Congressman Fossella Arranges for Opening of Compensation Fund Help Center to Assist Families of 9/11 Center to Operate at CSI the Week of March 25

Congressman Vito Fossella (R-NY) today announced that the temporary Staten Island Victim’s Compensation Fund Help Center will be located on the campus of the College of Staten Island beginning the week of March 25. Fossella arranged for the opening of the Center last month to assist the families of September 11.

The Help Center will be staffed by four to five representatives of the Special Master’s Office and be open Monday, March 25 to Friday, March 29 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. and Saturday, March 30, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The Help Center will be located on the grounds of the College of Staten Island (2800 Victory Blvd.) in Building 1P (CSI Center for the Arts).

Families who wish to meet with a counselor are urged to make an
appointment by calling 703-633-4761. Walk-in service is also available, but is first-come, first-served. Families who meet with a counselor will not be required to enroll in the Victim’s Compensation Fund. The Help Center is purely for informational purposes.

“The Help Center will give every family the opportunity to meet directly with a representative of the Special Master about the Fund,” Fossella said. “It appears that many people are still unsure about certain aspects of the plan and how it affects their families. The counselors will
be able to walk each of them through the regulations on a case-by-case basis and answer all of their questions. It is tragic that Staten Island lost so many people on September 11, and we want to do all we can to make this process as convenient for them as possible.”

“During these difficult times, it is especially important that we all help each other when and where we can,” said College of Staten Island President Dr. Marlene Springer. “CSI continues to grieve for the losses suffered by so many Staten Island families as we contribute energetically to the process of rebuilding our community. By working with Congressman Fossella and hosting the Help Center, we hope to make this time a little easier for friends and neighbors profoundly affected by the tragedy of September 11.”

The counselors will review the financial information of families and offer an estimated amount of compensation they would receive if they opt into the federal plan. The counselors will also be able to discuss unique circumstances of potential claimants.

The Help Center counselors will be located in their own classrooms or conference rooms to guarantee each family complete privacy. A waiting area will also be available for families to relax before meeting with a counselor. The counselors are expected to be equipped with computers that are connected to the Special Master’s main network. In addition, families will be able to obtain, among other information, the final regulations, eligibility forms, applications and fact sheets.

Fossella first raised the idea of establishing a temporary Help Center on Staten Island with the Special Master’s Office last week. The Center at the College of Staten Island is the first temporary facility to be established in the nation. The Special Master’s Office operates permanent Help Center’s in Manhattan and Long Island; Jersey City and Edison, New Jersey; Arlington, Virginia; Boston, Massachusetts, and Stamford, Connecticut.

CSI Welcomes Award Winning Author Chanrithy Him along with Film Crew from Denmark for a special program and documentary on "The Will to Live."

The CSI Center for International Service presents an unforgettable speaker, Ms.Chanrithy Him, speaking of her experiences, as a child growing up under the rule of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. When the Khmer Rouge seized power in 1975, Ms. Him’s father was executed and her family, stripped of all their belongings, were assigned to work in the labor camps. Public murders were routine, starvation and epidemics ravaged the population. From a family of 12, only 5 siblings survived, emigrating to America under the sponsorship of their uncle. Ms. Him’s story is told in her award winning book “When Broken Glass Floats”.

Alongside her dance presentations and philosophical discussions with the CSI community is the filming of a documentary film called “The Will to Live”.

The Danish filmmaker Anne Gyrithe Bonne, well-known in Europe for her work in film and broadcasting, along with cameraman Erik Molberg Hansen, are completing the film at CSI, which is due to be released next year. This work will document the way in which dignity and strength, universal human qualities, can develop in the midst of terrible mistreatment and persecution; and it will stress the power of reconciliation.

The film profiles three “survivors” whose stories have been an inspiration to others; Nobel Prize Winner Desmond Tutu of South Africa, medical doctor and human-rights activist Juan Almendares of Honduras and Chanrithy Him. It has received support from many human-rights organizations as well as the Danish government.

The film begins with the coincidental arrival of the filmmakers to South Africa on September 11. It ends with their visit to CSI and New York City six months later.

