CUNY contains 24 campuses across five boroughs. As an affordable public university system and the largest urban system in the nation, CUNY aims to provide a stellar education to over 270,000 students. However, a significant component of this education needs to be focused on creating a sense of community.
CUNY allows students to take classes at several different campuses in the system through its ePermit and CUNY BA programs. This means that students can attend classes at more than one campus each semester. The problem that most students face through these programs is that they do not feel welcome at all of the schools they attend.
Both incoming freshmen and transfer students attend an orientation seminar when they start their education at a CUNY campus. The students who attend CUNY schools through ePermit or CUNY BA, however, are not offered the same opportunity to be acclimated to their other schools. Instead, they are expected to find their way around the campuses and classes on their own.
Additionally, there is a lack of communication and information among campuses. For example, CUNY students are welcome to attend most events at other CUNY campuses, but students are typically unaware of what happens at other schools unless they have friends there. While there is an events calendar located on the main CUNY website that lists some workshops and seminars across several schools, these events are mainly academic or professional.
Furthermore, there is little advertising done to attract students to these events. The various weekly emails sent out by Baruch College do not usually list all of the events happening in all of the campuses every week, so students miss out on fun opportunities such as dances, art classes, student competitions and concerts.
The Baruch College Undergraduate Student Government should partner with the USG and student newspapers of other CUNY campuses to make a centralized calendar of events that students can easily reach from their colleges’ respective websites. Social events like “Tipico Night Siete” held at The City College of New York on Oct. 6 or the upcoming Hunter College “Halloween Party” on Oct. 20 could be included in addition to seminars, workshops and networking events.
CUNY students are not just commuters who go to their schools for classes, but people who want to feel like they are part of a community. Improving communication among CUNY campuses is the first step toward making this possible.