As Manhattan College students arrived back on campus last week and began their first week of classes, they were in for several surprises.
In the midst of carrying the first load of boxes and bins from their cars, many were told that their room assignments had been changed to different floors. In some cases, students were even switched to a different residence hall altogether.
After settling in to their new unexpected living arrangements, students then checked their schedules to find that some of the classes they had registered for months earlier no longer would be taught by the same professors.
These are just two revealing examples of an unfortunate lack of communication between the college and its students, especially when it comes to individualized issues and concerns.
The school administration routinely withholds information until the last possible moment or neglects to notify students at all about matters that directly impact them. It is unclear why this is a common practice.
Perhaps it is done with the hopes of somehow avoiding complaints about unwelcome news such as schedule and housing changes. If this is the case, it is a misguided tactic. In most cases, students are willing to understand that unforeseen changes and problems occur. But when information is sprung upon them at the last possible moment, it only worsens the blow and quite frankly is disrespectful.
Other recent instances include no official word from the school administration about the ongoing processing problems with Jasper Dollars at local off-campus establishments. Incoming freshmen are not told ahead of move-in that they will be living in the 10-man suites in Horan Hall.
At last year’s Jasper Days events, students were only informed the very morning of activities that outside guests would in fact be permitted to attend select events. Currently, there is confusion among the student body about who exactly is allowed to use the existing fitness and weight room facilities located inside Draddy Gymnasium—part of ongoing questions about how campus space will be utilized with the opening of the Kelly Commons.
Clearly, the school has the capability to rapidly deliver information to the student body and campus community. Daily announcements emails routinely highlight upcoming events and guest lectures. During the last year, a majority of the departments on campus have made their own Twitter accounts to interact with students through social media.
The “Welcome Back” fliers distributed around campus with lists of improvements and updates were helpful in explaining the many changes made to life around the college over the summer.
These channels of communication need to be used with greater frequency to deliver all information pertinent to students. The recent announcement about the upcoming work on Horan Hall is a perfect example of keeping students in the loop about changes and news that affect their schedule, even if it’s undesirable.
Now is an exciting moment to be a member of the Manhattan College community. The school is clearly growing and genuine efforts are being made to offer more services that better the student experience.
But this time of change makes it even more necessary to keep students updated and apprised of things that directly affect their day-to-day activities and life on campus.
Currently, the one message that school officials do seem to be sending loud and clear is their lack of concern for consistently keeping students informed.