Baruch Joy hopes to boost club life through additional club hours

Max Meneses sees Baruch as a place of opportunity and growth. Now, running for president of Undergraduate Student Government, he wants others to see it the same way.

In order to accomplish his campaign goals, he wants to make students more aware of what Baruch College has to offer, whether it is paid positions within the college, joining organizations within the school or career growth opportunities.

“Baruch changed the way I thought, it changed the way I was able to get through, it gave me lots of opportunities that I’m eternally grateful for because it has helped me become where I am today, what I am today,” Meneses said.

Meneses is currently a junior majoring in corporate communication. Since coming to Baruch, he was involved with Lexicon and USG. He is also a resident assistant in the Baruch College Residence Hall.

Within USG, he was previously the vice chair of campus affairs and is currently a member of the Student Media Council. The Student Media Council deals with issues that arise between USG and the Media Suite that would involve having to write a contract. In such situations, the Student Media Council would be tasked with writing a contract that all parties would agree on.

As Meneses explained in an interview, his platform is based on the word joy. Within the word, each letter stands for a different concept—J stands for journey, O for opportunity and Y for you. “Journey” refers to the path students take together when they enter college, where they should help and support each other. The “opportunity” refers to different clubs and organizations that students can engage with on campus, whether it is a job or an extracurricular activity. Lastly, the “you” reminds people that all those things can only happen if everyone works together.

In order to achieve those goals, Meneses would promote opportunities that students can pursue within Baruch and get them more involved in student life.

In order to promote more club life participation, Meneses would encourage clubs to participate in 12 p.m. to 1 p.m. club hours each Monday and Wednesday. This, he thinks, would accommodate many of the students who cannot make it to the club hours on Tuesday and Thursday, even if not all clubs are able to participate.

He would also like to make the organizations a more welcoming environment. A lot of people get discouraged if they come into USG to speak to someone and the person is not there, so he would put more emphasis on getting students to reach out more than once. However, he also recognizes that too much involvement would make it harder for chairs to pick qualified members of their committees.

Meneses also wants to change the way some students think about USG. He recounted a situation that took place in one of his classes, when some students said they knew USG as the place that throws parties and gives out free items.

“That’s really what they [are] known for and they don’t have much campus involvement,” Meneses said. “I want to make it so that instead of knowing who and what USG is, I want them to know who and what we are and what we’re able to do for you to be able to get you into a better place.”

He also said that when it comes to being a president of USG, there is no specific solution that would work for running a team. The way USG operates one year may not work with next year’s USG. This is why training or preparing for being president is a difficult task. That is why, if elected, he would take the first month in office to talk to everyone in USG, share ideas with them and make sure that the team flows well. This would be particularly important because as an independent candidate, he will ultimately have to work with people he ran against.

For the rest of the campaign season, Meneses has two marketing strategies. Some of his friends offered to speak in their classrooms to spread the word of his campaign to students on all sides of the involvement spectrum. He also has two more hard launches planned for his Facebook profile picture, each with a different letter of the word Joy written out.

“Everyone has ideas. In general, when you have an idea and you’re not sure if it’s going to work, you don’t do it. You’re worried it’s not gonna happen. I want to make sure that even those ideas that you’re scared of are brought up because they may be fantastic ideas, maybe they’re something that will help everyone else,” Meneses said.