MC Senate Discusses Open Position, CLEP and Library Catalog Updates

By Anna Carroll, Contributor

The Manhattan College Senate gathered for its final meeting until February on Nov. 15 to discuss a new open senate position, CLEP and library catalog update for the upcoming semester.

To begin, the meeting discussed the opening of a position for a second deputy speaker.

“The second deputy speaker is a member of the Senate Agenda Committee, which sets the agenda for each Senate meeting. The second deputy speaker also runs the Senate meetings in the case that both the Speaker and First Deputy Speaker are absent,” senate speaker and assistant professor of mathematics, Richard Gustavson, Ph.D., said. 

A special meeting has been scheduled to elect someone to the position on Dec. 7, according to Gustavson, because senate member and dean of SOLA, Cory Blad, Ph.D nominated a student, Jazi Riley, who wasn’t present to accept the nomination.

Once it was decided to push off electing a second deputy speaker, the meeting moved into the Educational Affairs Committee report by Amy Handfield, senate member and director of library services, where the decision was made about CLEP credits.

“It was decided that yes, [school of professional and continuing studies] students can get 12 CLEP credits towards their undergraduate [degree],” Hanfield said. 

Similar to AP exams and dual enrollment programs, CLEP, or college level examination program, allows students to earn college credit before matriculation. The Educational Affairs Committee clarified the terms for accepting these credits. 

The final topic on the agenda was updates to the technological infrastructure of O’Malley Library. Handfield took the floor to walk the Senate through these changes.

“One thing that is actually new and as I just said, that a lot of people have been asking about, is being able to renew your own items. Now you can do it in the comfort of your own space,” Handfield said. 

Another update to the online library system is that resources available through O’Malley have been made more easily accessible to students. Now, there are research guides and resources organized by school and subject to aid students in their work. 

Additionally, the discovery tool that provides access to the library catalog has been refurbished. 

“The largest change in our library services is our new discovery tool. It searches for items, which are not just books, ebooks, media, but also journal articles and other content, content that exists in other library systems. It’s all in this one stop shop,” Handfield said. 

These improvements will increase the accessibility of resources such as ebooks, journals and databases to students and faculty. 

“One of the ongoing challenges here is how do we match technology and search functions with not only what people need but with the resources that are available with what the library has. Having this kind of consolidation is always going to be a good thing as it puts people closer to the resources that are available as it can be difficult to see what those resources are just because of the infrastructure,” Blad said.