CSI presents The Willowbrook Lawsuit – 30 Years After

On March 17, 1972, parents with children in the Willowbrook State School filed a lawsuit to force the state to improve conditions there. Three years later, all parties signed the Willowbrook Consent Decree, a legal agreement which changed the treatment of the developmentally disabled in New York State and ultimately, the nation.

To mark the 30th anniversary of this historic milestone, the College of Staten Island (CSI) Library Archives and Special Collections is presenting a roundtable discussion about the legacy of Willowbrook.

Participants include:

* Elizabeth Connelly, former New York State Assemblywoman
* Sal Giordano, parent and member of the Willowbrook Commission Task Force
* Hal Kennedy, attorney and leading advocate for the disabled, and
* David Goode, moderator, and professor of sociology at the CSI

The Archives will display documents and photographs from the newly established Willowbrook Collection, which contains materials associated with the history of the Willowbrook State School and disabilities.

Date: Monday, March 18, 2002

Time: 6:30 p.m. Reception, 7:00 p.m. Program

Place: College of Staten Island, 2800 Victory Boulevard, Library Archives and Special Collections, 1L-216

This program is free and open to the public. It will be taped for broadcast on WSIA 88.9 FM.

For additional information, contact Dr. Jeffrey Kroessler in the Archives: (718) 982-4021.

CSI Tops in CUNY for Fulbright Fellowships Three of Seven CUNY Awardees from CSI

Fulbright Fellowships have been awarded to seven faculty members at the City University of New York (CUNY) for 2001-2002. Three of these seven outstanding scholars are on faculty at the College of Staten Island (CSI). Their topics range from American literature; comparing politics between Indonesia and the U.S.; and teaching American philosophy in China. Daniel Fuchs, Professor Emeritus of English, is lecturing on American literature at Jagiellonian Univeristy, Krakow, Poland; Stefano M. Harney, Assistant Professor of Sociology is lecturing and conducting research on “Politics and Public Administration: a Comparative Perspective on Indonesia and the United States” at Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, Indonesia; and Peter P. Simpson, Professor of Philosophy, is lecturing on “Contemporary American Political and Moral Philosophy: Nature, Sources and Prospects” at the People’s (Renmin) University of China, Beijing, China.

“It is extremely rewarding to know that the pursuit of excellence by CSI faculty has been recognized by the Fulbright Board, and that the prestigious host universities will know the quality of faculty that we have come to expect everyday,” said Dr. Marlene Springer, President of CSI.

Fulbright Fellowships have been awarded to other CUNY faculty: two at Queens College and one each at Baruch College and Hunter College. Additionally, eight Fulbright Fellows from distinguished foreign universities have chosen CUNY to pursue their research and teaching in New York City; three at the CUNY Graduate Center; two at City College; and one each at Brooklyn College and John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

The Fulbright Program is sponsored by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Under a cooperative agreement with the Bureau, the Council for International Exchange of Scholars (CIES) is a private, non-profit organization and assists in the administration of the Fulbright Scholar Program for faculty and professionals. The primary source of funding for the Fulbright Program is an annual appropriation made by the United States Congress to the Department of State. Participating governments and host institutions in foreign countries and in the U.S. also contribute financially. The Presidentially appointed J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board is responsible for the final selection of all Fulbright grantees and the supervision of the Fulbright Program worldwide.

The College of Staten Island is a senior college with the City University of New York. For additional information, visit their website at: www.csi.cuny.edu

CSI Alumni Group Plans Seventh Annual "A Taste of… the Mediterranean."

Michael Lomonaco, who lost his famous Windows on the World restaurant in the World Trade Center attacks, serves as honorary chair for the seventh annual “A Taste of… the Mediterranean” event, to be held by the College of Staten Island Alumni Association. Lomonaco was head chef/director of Windows on the World atop the North Tower since 1997, and has previously worked at Le Cirque, Maxwell’s Plum and the “21” Club.

Association members met this week and finalized plans for the event, which will be held March 9 at 6 p.m. in the college’s Campus Center, Building 1C, on the Willowbrook campus. Tickets will be available beginning Saturday, February 9.

The next committee meeting is scheduled for February 11 at 7 p.m.

For additional information or to be put on the mailing list, contact Jaclyn Unger at 982-2290.