BREAKING: USG launches form for approval of interfaith center

Maya Demchak-Gottlieb, Editor-In-Chief

Baruch College’s Undergraduate Student Government distributed a form for a referenda proposal to create an interfaith center. 

President S. David Wu and Dean of Students Art King have already approved the referenda proposal. 

However, in order to move forward, USG needs to have at least 10% of Baruch students respond in support of the center’s creation by April 21.

To fund the interfaith center, there would be an increase in the student activity fee. It would increase by $25 dollars for full-time undergraduate students and $13 dollars for part-time undergraduate students.

King met with USG during its Senate Meeting on April 18. He laid out the steps necessary for the interfaith center to move forward. 

King told USG 10% of approval must be reached by the 21st at 5 p.m. 

The Office of Student Life provided guidance for the writing of the proposal. 

The creation of the center would require the renting of an off-campus space, similar to the Aaronson Student Center. The Student Center was also funded by an increase in the student activities fee. 

In its proposal, USG calls for a space with three or more separate rooms, which would provide students with an alternative space if a room is currently in use by someone who practices their faith differently than their own. 

Currently, students have complained that the meditation room, room 3-225 in William and Anita Newman Vertical Campus, is insufficient. 

In particular, Muslim students at Baruch have raised concerns about the space constraints. Students have met with King on numerous occasions, and protested outside the Office of Student Life and in the Clivner=Field Plaza.

USG said a new center would help students of all faiths. It said the center would resolve the issue, which is that the demand for space is higher than the capacity of the room. 

A separate center would also help allow different faiths to pray at the same time. Someone who prefers to meditate can pray in a separate room from someone who may chant. 

The rooms would not be assigned to any religious group and would be neutral spaces for prayer. 

USG said the proposal hopes to find a long-term solution. It would likely take over ten years to complete. 

If the proposal receives at least 10% approval, the proposal would then be brought to CUNY Central for final review.