public safety and school ID is requested. Some students said they feel the need to increase the number of cameras visible to help fight against threats to their safety.
Security cameras are fundamental to any building; in a rare instance where something happens, there is video footage to prove it.
Matt Ventorola, who is in his third semester at Suffolk, believes “there should be more cameras and more security at the school to help prevent perpetrators from harming others.”
But Christian Lent, a liberal arts major, said he feels “completely safe with how the campus is. Nothing really goes on. But if something goes wrong, public safety is there to do their job.” He added that he doesn’t think the school should increase the number of cameras on campus because “it’s a waste of money.”
Fideli said there is a plan to increase cameras if there is money available.
Currently, there are no security cameras in parking lots. Fideli said this because of the cost associated with such projects. “It would cost thousands of dollars to trench on to the ground, which is a must if Suffolk Community College wants to implement cameras in the parking lot.”
He added: “If we rebuilt the parking lot and were able to trench underground, then we will add them … anytime we have money availableand are doing renovations then we will add cameras. Does it make a place safer? I don’t think so.”
Many students use the campus bookstore, but some say they would much prefer to spending their money getting their textbooks online with sites like Amazon rather than waiting on long lines in the basement of the Babylon Student Center.
“I wait on the long, brutal line, go up to the cashier and tell them what I want,” said Sarah Hiner, a 21-year-old second-year RTV major from Selden. “The most difficult part is figuring out which books you can rent and which ones you can buy. The experience going there is unsatisfying and the definition of time-consuming.”
Hiner said she bought books from Amazon because it was easier and the prices were lower than at Suffolk’s bookstore.
Justin McCall, a 21-year-old liberal arts major from Patchogue, had a similar take.
“Well, I’ve had two experiences with ordering books either online, picking up, or ordering in person and picking up,” he said, “Both of those experiences have not been pleasant whatsoever. When you order online and pick up in person, they require the receipt, the email confirming the order and your ID. This process just makes the lines long and very time consuming.”
In a poll posted on the Suffolk Sentinel’s Twitter account that asked, “Do you prefer purchasing books at Suffolk’s Ammerman bookstore or on Amazon?,” out of 26 votes, 77% said they preferred Amazon over 23% who preferred the bookstore.
McCall said he had no issues purchasing textbooks off of Amazon because he had no patience to wait in the long lines at the bookstore.
“Sometimes at the SCCC bookstore, you would have to go back multiple times for different books that were ordered, whereas with Amazon everything gets shipped right to your door, which is very convenient.”
McCall said he’s found “the same exact books on Amazon for the discounted price or even half the prices they are charging at Suffolk.”
The bookstore declined to provide statistics on sales over time to get a picture of how it has stacked up against online competitors over time. A representative said the information was confidential.
Photo: An overlook on the Suffolk’s Ammerman Bookstore, downstairs in the Babylon Student Center (Suffolk Sentinel/Jacqueline Santorelli)
Suffolk County Community College decided on April 29 to reject a pass/fail system that could have replaced letter grades, with officials saying such a move would negatively affect students’ transferring to four-year schools.
The decision followed an online petition set up by SCCC students asking for clarity on the college’s position of transitioning to the new grading system, while also pushing for it to be put in place, after SUNY system sent out guidance to SCCC on how to adopt the new grading system if they chose to do so.
Executive Dean Wesley Lundburg and the administration believe the decision is most beneficial for all students.
Due to the shift of in-person learning to online, many colleges, such as Farmingdale State College and Binghamton University, initiated an optional pass/fail grading system. The pass/fail system gives the student either a pass or fail grade in place of a letter grade.
“Once we became more educated on the topic, we began advocating for it with all three campuses SGA’s and our student Trustee,” said Ammerman campus Student Government Association President Erin Winn.
Lundburg gave multiple reasons why this system does less for students than it would benefit them. The main reason mentioned was the difficulty of transferring credits if the school were to switch over to a pass/fail system.
“Many of the institutions going to P/F are 4-year universities whose students are unlikely to transfer to other colleges,” said Lundburg.
Being a two-year community college, most students apply here to attain an associate’s degree and then transfer to a four-year university. The pass/fail system states that any grade above a D would constitute a pass, yet most four-year universities do not accept grades below a C.
