Name the 23rd street subway station after Baruch

The Editorial Board

Several CUNY colleges, including Brooklyn College, City College, Hunter College and Medgar Evers Community College, have their nearest subway stations named after them. It is time for Baruch College to join them.

For Baruch, 23rd Street is the nearest subway station on Park Avenue. Many students take the 6 train and get off at this station to go to class, so aptly, this station should be renamed.

The MTA has three requirements for renaming a station. The first requirement is that the name change must not interfere with commuters’ ability to travel through the system and distinguish the system. Renaming the station on Park Avenue would help distinguish this 23rd street station from the stations with the same name on Broadway, 6th Avenue, 7th Avenue and 8th Avenue.

The second requirement is that there must be a “compelling link” between the station and the sponsor, in this case, Baruch, with “iconic” or historical significance that would be obvious to commuters.

Baruch does indeed have historical significance, since it was the nation’s one of the first free public institutions. For commuters around the station, Baruch’s presence should be obvious to them since the Lawrence & Eris Field Building, which displays flags with the school logo, is just a block away.

The third requirement is that the sponsor must be responsible for paying the costs of making new signs, tiles and maps. To address this, Baruch may gather the support of its alumni, trustees and local politicians to advocate and finance a name change. This was done before by Medgar Evers in 2020 with the help of a bill and a $250,000 grant from the state legislature.

In addition to these requirements being satisfied, there are ways that Baruch would benefit from having the subway renamed.

For new students, seeing a station named after Baruch on the map will help them on their first campus visit. They will know where to stop instead of getting lost in the system or getting off on the wrong stop.

Hunter’s station is on the same subway line as the 23rd Street station. While Hunter students and faculty take pride in seeing 68th Street–Hunter College on the subway tiles and map as they commute, Baruch students and faculty cannot.

Riding on the subway — let alone going to class — is not something the Baruch population looks forward to entirely but seeing the name of the college will give them a sense of pride that they’ll bring to the campus, thus boosting morale and performance.

Additionally, Hunter has the privilege of having an entrance that connects the station directly to the basement of its West Building. While it would take more time, money and planning for Baruch to have that privilege, the least that the MTA can do for Baruch for less money is acknowledge the existence of the college and its hard-working students and staff.