by GABRIELLA DEPINHO, News Editor
April Senate Meeting
The April Senate meeting, held on April 16, went over strategic planning and the budget for the college.
The college’s president, Brennan O’Donnell, was in attendance of the meeting. O’Donnell started the meeting out with an update on Manhattan College’s strategic planning.
Some things the school has identified as needs moving forward is strengthening the college’s Catholic Lasallian identity throughout campus, improving residence halls and housing options and enhancing the programs within the School of Liberal Arts and integrating pre-professional education.
“One of the great things about this college is it has this tremendous range of activity going on, this tremendous wealth of diverse activity but we still continue to be just, just small enough that we have a sense of the whole,” said O’Donnell.
After talking about strategic planning, O’Donnell handed the floor over to the college’s CFO, Matthew McManness. McManness discussed the budget for next year, as it is a relevant factor to strategic planning. The college’s financial office received budget requests totaling to 17 million dollars, but McManness noted that “about 15 million of the 17 million are capital items,” including a five million dollar request for HVAC in Draddy Gymnasium.
According to McManness, in the current year’s projection, the college’s revenue is flat, which is due to retention rates. The college saw a loss of 145 students from the fall 2018 semester to spring 2019, which had a $4.4 million effect on the college’s budget. There has been a revenue diversification effort which the college has found successful.
The college plans to address operating challenges presented by sifting budget needs through improving enrollment and retention and expense management initiatives.
The college is also looking to increase student access and affordability. McManness shared that 93 percent of revenue comes from student sources, 70 percent of that being tuition and fees. The sticker price for a student to attend the college with room and board is a little over $61,000, but the average net price for students to attend is $36,000.
“Our real effort is to create fiscal stability… Our effort right now is to increase revenues and decrease expense,” said McManness.
Undergraduate enrollment has grown over a five year period; however, retention from freshman to sophomore year has dropped. According to McManness, a number of medium-sized private colleges are all experiencing the same things right now.
McManness said the college is trying to “reduce pressure on the undergraduate programs” and to grow the graduate programs. This effort of growing the graduate programming would help relieve pressure from the undergraduate program in regards to revenue.
Budget drivers for the 2019-2020 predict that there may be a 2.5 to three percent tuition increase. The school is looking to keep the tuition discount rate lower 49 percent.
A few other topics were addressed and delved further into during a Q&A session. Speaker of the Senate, Liam Moran noted that there would be a May Senate meeting for new Senate members.
On Thursday, April 25, at 5:35 p.m. MC’s track and field team was practicing in Van Cortlandt Park when one of the team’s coaches noticed that two team members’ bags had been removed by two men.
The coach approached one of the two men who took the bags to inquire what was going on. That man displayed a firearm as the coach approached and fled the scene. The other man dropped one of the two bags. There were no injuries.
Manhattan College Public Safety notified the community about the incident via email at 9:37 p.m. the same day.
The two men are described as Hispanic, one wearing a teal shirt and the other wearing a striped shirt.
A police report has been filed at the 50th Precinct Detective Squad. Any persons with any information can call the 50th Precinct Detective Squad at 718-543-6121.
Gas Shut Off In Overlook
AJ Goodman emailed Overlook residents on Thursday, April 25, at 3:07 p.m. to inform them that ConEd had shut off the gas line to Overlook due to an issue on Greystone Avenue.
Students were asked to ensure their ovens were off until further notice. Students were also notified that ConEd workers may have to enter their apartments in the restoration of service process and that if so, the outside personnel would be accompanied by college staff.
At 7:49 p.m. the same day, Goodman confirmed that gas had been restored to the building and informed students that Physical Plant would be around to check all ovens.
Goodman emailed all Overlook residents again at 8:54 p.m. to confirm that all ovens had been checked and were cleared for use. He also warned students that since the gas was off, the hot water had been off as well. Students were advised to let the water run a bit before use.