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The Ticker

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OSL’s premature deadline barricades USG hopefuls, it must be extended


The Baruch College Office of Student Life and Student Election Review Committee set an earlier deadline for candidates to run for undergraduate student government and didn’t say so until the day before the application closed. OSL and Baruch’s SERC should have extended the deadline and communicated the change to the student body in advance.

Perhaps the leading justification for having an undergraduate student government is its representation of the student body to the college administration.

However, representation is only as good as its representatives. Through yearly elections, the student body can ensure its representatives in USG speak for their interests and will advocate on their behalf.

But this year, prospective candidates for the 2024-2025 school year had to decide to run nearly two months earlier than in 2023 and less than a week after the semester’s start. The registration for a candidate to declare their intent to run opened on Jan. 1 and closed on Jan. 31, while the same form was open from Feb. 24 until Mar. 7 in 2023.

The only time the early deadline was communicated to the student body, apart from OSL’s website was through an Instagram post — posted on Jan. 30, the day before the 9 a.m. deadline.

OSL did not respond to a request for comment. Citing neutrality concerns, the USG executive board declined to comment.

The early deadline, combined with the lack of adequate communication, is more than enough reason for OSL to, at the very least, extend the deadline for the intent-to-run registration form.

A possible deterrent to students running for a position in USG is especially prescient this year, considering the composition of USG’s leadership over the past few years.

The Ticker spoke with USG’s members on the deadline change, many of whom requested to remain anonymous. Across the board, the consensus was that USG members could not have communicated the change themselves due to an “obvious conflict of interest.”

Thus, Baruch students are once more primed for a repeat of the past two years, which saw the leading party in USG run unopposed despite the duplicitous rebranding of party acronyms.

USG members also speculated that OSL had other reasons for the deadline change and lack of communication stratagem, including “bad apples” who, last year, had apparently announced their candidacies in bad faith by not meeting eligibility criteria, such as the minimum 2.5 GPA requirement.

The lack of communication furthers the atmosphere of confusion surrounding USG elections.

“I don’t think there’s any reason for them to do it,” a member of the USG table said of the deadline change. “It doesn’t make sense.”

It’s already difficult for new students to figure out what they need to do to run, while incumbents have the experience and know what to expect, making it even more common that candidates endorsed by a leading party have an advantage.

The new deadline and the lack of communication contributed to multiple obstacles already set against new potential candidates — including multiple forms and requirements to run as well as uncertainty on new deadlines — and therefore must be extended by Baruch’s SERC to ensure a fair chance for all Baruch students and a fair election.

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