A copy of the following letter was received by the Gazette.
Department of Motor Vehicles
State of New York
Albany, New York 12220
I am in my car a minimum of three (3) hours a day, driving on the L.I.Expressway 40 miles each way.
It seems that about 75 percent of the drivers do not use their turning signals while changing lanes or turning off.
It seems to worsen day by day.The most flagrant violators are the drivers of the yellow cabs and the black limo taxis.
Why can’t you initiate a drive to educate these drivers, most of whom have chauffeur licenses?
Getting into Long Island City in the morning the violations are worse.
I do firmly believe that if some of these drivers are pulled over and ticketed, other drivers would be forewarned.
If some corrections were made, I am certain that traffic would move more freely and with much more safety.
Long Island City
To The Editor:
Virtually all the articles in the news media about the recent resignation of Dr. A. L. Sessoms as president of Queens College cover the same old tired stories—the AIDS Center money snafu, the disrespectful comments on students in need of remediation, etc. But, some of the most serious of the Queens College (QC) Administration’s transgressions are not even mentioned.
The QC Administration, under Dr. Sessoms’s lead, had little regard for the democratic structures that exist here. Concepts like "advise and consent" and "checks and balances" were, for the most part, alien to this adminstration.
Let me focus on one salient example. The Academic Senate, of which I am a member, is the Governance body of this college (akin to the U.S. Senate, say). It is clearly stated in the Academic Senate Bylaws that the Senate has responsibility for "formulation of policy relating to admission . . . of students." Yet, in three straight academic years, starting with the 1998–1999 year, the adminstration bypassed the Academic Senate with respect to admissions requirements. This was extremely undemocratic behavior, and, in my view, illegal. Now, for the latest transgression by the QC Administration. The Academic Senate at its 3/9/00 meeting passed new admissions requirements. But this administration, in extreme undemocratic gall, said it will refuse to implement them. A suggestion for Dr. Sessoms: as a last minute proper gesture, do the right thing, and see to it that these requirements are implemented immediately.
There is a very practical aspect of Sessoms’s abuse of democratic and legal processes. The admissions policies improperly sponsored by Sessoms’s administration have led to a serious decline in the size of the student body, particularly at the undergraduate level. For example, in Fall 1995, the semester in which Dr. Sessoms arrived, the number of undergraduates was 13,733. As of the Spring, 2000 semester, the number is 10,867, a reduction of 20.9%. A recent consequence of this decline was a midyear budget reduction of over $4 million by the central CUNY administration, which resulted in classes being cancelled, personnel being fired, and searches for new faculty members being cancelled.
Now, President Sessoms has always bragged about how "standards" have risen during his tenure. This is misleading. The heading of a front page article of the 12/7/95 QC newsletter, FYI, states that "QC is Top Source for Doctoral Candidates." This article, published during Sessoms’s first semester at QC, describes the truly outstanding achievements of QC students who graduated before Sessoms arrived. In actuality, if you take into account the fact that the "program" provided by QC has suffered as a result of our student population decline (see previous paragraph), one may argue that the standards and reputation of QC have suffered during the regime of President Sessoms.
Another story relating to President Sessoms, and not reported at all in the news media, pertained to the abuse of presidential power displayed during the Computer Science election fiasco of 1997–1998. During the spring of 1997, the Computer Science Department elected Dr. Ted Brown to his fourth consecutive three–year term as chair of their department. But, Dr. Sessoms, in an unprecedented move, refused to "accept the election." This action violated a democratic practice that has existed at CUNY. There resulted resolutions opposing the president’s move by the faculty union, the Academic Senate, the Student Association, and several academic departments. These resolutions led, thankfully, to the president finally relenting in his efforts.
Dr. Ronald I. Rothenberg, member of Mathematics Department and Academic Senate.
To The Editor:
The senior (over 60) population of the Northridge, Southridge and Brulene cooperatives has recently been given a gift. Funding has been made available through the State and City for a NORC (Naturally Occurring Retirement Community) program in these buildings. The main objective of this program is to allow senior citizens to remain at home and in the community in which they have been living with independence and dignity and to prevent, or at least reduce the likelihood, of admission to a hospital or nursing home.
The board presidents and representatives of all the sections of Northridge, Southridge and Brulene met and the program was explained to them. A survey was distributed to the boards, who in turn were to distribute it to the residents to determine the priority of needs for service. All that was asked of these boards was a contribution of $10 per apartment unit per year—a contribution from the Board not the stockholders. Unbeknownst to many of the stockholders, only two (Brulene Cooperative and Northridge Section II) of the eligible sections agreed to participate. The senior population of the remaining cooperatives are missing out on a wonderful program. Under the aegis of Selfhelp Community Services, the NORC program provides services of a full-time social worker on site to help eligible stockholders with a whole range of social work services (home visits, counseling, referrals, help with filling out forms, etc.), a recreational program such as a weekly "chair" exercise program, coffee hour with games, discussions, poetry readings, etc., various health screenings and an arrangement with a private car service for half-price transportation to medical appointments. In the planning stages are trips to museums, concerts, theatre, parks, and other sites of interest.
Everyone will benefit. Services like these not only serve to enable seniors to stay in their homes near their neighbors and friends while growing old safely in the homes they have lived in for decades. By getting services otherwise not easily available, the NORC program can help to change the perspective of building managers by preventing property damage, liability and repair expenses that result from possible neglect by elderly residents, who are "aging in place". From the perspective of government officials, this program can reduce Medicaid and Medicare expenditures by preventing or delaying hospital stays, emergency-room visits and nursing home care. Ultimately, because of the availability of a full range of services, the value of our apartments will increase.
I urge the stockholders of Northridge Sections I, III and all the Southridge Sections to speak to their boards about reversing their decisions not to participate in this wonderful program.
NORC Advisory Board