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USG: At CUNY, it takes time to create change

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Last year I was on the table as the Chair of Appeals and believed that I understood exactly how to accomplish tasks as vice president. As it turns out, I was completely wrong. For senator positions on the table, you do your part and see that others do their part, too. You hear student problems and assume that they’re an easy fix as long as someone puts in the effort.

But when you get to the e-board, it is very different — you learn about all the constraints that arise from attending CUNY and the difficulties of only serving in office for one year.

One of our biggest focuses this year was microwaves. We had allocated funding in our budget to purchase new ones or more of them and had planned to have these installed in September or early October.

That being said, I am sure many of you have noticed that new microwaves are nowhere to be found. This can be attributed to the many hurdles along the way that we had not anticipated.

It seems simple to just go online and order a microwave, but at Baruch that’s not how it’s done. The microwaves need to be chosen and approved by CUNY, which takes months. Also, if we want to order more, we would have to have the electrical panel changed in the walls in order to accommodate the CUNY-accepted microwaves and their electricity requirements. If we were to choose to go forward with getting the electricity fixed, it would take even more months of waiting for a CUNY-approved contractor.

Serving for one year as vice president means that by the time we find the microwave and the contractor, I will probably have graduated. With that in mind, we are currently in the process of picking out the microwaves, and there is no doubt that there will be more hurdles to get through in order to find someone to replace them.

This long process for everything is tough. It seems so simple to an outsider but once you try to make things happen — especially impactful things — you realize how difficult it is.

We are often given a hard time because it is believed that we are not doing enough. At first, I used to jump to defend myself and the Undergraduate Student Government’s work ethic, but after some time, I have learned that we are doing as much as we can. The other week we had four events happening at once and managed to cover them all. We really do what we can with what is under our control, and we hope that students understand this.

Emma Jorgensen is the executive vice president of USG. She can be reached at Her office is located at 3-276 in the Newman Vertical Campus.

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