In this day and age most college students are big texters. What comes along with that are the emojis and they are small digital images or icons used to express an idea or emotion. They liven up text conversations and make them more entertaining.
Some teachers, in an attempt to be more relatable and seem cool to their students, use these emojis in emails and messages to their students. The reaction from students is mixed.
In a Twitter poll, “Is it weird if one of your teachers attempts to use emojis in their messages?,” the results were dead even: 10 voters thought is was OK, while another 10 didn’t.
Kevin Kamping, a 20-year-old liberal arts major, thinks it’s OK. “I don’t find it weird if a teacher wants to throw in an emoji here and there. It makes the teacher more relatable and shows a lighter side to them.” Teachers are always trying to relate to younger students, using emojis is just another tactic, he said.
While some students don’t have a problem with the emoji use from a teacher, others feel differently.
Lucas Moreno, a 20-year-old liberal arts major, said, “I hate the fact that my teachers try to use emojis. It feels like they are trying too hard to relate to students that it gets annoying seeing them try over and over. It just seems forced. Just be yourself.”
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.”
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)
At 2 p.m. in the Mildred Green Room of the Babylon Student Center on March 11, students were sent in groups of 15 through the “Tunnel of Oppression” to learn about human trafficking, immigration, food insecurity and “The Rise of Hate.”
These four themes are displayed in a dark room with black tarps covering the surrounding walls. Each topic is presented on its own board in the middle of the room. On the large black dividers, posters, photographs and printouts of articles including disheartening statistics are attached.
The event included interactive displays revealing a ‘Tunnel of Oppression,’ a ‘Human Library’ and a ‘Tunnel of Hope’ for students to learn about different forms of prejudice and meet people who are advocates or have direct experience with racism, sexism, antisemitism, or able-ism.
Upon entering the room, faculty members guided students towards the right side of the divider, where a large white poster tacked to the board writes “Human Trafficking.” The subject took up two boards, as did the other three topics filled with hard-to-stomach facts and situations about children and young adults who are tricked and manipulated into human trafficking.
“Under U.S. law, human trafficking is defined as the transporting, soliciting, recruiting, harboring, providing or obtaining of another person for transport; for the purposes of forced labor, domestic servitude or sexual exploitation using force, fraud and/or coercion,” one poster read.
Underneath, there’s a black-and-white photo of a child holding a sign with the words “Not For Sale.” Surrounding this picture were several more.
Students gathered around to read about human trafficking on Long Island.
“It was eye-opening,” said 21-year-old Andrew Abraham. After three semesters at Suffolk, Abraham said he did not realize that there were victims of human trafficking in his own community. “It brings you into a world you weren’t into before.”
More depictions of hatred and societal struggles such as hunger on Long Island, mass shootings and acts of terror on the other three walls stunned students.
“It was shocking,” said 21-year-old Thomas Intrabartola, who is in his third semester at Suffolk. “I didn’t really know much about it and today I learned a lot. It was a heavy-hearted experience, from human trafficking to the Charleston shooting, it’s a little crazy that all that sh*t goes on in this world.”
Under the “Food Insecurity” section, one poster read: “39% of students said they ate less than they felt they should because there wasn’t enough money for food.” Another stated: “42% of college students are food insecure.”
Having students aware of the issues is very important to Malika Batchie Lockhart, chair of the event and assistant in the Multicultural Affairs Office.
“This event is meant to increase students’ level of awareness as well as encourage them to care and not to become detached and desensitized,” Batchie Lockhart said.
People may not realize that these struggles are closer to home than they think. When students and faculty become aware of this, it can promote change and offer potential solutions for those struggling.
With over 14 years of counseling experience, Batchie Lockhart has participated and helped organize several “Tunnel of Oppression” events on each Suffolk campus. After recognizing that this event can actually be triggering to some students, she didn’t want students to leave feeling heavy or sad. This is when Batchie Lockhart had the idea to implement the “Tunnel of Hope,” where students can see “the light at the end of the tunnel,” she explained.
The idea was to create a warm setting for students to pass through at the end of the event.
“It should feel airy, with bright colors and calming colors,” she said. “And with the human library, it brings a different way that students can experience what they already saw on another level.”
“This is the fight that we should be putting all our energy into instead of feeling like there is no hope.”
Very different to what students would see in the first tunnel — darkness, horrifying statistics and photographs filled with hate and despair, the Tunnel of Hope allows students the opportunity to discover how they can get involved to help their community and reach out to victims.
“I want students to leave knowing that there is a light at the end of the tunnel,” Batchie said, “and that light is them.”
Coaching Suffolk County Community College women’s basketball team since 1994, Kevin Foley has emphasized essential qualities and has worked to embed in his teams.
“There’s a difference,” Foley said, “between playing basketball and wanting to be a basketball player.”
One distinction, he said, is someone who plays just to play the sport and the other one is fully immersed in the culture of basketball and continuously emerges themselves in it.
