Students unable to start new clubs this spring

Emanuela Gallo, Editor-in-Chief

The process for starting new student organizations at Baruch College is paused for the spring 2023 semester.

The pause is a continuation of a past Office of Student Life policy. The office plans to reinstate the process in fall 2023.

History major Hidekel Reyes planned to re-start Baruch Dance Club, which became inactive in 2021 due to COVID-19 pandemic policies.

After reaching out to the club’s past OSL advisor, she inquired about the process in spring 2022. OSL told her it planned for the process to begin that fall. This was later pushed off to spring 2023, and now to fall 2023.

“I felt led on,” Reyes said. “I kept my hopes up.”

“We are excited to engage students who are interested in bringing new clubs and organizations to the Baruch community,” Director of Student Life Damali Tolson said in a statement to The Ticker. “To ensure no duplication in existing clubs and adequately allocating our resources, we are working to get our existing clubs back to full capacity.”

Tolson said supporting returning clubs as they start up engagement was their priority.

“We recognize the challenges to club engagement during the remote learning period and are diligently working to support existing clubs in their efforts to rebuild,” she said. “Many clubs are still establishing their leadership and we will continue to focus our resources on ensuring continuity in our club life community.”

Reyes said she wanted to restart the dance club this semester because it is her last at Baruch. After the pandemic disrupted student life during her freshman year, she did not gain any club leadership experience.

She hoped restarting the Baruch Dance Club would allow her to get involved with Baruch social life before graduation.

“Most of the clubs here don’t speak to me,” Reyes said. “Dancing was the one thing I liked doing outside of academics. I thought this would’ve been my way of participating in school activities.”

The policy also affected juniors Aissata Sow and Matthew Nuñez, who planned to start a new club called Bonus Room. Its goal would be to teach personal finance and financial literacy through workshops.

Last fall, they saw on student life’s website that the application deadlines for the spring were to be decided. They began preparing the required elements for a new club: a proposed constitution, a mission statement, a membership roster and five sample events.

However, a student life advisor informed them during a meeting in late January that the new club process was paused.

“The way they explained it was that because of the pandemic… no one had started a new club at Baruch for a while,” Sow, who is a public affairs major, said. “[OSL] wanted to give all the students an equal chance.”

Sow’s passion for starting a financial literacy club derives from her past poor financial decisions as a first-generation college student.

“I want to prevent other people from making the same mistakes,” Sow said. “For [Matthew], personal finance is a way of giving back to his community. That’s why we are pushing very hard for this club.”

Editor’s Note: Aissata Sow, quoted above, is a contributing writer of The Ticker’s opinions and science sections. Emanuela Gallo, who wrote this article, is a former member of the Baruch Dance Club.