The College of Staten Island has been located on the grounds of the former Willowbrook State School since 1993. It is the largest campus, in terms of physical size, in New York City. Before the relocation to Willowbrook, the college had a split campus, located at the former Staten Island Community College (in Sunnyside, on Todt Hill) and Richmond College (in St. George).
The first president of the college, Dr. Edmond Volpe, an American literature scholar, retired in 1994, after having successfully handled the merger of the two colleges and the unification of the two campuses. He was succeeded by Dr. Marlene Springer, as the second president of the college, an English and American literature scholar, under whose leadership the College improved academic standards, introduced two doctoral programs and several master's programs, raised the level of the faculty, added research institutes, and introduced an Honors College, the Verrazano School, and the CSI High School for International Studies. She retired in August of 2007 and was succeeded by Tomás D. Morales, whose doctorate is in higher education administration, as the third president of the college. He has arranged for a free bus from the Staten Island ferry to the Willowbrook campus.
Fourteen renovated neo-Georgian buildings serve as classrooms, laboratories, and offices. The academic buildings house 300 classrooms, laboratories and instructional spaces, study lounges, department and program offices, and faculty offices.
North and South Academic Quadrangles are connected by the Alumni Walk, with the Library and Campus Center as focal points. The Center for the Arts is located midway between the Quadrangles at the fountain plaza. The Sports and Recreation Center and the athletic fields are located near the main entrance to the campus.
Sixteen works of art, a permanent collection of works either commissioned or purchased through the Art Acquisitions Program of the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York, are installed throughout the campus. The artists and their free-standing sculptures and reliefs are: Vincenzo Amato, Body of Hector/Glaucus; Miriam Bloom, Shooliloo; Fritz Bultman, Garden at Nightfall (extended loan); Chryssa, Untitled; Lucille Friedland, Big Stride (gift of the artist); Red Grooms, Marathon; Sarah Haviland, Staten Island Arch; Jon Isherwood, Borromini's Task; Zero Higashida, Maquette for a Small Universe; Valerie Jaudon, Untitled; Niki Ketchman, Red Inside; Win Knowlton, Ellipse; Mark Mennin, Torak; Don Porcaro, Moon Marker; and Hans Van de Bovenkamp, Stele in the Wind.
New students are welcomed through a unique orientation program called CLUE, the College Life Unit Experience. In addition to helping new students make a smooth transition to college life, CLUE gives new students the opportunity to have meaningful exchanges with faculty, staff, and current students.
The Third Rail features Poetry • Political Commentaries • Philosophy • Photography Arts • Fiction • Non-Fiction • Drawings • Social Commentaries, Plays & everything in the nature of the political arts
In the mid 1970s, a group of students intrigued by radio gathered in a broom closet of the C Building at the College of Staten Island to form WSIA.
The founding members of WSIA include Ronald Resnick, Greg, Joe Mininni, Karen Cino, and Diane T. amongst others. Upon working with the college, the students were able to apply for an FM license and were granted a construction permit.
In the late 1970s, a new group of students applied to the Student Government and Association for money to commence construction. Immediately following the basic construction, a general manager was hired to handle the daily tasks of the station. In the early 1980s, an agreement was reached to acquire an antenna site on Todt Hill which is noted as the tallest point on the East Coast. Phone lines were eventually installed for the transmitter. The remaining construction of the studio was expedited in the basement of the E Building on the Sunnyside campus. On August 31, 1981, WSIA commenced regularly scheduled broadcast.
After having worked off of student fees, the college would eventually pick up the salary of the general manager in 1985. Although, a lack of knowledge would affect the station in the early 1980s. By the mid 1980s most of the station’s support was a direct result of its alternative music programing that included obscure Brit-Punk and Goth-Punk bands to American Grunge and No-Noise Bands, such as Sonic Youth and Smashing Pumpkins, attracting listeners as the station grew in recognition.
The early 1990s proved to be beneficial for the station as the operating budget was increased to $100,000 annually from the original budget of $8,800.
Since the early days, the programming has undergone a number of changes. Despite the growth of the station, the students remain committed to using the facilities in new and innovate ways. The station remains a beneficial and influential outlet to its listeners and sponsors.
In 1993, the College of Staten Island moved its entire campus to a larger location. This enabled an opportunity for WSIA to obtain a state of the art facility. The facility now houses a 64 track recording studio, multiple broadcast booths/rooms and full office space for its staff. The recording studio also houses musical instruments such as guitars, pianos, turntables, and much more.
WSIA serves as an outlet for breaking emerging artists to the mass public. The station and its studio is a learning ground for students and aspiring broadcast enthusiasts alike. The station is operated by an all-student Board of Directors and employs a General Manager and Chief Engineer. The station’s general manager is Philip Masciantonio. The station’s technical operation is maintained by John Ladley.
The station is licensed by the FCC and transmits to the Staten Island, Brooklyn, and Manhattan areas of New York in addition to New Jersey. The station also has a strong international following via the World Wide Web.
The station’s current programming includes music, news, public affairs discussion, sports talk, and more. The music department broadcasts live programs catering to various genres of music. The stations music department is noted to have hosted many established recording artist’s in-studio commentary and interviews. The Untouchable DJ Drastic is a popular DJ known to credit WSIA as a founding aspect of his career. The sports department broadcasts many live events such as baseball, college basketball, football, and more.
WSIA is open to full and part-time students at the College of Staten Island. No previous broadcast experience is necessary. The WSIA studios are now located at 2800 Victory Blvd. Building 1C / Room 106 in Staten Island, NY.
NYPIRG is New York's largest consumer protection and good government organization.
NYPIRG is controlled by a student board of directors. Any issue that NYPIRG works on, or stance it takes, must be approved by its student board of directors. In the 28 years that NYPIRG has been at the College of Staten Island, students organizing with NYPIRG have been successful in many local and statewide campaigns, including:
Closing the Fresh Kills Landfill; Stopping cuts to the TAP financial aid program and fighting tuition increases; Securing money for the State Superfund program to clean up toxic waste sites statewide, including nine in Staten Island; Creating an online book exchange where students can sell their books for more, and buy their books for less money; Passing legislation in the NYC City Council to protect children from the debilitating effects of lead paint poisoning; Lobbying the MTA to start a bus line, the S93, which runs from Brooklyn to the College of Staten Island; Increasing the New York State minimum wage from $5.15 an hour to $7.15 an hour.
Ben DeAngelis, Project Coordinator City University of New York Campus Center 1C- Rm. 219 2800 Victory Blvd. Staten Island, NY 10314 (718) 982-3109
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