SCCC rejects a pass/fail system

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.”

Ammerman campus' hidden gem: Southampton's P.O.D. Market

Suffolk County Community College’s Ammerman Campus technically has three options to dine. The Babylon Student Center cafeteria — with a variety of options including Moe’s Southwest Grill, Grille Works, Bene Pizzeria, Asian Village and the breakfast bar– is the most popular. It’s also the place where most students gather in off time to socialize. Starbucks, located separately towards the back of the cafeteria, is another option.

But there’s a third, lesser-known option. It’s called the P.O.D. Market, located on the bottom floor of the Southampton Building, where fewer students travel to frequently.

The P.O.D., unlike the cafeteria, is more like a convenience store in that it sells smaller snack items instead of full meals. The items sold there range from a bag of chips to Kraft Macaroni & Cheese.

A freezer carries frozen meals such as Hot Pockets, White Castle burgers, etc.

There is also a microwave to heat up frozen food before rushing off to class.

Even with multiple vending machines scattered throughout campus, they don’t have the biggest selection, while The P.O.D. offers a variety of snacks.

Regarding the location of the P.O.D., “They wanted something down here at the bottom of the hill,” said a cashier, who said she wasn’t allowed to divulge her name.

The P.O.D. is a convenient stop for students in taking courses in the Southampton Building, rather than having to run to the cafeteria up the hill, but students interviewed for this story said they haven’t had the chance to visit it because of its location away from their studies.

“I have heard of it, but have never entered it,” said Jordan Menjivar, 18. He added that he likes the look of it.

Remote or in-person schooling? SCCC Students left guessing about fall semester

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.

A map which depicts all 50 U.S. states and their peak COVID-19 outbreak date – TalktoMira.com

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.”

SCCC Coronavirus updates

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.

-Alexandra Hoth


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.

-Alexandra Hoth


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 campusactivities@sunysuffolk.edu 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 cabselden1@gmail.com 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 cabselden1@gmail.com.

Check out the Sharks Stay In(volved) website for a list of more events.

— Lauryn Valdez

May 8, 2020

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:

@suffolkmca3

@grantactivities 

@campusactivitiessccc

-Emmanuel Jaquez

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.

-Ashley Tyrie

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.

https://www.sunysuffolk.edu/current-students/registrar/withdrawal.jsp

-Duncan Riutta

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 cabselden1@gmail.com.

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.

-Ashley Tyrie

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 mentalhealth@sunysuffolk.edu. As the SCCC Cares Initiative affirms, “At Suffolk, we are Creating Awareness and Readiness to End Stigma about mental health issues.”

–Anna DeAssis

_________________________________________________________________________

May 4, 2020

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.

NYS is looking for immediate help and needs as many applicants as possible. To apply, click the link below.
https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/get-involved-how-you-can-help

–Lauryn Valdez

_________________________________________________________________________

May 1, 2020

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.”

–Jacqueline Santorelli

_________________________________________________________________________

April 29, 2020

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.

–Emmanuel Jaquez

_________________________________________________________________________

April 28, 2020

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.  

–Elizabeth Maldonado

_________________________________________________________________________

April 28, 2020

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:

  1. Ammerman Campus: ammrfoodpantry@sunysuffolk.edu
  2. Eastern Campus: eastfoodpantry@sunysuffolk.edu
  3. Grant Campus: grantfoodpantry@sunysuffolk.edu

Campus Pantry Pick-up Areas:

Ammerman Campus: Babylon Student Center Loading Dock, located across from Kreiling Hall, enter off of College Road.

Eastern Campus: The Loading Dock on the back of Peconic Building, accessible from Parking lot #2.

Grant Campus: Nesconsett Hall parking lot #1,  enter off of Wicks Road.

–Anna DeAssis

_________________________________________________________________________

April 27, 2020

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.

Keep posted on the Suffolk County Community College website for frequent updates.

–Duncan Riutta

_________________________________________________________________________

April 24, 2020

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.

