Here are some frequently asked questions. Actually, they are only occasionally asked, but we thought it would be handy to not have to repeat our answers again and again.
Birthday remembrances for deceased alumni are posted daily on our Sayville Alumni Facebook page. For those who do not use Facebook, our Facebook page is “mirror streamed” to sayvillealumni.com and viewable from the main menu. It is a rather large stream, so takes 3-10 seconds to load depending upon your internet service speed. Please be patient. Kindly inform us of any birthdays to be added! Thank you.
An accounting of the folly. The original model for this site was opt-out. We thought we could simply build a database of all graduates of Sayville High, starting with their yearbooks, and then supplementing with info we could find online. This wasn’t a perfect process, because some of our friends did not graduate, or weren’t able to get their yearbook photos taken. And for most people, online information is sketchy. We set up mechanisms for anyone to edit what we’d created, and remove any info that they did not want others to see — but we imagined they would usually just correct errors and supplement the info with info that only they could provide, such as info on hobbies and kids. We did this out of a naivete that everyone was as comfortable with the exposure of their contact info as your webmaster is. (I grew up in an age when we didn’t have to lock our car doors or monitor our children at play or wear seatbelts or have security guards in the school.) During our first months, many many local authorities, including Library staff, High School Administrators and teachers, and classmates had an opportunity to review our plan by visiting the site. There were no objections to opt-out from most of those earlier reviewers — who were largely of your webmaster’s generation.
Opting to Opt-In. But then, two months after the site was launched, David Stang received a persuasive call from a classmate. Intelligent, thoughtful, and rational, she suggested a different model: opt-in rather than opt-out. Your fumbling webmaster was persuaded, and that is the model now in place. Here’s what information is available: name, graduation year and senior photo.. Upon registration, the provided email address also appears on your page.
Confidentiality: Ben Franklin understood the fundamental problem of confidentiality: Two can keep a secret if one of them is dead. Once a secret is shared, it is no longer a secret. Contact information is a horse that is forever out of the barn. If you have a telephone or driver’s license, or pay an electric bill, your secret is gone.
The open nature of the Internet permits anyone to do about anything. This site regularly has registration attempts from users who supply false names or false email addresses, then come in and view your information. The anger and evil we find in this world will never go away. So we urge anyone to never publish any information anywhere on the Internet if they do not want it read and used by others.
As long as there is a way to register and join this site, the openness will invite efforts at destruction.
Photos: One or two have asked that their yearbook photo be removed. While we discourage that, we will do so upon request. You may add your own photo in your profile. Bear in mind, these photos were already published in yearbooks, and several hundred yearbooks were sold to each person’s classmates. Yearbooks are now also located in the Public Library and Sayville High’s book shelves. There are no copyright notices in the yearbooks. The photos are in the public domain.
To prevent users from trashing the database, registration creates a second record in the database. Review and editing reduces this to one record within a day or so.
We are non-profit. Membership in the Sayville Alumni Association is 100% free — no initiation fee, no dues. We don’t use our database for any commercial purpose.
We are inclusive. Those who graduated from Sayville High are members, but so are those who dropped out, or who moved away, or who died before graduation. Faculty are members, as are all staff, including secretarial, kitchen, security, and custodial staff.
We are part of the community. We have liaisons to the High School, the Friends of Sayville Education Foundation, the Public Library, and to other community groups. The Suffolk County News rejoiced in our formation with a front page story. By the end of the year, I hope we can be contributing in more ways to the life of our home town.
We have community support. Our goal is to help those alumni who want to reconnect with old friends.
I hope you will visit again and again, and explore what we have done and are doing. Register on the site and provide what information you wish to share — info on your career, your hobbies, the name of your spouse, and any other info you want to share.