Daniel Linker, president of the Ammerman Faculty Senate, added, “You could not transfer classes in your major, and many other classes, like writing classes, would not transfer at all if pass/fail.”
Along with the uncertainty of transferral, “Financial aid, health insurance, GI bill, student visas and other things could all be affected,” Linker said.
SCCC administration has advised professors to be more lenient during these times, as students are dealing with the transition of online school, as well as out-of-school issues.
More support is offered during this time as many are adjusting to online learning.
“Tutoring and other online support for specific classes have been increased to support students, as have student services such as academic counseling,” Lundburg said.
Linker emphasized that he believed this was the best decision for SCCC students and their futures.
“Nothing like this has ever happened and there are so many moving parts and complications… It’s morally hard to enact a policy that you know will hurt the students, even if it looks good to them at the time.”
Sophia Antonelle has been destined to make a difference from an early age.
“I was raised in a relatively conservative household where children should only speak when spoken to; women are meant to maintain the home, respecting elders come before all else, and toxic masculinity was king,” she said. “It was a tough upbringing considering I was constantly rebelling against these ideals and trying to find a balance between keeping the peace and educating my family at the same time.
“However, it was this environment that encouraged me to define my morals and piqued my interest in becoming an activist.”
The 18-year-old history major will be bringing that mindset to the table when she takes over as the Student Government Association president on June 1. The current senator was elected to a one-year term on April 18.
“I realize for my short stature I am a bit of a strong-willed character, but my main focus as SGA president will be working with the executive board to find the same kind of balance as within my household.”
Fulfilling any role on the SGA board, which serves to advocate for all student rights, responsibilities and freedoms, as well as the general welfare of Suffolk County Community College students, can be a tall task. However, Antonelle said she views the challenge as an opportunity to make a positive impact on her peers and the college.
“I’ve always been a firm believer that everything can always be better,” she said. “Conditions on campus can always be better, and students’ time at Suffolk can always be better. It was in the middle of my first semester when I realized that I wanted to have a direct hand in that improvement.”
Having a role that serves as a direct hand in improving the college is a role that current student trustee of the Suffolk County Community College Board of Trustees, Kaitlyn Gambina, believes Antonelle was meant for.
“Sophia Antonelle is one of our most active members of Student Government,” Gambina said. “She loves helping and meeting new students and is perfect for her new role. I can’t wait to see all of the things she’s going to accomplish and to watch her grow as a leader.”
Antonelle, who currently lives in Holtsville and will be starting her sophomore year in the fall, has several priorities in mind.
“My main responsibility as SGA president, in my eyes anyway, is being the front runner for representing the students at Ammerman campus,” Antonelle said. “ While I also must complete a certain amount of office hours, host the weekly meetings, break ties during voting, as well as a few other tasks, my focal obligation is ensuring that all feel properly respected and represented on campus.”
Antonelle’s former history professor David Hannigan also believes she is perfectly suited for the role.
“She is the type of spark-plug personality that is perfect for the role of leading the student body,” Hannigan said. “She brings an energy and enthusiasm to every task she is set, and in her approach to life at Suffolk, inside and outside the classroom, has always seemed to me to be an exemplar of what can be achieved in this institution.”
Current SGA President Erin Winn, expressed confidence in Anotelle’s ability.
“Sophia Antonelle is the perfect candidate for President and I am thrilled to pass this role off to her. When Sophia joined SGA as a senator in the fall I knew we would be able to rely on her commitment for many events and initiatives we were planning,” Winn said. “She is always so helpful and willing to support our organization in any way she can. She is an amazing student activist and is constantly standing up for what is right and wants to make positive changes. Sophia is an intelligent, passionate, and hardworking individual who will do whatever she can in her power to best represent the student body. I know having her as the next SGA President will greatly impact our campus and I am so excited to see what she does during her time in office.”
If there’s anything she would like students she will be representing to know about her, it’s that, “I love learning,” Antonelle said. “I am always asking one too many questions and challenging myself. These past semesters I have been looking up to the current president, Erin Winn. While we do have different styles of leadership, I hope to simultaneously cultivate the initiatives started under her presidency as well as work with my elected board to build on our own.”
Beginning March 19, Suffolk began its remote learning initiative as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. Over a month later, students reflect on what their future schooling may look like.
Harley Guzma, a second-year liberal arts major, is confident that classes will return to normal by fall because he believes, “the flu dies in the summertime, so I think it will probably be similar case with COVID-19.”
