Baruch should do more to honor fallen heroes of 9/11

The terrorist attacks perpetuated on 9/11 left scars on the collective U.S. consciousness that continues to run deep over 16 years later. While the whole United States was affected by the fear, trauma and pain the attacks caused, there was nowhere that was hit harder than New York. There are reminders everywhere: streets named after first responders who lost their lives, memorial plaques, monuments and, most importantly, people. People who around the World Trade Center, people who were first responders, people whose parents were victims—New York is full of people who have a personal connection to 9/11.

It came as a surprise, then, when Baruch College did not make a bigger statement about the passing of 9/11 this year. There was no real ceremony that students could attend, nor were there any moments of silence or reflection. The Undergraduate Student Government displayed a small memorial on the Newman Vertical Campus’ second floor lobby, but why should a student organization be tasked with memorializing 9/11 for the entire school? The Office of Student Life’s Instagram page simply reposted USG’s picture advertising the memorial, captioning it: “Today we remember and honor all those lost and impacted by the tragedies of 9/11.” Reposting the content of a student organization to piggyback off its message instead of creating new content is almost a recognition of Baruch’s lack of programming to properly honor this day.

As a CUNY school, Baruch primarily has a duty to serve the students of New York. By the Baruch administration not having any type of official plan to commemorate 9/11, the school is doing a disservice to its students, especially when many are likely to have a personal connection to the attacks. The Baruch administration should be honoring the day in some way—whether that is an official statement, a promoted moment of silence, a short vigil or something else entirely. Sept. 11 should be a day of remembrance. This year, Baruch failed to provide any conduit for its students to do just that. While New Yorkers encounter symbols and stories of 9/11 at every turn, it is important to take time to assess and reflect on what happened that day. While the Baruch administration may have not provided a space in which to conduct reflection this year, students—as seen through USG—can always create their own spaces.