Assembly O.K.s New Clubs, Wage Proposal

The Manhattan College Student Government Assembly approved a resolution to raise the college’s minimum wage for student employees Wednesday. The Assembly, which met at noon in Kelly 5C, cast 19 votes in favor of the proposal and one vote against.

The proposal, which was written by student government members Ryan Quattromani, Micaela Bishop, Phillip Mourikes, Liam Moran, Margaret Flores, Michael Hackett, John Wood and Patrick Estanbouli, will next be submitted the Manhattan College Senate.

The Senate will then vote on the proposal and it will be sent to the desk of College President Brennan O’Donnell.

“Regardless of what the Senate decides […], we still have the right to forward it to [O’Donnell],” Quattromani said. “We are a recommended body, just like the Senate.”

Currently, the minimum wage on campus is $9 per hour. Should the college adopt the proposal, Manhattan would abide by New York State’s minimum wage standard for large employers in New York City.

That standard is set at $11 per hour for the rest of 2017. In the new year, it will rise to $13, and it will reach its maximum at $15 on Dec. 31, 2018.

The state’s plan for minimum wage increases was signed into law last year by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat.

Even though the college is not legally required to abide by these standards, the proposal argues it should. The proposal lists some of Manhattan College’s nearby competitors, including Columbia University, New York University, The State University of New York and The City University of New York, as schools that abide by the standards.

Quattromani argued that, in dollars, such a change would be cash-neutral for the college and for student employees.

“With work study presently, you’re capped at $1,500. That money’s allocated, all right? That’s not going to change,” Quattromani said. “This implies that you’re working less hours up to that compensation.”

President Bishop argued that raising the wage would attract more students to on-campus job and increase the level of community at the college.

“We’re trying to keep students on campus as well,” Bishop said. “To keep students as part of our community. It would be important that we stay competitive against other employers.”

The Assembly voted on several other matters as well.

A proposal for a new club centered around Greek culture, the Hellenic Club, passed by a vote of 19-2. 

The Assembly also unanimously approved the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) as a club and the Women in Stem club, by a vote of 21-1.

“What we want to do is help anyone, not just computer science or computer engineers, to reach out to anyone and help with coding,” said ACM’s chapter president, senior computer science major Steven Romero.

Manhattan’s chapter of the American Institute of Aerospace and Astronautics’ (AIAA’s) petition for conference funding was approved by a vote of 19-2. Nine AIAA members will travel to Wichita, Ks., in April to compete. The Assembly approved the maximum amount of funding, $2,000, for the club’s $6,700 venture.

The Assembly also approved $1,200 of funding for The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers’ (SHPE’s) ongoing conference in Missouri.

The body will next meet on Nov. 15 at noon in the Jasper Hall first floor lounge.