USG interfaith proposal fails due to too few votes

Jahlil Rush, Production Assistant

The petition that called for the creation of a larger Baruch College interfaith space failed to meet the number of signatures needed for approval, according to the Undergraduate Student Government.

USG President Laiba Hussain said the petition garnered 1,359 signatures, 122 short of the threshold needed for the measure to be voted on.

The petition, which was widely circulated by Baruch clubs and student social media accounts, needed at least 10% of Baruch students to support the creation of the prayer space by the 5 p.m. deadline on April 21.

USG took to its Instagram page to announce the update on its story, expressing gratitude to the Baruch community for showing solidarity with the Muslim students by signing the form.

“Goal was not met unfortunately, but the fight is not over,” USG said in the post. “Thank you to everyone who helped, shared and supported.”

For the interfaith center to be funded, student activity fees would have been increased by $25 dollars for full-time undergraduate students and $13 dollars for part-time undergraduate students.

An interfaith center would have required an off-campus space, and the proposal called for a location with three or more separate rooms.

USG distributed the referenda to create the center via a form.

Baruch President S. David Wu and Dean of Students Art King supported the referenda proposal.

King, who is also the vice president for student affairs, was present at an April 18 USG senate meeting, where he informed the organization of the important steps that it would need for the interfaith center to progress.

This March, members of Baruch’s Muslim community held a protest in the Clivner=Field Plaza, holding prayer in the outside space.

The protest came after administration told students it could not provide a larger meditation room at the time.

Students expressed in the past that the current meditation room, located in 3-225 of the William Newman Vertical Campus, was insufficient for religious accommodations.

USG said a prayer space would benefit students of all religious backgrounds and hoped it would be a long-term solution to the need on campus.