However, the statistics differ.
Authorities said several states have not even reached their peak daily cases yet. The ‘peak’ is when the virus has reached the largest number of cases. Because stats vary in size and density, peaks will differ from state-to-state. New York hit its peak on April 8.
Although, as pictured below, the states of Oregon, Texas, Missouri, Kentucky and Virginia are all expected to peak in May.
Given the uncertainty about how long the pandemic will last, Edison Harris, an economics student, believes “remote learning may just become the norm.” If that does happen, it puts students in practical programs of study such as auto-mechanics, the culinary arts, and drawing and painting, in trouble.
Harris considered this and aptly stated, “for those who can’t learn by a book, I don’t know what’ll happen.”
Despite this, Suffolk offered students the chance to join a Zoom meeting on April 21 for assistance in registering for fall 2020 classes.
Although, Suffolk is prepared for their summer session, instituting eight weeks of online instruction.
The status for the upcoming fall 2020 semester is still purely speculative, though.
Kendall Yates, a retail marketing and management major, thinks all options are on the table.
“We’re learning as we go and that’s why it’s so hectic right now, because no one knows how to act. So, we could still be using remote learning by this fall, but I really don’t know what to expect this summer, so I guess we could also be returning to campus, too.”
She added:“Until then, we have to respect social distancing, maintain proper hygiene, and wait and see, I suppose.”
This is an ongoing post about how the coronavirus pandemic is impacting Suffolk County Community College.
May 15, 2020
On their calendar of events webpage, Suffolk County Community College has instructed that, “If the College cancels classes due to weather or other emergency, faculty are responsible for ensuring that missed instructional time is recouped, in compliance with applicable academic standards and College policies. Holding a make-up class is an option but not required.
Beginning May 20, at midnight and continuing until May 22, 2020 at 11:30 p.m., Suffolk is hosting the opportunity for any and all students in need of making up their classes and work, the chance to do so.
Working simultaneously with the May 22 make-up dates is an additional installment of Suffolk’s virtual career advising, which begins at 10 a.m. and continues until 2 p.m. So, any students wishing to make-up their work and attend a Zoom conference to air their concerns can do so within the same time frame.
May 15, 2020
For those seeking online instruction and guidance for their future career goals, Suffolk is hosting a Zoom conference from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today, May 15.
Students will have a chance to meet with a career advisor over Zoom to ask any related questions or discuss any uncertainties pertaining to career opportunities.
Suffolk hosts these Zoom conferences every Friday at the same time for any students wishing to participate – the next session will be held May 22, during the same time period, with the same ID and password for the meeting.
The Zoom conference ID is 993 9595 8486 and the password is 101010.
May 11, 2020
Suffolk County Community College, Sharks Stay In(volved), has reached out to students via email to continue connecting while everyone is at home.
For those who want to make their own masks at home, you can send an email to email@example.com and the first 200 people will receive free materials.
For the more artistic people, you can submit your recreated artwork made from random household objects to the previous email and the first three places will receive a cash prize.
If you’ve been binge watching Netflix, you can join on May 13 at 7 p.m. to watch Insidious. Email firstname.lastname@example.org thirty minutes before the event to receive the link.
Have a talent? Email your audition video by May 15 to be part SCCC’s live talent show on May 22 at 7 p.m. The video must be no longer than seven minutes and emailed to email@example.com.
During the time of social distancing, Suffolk County Community College has started to roll out various virtual programs for students to participate in.
An online fashion show will be held May 4-15, but without models. With the top three contestants winning up to $100. You can find more info here.
Suffolk is also holding an art competition to unleash students’ inner artists. The goal is to recreate works of art form with anything you have at home. The art will be judged on innovation, likeness and creativity. With the top three contestants winning up to $100. You can find more info here.
For more programs and contests, check out our Instagram pages:
Suffolk is holding a virtual Job Search Success presentation on May 13, 2020. This will help students learn more about the process of finding a job.
In order to join this meeting, you must use the meeting ID 967 0327 3473, and the password 1hfk5d.
May 7, 2020
A recent email sent out by the college explains any procedures students must do regarding their grades. It recommends students contact their professors immediately if they are unsure about anything regarding class.