–Alexandra Hoth

_________________________________________________________________________

April 17, 2020

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.

Every Monday, check out Sharks Stay In(volved) to see what’s new for the week.

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.

You can also find them on Instagram at @campusactivitiessccc.

–Emmanuel Jaquez

_________________________________________________________________________

April 16, 2020

Revisions to the academic calendar outlined

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.

–Jake Woodward

_________________________________________________________________________

April 15, 2020 

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:  

  1. Mary Reese: reesem@sunysuffolk.edu  
  1. Meryl Rogers: rogersm@sunysuffolk.edu  
  1. Edward Martinez: martineze@sunysuffolk.edu 

–Anna DeAssis

_________________________________________________________________________

April 10, 2020

‘Suffolk Hope’ videos bring positivity to the college community

A group of people from Suffolk County Community College is making a series of videos to help people connect during this pandemic when they can’t physically connect.

The videos are actually a collection of video messages from staff and faculty, though anyone is invited to participate.

People can sing, do something funny, or share a positive message about the current situation. The college has shared these videos on social media, but it’s unknown who started this.

People who want to submit videos to this project can do so by submitting them to suffolkhope2020@gmail.com or visiting the website at www.SuffolkHope.com.

–Ashley Tyrie

_________________________________________________________________________

April 8, 2020

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.

–Brandon Kattou

_________________________________________________________________________

April 6, 2020

Week 2 of remote learning

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.”

–Jenny Duclay

__________________________________________________________________________

April 3, 2020

‘Density reduction’ period extended to April 15

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.

–Jenny Duclay

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 the Pay 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.

— Elizabeth Maldonado

Long Islanders stay fit while social distancing

Tuesday afternoons in March have never looked like this in Argyle Park.

In recent days, many people have taken to walking around the lake at the park to get exercise. What is causing this?

With the coronavirus running rampant across the United States, lots of non-essential businesses and places were closed. Currently, people can no longer go to places like shopping malls, amusement parks, and arcades to shop or have fun. They can no longer dine out or eat at restaurants. This series of closures also impacted gyms, leading to people finding their own ways to stay fit.

Barbara Farethy, a retired teacher from West Islip who is a member of the Fitness Incentive gym in Babylon, has her own thoughts on this situation.

“I was upset when I learned that [the gym] had to close, but it is a good thing for the health and safety of everybody,” Faherty said. 

“As long as everybody is safe, I’m good with [the gym closings],” Rose Abbriano, a personal trainer who lives in West Islip and goes to LA Fitness in Lindenhurst, said.

Many of the gym members are finding various ways to find alternative ways to work out. Some walk around the lake at Argyle Park in Babylon and other places in their neighborhoods.

In addition to this, Abbriano, as well as Eric Evensen, a police officer who lives in Babylon, do situps, cardio, push-ups, squats and lunges at home. Farethy does yoga, and in addition, her gym is trying to help people stay fit.

Eric Evensen exercising with a jug full of water. Many people are trying to find creative ways to be fit during this time. (Suffolk Sentinel/Ashley Tyrie)

“My gym now is doing videos on Facebook for everybody to participate in if they choose to do so just to keep them healthy and fit, and I think that’s helping everybody,” Faherty said.

The workout videos Fitness Incentive puts out offer a variety of exercise classes, like yoga, pilates, aerobics, strength training, and even dance.

Rose Abbriano exercising in her own home. The coronavirus has left gyms closed, forcing most people to find other ways to work out, mainly in their homes. (Suffolk Sentinel/Ashley Tyrie)

“The workout videos are great,” Faherty said. “[The gym is] doing their part to help everybody out and keep things as normal as possible.”

All three agreed that in addition to exercising at the gym, they miss socializing there.

“[I miss] the social piece of [going to the gym],” Faherty said.

“I like to go talk to people when I go there,” Abbriano said. “I also train people, so I miss working out with them.”

“I like the gym a lot, so I do miss my workouts that I would normally get, and I miss the people as well,” Evensen said. “It’s a social thing as well as getting my workout in, so I do miss it.”

