September 24, 2015


Volume 10, Issue 08–September 24, 2015


Great Student Opinion Survey Results

The 2014 Student Opinion Survey is out from SUNY, and SUNY Canton did very well indeed.  Of the 27 SUNY institutions surveyed, we scored in the top five for the following 22 questions:

  • Academic advising in your major
  • General academic advising
  • Job search assistance (#3)
  • Career planning services (#2, #1 in our sector)
  • College help in finding part-time job (#2, #1 in our sector)
  • Parking
  • Course-related laboratories (#2, #1 in our sector)
  • Athletic and recreational facilities (#3, #1 in our sector)
  • College tutoring services (#1 in SUNY)
  • Quality of instruction
  • Availability of general education courses
  • Availability of courses in your major (#3)
  • Course registration process
  • Availability of online courses (#2, #1 in our sector)
  • Availability of internships (#3)
  • Computing support services
  • Library resources (#1 in SUNY)
  • Library services (#1 in SUNY)
  • Student health services (#2, #1 in our sector)
  • Personal counseling services (#3)
  • Health and wellness programs (#2, #1 in our sector)
  • Sexual assault prevention programs

It’s amazing the wide scope of questions we did well with, including all the really important ones such as instruction, online courses, course availability, advising, job search assistance, internships, labs, computing resources, library, health services, and counseling.  Coming in first in SUNY in three categories, and first in the colleges of technology in ten categories is obviously something to be very proud of.  Special congratulations to our colleagues in tutoring services and in the library—#1 in SUNY—how cool is that?

Did we come in last in anything?  I’m glad to say no, but we were in the bottom five in three categories, where we’ll be having some discussion of how we can do better.  Stay tuned.


Scholarship Luncheon

SUNY Canton’s annual Scholarship Luncheon was held last Friday, September 18, and as always, it was a great event.  More than 300 people were there to thank our many benefactors and to honor our students.

Scholarship-2Over $450,000 in scholarships will be paid out this year, benefitting more than 300 students.  This includes ten new fully funded endowments.

I really like the idea of endowments.  Contributions totaling $10,000 over five years will fully fund an endowment (i.e., $77 each pay period).  The really cool thing is that an endowment pays out a scholarship (or it can be money for your favorite campus program) each year, every year, forever, since the principle is never touched.  It’s a form of academic immortality, funding whatever is most important to the donor.  I like the idea so much that I started two endowments last year.  Of course, there are other effective ways to give as well.  Many of our benefactors have established scholarship funds, and many give to the Canton Fund.

President Kennedy said it just about perfectly, back in 1962:

No task before our nation is more important than expanding and improving the educational opportunities of all our people. The concept that every American deserves the opportunity to attain the highest level of education of which he is capable is not new to this Administration – it is a traditional ideal of democracy. But it is time that we moved toward the fulfillment of this ideal with more vigor and less delay. For education is both the foundation and the unifying force of our democratic way of life — it is the mainspring of our economic and social progress — it is the highest expression of achievement in our society, ennobling and enriching human life. In short, it is at the same time the most profitable investment society can make and the richest reward it can offer.

If you would like to donate to support student scholarships or to support the college, please contact our Advancement Office at 315-386-7127 (or 800-811-6727).

Constitution Day

I very much regret that my schedule didn’t allow me to attend any of the fine Constitution Day events, but I’ve heard that they went very well and were well attended.  Special thanks to Assemblywoman Addie Russell for speaking last Tuesday.  A voter registration drive, trivia contest, and poster contest were also part of the Constitution Day festivities, and were covered by Watertown’s WWNY channel 7 news.  Some famous people were also present at Constitution Day events, most notably Martha Washington, who looked very good for someone who’s 284 years old.



SUNY Canton Shout-Outs

On Monday September 14, the men’s soccer team hosted a skills clinic for the Pee Wee teams from Canton Central School District on our turf field. They worked each team through many soccer skill drills, each staffed by at least two men’s team athletes.  Roody joined the activities and mingled with the children. Our athletes were totally engaged with the kids and it was a great experience for them.  Of course, the local children all love Roody!  The men’s soccer team also served ice cream at a social at Canton School on the 16th.  The Women’s Soccer team will sponsor a similar skills clinic on the 23rd.

Saturday (September 19), was Mascot Day and the Men’s Soccer team asked Pee Wee Players to attend the game, and escort both college teams onto the field and stand with them for the National Anthem. At half time, the Pee Wee teams scrimmaged on our turf field.  Congratulations on the fine outreach to our soccer teams!

Unfortunately, the ‘Roo’s men lost 3-0 to Hamilton in pretty dreary weather.  That’s OK—we’ll get ‘em next time.


The members of Alpha Theta Gamma recently painted the St. Lawrence County Historical Association fence. Lance Rudiger, a local community member, stopped by and said that the members were awesome and did a great job.  The members of Upsilon Zeta Iota helped spread a tractor trailer load of mulch on the playground of St. Mary’s School.  Both community service events were featured in the St. Lawrence Plaindealer.  Great job, Greeks!