They also list options for students who are suffering from poor grades. Receive an INC grade. Receiving an INC grade will allow more time for students to complete their coursework and still receive a letter grade. A coaching support system will be implemented to help students complete their work. Choosing to take an INC grade benefits in two ways, it keeps the credits you registered for and the same tuition you paid for and if the INC grade is for a prerequisite for a fall course, you will be allowed to the fall course on your schedule,
Another option is a course withdrawal which can be done up to May 19. Some things to take note if you do a course withdrawal, no refund will be given, you will lose those credits, you will need to register again for that course, taking a W will not affect your GPA, and check how this will affect financial aid. Down below is a link to a withdrawal form.
Various events have been announced as part of Sharks Stay In(volved).
On Friday, May 8, 2020 at 5:00PM, there will be a Free Money Virtual Game Show. Students will be able to test their knowledge of things such as music, TV show theme songs, and Broadway shows.
Also on May 8 from 1-2PM will be a conversation on Zoom about mental health in this current situation, as well as ways to build community. The Zoom Meeting ID for this talk is 264 754 0827 and the password is 541877.
Auditions for May 22’s virtual talent show are being accepted through May 15. Students looking to showcase their talents are asked to send their videos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Every Friday from 10AM to 2PM, students can get virtual Drop-In Career Advice with a career advisor. In order to get into these meetings, one must use the Zoom password 98765.
May 6, 2020
Although the college is no longer having its 2020 commencement ceremony, it is doing its best to recognize the graduating students.
According to an email sent to students today, the college is in the process of: designing a social media photo frame for graduates to use on their platforms, distributing “celebration boxes” to graduates, producing a video of student leaders and photos highlighting the year that can be viewed on the 2020 graduate celebration website with a scrolling list of graduate names.
The “celebration boxes” will include a congratulatory letter, the Suffolk County College alumni pin, a decal and “a commemorative gift”.
If you meet the requirements for graduation, you are urged to apply for graduation by May 10 to be considered for May or August graduation. All students are required to submit a graduation application to start the review process. If you have already applied for graduation, you do not need to apply again.
— Elizabeth Maldonado
May 5, 2020
Ammerman Campus Executive Dean, P. Wesley Lundburg, and Faculty Coordinator of Mental Health Services, Julia Keily, reached out to Ammerman campus students with an important reminder. The Mental Health Services team, which offered free and confidential on-campus support to all students before the pandemic, remains available to provide help.
“As students, we recognize that you now have finals to prepare for and the pressure to complete the semester,” the e-mail sent on May 4, said. “As a team, we have seamlessly transitioned our services remotely and can provide mental health counseling over the phone or by video conferencing, depending on preferences and accessibility. We are here – we are here to listen, to support, to problem solve, to advocate, to connect.”
To obtain assistance, students can contact a mental health professional through email@example.com. As the SCCC Cares Initiative affirms, “At Suffolk, we are Creating Awareness and Readiness to End Stigma about mental health issues.”
The New York State Department of Health has reached out to SCCC to recruit many employees for their new initiative to help slow the spreading of COVID-19.
Employees would contact people who had COVID-19 and get in contact with all the people they’ve been in contact with, then call all of those people. NYS is also looking for team supervisors and people to address the needs of those contacted. This establishes communication throughout the state and will increase testing to curb the epidemic in NYS.
With the closure of many jobs, people are left with no source of income. NYS has offered a position that pays and helps control the further spreading of the virus. There are a list of requirements to be considered for the job, such as to be 18 years or older, to meet the description requirement, to pass the interview, and to then complete training.
An email was issued by Christy Banks to all students of Suffolk County Community College on Monday, April 27, 2020. The subject of the email was called “We’re Here For You!” The premise of the email was too remind the students that they are missed greatly and hoping everyone is in good health.
The email also entails certain resources SCCC students and families can use such as the food pantry they provide. It also stated that, while the physical campus is closed, the inner workings of the College is still at work. We have virtual programs happening every week, so please take a look at our Sharks Stay In(volved) webpage.”
Over the last few weeks, Suffolk Community College has been sending a survey to students in an effort to stay engaged and develop an enhanced teaching experience.
Through the survey, which takes only four to five minutes complete, the college wants to know how students are doing with the online learning experience, and the results could helps SCCC improve its online presence.