All three of the gym members believe the gym is going to be closed for at least the next month. 

“[How long the gym stays closed] would be up to the governor himself,” Evensen said. “[The government] is at least predicting until the beginning of April, but I believe it will be longer than that.”

the great american debate of the presidential forum at suffolk community college

On March 12, 2020, a presidential forum took place at all three campus at Suffolk Community College for Kevin Law on his presidential nomination. The debate was simulcasted from all three campus via cameras and the internet. Law spoke behind the podium at the Riverhead campus in front of an audience of faculty and students at the same time, staff members and students were watching on a video screen in the She Theatre at the Ammerman Campus in Seldon and staff members and students from the Grant Campus in Brentwood. It went on for almost two hours. He spoke of many issues on subjects such as education, changing of staff, hiring adjutant professors instead of full fledge professors and the outbreak of COVID-19 also known as the coronavirus.

Faculty members from each campus took turns asking questions regarding issues of educations, the hiring of professors and the declining enrollment of students. He gives long answers and how he will address it as college president. He admits to being a non traditional since he wasn’t a dean or professor as oppose to a traditional who has served as a professor, dean and with a PHD. After a long debate, they went on a recess and went on another debate in an hour later.

There was a lot of mixed reactions among the audience. Katherine Aguirre, 38 who works on campus as an assistant dean of students services. “Not a very true candidate with credentials.”

Anthony Wilson, 48 who works as one of the professional assistants. “well delivered” he said “good to hear a lot people involved, will qualify.”

Tiana Velazquez, 42 a college director for the college association. “I think he’s good for a presidential candidate.”

The outcome of it was well received but his nomination is still yet to be determined. Because of major circumstances with the outbreak with the coronavirus, it will be awhile to find out if Kevin Law will be the president of Suffolk County Community College.

Suffolk takes measures for online classes following coronavirus outbreak

Blackboard will be the primary tool for online instruction at the college following the announcement March 11 that in-person classes would be canceled for the rest of the semester, said Paul Beaudin, vice president for academic affairs,

“All of our courses are web-enabled through Blackboard,” Beaudin said. “The faculty members have a variety of other things that they can embed within Blackboard which will be very helpful in order to provide robust interaction. We want to emphasize that we really hope that students and faculty have the time to be able to engage in levels of interaction which don’t diminish those kinds of conversations we want to happen in every class.”

There are lots of options for teachers to incorporate in their online classes, including Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. These features help faculty communicate visually with students.

“All of our professors have been trained or are currently being trained in Blackboard, so we have a number of sessions that that have been offered this week and will be offered next week as well,” Beaudin said “Basically, it will help support faculty to engage students through the Blackboard modality.”

Students who don’t have access to computers off campus or with no internet available will be able to go to the college library. Working at a distance from one another, they will be able to use the tools available for them in the online classes. There will also be tutoring available on campus, online, and on the telephone.

Many students and faculty had their own thoughts on the move online.

“It’s gonna be difficult to learn how to do online classes because I’ve heard no good things about them,” Christopher Dillon, a radio and television major at the college, said. “Personally, it doesn’t really bother me that much.”

“I do think it’s going to be much harder to understand a lot of (the material),” Sarah Helkowski, a libral arts major said. “I feel like we’re not going to get as much education as we deserve and pay for.”

“It kind of sucks,” said Andrea Ingreassellino, a technical theater major. “A lot of theater classes can’t be taken online, so we have to deal with that.”

“I am nervous about it,” Kristen Hoffman, an English professor, said. “I feel like it is nerve-wracking for (the students) and that they will be confused and not have the full resources that we could otherwise give to them if they were in-person students.”

Beaudin has a word of advice for both students and staff.

“We need to be gentle with each other and gentle with our students.”

A sign notifying students of a ban on personal reusable cups at the Ammerman Campus due to Coronavirus. This is one of the many precautions Suffolk County Community College is taking to reduce the spread of the virus. (Ashley Tyrie)