The Myths of Manhattan College?

Catherine Goodyear and Daniel Molina 

Staff Writers

Rumors are always spreading, and being a school that has been around for 162 years, there are a fair share of beliefs that have been passed down from generation to generation. Where did these myths come from and is there any truth behind them?

Myth 1: Why are we called Manhattan College but are located in the Bronx?

Manhattan College wasn’t always in the Riverdale location it has today. It actually had two other campuses before this. In 1853, The Brothers of Christian Schools established the college as The Academy of Holy Infancy. The school was originally located on Canal Street in lower Manhattan. Being such a popular school, the demand of space caused the school to relocate to 131st Street and Broadway in the Manhattanville section of Harlem. In 1863 the school was renamed Manhattan College. After 59 years in this area, the school needed to expand a second time, which led them to Riverdale–its location ever since.

Myth 2: Engineering is the hardest major and Communications is the easiest.

There is no doubt that engineering is a hard major but is it really the hardest? There are five accredited undergraduate degrees: chemical, civil, computer, electrical, and mechanical. Each engineering student takes about 131-134 credits by the time they graduate. An engineer is in the classroom about 16 hours a week. The upperclassmen can put in up to 60 hours a week of work.

“We expect our students to get their degree in four years. That means you aren’t going to have as much time as the other students, being an engineer, but if you manage your time well, you should have at least one day off to enjoy yourself, then get right back to it. It cost too much money to go here an extra year just to get your degree,” Tim Ward, Dean of the School of Engineering, said.

“Engineering may not necessarily be the hardest major but we believe there’s more work. Some of our students tell us that it is hard for them to study because they are assigned more work than their roommate. How hard your major is depends on the individual. I’ve met engineers that no matter what they did it would have been easy,” Ward said.

On the other hand, the bachelor’s degree for a communications major is 120 credits total and the students are in the classroom roughly 16 hours a week, depending on the concentration.

“In communication, the majority of the classes have to do with writing, and this is the most important skill set you can develop as a student of communication. And, of course, you cannot write if you cannot read, so there is a lot of reading involved too,” Thom Gencarelli, Chair of the communications department, said.

“Compared to engineering, if a student in Calculus 1 failed a course, then the instructor would not let them move on because that student needs those skills to move on to Calculus 2. We don’t have that in the literature and humanities classes,” Gencarelli said.

 “I would not say one is harder than the other, I would say they are different. Math is a form of intelligence and some people have it more than others, but that does not make it a deficiency. You just need to look at what that student is more efficient at,” Gencarelli said.

Myth 3. Broadway Joe’s has the best pizza around.

The most well known food rivalry surrounding our campus has been held the last years between Broadway Joe’s and Goodfellas pizza.

“Location is what differentiate us,” Mike Orfano, manager of Godfellas, said. “We are right in front of OV, and we receive an average of 80 students daily.”

After being 17 years in their current location, Orfano is certain that the variety of products they have is also an important factor of preference for their customers. The average cost of a slice is $3.75, and the most ordered product is the Buffalo Chicken pizza.

Broadway Joe’s has been in this neighborhood for 46 years, and Louie Porco, co-owner of the establishment, says that the quality and taste of its pizza is what keeps old customers coming back, and new customers trying it.

The average cost of a slice is $4.00, and although the cost is slightly higher than their competitors, they are certain that there is no need to lower their prices to differentiate from them.

“We have a nice relationship with the community, specially with Manhattan College,” Porco said. “Students are polite and we respect each other, so it’s a win-win situation.”