Adjunct Pushing For More Events in Bronx and Manhattan

Adjunct Pushing For More Events in Bronx and Manhattan

One of the biggest attributions to a student’s college years is the campus that they are attending. Not only to students who are dorming but to those who are commuting as well. In fact, research by the Gallup Organization, an analytics company, shows that student involvement in campus activities leads to a higher academic performance, and overall more successful life after graduating. 

Recently students, and faculty members have noticed how the campus life or lack of is still rebuilding itself at Mercy College after the COVID-19 pandemic.

One professor has really decided to take the lead on the situation.

Sara Martucci, a Sociology teacher at Mercy with a Ph.D who first started working at Mercy in 2018, noticed how whenever notifications would get sent out about events the majority of the time they were being held at the Dobbs Ferry campus.

“I would get emails about all these cool events: talks, film screenings and others, but they were almost always at Dobbs Ferry and I wouldn’t be able to attend. It was hard to feel like I was part of the Mercy community and I realized that a lot of students felt that way too.”

When she first noticed these differences she took action immediately and tried to run her own events and workouts to engage students from other campuses.

The differences between the campuses do not go unnoticed. Space is a huge factor. Student involvement is a huge factor. Money is a huge factor. Now in 2022, health and safety is an even bigger one.

The students and faculty are not blind to the circumstances. With the pandemic shutting down most activities that were once deemed normal, everyone knows that things have largely changed. In fact, this is something that Martucci largely understands. However, she doesn’t believe that these are deal breakers. Commenting on the fact that the Bronx campus has great underutilized outdoor space and auditorium, there are many ways to make events happen.

“Space is not a barrier if there’s motivation to hold events.”

In some ways, the pandemic helped this issue come to light. With most events being held on zoom now, no one campus has priority over the other.

When there is a significant less effort being put into certain areas, it is easy to see why someone might look twice and be concerned. 

“…I think when we have such an imbalance it communicates something about how the campuses are viewed or valued differently,” stated Martucci.

This is only amplified especially when you take into account how there isn’t a shuttle for students to travel between the most populated campuses, Dobbs Ferry and Manhattan. 

Katherine Smith, a commuter student, commented, “Unless you are on a sports team, there really isn’t much to do.”

Smith only goes to Mercy to attend classes and immediately after they are done, she returns home. She mentions how if there were more activities for the students she wouldn’t mind sticking around. In fact, during October she thought it would have been fun if Mercy would have put together a Halloween party or “gathering”.  However, this wasn’t an option.

Martucci includes that she is not looking to make Manhattan or the Bronx exactly like Dobbs Ferry. Each campus is unique to it’s location and students attending.

“I’m more interested in how we can capitalize on the unique differences at these campuses to create excellent communities and on-campus activity.”

For now unfortunately there isn’t much happening. Martucci is looking to get the Manhattan campus a shuttle and for classes to be fully back in person so that more advocacy can be done.

The students are here. The support is here. Martucci is left with the question:

“How can we design curriculum and extracurricular events that capitalize on being in the center of a world-class city?”