All of a sudden it’s the end of the year. I can’t begin to comprehend how quickly time has gone by these past twelve months. It feels like just the other day that I donned my black and green Stand UP Baruch shirt and charged out asking students what they stood up for.
It was a beautiful time leading the dozens of students on a campaign against student doubt, aimed at convincing the undergraduate population to vote in an uncontested election. We did pretty great, had a wonderful platform and the team was energized for the year ahead.
I look back now and while on one hand it all passed by in the blink of an eye, on the other, when I think about exactly what those 365 days held, and I realize that in fact each minute held what seems like a lifetime of lessons.
If you haven’t noticed, that’s more or less how I started my article two week ago. I recapped the year and my lessons from it. This week I want to go a different route. I want to look forward and give what I see as the future state of Baruch, and myself.
I’m leaving Baruch in good hands. The Undergraduate Student Government for next year has already begun its work and they are ready to lead the students the way they deserve to be led. Godspeed, USG 2013!
In other levels of governance, we have an extremely competent and committed college President with an outstanding senior staff, faculty leader, and overall a community.
They are coming together more than I could have imagined with out-of-the-box ideas that will surely make this a much better place than it was when I entered as a freshman. If only I could be around to continue to be part of Baruch’s growth.
Currently, my plans consist of little more than standing on the corner with a cup in my hand. Yet, I’m not afraid. Well, maybe a little bit, but in all honesty, I know that my education from Baruch is a great one.
My experience as President has been priceless, and my confidence to overcome anything that comes in my way is at an all time high.
How could it not be, when I started this past academic year in the face of a massive event being carried out as FEMA was rolling in making Baruch a refuge center due to an approaching hurricane?
Of course, I’m ready for any challenge since I know I can put my mind to quickly learning something new effectively. Nothing can stop me since I’m aware of my strengths and how they can easily be turned into weaknesses.
To say it has been eye opening would sell this year short. My understanding of politics and economics, my two majors, has been strengthened by my experiences even though I can say at least a handful of classes were skipped.
In fact, my understanding of marketing, accounting, behavioral psychology, and a number of other majors has been strengthened, too. So, bring it on, world, I’m ready!
Let’s be serious though, I’m facing a depressed job market and competing against some brilliant students from around the country.
In a similar way, even though Baruch has much strength, it is faced with some daunting challenges. Without pushing forward with hard work aimed towards a certain passion and goal, both Baruch and I will fail.
We both need to focus on our strength and make sure they do not become our weaknesses.
Baruch needs to make sure it focuses on maintaining the strength of Zicklin while making sure not to turn it into a weakness by neglecting Weissman and SPA.
Baruch needs to push forward and continue to demand that CUNY fix its funding formula for the senior colleges, but make sure it doesn’t do so in spite of letting Pathways get the best of its rankings.
Baruch also needs to make sure student involvement continues to grow while ensuring that the word “involvement” doesn’t boil down to “joining a club;” there are hundreds of ways a student can and should be involved with their school, from research to clubs to seminars.
The reality is that Baruch is already a great place and I possibly spent a few too many hours being a little too connected with it. How does it feel that graduation is so close? It’s been bitterly sweet, indeed. I can’t wait to sleep a decent night’s sleep. I can’t wait to start my career and actually have money. I can’t wait to be an alum.
So, until we meet again… I’m Antonio Alfonso, Jr. I am the President of the Undergraduate Student Government at Baruch College, if only for a few more weeks, and I thank each of you—student, faculty, staff, and administration—for my experience to be able to stand up for you and for myself.