CUNY launches student blog CUNYverse



Rachel Dalloo

CUNY launched a new blog site run by students called CUNYverse, which is described as a place for “unique and diverse CUNY voices.”

“Our main goal is to produce content spearheaded by students and alumni with minimal editing,” Sumaita Hasan, one of the blog’s leaders, said. “We’ve never had a platform like this before and I think it’s necessary to highlight things students want to create and read about.”

The existing team consists of Baruch College student Phoebe Richiez, City College graduate Terrell Merritt, Queens College student Juliet Bonci and Baruch student Yuliia Pylypenko.

For the blog’s first post, Yuliia Pylypenko discussed how CUNY students of Ukrainian descent — including herself — were impacted both personally and professionally by the events unfolding in Ukraine, following Russia’s invasion into the country.

In the blog, Pylypenko said that while she currently lives in the United States, her heart still lingers in her hometown of Mykolaiv, a city in Ukraine.

“There are hundreds of Ukrainian students or of Ukrainian ancestry in CUNY who are struggling to do everyday tasks like working and studying as they live in constant fear of losing their loved ones to this devastating war,” Pylypenko said.

Throughout the piece, she showcases the voices of other current and incoming CUNY students, featuring their opinions on the Ukraine-Russia war and providing further information on resources and ways to donate to those in Ukraine.

Currently, there have been three guest contributors who have had their pieces published on the blog. Guest contributor Rebeca Lafond is a CUNY School of Law student and Brooklyn College alumna.

Baruch undergraduate Jessica Yauri and Baruch alumna Yelena Dzhanova are also guest contributors.

Writers for the blog discuss various topics, including academic-related pieces, alumni advice, scholarships, fellowships, tips, hacks and more.

“With both casual pieces telling interesting student stories, and heavier stories like the launch piece surrounding the war in Ukraine, there’s just so many things to talk about and CUNYverse is an open place to do just that,”  Merritt, another student leading the blog, said.

For example, Dzhanova, who graduated from Baruch in 2019, wrote a piece on how Baruch opened doors for her and why choosing Baruch was a great option for her, despite it not being a private school.

“Even though it wasn’t a fancy private school, Baruch challenged me intellectually, mentally, and emotionally,” Dzhanova said. “Because of the few hours of sleep I got, Baruch at times challenged me physically as well.”

Both Hasan and Merritt hope that the blog will encourage students to find a home within the site to freely express their feelings while creating a place for others to do the same as well.

“We also want to foster a larger network of CUNY writers and experts–CUNY alumni are in every corner and space you can imagine, and we have a chance to highlight their stories,” Hasan said.