USG advocates for CUNY students, hosts Uncle Edik’s Pickles


Courtesy of Laiba Hussain

Laiba Hussain

Welcome back Bearcats. The start of April means two things are underway: April showers and the New York State Budget deadline. State officials will be voting on the proposals for Fiscal Year 2024, administered by Gov. Kathy Hochul, on April 1.

The governor has shared plans to increase CUNY tuition by about $144-$424 per semester. The Undergraduate Student Government finds this change unacceptable, especially considering the skyrocketing cost of living for New York City dwellers.

The University Student Senate led a March for CUNY on March 19 that involved students from every CUNY campus walking across the Brooklyn Bridge to demand four main resolutions.

The first demand was for the New York State Legislature to pass the New Deal for CUNY. This bill would serve to protect CUNY from state budget cuts, as well as propose a tuition free CUNY that fully supports all students, staff and faculty.

The second demand was a freeze on tuition hikes. The third demand called for expanded mental health and transportation services to be offered to CUNY students.

Lastly, CUNY students demanded an increase in diversity among faculty and staff at Baruch College.

This rally was attended by several USG representatives, including Ashley Chen, Karina Ordoñez, Dave Olajide, Joseph Hernandez and Avrohom Malachowski.

Chen and Ordoñez have since compiled a social media toolkit that makes it easy for concerned individuals to get the attention of elected officials.

It is extremely important that positive change is being advocated for on all fronts. Thus, sharing word of this cause will benefit not only the Baruch community but CUNY as a whole.

On another note, Student Life hosted its first in-person orientation for student government elections in three years on March 30. This orientation is an annual event that kicks off the campaign season and usually consists of a mix of parties and independents who want to hold a position in USG next year.

Finally, Vice President of Academic Affairs Jason Galak facilitated an incredible event on March 28. Galak welcomed Uncle Edik, full name being Edward Ilyasov, to Baruch College. Ilyasov runs a successful pickling business in Queens, which he started during the pandemic.

But Uncle Edik wasn’t always in the business of pickles. He once worked as a trader at Deutsche Bank and Santander Bank, making nearly $140,000 a year by the time he was 23.

He gave it all up once he found his life’s passion for pickle making. Uncle Edik started his business by working out of his basement before eventually relocating to a shop in Fresh Meadows, Queens.

There was a pickle tasting at the end of the event, which featured regular pickles, spicy pickles, radishes, tomatoes and more.