Category Archives: News

Summer internships available to earn real-world experience and credits, too

Career Services Office’s flyer for summer internships. Photo credit: Alexa LaRosa

Suffolk’s Career Services Center has begun accepting applications for summer internships.

If you are looking for an opportunity to enhance your abilities in your field and earn credits by doing so at the same time, Suffolk County Community College is just the place to help you proceed with this goal.

Two internships will be offered this summer are the BUS 150 business internship and HUM 130/WST 130 humanities internship.

According to the Career Services Office, the courses “will be offered online and allow students to work in an area of their choosing while gaining credit towards their degree.”

Internships are an important factor in being a college student moving forward into the real world. So, what are the benefits of internships? The Career Services Office lists four major benefits:

1. The opportunity to test out different careers to see which ones suit you.
2. A process by which you can earn college credit and career experience at the same time.
3. A way to bridge the perceived gap between school and work;
4. A foundation for a professional career.

Internships are a major applicant that’s focused on while reviewing a resume. The more you are involved and active in your desired career, the better the outcomes will be.

So, how does one become part of an internship? Anthony Cognat, a 20-year-old who attended Suffolk in 2016, says it takes effort.

“When I got my internship for the police department it wasn’t something that just fell into my lap. I had to work for it and get myself noticed, I put myself out there and made it known that this is exactly where I wanted to be,” Cognat said.

Maria Savino, a 24-year-old from Riverhead who has been part of a medical investigation internship, said, “It benefited me to be able to experience it to make sure it’s what I wanted to do for my future—and it was—so it just confirmed this is what I am meant to do.”

Being part of an internship could really help you decide whether or not you are going down the right path. It brings you into the world of your desired career.

Start with focusing on your area of interest and do your research. The Career Services Office at SCCC could help lead you in the right direction when going through this process as well.

If you are interested in these summertime internships send an email to internships@sunysuffolk.edu and provide your name, student ID# and area of interest.

For further information and details. visit the Career Service Office in Babylon Student Center, Room 205, or call 631-451-4049

‘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.

Perception
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 are ready to show their talent

Juilette Walcott, 19, is excited about performing in front of an audience for the first time at the talent show.  Photo credit: Ben Cummings

This Friday, students will be competing to win top prize before a panel of judges in SCCC’s talent show in the Babylon Student Center cafeteria.

Music, dance and comedy acts will all be part of this year’s show, which is sponsored by the Campus Activities Board.

“It’s going to be a good challenge as a musician,” said Justice Sedea, 19, a computer science major who has been playing the guitar since he was 9 years old but has never performed in front of an audience. “I was really nervous for the audition,” said Sedea, “but once I got into to, I felt like the only person there.”

Sedea will be playing and singing “Mr. Maker” by The Kooks.

Also featured on this year’s bills is voice major Juliette Walcott, 19.

“I was nervous at first,” Walcott said of the audition earlier this month. “I’m used to playing in front of an audience, not judges.”

Walcott is a part of the music scene on Long Island and says she’s always excited to perform for people. She will be performing a cover of Post Malones’ “I Fall Apart.”

All told, 15 students will be participating in the talent show. The event starts at 7 p.m.; admission is free.

 

 

Yes, it’s that time again. Registration has begun

The office of the registrar is located in the Albert M. Ammerman Building, where students can register for classes. Photo by Matt Cataruzolo.

One of the most important times of the year has arrived for Suffolk students: priority registration began on April 9. It is the time of year for students to create their schedules and set their academic future into place.

The process of registering for classes is a tedious but necessary element of the college experience.

“I don’t exactly look forward to it,” says first-year liberal arts major Ryan Infante, 19. “It’s just always kind of a hassle. Plus, there is always the possibility of not getting into the classes you want.”

The methods vary when it comes to registering for classes. Students have the option to do it in person with the help of an adviser or online via the college website.

