Tag Archives: SGA

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 SGA’s incoming president Sophia Antonelle brings a ‘spark-plug personality’ to a role supporters say she was meant for

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.”

Ammerman’s top 3 oldest student organizations still going strong

Suffolk County Community College, founded in 1959, has seen thousands of students come through its brick-and-mortar walls. As many will attest, it’s difficult to leave a mark of their existence on campus history in such a small span of time. Not everyone can stamp their footprints into the wet cement stairs or scratch their names into tree bark. So what can they do?

One option is to participate in an organization.

Clubs, created by students, have very direct mission statements that restrict what they can or cannot do under their title. Organizations, however, have much broader mission statements, allowing them room to expand and redefine what they do.

While paperwork for clubs and organizations wasn’t necessary until recently—only about 10 to 15 years ago—there are some organizations dating as far back as the beginning of the college itself.

Here’s three of them that have endured throughout the years and still have a prominent campus presence, run by students, for students.

Campus Activities Board (CAB)

Ever walk around the cafeteria and notice there are people handing out stuffed animals? Maybe you have attended a campus movie night, or a highly discounted trip to Broadway. You can thank the Campus Activities Board, or CAB, for that. It’s the oldest organization on campus, having records of ski trips that date back as far as the 1960s and more recent events like the Spring semesters recurring Paint Day, where students were are able to interact with one another while creating art on a canvas.

According to Frank Vino, the adviser for CAB, the organization has a board of three executive members: executive administrative coordinator, executive financial coordinator, and executive recruitment coordinator.

With eight to 10 general members and hosting 30-35 events a year, CAB raises awareness about important issues.

Student Government Association

Making sure that students have a voice is the main goal of the Student Government Association, or SGA. The organization serves as a liaison between students and the administration, representing the student body during meetings and at conferences.

The SGA has an elected board of 12-15 members, including a president, vice president, secretary and financial chair, and an additional number of general members. The elected board is voted in by the general student body, and all students are encouraged to vote in campus elections.

Always busy with campus concerns, the last time the SGA was on hiatus from the late 80s and to the early 1990s. They remain active on campus to this day.

Compass


Extra! Extra!

Compass, the Ammerman campus’ only newspaper, has been navigating news since 1962 and remained loyal to its purpose: to give voice to the student body.

Students submit their works on issues ranging current events, sports news, celebrity gossip and even opinion articles. Compass provides a platform for students to let their voices be read rather than heard across campus on a monthly basis.

“I think that the newspaper has lasted for as long as it has is because of the commitment that students have shown to informing their fellow students about what’s going on in the world, in their communities, and on campus,” said William Burns, adviser to the student paper. “The Compass has expressed the connections between these three public spheres: what happens in one sphere influences the other two.”

The student-run paper is constantly taking submissions and suggestions for more articles and printing copies that are available across campus.

While these organizations have been around for quite some time, they are always looking for new members to continue their mission statements.

It’s important to note that all students are welcome in every organization and are encouraged to take part in campus activities. Whether it’s submitting a small article or running for office, the SCCC community has a spot for every student.

For SGA’s elections to have more involvement, it needs greater authority

The college holds the Student Government Association’s elections each spring semester. This year, they happened from April 8 to April 13 — five days during which students could vote online, in the college’s website homepage for their favorite representatives running for office for the 2018-2019 school year.

However, the recent elections didn’t do as well as last year’s. This time, 197 students from the Ammerman campus voted. Compared to 2017, when there were 405 hits, the number is significantly low. But why?

One of the main reasons was the number of candidates running for the vacant positions, said Laura Garcia, the current president of SGA. In 2017, two candidates ran for president and two for vice president.

As a result, “there was more promotion, debate and campaigning,” she said.

This year, only one person ran for president. Besides that, no one ran for vice president, secretary or treasurer.

Another reason can be the lack of awareness about what SGA actually does. Most people might infer that this organization has a lot of power in the decision-making processes that happen on campus. However, this is not the case for the student governance bodies at Suffolk County Community College.

SGA’s mission is to advocate for students’ rights, responsibilities and freedoms. It serves as a channel between faculty members, students and administration. However, no one holds a seat on the SCCC board of trustees, nor does SGA have a say in how student activity fees are spent, as do many student government organizations, including all four-year SUNY colleges and universities. SGA’s job is to communicate any issue to the student trustee, Jerome Bost.

Bost is the sole student representative on the college’s 10-member board. He represents all the students from the three campuses, exposing their concerns and being that voice in the decision-making process.

SGA spends a good portion of its annual budget mainly in giveaways, as minor contributions to the wellness of the student body.

“We want more ability to be able to oversee certain things, which is what we’re pushing forward now,” said Garcia. SGA is very limited in what they actually do on campus, so they try to help other organizations in events, as a way of promoting the services that the campus offers.

I think that this factor also plays an important role in how much students around the campus are informed, not only in the elections, but in the overall SGA’s role. The majority of the students don’t show much interest in what happens with this organization. Many others might do, but lacking the knowledge and information.

The Student Government Association in the Ammerman campus needs more promotion, better ways to get to students, who are intended to be the ones benefited from SGA’s work. If students are more involved, then more would be interested in being part of it, as well as voting for people to represent them. However, it is important to take away some of the limitations that restrict them to do more for the college community in general.

SGA president-elect Avagrace Alfieri plans ‘to hit the ground running’

The results are in and Avagrace Alfieri has been elected as the next Student Government Association president.

In this podcast, Alfieri, who previously served as SGA’s secretary, discusses her plans and hopes for the future.

“There’s always room for improvement, and Suffolk is a great school, and that’s why I’m doing it. Because I want to make sure all the problems that we do have there are problems. I’m not going to sugar-coat it … that they do get solved,” Alfieri said.

The Election Results

President: Avagrace Alfieri

Senator: Michael Carnival

Senator: Jordan Flumignan

Senator: Yifan Jia

Senator: Joseph LaLota III

Senator: Gabriella Mayers

Senator: Vincent Sparagna

Senator: Ozgur Yildirim