Below are some of the most recent Letters to the Editor that were also published in the print edition of The Quadrangle.
As a professor of African-American literature and as one of the organizers of the recent Racial Justice Teach-In on campus, I was very pleased to learn that you are publishing this special issue on campus diversity. Discussions like the ones in this issue should be happening much more frequently than I imagine they do among students, faculty, and administrators. Understanding among different religious identities, different racially and ethnically defined cultures, and different sexual and gender identities is created not by paying lip service to the idea that “diversity” and “multiculturalism” are valuable parts of American life but by listening carefully and frequently to those who define themselves differently than you do. Such understanding also requires conversation about how the actual differences among us affect our psychology, our behavior, our values, and our politics.
I wish it were possible to celebrate diversity and learn about the different cultures that make up U.S. society without also discussing prejudice and even oppression, but I do not think that this is realistic, unfortunately. I am particularly concerned that students on campus who feel marginalized, who face microagressions or outright prejudice because they are different, or who believe that the College fails to address their concerns do not feel empowered to speak up. For many of my colleagues and for myself, the most successful and moving part of the teach-in was the panel in which students and alumni of color spoke bravely and eloquently about the sense of being outsiders at the College and about the difficulty of responding to subtle forms of prejudice. I very much hope that the conversation that day was not a one-time-only happening but the beginning of a productive change in how we, as a community, deal with diversity. I would love to see groups of students whose racial, ethnic, sexual, religious, or class identities make them feel “othered” form organizations in which they talk about their common experiences and become more politically active on and off campus. Such groups are much more common and much more vocal at many other colleges than they are at Manhattan, and while our sense of community at Manhattan is to be valued, we need to stop being afraid to point out our differences and what they mean.
Another of my hopes is that students, whatever their backgrounds, will take better advantage of conversations about diversity that happen in the classroom. For students who feel they are different or discriminated against, that might mean bravely speaking about how a class discussion pertains to them personally, but the burden should not be on those students to make everyone else recognize the importance of diversity and of ongoing discrimination. Students who do not worry personally about these issues should take the opportunity to think about how much the diversity of contemporary society matters historically, socially, and politically, to listen more carefully, and to have more productive conversations about diversity after the class hour ends.
Associate Professor, English Department
For Quadrangle: Open Letter to the Class of 2015
I hope you’re enjoying the Spring 2015 semester, the last one of your undergraduate program! Congratulations, you’re in the home stretch. Very soon you’ll be sitting in Draddy, holding your breath until your name is called as the roster of graduating candidates is presented.
You’ve probably worked very hard to get to this point – lots of studying (or cramming), late nights filled with high energy drinks, term papers, and maybe you even held a job or two to help with expenses. Seems like freedom is just a few months away. But what’s next?
Is your resume in order? Are you on top of your applications for grad school, networking, or saving up for your interview suit? Are you using the resources available on campus and within the alumni community to make sure the transition from student to alumni is smooth? You’re probably sick of hearing this – but you’re the only one that can influence what happens next.
We’re proud of you for coming this far and look forward to you beginning a new chapter in your relationship with Manhattan College. Being an alumnus/a makes you part of a community that is known and respected as hardworking, smart, ethical, compassionate, and philanthropic. Jaspers are recognized, near and far, for their strong values.
The Alumni Society offers many avenues for continuing and enhancing your relationship with other alumni and Riverdale, including networking events, sports activities, and recognition of outstanding performance through awards such as the Gunn Medal and Athletic Hall of Fame. Wherever home or work takes you, Manhattan College has a presence around the country, and we encourage you to seek out our local alumni chapters.
We hope you’ll continue to actively support the College with your time, treasure, and talents. Give back in any meaningful way you can. It is important that we do what we can to sustain Manhattan College for ourselves and future generations.
Someday you’ll reflect on your role as a Jasper, and you’ll realize this Lasallian Catholic community is one that will always greet you with open arms, as part of our Manhattan family. Again, on behalf of all alumni, I wish you luck in your last undergraduate semester – and I look forward to officially welcoming you into the Alumni Society!
Meg Walsh ’79, ’82, ‘93
President, Alumni Society
One aspect of Manhattan that drew my attention during my college search was the weekly “Movies on the Quad.” I was not at all disappointed by “Cinema in the Commons;” essentially the same event held in the new student Commons. With still-in-theaters movies and free snacks, it was pretty awesome. In recent months, I haven’t heard anything about the movie nights–whatever happened to them? Are they going to be around this semester?