“Honestly, it is a matter of personal preference,” says Deirdre Keen, who works in the registrar’s office. “Some kids actually have holds on their account that force them to register in person, but there is really no advantage to either.”

When a student has a hold on their account, it can restrict them from registering as freely as someone who does not.

According to the Suffolk County Community College website, there are various types of holds that students can have. Financial holds, developmental holds, and probation holds. Financial holds must be cleared by the campuses cashier’s office in order to register for classes. However, developmental and probation holds require a faculty/counselor signature in order to register.

 

 

 

 

Remebering Martin Luther King Jr.: The dream lives on

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” — Martin Luther King Jr.

April 4 marked the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s murder in Memphis, Tennessee, but not it does not mark the death of his dream.

Without King, America would be a completely different country.

The dream that King fought for is very similar to the society we live in today. That doesn’t necessarily mean that conflicts have completely ceased to exist, however. We still live in a country in which matters such as police brutality still occur. But we have also come a long way. We no longer live in a society where it is okay to discriminate people of color, or where it is okay to have segregated facilities. I believe we have distorted our perception of race and rejected the idea of racism as a society altogether and it is because of King’s message that we have done so.

Kimzer Jean Baptiste, a liberal art major at Suffolk, is a strong believer in what King has done for our country.

“I would say that Dr. Martin Luther King’s work has positively impacted our world. The change that he, along with many other civil rights activists brought to the western world, has set an example for people elsewhere to change their mindset about human value.”

Many African Americans were abused by the Jim Crow laws. These laws segregated schools, public toilets, public transportation and even restaurants.

However, our society has since changed for the better, and we see it at SCCC, as well. Without the inspiration of his dream, we would never have been able to have organizations such as the SCCC Global Connection, a multicultural club that aims to connect students from different cultural backgrounds and nationalities run by Norika Okada, The club’s goal is to promote and celebrate diversity on campus. We would have never been able to accomplish such things without King’s message, his goal, and his dream in which lives on through our generation.

By achieving all he could for our country before his death, King helped African Americans break free from segregation. But does King’s dream still lived on? Michael Ortiz, a Liberal Arts major, shared, “I believe that without Martin Luther King Jr. we would be a completely different society. If it wasn’t for him, we would’ve never seen the boycott of Montgomery which changed the way the people viewed the Jim Crow laws.”

King’s dream lives on through our schools, through our society and continues to fight racism as a country, we have learned to reject the idea of discrimination against others and as people have come together to move closer towards the dream Martin once had.

SCCC makes strides to help veterans with new program

College and elected officials, along with school veterans, celebrate SCCC being granted a “VetsSuccess on Campus” designation by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs. Photo by Mike Guiido. (April 4, 2018)

SCCC has become one of 99 colleges in the country to offer vocational counseling to student veterans, officials announced at a press conference in the William J. Lindsay building on April 4.

By being granted a “VetsSuccess on Campus” designation by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs,  the college can provide veteran students with access to programs to help them transition into civilian life and the workforce.

To assist with these efforts, the college has added a VA vocational rehabilitation counselor.

“In the Veteran’s Association, regular VRCs normally only deal with veterans with service connect disabilities and employment handicaps and what we do is we train them if need be and help them find employment,” said Christopher Holder, SCCC’s new vocational counselor. “That re-training can be anything from trade school to a certificate to graduate school. I got a master’s degree through vocational rehab.”

SCCC is one of the few schools in the country that offers this service to veterans and it has been a hike to get there. College Director of Student Affairs Shannon O’Neill said the school has been working for years to make this happen.

“The college has been working with local elected officials since early 2015 to advocate for inclusion in this program,” O’Neill said. “There has not been any additional funding at the federal level since 2012 so there have not been any new schools added.”

O’Neill worked directly with the Veteran’s Association in Washington, D.C., as well as with U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin, who attended the press conference, to advocate for this position. Syracuse University is the only other college in New York that offers vocational counseling.