Basketball in Brazil

SUNY Canton basketball players Sam Annorh and Romario Fletcher (both of Queens, NY) were two of 10 players that represented Team USA in a four game tour of Brazil in late July.  The two, along with the rest of their teammates, traveled to Orlando where they took part in orientation and practice on July 21st and 22nd. They departed for Sao Paulo, Brazil on July 22nd. The men’s and women’s teams played doubleheaders on the 23rd, 24th and 25th in Sao Paulo vs. selected teams from the region before traveling to Rio de Janeiro for a game on the 27th. The teams then got to take part in some sightseeing before returning to Orlando on the 30th.

AnnorhFletcherTeamUSA“The competition in Brazil was tough,” Fletcher said. “It was different from the U.S. There were no foul calls, you had to play through everything.”  “I played with guys from all over – Chicago, Minnesota, Iowa, Massachusetts. They were all on Division III ranked teams in the NCAA,” Annorh noted. “They all made the NCAA Tournament, so it was really fun.”

Outside of their practices and games the players got the opportunity to travel and sightsee in Brazil and gain a greater understanding of a different culture.

“The culture in Brazil was awesome,” Fletcher said. “Everybody was friendly, they would come up and talk to us. They were happy to see young, educated men in a different country trying to do something to better themselves in life. They thought we were actual NBA players, so it was pretty cool. We visited the Christ Statue, which is one of the seven wonders in the World.”

SUNY Canton Head Men’s Basketball Coach Jim Bechtel helped Annorh and Fletcher facilitate the trip and even flew down to Orlando to see his guys practice in Orlando before they took off for Brazil.

“This was a tremendous opportunity for Sam and Romario to represent our country and travel to Brazil,” Bechtel said. “They had a fantastic experience both on and off the court. I look forward to them bringing those experiences back to the team. It is great exposure for our institution and program to have two players selected to the team and get to play with some of the top players in the country.”


Freedom of Speech (Yet More)

It’s very interesting that after finishing discussing a group of free speech issues at universities, two more interesting ones have turned up.

Right here within SUNY, there’s been a bunch of articles about an incident at SUNY-Buffalo.  Students, faculty and staff walking into various buildings on campus were greeted with signs saying “white only” and “black only” alongside bathrooms and water fountains.  As you can imagine, there was quite a bit of outcry.  After some investigation, it came out that the signs were part of a 400-level art lab class, “Installation: Urban Space”, and put up by Ashley Powell, an African-American graduate student in fine arts.  Powell said she put the signs up to “get a reaction out of people…I apologize for hurting people, but I won’t apologize for what I did.”  This has triggered a range of commentary and controversy about “is this art?”, similar to the situation at Columbia University with Emma Sulkowicz’s project “Mattress Performance (Carry That Weight)” discussed in last week’s issue of the BLAB.

You will recall that at Duke University, several students tried to opt out of a summer reading, claiming that it had sexual content that they found to be offensive.  Well, American University’s Faculty Senate has unanimously passed a resolution rejecting the use of “trigger warnings” to warn students about course content that they may find to be disturbing.  The resolution says that the Senate “does not endorse offering ‘trigger warnings’ or otherwise labeling controversial material in such a way that students construe it as an option to ‘opt out’ of engaging with texts or concepts, or otherwise not participating in intellectual inquiries.”    Is this the beginning of a new trend?  Time will tell.




Last Week’s Trivia Contest

Last week’s challenge dealt with musical hits from the ‘90’s, and was guest written by Greg Kie. The winner was Terry Clemmo .  Prizes can be picked up from my office.

Here are the correct answers:

  1. This band named after a stage of sleep had the 1991 hit “Losing my Religion”. E.M.
  2. This group of business-savvy rappers had a hit in 1994 with “Sabotage”. Beastie Boys.
  3. Ricky Martin chose to live like this in 1997. Livin’ la Vida Loca.
  4. Ace of Base saw this and it opened up their eyes. The Sign.
  5. There is an ongoing debate to this day which of two grunge bands was the better example of the “Seattle Sound” label during the 1990’s. Who were they? Nirvana and Pearl Jam.



This Week’s Trivia Challenge

This week’s challenge will be about popular kids’ toys of the past.  To celebrate the new academic year, from this point on, all winners win a CD, DVD, or whatever else I come up with from the vast Szafran repository of duplicates or good stuff I want to get rid of.  As usual, the first with the most takes the prize.  No looking up the answers now!  SEND ALL ENTRIES BY EMAIL TO since if you put them as a response on the BLOG, everyone will be able to see them.

  1. Most popular of dolls, the clothes and accessories cost more than the doll did.
  2. You spin around your hips while doing a “hula-like” dance. Of course, more talented people can spin it around other parts of their body too.
  3. Made of a spiral of wire, you can make it “walk” down the stairs.
  4. Each reel has seven 3-D pictures you could see.
  5. Usually red and square, you can draw any picture and then erase it by shaking it.


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