SCCC is now allowing for partial payments for the spring 2020 tuition Payment Plan. Students must pay at least 25% of their outstanding balance, which will make them eligible to register for summer and fall 2020 classes if their remaining balance is $600 or less.
Students must pay their bills from previous semesters in full and have until May 15 to pay their entire spring 2020 balance. Any payments made on or after May 16 are subjected to a $30 late fee. The Web Access Fee (for payments of $50 or more) will be limited to three charges per semester.
Students can pay their bill online or by mail at Suffolk County Community College, P.O. Box 1126, Selden, NY 11784.
Amid the coronavirus outbreak, SCCC sent out an e-mail reassuring students that the food pantries on all campuses will remain open.
Managed by faculty employees, each food pantry has pre-bagged or boxed combinations of items. Each bag or box includes pasta or rice, canned fruit, canned vegetables and proteins. A limited amount of frozen food is available. Considering SCCC remains closed to students and the public, it is required to inform Public Safety of your intentions when entering the location.
All locations will be open on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. The volunteers in the facility will confidentially assist you, and no personal income information is necessary to validate your current financial situation. If you have any other questions or concerns, please contact your respective campus at:
SCCC announced that it would continue to reduce workforce density guidelines outlined by website states the college will meet a directive from Gov. Andrew Cuomo through May 15. All Suffolk County Community College campuses will remain closed, and all college staff will continue to work remotely during that time.
An alert on the college’s home page also encouraged students to contact a department or individual by email, by searching through the college directory.
As Suffolk County Community College has shifted from in-class instruction to an online-only learning environment, students have had to cope with the difficulties and limitations that have arisen.
These difficulties extend past students who major in, or took classes pertaining to, hands-on, practical learning experiences such as auto-shop students or art students. Indeed, these difficulties fall to the student body overall.
That is because many students each year choose to rent their textbooks instead of buying them. However, because our Ammerman campus bookstore is now closed, students have no way to return their textbooks in-person, yet are still expected to return them by the May 20 deadline..
To correct their oversight, Suffolk has sent out an email which addresses the issue at hand.
In said email, Suffolk acknowledges that its campuses are closed, but offers a solution to students who need to return their rentals.
Students are advised to check the status of their campus bookstore – at Ammerman, the bookstore is closed.
From there, students are informed that a free label will be sent along with every “rental reminder” email; that a box for books is required; and that, after the label printed and box is packaged, it should be brought to the nearest FedEx store and mailed.
Suffolk continues by stating that students should print their label no later than May 20th and to give FedEx your books no later than May 27th.
Additionally, the bookstore has given its renters an additional 15-day window of its non-return charge period, a period which stipulates that there will be no charges made to your collateral credit card for non-returns or late returns until after 15 days of the return date mentioned above have elapsed.
During this time of uncertainty, things can seem pretty crazy. Not being able to leave your house can take its toll. But Suffolk County Community College has been releasing a series of free programs. These programs keep students informed and engaged at home.
Some of the activities include a social distance event that is being held virtually on YouTube, Student Government elections, choosing a Broadway show to watch at home, competing in e-sports, and so much more.
SCCC will hold its third annual “Take the Night Back” virtually on April 24, at 7 p.m. This event helps to bring awareness to stop violence in our community and especially our homes. You can sign up on Take the Night Back.
COVID- 19 has caused a great deal of uncertainty surrounding this spring semester and the summer one to follow.
Finally, after a few weeks of waiting around while this was sorted out, we have something that we haven’t in a long while: clarity. Clarity on the academic schedule and how everything is going to play out.
In an email from Paul Beaudin, vice president for academic affairs, the schedule revisions were laid out.
For spring 2020, in addition to May 20, May 21 and May 22 have been added as well to make up lost instruction time. For summer 2020, all courses held in the first five-week and eight-week sessions will be offered in the online modality.
Also for summer 2020, there will be a second eight-week session to provide the opportunity to offer face-to-face courses over eight weeks running June 22 to Aug. 11. However, these classes may need to run online if the social distancing mandate is extended.
College extends period of reduced density to April 29
On a College Brief e-mail sent out to the college community on April 13, Interim President Louis Petrizzo said all SCCC campuses are to remain closed to all students and the public for another two weeks. He added that the extension will be revisited before April 29 and another brief will be sent to update everyone regarding staffing past that date.