Prior to having the VA counselor on campus, veterans would have needed to travel to Northport or Manhattan for the same services.

Olivia McMahon, a student veteran studying Spanish, said the program is crucial to veterans on campus in comparison to other schools.

“The program definitely reaches out to a lot of the students and it brings them here,” McMahon said. “I’ve been to other schools where you had to climb walls and mountains just to get your paperwork through and it was still another phone call. They brought the program to us. It was easy.”

Martinez calls for measures to protect immigrants in ‘Fight Ignorance, Not Immigrants’ talk

Photo courtesy: Suffolk County Legislature

Suffolk County Legis. Monica Martinez visited the Ammerman campus April 2 to discuss how rescinding temporary protected status for immigrants and recent efforts to repeal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals would affect our community and the nation.

Martinez, whose district includes Brentwood, Central Islip and North Bay Shore, gave her presentation as part of a week-long series of programs called “Fight Ignorance, Not Immigrants” organized by the Center for Social Justice and Human Understanding in collaboration with the SCCC Undocumented Student Task Force.

Martinez, who emigrated from El Salvador at age 3, grew up in Brentwood and was a social studies teacher at Brentwood High School for 10 years. She also served as assistant principal at a middle school in Brentwood for four years.

“I could have had the opportunity of leaving Brentwood. I could have been living anywhere else, bought a home somewhere else, but I decided to stay at a place where it made me,” Martinez said. “I grew up in Nassau County, in Lynbrook. I was the only Latina in the entire district. So for me, coming to Brentwood was a huge culture shock. Now I was interacting with students who were from the same background as me, same religion as I am, and it was different. But I can only tell you that Brentwood actually opened the doors for me, to diversity and to understanding others, because of the diversity in our community.”

Martinez said she understands the adversities and day-to-day challenges residents face and has been an advocate for immigrants and Dreamers during her time as a Suffolk legislator.

“At the county level, we need to do our best to not only advocate for what we believe in, but pass measures, not just the ones that I’m doing, to make sure that our immigrant community feels safe, that there is someone there to listen to them, and someone who will respect them as humans,” Martinez said.

Martinez explained to students and faculty that TPS is given only to immigrants from specific countries facing natural disasters or civil unrest that the Department of Homeland Security deems unsafe for individuals to return. These immigrants have been given the right to work and live in the U.S. temporarily. Once the U.S. decides that these countries are livable again, TPS holders are given a date when they must leave the country. TPS does not provide immigrants with a pathway to citizenship in the U.S.

Rescinding TPS for these immigrants, Martinez said, will have negative impacts on Long Island as well as the entire nation.

Long Island business, mostly restaurants, landscaping, and construction, many of which are located in areas such as Brentwood, may face closure, because of the loss of many employees and clients in the community who are TPS recipients. Nearly one-third of TPS recipients are homeowners, meaning that many home foreclosures on Long Island are possible as well.

Revoking TPS could lead to repercussions such as economic crashes, the possible separation of nearly 273,000 children born in the U.S. from TPS holders from their parents, and a $164 billion loss in GDP over the next decade, she said.

Martinez also spoke about the dangers of repealing DACA, an immigration policy that allows those who were brought to the US illegally as children to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and to become eligible for a work permit, who are better known as Dreamers.

“For no fault of their own, parents have brought them here, under the age of 18, and they’ve grown here. This is their country too, believe it or not. Only because they’re not citizens doesn’t mean that they’re not part of the American fabric,” Martinez said. “I will defend them because they’re not doing anything wrong. They are people who are trying to make ends meet, they’re trying to make families here, and just call this place their own too.”

“For a legislator that’s only had two terms in office, she’s done quite a bit. I work with her very closely in the community, she’s very involved and very, very engaged in a lot of community efforts and someone that has extensive knowledge and personal knowledge about the process of immigration and what we call being a Dreamer,” said Renee Ortiz, executive director of the Center for Social Justice and Human Understanding.

