The ban on fraternities in Baruch College has now carried into its fourth year, and the ban now faces immense scrutiny. The Undergraduate Student Government has taken poor initiatives to gather student input on whether the ban should be lifted or remain.
USG members conducted a survey to gauge how students feel about the return of social Greek life, but the survey was only made available a few days before the Feb. 27 USG meeting during which the table voted to take a stance on the issue. To create a proper and representative sample, the survey should have been dispersed much sooner than the vote.
The official USG Facebook page posted the survey on Feb. 24 at 10:06 p.m. Many students might have missed the late-night post. Students who are not active on social media would not have been represented, unless they received the survey from the USG mailing list. During the meeting on Feb. 27, USG stated that only 2 percent of Baruch’s student population responded to the survey, which is an insufficient sample size to accurately represent all students.
USG, however, did face issues getting the survey approved with the CUNY legal office, but the organization should have presented the survey earlier to have more time for approval. However, USG posted the survey without the office’s approval anyway.
The survey asked if students were willing to pay an additional $10 to $20 more in student activity fees, yet the current division of student activity fees only gives $12 out of the total fee to all clubs and organizations per student. Without clear disclosure on why or how the increase would support Greek life, it seems unsubstantiated and drastic.
USG also did a last-minute tabling on Feb. 27. Arvis Chen, the chair of the Clubs and Organizations Committee, said he had problems securing tabling after the survey was released. USG should have anticipated these issues. Securing a table, especially for student input on such an important issue to the student population, was essential in getting the word out to as many students as possible. All these issues compounded led to severe student under representation.
During the meeting, members of the senate argued that they cannot always represent the majority and that their voices should also be used to represent the minority opinion. While this is true, USG should seek greater student input if students are deeply divided on an issue like this. USG should represent what the students want even if the decision contradicts what USG members may personally believe in.