Additionally, Petrizzo said the college received the first details about the allocation of federal funds to support SCCC during this time of adversity. At least half of the funds are designated to assist students with expenses caused by the interruption of campus operations. The other half will be used by the college to cover remote operations expenses.
“We are awaiting details on the timing for receipt of funding in approximately two weeks,” Petrizzo said. “In the meantime, I have charged a task force with determining how to address student needs and the best way to disburse funds upon receipt.”
The e-mail also mentioned that SCCC’s IT staff had arranged 92 laptops to students, 83 laptops to administrators, and 14 laptops to faculty for home use, and they are expecting a delivery with even more. Besides that, “IT has also received the first 50 of 150 hotspots ordered to provide home internet service to students in need,” and more than 70 students in need have received assistance through the COVID-19 Fund Application.
Petrizzo reminded students to register for summer sessions — registration began on April 13 — and he thanked the college’s staff members for the work that continues to be done. He reminded the whole college community to continue to take care of their health.
If you are an SCCC student and you were tested positive for COVID-19, notify your Campus Associate Dean of Student Services:
COVID-19 Emergency Fund surpasses 50% of $15K goal
As of Wednesday, SCCC’s Foundation’s COVID 19 Emergency Fund has reached $7,785 of its $15,000 stretch goal. With just 49 donors, the fund has reached 52% of the desired amount, according to the donation page.
The whole reason for the fund is to provide grants to students struggling financially who wouldn’t be able to afford the tools required to take part in online learning, such as laptops. Students need them more than ever after Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered that students and staff switch to a remote learning program to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
The site says that “These grants are available thanks to the generosity of the college community and our Foundation’s generous donors. If you would like to join us in helping to support students through this difficult time, please make a gift today. All gifts are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law.”
Summer priority registration begins April 13. The first session will be online-only
Summer courses are still open as shown on the main website announcing how students can still continue their education despite the trying times of the COVID-19 pandemic.
An email from Science Professor Tracy DeFio from the eastern campus confirmed that even priority registration will be taken into account, saying, “Priority registration begins on Monday April 13. Log into MySCCCC and check View Holds in Self Service Banner to see your registration date.”
The first eight-week summer session and the first five week session begins on June 1. Both are online-only.
The second eight week session begins on June 22, while the second five-week session begins on July 6.
SCCC chairs and deans can be contacted
Staff, despite being off the campus grounds, are still available, and students are encouraged to keep in touch with them by with thin the coronavirus information page.
“Please keep in touch with your supervisors, your Chairs, and our Deans. You are also encouraged to continue to monitor this website for frequent updates.”
The library databases are also still up and running to be used at any time.
Suffolk entered its second week of online learning today, following Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s order on March 11 in a move to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Graduation ceremonies, school events and clubs have all been cancelled or are to be continued via video chats, emails, and virtual discussion forums.
Classes will continue via video communication networks such as Zoom, Blackboard Ultra and Skype. Some professors are using private YouTube accounts to film lectures, PowerPoints and assignments for their students to watch.
A number of COVID-19 cases from staff and students have been confirmed on Suffolk campuses, according to emails from the administration.
With over 100,000 cases in New York State, and 1.2 million worldwide, there are over 1,000 confirmed cases in Suffolk County.
Professors who are issuing classes from home have been notified by their schools to be virtually available to answer any students’ questions and to stay in contact with their classes.
Students should have received a phone call from an SCCC member asking about their transition to online classes.
For now, students and staff are urged to stay home, wash their hands and respect social-distancing.
COVID-19 Emergency Fund
The Suffolk Community College Foundation has established a COVID-19 Emergency Fund, according to an email from Mary Lou Araneo, vice president for Institutional Advancement. The funds collected will go toward providing assistance to students in “critical financial hardship that threatens their continued enrollment as a result of the coronavirus.”
Interim President Louis Petrizzo said in an email to faculty that the college’s board decided to keep all campuses closed to students and to the public through April 15, with the majority of staff working from home.
Petrizzo said in the email that “Public Safety and a portion of Plant Operations and Facilities staff must continue to be on the campuses. HR, Payroll, Business and Financial Affairs, as well as a portion of Student Affairs, Legal, and Leadership will function remotely, but may be called upon to come in periodically to ensure delivery of service when absolutely necessary. Vice Presidents and Campus Executive Deans will coordinate with supervisors to develop staffing needs. Some employees may be called to come in periodically to ensure delivery of service when absolutely necessary. “
Computers for students
In the same email, Petrizzo said the college has supplied laptops to students and staff to assist with remote instruction and remote operations.
