by Kelly Burns & Kieran Rock
Student Government Elections
In April, the student body elected new representatives for student government. The race saw two major parties: the Jasper Pack, led by the now president Micaela Bishop and The Campus That Never Sleeps, led by LisaMarie Nilaj. Bishop and the Jasper Pack would sweep the election. As the Quadrangle reported: Phillip Mourikes was elected executive vice president, Patrick Mauer was elected for club administration, Kaitlyn von Runnen for educational affairs, Gregory Gorman for finance, Adam Genners for social life, Patrick Estanbouli for residential affairs, Tara Marin for communication and Margaret Flores for commuter affairs.
Bishop looks forward to the future of her student government cabinet. As the Quadrangle reported: “In addition to school spirit, the Jasper Pack also has their sights set on addressing various minor issues across campus, from facilitating a dialogue between the students and Gourmet Dining to installing printers in dorm buildings. Bishop also wants to continue the work of the current executive boards, which had goals such as ridding the dorm buildings of mice, increasing access to study spaces and Leo Hall and improving the Wi-Fi connection across campus.”
Student Leadership Seeks to Address Sexual Assault and Women’s experience on campus
As the Quadrangle reported in March, students are spearheading a new Women’s center on campus. According to Alannah Boyle, one of the students helping to organize the center, “It is about experiences we have in our genders, and [providing] a place to work those out, talk about different things, and have a space for those conversations.” Olivia Smith and Victoria James are the other two organizers behind the effort. Smith, James and Boyle recruited the help of Jordan Pascoe, Ph.D., who expressed excitement about the student driven conversation. The funding for the women’s center is still in question.
In March, student leadership hosted Take Back the Night, a program that seeks to end sexual assault and violence against women while providing education about rape culture and consent. The event included talks from Amber the Activist, adjunct professor of Law Jennifer Neal Clark, as well as an ‘I need feminism because…’ activity, and a candlelight vigil to honor survivors of sexual assault. The event has become a staple of the college calendar under the direction of Dr. Roksana Badruddoja, associate professor and department chairperson of the sociology department, and Senior Jessica Risolo as well as many other student leaders.
Riverdale City Grill Closes after
Riverdale City Grill closed its doors for business in February. The bar was a favorite among Manhattan College students. River City, as it was most commonly called, was one of many bars to close this year. Piper’s and Cannons, two other bars that were frequented by MC students closed their doors this year. Piper’s has since reopened after renovations.
Considered by many a staple of Manhattan College social life, the closing of the bar after 12 years was met with sad responses by many students. As the Quadrangle reported in March: “Riverdale City Grill was definitely a pillar of the Riverdale neighborhood,” Tori Fitzpatrick said. “It was a place everyone knew, and everyone knew was good.”
Student Activism under President Trump
In January, Manhattan College students were among those that marched in protest and advocacy for women’s rights and many other intersecting issues such as immigration and healthcare reform, and racial equality. The Women’s March on Washington and its affiliated marches in major U.S. cities like New York, as well as around the world, were organized in response to the election of Donald Trump. As The Quadrangle reported, Government and Politics Club adviser and Associate Professor of government, Margaret Groarke, Ph.D., helped to organize student participation in the marches. Students marched in Manhattan as well as in Washington. The Quad reported that 39 Jaspers met at Gaelic Park to take to the streets of Washington D.C. and join an estimated 500 thousand others at the Women’s March on Washington.
In late January, President Trump signed a highly criticized executive order on immigration. The executive order, which came to be known in the following weeks as “The Muslim Ban,” was a travel ban that halted the entrance of people from “terror-prone countries from entering the United States for 90 days and suspends the US Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days” according to CNN. The executive order inspired a wave of action with demonstrations at airports across the country denouncing the travel ban. On campus, the Muslim Student Association hosted a town hall meeting to discuss the executive order. As the Quadrangle reported in February: “before a packed conference room in Kelly Commons, MSA vice president Haris Ali, who emceed the event, said the objective of the town hall was to spread love and create understanding.”