Senate Meeting: VP of Administration and Finance discusses tuition fee hike



Marziya Hasan, Copy Editor

Baruch College’s Undergraduate Student Government met for its seventh senate meeting of the spring 2023 semester on March 21.

The meeting began with a report from Vice President for Administration and Finance Katharine Cobb. She shared possible future plans to raise tuition fees for students whose income is $125k or greater and who do not receive financial aid.

Table members expressed concerns to Cobb about the lack of sustainable options for hand drying in bathrooms, especially since hot air hand dryers are not good for the environment either.

Cobb noted these comments.

Next, Executive Vice President Osvaldo Garcia had a report. Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Art King reached out regarding the lack of prayer space in the multi-faith room, which he spoke to USG about in a meeting last December.

King reiterated the same points from the previous meeting.

He said there is a lack of space on campus and space that isn’t under the Office of Student Life, such as the gym or the 14th floor is either occupied or rented out.

Rep. Sen. Kazi Noor shared concerns about the lack of prayer space due to Ramadan, a time of fasting practiced by Muslims, that has just begun.

Noor also shared that she reached out to King as a student to express these concerns but received no response.

She suggested using the hallway space in the club suite as a possible alternative for students to pray.

President Laiba Hussain agreed to ask OSL about the hallway area because it is considered a neutral space and was not sure if it could be mandated.

Chair of Philanthropy Joseph Hernandez asked if this update was only shared with club leaders or the larger student body.

Garcia agreed that a broader message should be sent out to all students to update them on the issue and said he will reach out to confirm.

Next, Chair of Clubs & Organizations Jessica Yauri had a report. Applications are open for students to create new clubs or reactivate previous ones. They can be found on the OSL website along with the deadlines.

After spring break, USG will go over the applications and vote on both the new and reactivating clubs.

Rep. Sen. Spirit Smith-Matos also had a report. She shared that the American Sign Language course will be going through. Faculty will vote in a meeting on March 30, and the course will start next fall.

Vice President of Academic Affairs Jason Galak had a report. He shared a new scholarship in the name of management professor Ivan Montiel who recently passed, hoping USG could donate to it.

While table members did a soft vote that passed 17-0-0, Garcia shared that it might not be possible to use the USG budget and that they could instead fundraise for the scholarship.