Ortiz said that the Center for Social Justice and Human Understanding, along with the SCCC Undocumented Student Task Force, created the series of programs to educate SCCC about how recent decisions concerning immigration policies impact our neighbors, and how students can make a difference.

“It’s a series of different programs on each campus to just educate folks about the process of immigration, how recent changes in legislation are going to impact residents that are immigrants, or undocumented. Also just to give folks a more personal perspective of what it is like to live in fear of being deported, especially when individuals do have presently legal status, but are at risk of losing their status because of the recent changes,” she said.

Nieves Alanso-Almagro, a professor of Spanish and college coordinator of foreign languages who attended the presentation, said that the best way for students that feel strongly about this issue to make a change is voting.

“You have something that is very powerful to help our neighbors that are TPS recipients and DACA recipients — you have the power to vote that they don’t have. Overcome apathy, vote in your local elections, vote on federal elections, and that’s the way to change things,” she said.

 

Middle States team visits Suffolk ahead of accreditation decision

A team from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education visited Suffolk County Community College March 19-20 to meet with faculty and students and review an SCCC self-study.

Middle States is an accreditation organization for colleges. The accreditation, which is done every eight years, is necessary for university students to receive federal tuition and aid.

At a March student open forum, which was attended by about 30 people, about 15 students from all campuses took the opportunity to voice their opinions about their experiences at Suffolk.

The meeting started off with students giving positive feedback to the questions of the feedback.

“I basically have nothing but good things to say. If this institution wasn’t here I don’t think I would’ve had the opportunity to actually come to college,” said a student from the Eastern campus.

Laura Garcia, president of Student Government Association on the Ammerman campus voiced her positive opinion on the campus, said she believes her voice was heard as a leader on campus.

“We’re able to implement some great changes that I didn’t think were possible as a student, like the doors of opportunity and being able to go up to Albany and fight for student tuition, and fight for the Dreamers and fight for things students care about,” she said.

Garcia advised anyone who is new to “get involved.”

Felicia Molzon,  president of the Eastern Campus Phi Theta Kappa honor society, called for “program equity,” noting that the Eastern campus, which is smaller, doesn’t have the same number of events and programs that the Ammerman and Grant campuses do. She also said the college needs to do a better job preparing students for transfer, pointing to the month-long lack of a transfer counselor at the Eastern campus, which she called “detrimental to students” because it was during winter break.

Both Garcia and Molzon believe Suffolk will get reaccreditation.  Molzon said she believes the issues brought up will be resolved. Other students at the meeting said the same.

Professor Dan Linker,  SCCC’s Middle States Steering Committee co-chair, said he believed “the meeting went really well.”

“I think the students wanted to say good things about Suffolk and they were hesitant to say anything bad. But we wanted to hear anything that we can work on.”

He said he was happy that the students “spoke very well and passionately about their real concerns.” He thinks the major problems brought up will be addressed.

The next steps involve the commission providing an exit report, which will state whether Suffolk meets the commission’s seven standards for accreditation.

Linker believes Suffolk will get accredited, as well as some recommendations on areas for which it needs improvement, which is common, he said.

The determination on Suffolk’s accreditation will be released in June, committee members said.

Students hunger for change to meal plan, cafeteria options

Imagine getting your first meal of the day together or your lunch in a cafe and not having money. For some students at Suffolk County Community College, that is a reality.

SCCC requires that full-time students pay $100 every semester for a meal plan. That money can be used in the cafeteria or at any vending machine on campus.

Unfortunately for some students, running out of money on their meal plan came at a bad time. Interior design major, Antonia Traina, 19, recalls that happening in her first semester.

“It was embarrassing to get up to the register at have to give back my food,” said Traina, who said she had no idea that she was low on funds and hasn’t returned to the cafeteria since.

Some students sympathize with Traina’s story, while others have their own issues with the cafeteria—saying items are too expensive or that there’s not much variety from year to year.

