MC Senate to Invite CFO to Next Meeting and Discussions on Grade Transparency Policy

James Perrino is the Chief Fanancial Officer of Manhattan College. @MANHATTAN.EDU/COURTESY

By Grace Cardinal, Asst. News Editor

The Manhattan College Senate convened for their second meeting of the year to discuss updates regarding language in the student handbook, the college’s financial situation and an update on student life at the college among other issues. 

Kashifuddin Qazi, Ph.D., speaker for the Manhattan College Senate, opened the meeting with an update on the college’s plan regarding their declining financial situation. 

“As the President mentioned [in the last meeting], the school is going through some financial hardship,” Qazi said. “Faculty members… have met to discuss those ideas. I represented the Senate in that. As of now, those steps are being discussed. It’s now with the Council for Faculty Affairs (CFA) and department chairs.”

Qazi was unable to give further details regarding the steps going forward, citing that the CFA had not yet finalized anything. 

In response to this, a motion was made to invite the CFO (Chief Financial Officer) of the college to the next meeting, which was unanimously passed by members of the Senate. 

Kelly Marin, PhD., a stand-in for provost Rani Roy, who is head of the Educational Affairs Committee (EAC), explained that the EAC in collaboration with the dean of the Kakos School of Science is considering implementing a new course repeat policy college-wide. 

“This is brought up by Dean Marcy Kelly,” Marin said. “They have adopted a two-course repeat policy in the School of Science. She met with us to discuss expanding this to a college-wide policy. She presented a lot of data on students repeating courses over several years. She also presented some of the impacts of students taking repeating courses, particularly the loss of financial aid when they have to repeat a course.” 

The EAC plans to vote on the new language they created regarding the course-repeat policy in the upcoming weeks. A notable variation from the existing rule in the School of Science is that the college-wide rule would allow students to enroll in a course up to three times, excluding withdrawals, instead of only twice. In addition, the new language states that if a student is unsuccessful in passing a course after their third time, they may not enroll in an equivalent course at another institution and transfer their credits. 

Another major discussion the EAC brought to light was regarding course transparency. 

“In the handbook, there is a line about [professors] being conscientious of grading and returning assignments in a timely manner,” Marin said. “However, it was raised at EAC that there are some faculty that are not returning graded work in a timely manner and that they [students] haven’t received graded work for most of the semester, so it’s an issue that students want addressed.” 

In response to this, the EAC is suggesting a policy that would define what a “timely manner” is, for both students and staff. 

“The EAC is suggesting a policy that would be in the course catalog that says that all assignments and exams should be graded and returned to students within three weeks, really defining what we mean by a ‘timely manner’,” Marin said. 

John Bennett, head of the Student Life Committee, reported positive engagement amongst students in intramurals so far this year.

“We had 274 unique students participate in intramural volleyball…I was super excited for students,” Bennett said. “Now that our intramurals are over, this month we’re using that time to look at all the data and every sign-up and every single ID number of students that have attended and participated in intramurals to get all the further information on [them].”

Pickleball and soccer intramurals will be starting up in the next few weeks. 

At the meeting, Bennett also mentioned that the Pipes and Drums group on campus was named the number one band in 2023 at the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in NYC. 

“We got some great news to publicize now on a greater scale, but our Pipes and Drums group within performing arts actually was named the number one band from the St. Patty’s Day Parade…selected by the St. Patty’s Day Parade and Celebration Committee,” Bennett said. 

Bennett mentioned that the band was celebrated with an event last weekend hosted at Lincoln Center. 

In addition to the success the Student Life Committee has seen already this semester, Manhattan Madness will be taking place Thursday Oct. 26. This is the committee’s largest attended event of the semester on campus, with over 2000 people usually in attendance. 

Manhattan College Senate Meetings are open for all students and staff to attend. The next and last meeting of the semester will take place on Nov. 21 in Hayden 409.