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‘Overheard Baruch’ post creates open forum to discuss concerns with USG

A post made by the popular Instagram account Overheard Baruch seems to have triggered a debate among students of Undergraduate Student Government’s legitimacy.

The post, submitted by an anonymous student, claimed that USG held “no real representation of the student body’s interests.”Overheard Baruch is an online project that shares anonymous submissions from Baruch students of things they’ve overheard on campus. The original post in question made on Nov. 4 accused USG of being “the greatest scammers of all time,” and labeled it a popularity contest.

The account used the caption, “Someone’s hurt, USG,” adding that the statement was overheard on the third floor of the library.

This led to a debate in the comments section of the post where many students, including USG representatives, got involved. 

One student, USG’s Chair of Finance Aaron D’Souza, was heavily involved, commenting, “…We are a small group of 20+ students expected to represent 15,ooo students and when they rarely communicate to us it makes it very difficult.”

A student organization, the Black Students of Baruch, commented “PERIODT” in agreement with the original statement made by the anonymous student.

Later on, in response to D’Souza’s comments, they responded with, “I’m sure y’all have your own concerns and have non-USG friends that talk to you about what needs to be done. There’s no excuse.” 

The Black Students of Baruch did not respond to requests for comment.

Another student, USG’s Representative Senator Andres Aguirre added, “Everyone is welcome to the USG office.”

In response to this debate, an account with the handle @protestusgbaruch was promptly created. The bio reads, “We are here to let USG know what’s wrong with Baruch.”

The account has a singular post with the following caption: “They said they don’t hear us . . . so here we are #heretochangetheculture. DM Me your concerns and cries of outrage and I’ll post them.”

@protestusgbaruch also did not respond to requests for comment.

“I was compelled to respond because I have been in USG for a while and I am well aware of what we do and how hard it is to fix some issues . . . A student government is only as effective as the students . . . are involved,” D’Souza said in an email interview. He said the best way to address concerns is to get involved or stay informed. “They can read our minutes, talk to our senators, or . . . attend our weekly meetings.”

Many students were expressing their grievances in direct messages to Overheard Baruch.

In screenshots sent to The Ticker by Overheard Baruch, one anonymous student said, “There is definitely a prioritization given to Zicklin clubs which other clubs don’t receive.”

Another anonymous student disagreed, saying, “This is creating a false narrative that people in the student government hold grudges which is simply not true.”

A third conversation with Overheard Baruch that was shared with The Ticker stated, “My club did get their budget cut. Last year not only did they exhaust their budget, they also performed well and requested an increase in the budget because the conferences they go to are more expensive. However, our budget was cut without explanation.”

Aguirre also commented on the matter in a statement to The Ticker. 

“This is my first year in USG and frankly I’ve heard a lot of horror stories about USG that I’m actually quite shocked to hear about … I have no idea if that stuff actually happened so I won’t comment on it, but I can say with full certainty that this USG doesn’t play those petty games.”

In regard to the @protestusgbaruch page, Aguirre said he commends them for it and added, “I’d enjoy knowing how to do my job better. And hey, if more opinions are being represented within the community, I’m all for it.”

In an email interview with The Ticker, Overheard Baruch said, “This surprised me but I believe that discourse is always healthy and helps keep people accountable.”

The anonymous user added that they appreciated how USG representatives participated in the debate and encouraged frustrated students to voice their concerns. 

However, Overheard Baruch was disappointed a couple of users took this as an opportunity to “bash” USG.

“I understand their concerns and frustration but meaningful discourse can only happen in a respectful way … This was unnecessary because it does not move the needle in any way.”

Overall, USG representatives said they hope those students involved in the comments on Overheard Baruch’s post and the @protestusgbaruch account get involved in USG committees and meetings to encourage positive change on campus.

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