“Everything is definitely overpriced,” said Daniel Hall, 18, a business administration major who found himself out of money on his meal plan only halfway through the semester.

“If they had more of a variety, the $100 wouldn’t be so bad,” said Sultan Sindhu, 22. “You have a lot of students, you should really have more options!” Sindhu recalls visiting Stony Brook University and seeing several cafeterias that offer a wide variety of meal options.

Aramark was contacted about its meal plan and food options available but did not answer any questions. Neither did SCCC spokesman Drew Biondo.

Just a few minutes from the Ammerman campus are a plethora of         fast food chains and restaurants on Middle Country Road.

“I do not want to go through that embarrassment again,” says Traina. Traina goes elsewhere for food and carries cash so she knows exactly what she can get.

“I still have to pay for a meal plan, even though I don’t use it. That’s absurd, nobody should have to pay if they don’t want to, and no one needs to go through what I did.”

 

 

 

McKay, union oppose armed faculty. But some on campus aren’t so sure

After President Trump said he supported the idea of certain teachers carrying armed weapons to protect high school campuses, SCCC President Shaun L. McKay sent an email to the campus community expressing his belief that there is no need for college’s professors to carry weapons.

“I do not see any reason to arm teachers—or professors—within an institution of higher learning,” McKay said in the Feb. 26 email, adding that he had spoken with the Faculty Association, the union representing Suffolk faculty, and that the parties agreed “educators should not have weapons in the classroom.”

Kevin Peterman, president of the Faculty Association, said, “There is absolutely no reason for any faculty member to have a gun on campus, let us educate and empower our students with knowledge and critical thinking skills. We must do what we do best and that’s to educate.”

Nonetheless, the issue has sparked conversation among faculty and students about whether arming trained professors would be beneficial to campus safety following the Feb. 14 Parkland, Florida, shooting, which killed 17 people.

Matthew Knowlan, an adjunct instructor who teaches Western civilization, said he would consider carrying a gun with the proper training, but does not think it’s a good idea.

Still, there are safety issues that need to be addressed, he said, noting that none of the doors in the Southampton building can be locked by a professor, and in his eight years teaching, he has never had a key.

“If it were a real situation where there was an active shooter inside of the Southampton building during his class, I would feel unsafe because I know that shutting the door could potentially mean nothing,” Knowlan said.

Dimas Perez
Dimas Perez, a 20-year-old liberal arts major, has mixed feelings about the idea of faculty carrying guns. Photo by Sal Miliotto

Knowlan added, “Protocol is to look outside gather everyone inside the class and close the door, along with getting out of sight.”

According to ArmedCampuses.org, New York State prohibits the carrying of firearms on college campuses, including those by concealed carry weapons permit holders.

Pablo Soza, a 20-year-old business major, supports faculty carrying guns in case of an emergency. “I would at least have a chance to survive thanks to those professors who were carrying rather than having to be scared knowing I could face injury,” he said.

However, Soza said professors should go through detailed background checks.

Myles Jones, an 18-year-old communication in media arts major, said he is “50/50 on the topic of armed professor’s on campus,” but that he would feel “intimidated and uncomfortable” if he was in a class with a professor carrying a gun.

Dimas Perez, a 20-year-old liberal arts major, also has mixed feelings. He said he is “kind of caught between the two topics but is still unsure about the whole idea.”

In his email to the campus community, McKay outlined steps that have been taken under his tenure to maintain personal safety.

They include:

  • Full staffing of the Public Safety force
  • The purchase of additional equipment
  • Adding an assistant director of patrol operations and leadership at the captain level on each campus.
  • Adding more public safety coverage on weekends and at special events taking place in our facilities.
  • Increased training for officers
  • Scheduled campus drills and tabletop exercises.
  • Dedicated resources toward support for mental health, including new mental health counselors on each campus, the establishment of Students of Concern committees and a process for confidential referrals for those students who would benefit from help provided by external support sources.