Additionally, “250 Dell laptops will be delivered to the College for student use from SUNY next week, and we have been advised that Chromebooks will also be delivered.”
He added that almost 200 faculty and staff have volunteered to call students about their current well-being, and any questions or concerns they are having while learning remotely. As of April 3, 4,355 students were called.
New Deadline for Students of the Tuition Payment Plan
Suffolk County Community College (SCCC) notified students in an email sent April 8 that Tuition Payment Plan late fees will be waived through April 30. The college is trying to accommodate students that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Tuition Payment Plan is a set of three payments for students to pay for their semester’s tuition. It is spread throughout the first half of the semester, with the final installment at the midpoint.
SCCC first postponed the deadline for the final payment of the TPP by a week in March when Spring Break was extended to Mar 29. Since then, students and families have faced financial hardships due to closings and layoffs as a result of COVID-19. The school has acknowledged these struggles and made an effort to help by waiving the late fee of $30 until April 30 but is still requesting payment.
The school is asking students to pay either online or by mail. Students can pay the remainder of their bill at my.sunysuffolk.edu under thePay My Bill link or mail in a check or money order. If students wish to send their payment via mail, they must send it to Suffolk County Community College, PO Box 1126, Selden, NY 11784 attached to the bottom of their bill and their student ID number.
By Gerard Placido, Cameron Pupilla, Emmanuel Jaquez, Anna DeAssis, and Lauryn Valdez
After forums with two finalists for Suffolk County Community College’s next president, the college’s board of trustees decided to extend its search, board Chair E. Christopher Murray announced on March 26 in an email to college employees.
“The Board of Trustees would like to extend its appreciation to the members of the college community for the effort made and the welcome extended during this month’s presidential candidate forums,” Murray said. “As part of the presidential search, the Board interviewed the candidates and spent a considerable amount of time reviewing application materials and candidate feedback forms.”
In a statement to Suffolk Sentinel on April 2, Murray said the board’s decision was based on several factors, “including the difficulties and delays caused by the Coronavirus.” He said the additional time is necessary “because the Board is committed to finding the best individual to be the College’s next President. We have interviewed a number of qualified candidates but to be fair to all involved, proceeding at this time given the current circumstances our nation is facing and the uncertainty that has created did not seem prudent.”
Prior to Murray’s March 26 announcement, two candidates spoke to students, faculty and staff either in person or through simulcast earlier in the month.
Towuanna Porter Brannon, the current vice president for student services at Mitchell Community College in Statesville, North Carolina, was the first candidate to take the Ammerman Campus’ Shea Theater stage on March 9 to share her vision about how she would lead Suffolk County Community College.
Brannon placed an emphasis on her personal story.
“I grew up in Brooklyn, New York,” she said. “It wasn’t the best place for a young child to grow up. But when I went to school, my teachers gave me hope. For me, I realize how different my life could have been if it wasn’t for educators who took an interest in me and who said you could do this and that the place where you live is not necessarily your final destination.”
Porter recalled her progression in academia, and her desire to help more people get access to and stay in college. She believes she’s been able to make a big difference and wanted to broaden that impact. “So the reason I want to be a president is because the president is the top role, and so if you’re gonna impact thousands of lives as VP, what could I do for the entire community,” she said. “So that’s really why I wanted to pursue this role. ”
The next presidential hopeful to speak was Kevin Law, president and CEO of the Long Island Association. Law spoke from the Eastern Campus’ Montaukett Learning Resource Center on March 12 and via simulcast.
While focusing on the subject of employment at Suffolk County Community College, Law said, “I think it’s important to invest in full-time faculty.”
When someone in the faculty forum pointed out concerns about his lack of direct experience in academia, Law said that if the school was looking for a person strictly with that type of experience, “then I’m not your guy.” But he quickly pointed to his accomplishments as chair of the Stony Brook University Council since 2009 as someone who understands the issues facing education. He also emphasized his experience in government — he is the former president and CEO of the Long Island Power Authority and former chief deputy county executive for Suffolk county — in law and business, which he said would help him serve as a change agent.
A third finalist slated to visit on March 11 cancelled after accepting an offer for another presidency.