EAC: Expressing Student Concerns on Attendance, Grading and Workload

By Maizy Swift, Asst. Production Editor

On Tuesday, Feb. 28th, the Educational Affairs Committee (EAC) held a meeting in De La Salle where Manhattan College students expressed their concerns, as well as suggestions of how to handle these issues in the future. 

The point of EAC is to give students the chance to be involved with policies that may be passed at Manhattan, so that student input can be put into consideration. The major points of this meeting were workload, attendance and grade transparency. 

Ali Jones, a senior at MC in the school of public health, is in charge of the meetings. She explained the importance of students getting involved with EAC. 

“Well, as students, it’s important to know what our rights are and a lot of that is outlined in policy, so it is just important that this is a group that meets frequently as situations change,” said Jones. “Obviously, like with COVID, when there was a pass-fail, they [EAC] were the ones who came up with that so it’s just in terms of being able to accommodate students, and making sure that we’re protected and aware of what’s going on within our own school.”

At the meeting, many students felt as though there isn’t enough grade transparency within their classes at Manhattan. 

“So unfortunately in our faculty handbook, grade transparency is kind of left up to the discretion of the professors, so there’s no real, tangible policy,” Jones said. “For example, it simply says that faculty should have to return exams in a timely fashion. So in that case, there’s no real guideline, it’s just all about what professors should do”

Ciara Dalton, a senior at MC who is in the Liberal Arts School, expressed her concerns with the grading policies at Manhattan. 

“I do think that it is very unfair when professors give many assignments without even grading the ones that have been completed,” Dalton said, “ There are some classes where I have submitted assignments and not even known if I was doing them correctly or to the professor’s liking because so much time went by before they graded them. Professors need to take advantage of Moodle, and not only make the assignments clear, but the grades that the students receive from them as well.”

A commonality causing student frustration with the grading policy seems to be professors’ misuse of Moodle. Christopher Belden, a junior Liberal Arts student at MC and student representative of EAC, revealed his own opinion on grade transparency. 

“The biggest problem in regard to grading is transparency,” Belden explained, “I think we all have had professors who do not keep the Moodle grading book up to date. Students have a right to know their grades and the three students reps planned to bring this issue to the


Another major topic of the meeting was attendance, and how attendance being up to the discretion of the professor simply leads to more confusion. 

“In terms of attendance, a lot of students just felt that it was kind of ambiguous once again, and up to the discretion of the professor,” Jones said. “For some professors, they want a doctor’s note in order to have an excused absence. Then also in some schools for some professors, you’re allowed four absences, whereas for some you’re only allowed two. However, that doesn’t actually take into account the amount of times a class meets.”

Jones continued to explain students’ frustrations with lack of consistency within the attendance policy, and the want for more consideration when it comes to students’ lives. 

Dalton also explained her experiences and frustrations with the attendance policy at Manhattan.

“I feel that attendance being left up to the discretion of the professor can lead to a lot of inequities among classes, for example, some professors are so strict about attendance that it can really affect your grade negatively and leave no room for being understanding about other outside of school events that may occur,” Dalton said. “The policies are put in place to expect that we will abuse them rather than recognize us as adults. I definitely think that there should be policies on attendance. But they are very strict, and some students are working multiple jobs and being a student at the same time. It doesn’t leave any room for mental health and if a student can’t make a certain number of classes, but it’s still keeping up with the work, leniency should be provided.”

As far as workload, most students did not have many specific complaints, however, Belden expressed his experience with workload as a triple major student.

“Being a triple major, my workload is often overwhelming,” said Belden. “I am not quite sure that we could solve the workload problem within the college because as many of my professors point out, they are obligated to give us a certain amount of hours of work outside of class by the state.”

In the end, it is important for MC students to stay educated and aware of what changes may be occuring, as students are the main people being affected. EAC meetings occur on the first Tuesday of each month, and all students are welcome to attend to get more involved or just to share an opinion on a policy at Manhattan.