RE: “Live on the Air: A History of WRCM”
That’s me there in the photo – spinning the black circles at WRCM, back in its glory days. WRCM was one of the best things about my experience at Manhattan College. I started as a DJ and eventually worked up to be Program Director and then General Manager, following in a line of dedicated GMs, including Mike Ameres, Chris Williams, and others. The station was a picture of diversity. We had sports shows (Mario Nacinovich), rap, hip hop, ska, top 40, jazz, and of course the two best shows, the Metal Chick Show (mine) and the Bob Stei Show (featuring Bob Stei and me as his often sidekick, after his former sidekick the Wedge left Manhattan College). Every music genre could be heard on our limited airwaves. We pumped directly into every cafeteria in the building, and it was a constant battle to keep that music flowing. One time we were “turned off” in the cafeteria because Brother Scanlan didn’t like that one of the DJs had played “Losing my Religion” by REM. Often the night time and weekend DJs would get locked out of the building by security and prevented from getting to the studio. It was a sacrifice and labor of love even back them to keep things running. It makes me sad that WRCM has gone dark. My time spent at Manhattan College was the best years of my life, and WRCM was a huge part of that. I will always cherish “Carrier Current 850.”
Janine Katanic ‘95
WRCM alumni – The Metal Chick Show
Congratulations are extended to Jenna Bloomer for her carefully crafted comments found throughout her article The Epidemic of Sexual Assault in the October 28th issue The Quadrangle. Jenna’s keen observations and insights can lead to a lively discussion among members of the college community. With her article came the example of a poster that read, “Without Consent…..It’s Sexual Assault.” Perhaps with that message comes a question, “With Consent….What is it?”
Brother Robert Berger, FSC
Department of Religious Studies
Department of Residence Life
The library policy mentioned in an Oct. 28 Quadrangle article (“New library policy catches MC students by surprise”) is not a new policy, but one that was announced and implemented last spring. The policy can be found at http://lib.manhattan.edu/room-reservations/make-room-reservation
Contrary to the article, there is no fine for the use of a group study room for longer than three hours. I believe the fine was charged because the key hadn’t been checked in after four hours and was therefore assumed to be missing. In this instance, the library staff failed to check in the key when it was returned. On behalf of the Library, I apologize to Mr. Wintiel. In the future, we will be sure to (a) check in each key as soon as it is returned and (b) check the key rack very carefully before claiming that a key hasn’t been returned.
Of course we will rescind any lost key fines whenever a key is checked in. (If a lost key fine appears on a student’s record, the fine will be removed as soon as the key is returned.) Students who need to use a group study room for longer than three hours can simply renew the room, just as they’d renew a book, as long as it hasn’t been reserved by anyone else.
We will be reconsidering all our group study room policies over the next few weeks, and we’ll keep everyone informed about any changes in policy.
There are two other things I should mention. First, Amy Handfield is the access services librarian, not the daytime circulation desk manager. Second, the lost key policy is simply intended to minimize the number of keys that are lost or stolen. We are not, as one student surmised, “trying to find new ways to charge you.” We already have a very effective method of doing that—tuition—and the processing of lost key fees is not a cost-effective way to get your money.
William H. Walters, Ph.D.
Executive Director, O’Malley Library
Dear Quad Editor,
I attended the “Safe Halloween Experience” this past Friday with my daughter and her two children. What a great time the children had, and not just mine – you can hear it in the hallways as we walked through them. The Kappa Delta Pi society did a fantastic job!
It was many departments that joined in this festive treat and they all did a good job at entertaining the kids with activities…making colored slime, building with mini marshmallows and toothpicks, coloring paper bags, coloring activity sheets, decorating cupcakes and cookies, which they were able to take home; games of toss, games of pin the tail (and bow), visiting a haunted house, a “Frozen” room, a zoo, and so much more! The college students were very attentive to the children and were themselves costumed up delighting the kids.
I must especially thank “Anna” from the “Frozen” room for singing and twirling with my kids. They chatted about it on their way home (they thought it was really ‘her’). She was great and I predict would be very successful in a career involving kids.
Thanks again Manhattan College, Kappa Delta Pi, and other participating departments, for a wonderful ‘safe halloween experience’!
–Mary Ellen Skehill & family
Dear MC Students,
First and foremost, I would like to thank the 1,015 of you that signed my petition to get food service and meal swipes back in Leo Cafeteria. I also would like to thank those who did not get a chance to sign but supported the cause. It is also fine that students respectfully declined to sign or were against the petition. You were respectful in doing so. Well, those first few sentences address the entire MC Student Body. Now on to the results of the petition.
Unfortunately, the MC Administration decided that we will not get food service and meal swipes back in Leo. The MC Administration stated the reason was that the college could not afford either one of my two proposals. My two proposals were as follows:
- Reopen the Leo Cafeteria, and turn it into a grab and go place with staff to work the cash register. We would have meal swipes available from 11 AM through 1 PM weekdays. I requested the Leo Café provide food service for breakfast and lunch from 9 AM to 2 PM weekdays with payment options of cash, credit/debit card, on campus Dining Dollars, and Jasper Dining Dollars (money that can be used on and off campus).
- Leave the Leo Cafeteria as it currently is with the following exception: allow one meal swipe to be used on the vending machine with sandwiches, yogurt, and other items from 11 AM to 1 PM weekdays.
The MC Administration has promised us the following items in Leo Café (date is TBD as of press time):
- hot coffee and cereal
Thanks again to those of you who supported the petition. The MC Administration heard our voice they just decided not to listen to it.
Let’s Go Jaspers,