Letter to the Editor


Dear Editor,

I write in my capacity as the speaker of the Manhattan College Senate.  I appreciate the coverage you have given all three senate meetings held thus far this academic year; I believe your coverage has greatly raised the profile of the body.

I write regarding your article titled “College Senate Approves Minimum Wage Resolution” published in the December 5th 2017 issue.  The article gave the impression that the unanimous senate vote on the minimum wage resolution for college student employees meant that the wage increase for students was now a fait accompli that simply had to be implemented by the college administration.  This is not the case.  The senate is an advisory body and can only make recommendations to the President and Board of Trustees.  Article IV, Section A of the Senate Constitution (which can be found on the Senate Moodle page) states that “The Senate shall be the formal and official voice of the College Community and, as a deliberative body, shall have the power to initiate, formulate, and recommend proposals affecting College policy to the President and to the Board of Trustees (emphasis is mine);” only the President and the Board of Trustees have the power to enact recommendations put forward by the Senate (this is noted in Article V, Section A of the Senate constitution).

Also, the actual resolution that was approved at the November 21st 2017 Senate meeting was not included in your article.  I have included it below so that the college community can be aware of what exact resolution was passed:

“Manhattan College Senate Resolution on Minimum Wage for College Student Employees

Whereas, The Manhattan College Senate recognizes the need for a livable wage for all employees, and

Whereas, The State of New York has established a minimum hourly wage,

Therefore, be it resolved that The Manhattan College Senate recommends that the College’s administration work to implement the State of New York minimum hourly wage level for all of the College’s student employees.”


Nuwan Jayawickreme, Ph.D.

Speaker of the Manhattan College Senate