USS plenary meeting will bring big changes
In working with the Undergraduate Student Government and the University Student Senate, I have found a home and a way to advocate for important issues. On March 17, USS had its monthly meeting. CUNY Trustee Michael Arvanites came to the meeting to discuss major plans.
First off, he told us about his role — Arvanites focuses on constructions and facilities within CUNY. He disclosed that the Borough of Manhattan Community College has the highest solar array, and this will be implemented on other CUNY campuses soon. He also told us that CUNY is looking into an all-CUNY dorm, probably centered in the middle of Manhattan for easy access. This idea is only in a conception phase — this project has a 10- to 15-year timeline as of now.
Arvanites also stated that there will be a five-borough ferry that will be implemented soon. This ferry will allow students from Staten Island to commute to the different boroughs more easily. CUNY is also working on implementing cleaner bathrooms and upgrading roofs, gutters, sewers on all 25 campuses. A lot is happening with infrastructure.
USS Chairperson Haris Khan revealed his initiative for technology fee committees. The technology fee committee decides how the technology fee should be allocated.
For example, some of the money can be used to annually renew services such as student subscriptions to Adobe. At Baruch, the tech fee committee consists of me and a few student government members from the programming board, alongside a few faculty.
Baruch, fortunately, has a lot of student representation on this committee. Some CUNY campuses, however, only have one student representative while others have three. Since the number of student representatives among the CUNY campuses is inconsistent, Khan is working on drafting a unified procedure for all campuses for equal representation in the number of faculty, staff and students in these committees.
After several lobbying trips to Albany, USS was able to secure CUNY $1.7 million in mental health initiatives, and an additional $2 million was allocated for disability services. This is a great achievement for all CUNY students.
USS is extremely devoted and its members are some of the most passionate people I have ever met. I love working with them because they make me want to push for change — they make me feel like my opinion matters.
Radhika Kalani is the president of USG. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Her office is located at 3-272 in the Newman Vertical Campus.