Foley, who was a guard for Seton Hall University, where he was named captain his senior year, averaging 14 points and 4 rebounds per game, also was a star high school basketball player on Long Island.
His experience has helped him lead the SCCC women’s team to the regional playoffs every year since coming on board. Foley’s teams have won six regional championships and one national title.
The women’s team finished the 2019-2020 season with a 15-10 overall record.
“Coach Foley really knows what he is doing,” said Lindsey Devine, the team’s captain and a sophomore. “He really focuses on the little things and the fundamentals of the game.”
Those fundamentals include how to properly box out, pass, and ball handling. Without the fundamentals being secure, nothing can be built on top of them.
“We learned how important communication really is in this game,” Devine said. “Because you should constantly be talking to one another on the court.”
A quiet team is a losing team, Foley said.
“Being a freshman, I held back from saying a lot on and off the court,” Katie Brown, a freshman guard, said about how communication has led to team wins. “After two months into the season is when I really started to feel comfortable and I felt that I could communicate better with my teammates during games and in practice.”
“I don’t care if you are a blabbermouth or the most shy person in the world,” Foley said. “When you’re on a court, you have to talk. You have to be engaged verbally. And if you’re not engaged verbally, usually don’t do too well.”
Foley said it is not only important to train and practice, but to also watch and study the game. However, there is a limit. Playing too much does more damage than good to any player.
After covering the essentials that are non-skill attributed, Foley said coaching was essentially being a teacher. As long as the players were willing to learn, he’d always be able to teach.
“When you walk into this gym, it becomes the classroom,” Foley said. “To teach things that I’ve learned and you pass them on, whatever else it may be. Everybody can grow and enhance themselves in terms of how they see themselves and how they feel about themselves. I always use the phrase, but I think this is the greatest game.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
If you are not an international student, it is very likely you at least know one of them on the Ammerman campus. For years, Suffolk County Community College has provided developmental English classes to people from all over the world who seek to pursue a better education and, perhaps, even a career in the United States.
There are two different programs available for those students.English Language Learners, a non-credit program, is open to any adults interested in improving their language skills. English as Second Language, a for-credit program, is designed to prepare students for college-level work in degree programs.
Prof. Laura Cudia is the coordinator of the ESL and ELL program on the Ammerman campus, and she manages it with the help of other assistant professors, such as Rich Lauria. Lauria, who has been teaching for 20 years, started at SCCC five years ago. He is also an ESL advisor and helps guide students daily.
Since 2015, Lauria has noticed that the decline in college enrollment has affected the ESL program as well.
“We are countercyclical to the economy. No one wants to cheer for a recession, but if we hit some tougher economic times, and people start to get laid off, that’s when they decide maybe it’s time to get some more education or training to be able to change careers or to get a better job,” he said prior to the coronavirus restrictions that have shut down many businesses and forced classes to go online.
However, the enrollment decline is not the only obstacle faced by the program. Unfortunately, joining the program is not something most students want.
“It’s like I am selling something people don’t want but need. Sometimes students come in, especially the ones who have taken ESL classes in high school, and they don’t want to take ESL classes anymore. Sometimes I have to convince students that they need this, so that’s an interesting position to be in,” he said. “This program is the foundation for any future studies they are going to do.”
The ELL program offers a placement test. The test concludes their reading, writing, listening and speaking skills. For those already in college, their ESL classes are determined by the regular college placement test.
Racine Topaloğlu, a former ELL student from Germany, is now pursuing a degree at SCCC and working as an assistant in the ESL office. Topaloğlu said the program helped her with her grammar and writing skills.
“The grammar class was more difficult to me than the composition class. In Germany, I was a better writer. I love to write. Professor Lauria’s classes were full of motivation, and we could write about our own lives and personal experiences. That helped me a lot.”
Josseline Soto, a current ESL student from Guatemala, said, “The way professor Lauria explains the language makes it really easy. My English has improved a lot since I started taking classes at Suffolk.”
Sevket Arar, her classmate from Turkey, agreed.
“I was a part of the ELL program, and now I’m taking a couple of ESL classes. It helps a lot with my communication at work. Lauria is the best professor.”
In his office, Lauria has flags, currency notes and a map with pins on different countries. Every new student can pinout where they are from. The program has received people from all over the globe, such as Ecuador, Peru, Haiti, Korea, Pakistan, and Egypt. Most international students are usually from China, aiming to finish their studies at Stony Brook University.
Lauria follows a motivation theory, which comprises a five-tier model of human needs. “The Maslow Hierarchy of Needs is a pyramid. You can’t feel fulfilled in life and relationships unless you feel safe first, you feel like you belong. I make sure they feel like they are safe first, feel like they belong next, and then we can work on their esteem,” he said.
His main goal is to make foreign students feel accepted, as he guides them into the next step of their academic life.
“I try to put myself in their shoes. A little empathy goes a long way. And as an advisor, I have to ask them: where are you going from here?”