State of Baruch: Week 23
Published: Monday, April 23, 2012
Updated: Monday, April 23, 2012 17:04
It’s election week and my time as the President of the Undergraduate Student Government is coming to an end. It’s hard to believe that already a full year has gone by since I was elected with a full team, all who took the pledge to Stand UP for Baruch students.
Our platform was challenging, diverse, and really just great while the team was filled with students from all walks of life at Baruch dedicated towards its progress.
One year later, I stand looking back at everything that has been said and done. One simple phrase that can be used to describe my experience is “educational and difficult.”
The year consisted of many voluntary hours of lost sleep, times of literal blood, sweat and tears due to dedication, and countless learning experiences with everyone involved.
What I have really learned over the past year is how to manage a large group of people. Essentially, people can be summarized as individually different. For every person in any situation, you will be presented with a different opinion and plan. Every variable—the levels of experience, creativity, determination, engagement, and an infinite number of others—is different between each person. That makes my job of managing a team of over 45 people and my job of leading over 14,000 students almost impossible.
Yet, here I am, able to explain and detail to you all the different accomplishments we set out to achieve. When we came together as a team and decided what we would focus on, we narrowed it down to four main areas: academics, student life, student space, and communication.
Each area was further divided into four specific points with each point including specific plans to get it accomplished. Nowhere did we reach for the lowest hanging fruit. Everything would guarantee to make Baruch a greater place if accomplished.
I’m proud to tell you that indeed, we have either fully accomplished or made significant progress on every platform piece.
Our plan for academics included pushing for new majors and minors at Baruch. Our talks over the course of the year with administration have shown that we have pushed for this. More importantly, it seems very likely that this dream may be fulfilled within the next few years.
Another academic plan involved taking our role as student leaders seriously and using our experience to help other students understand the complexities of registration and give them the advise to help ensure they graduate on time. We did this, both in the fall and spring semester.
Moving on, we had a focus on student life. We understood the importance of clubs on campus and we wanted to help them grow. To accomplish our goal, we envisioned building a “think tank” for clubs. We did this, it’s called Baruch Connect, and it’s been a great first step.
Next, our student space platform consisted of making sure that the student center building plan moved forward. I’m proud to say that we were able to make sure that progress was made and the college currently has a plan to buy a building within a few years. Some may criticize the plan but the fact of the matter remains that we stuck to the promise and we helped put future Baruch students into more space.
Another space component focused on closing 25th street. One big disappointment for me was that we were unable to close it this year, but we were close. Unbelievably close.
What is good though is that we re-submitted the proposal and are once again very close to getting it done. Here’s hoping the hours we’ve spent connecting with the community and local politicians goes towards finalizing a long held dream.
Then we had our communication portion. Some may say we didn’t do this well. I would argue against that. In the face of strong student activism against CUNY policies, we attended a meeting we don’t normally attend, and live Tweeted the developments.
The USG Twitter profile was the most accurate up-to-the-minute updates of the Board of Trustee developments. We created a one-stop website for students to hear from us, as well as other clubs, on which we published the breakdown of your student activity fees, our USG budget and our meeting minutes.
All in all, we did a lot this year. Often times, I am frustrated by the fact that students too often look at the grey of the cloud instead of its silver lining.
One thing is for certain, if you got involved for only two months and disappeared when the going got tough, then you have to consider how you will stand when nothing ever looks good.