Clubs need better support from OSL
Baruch College is primarily a commuter school that lacks a strong focus on student life. While Baruch’s Undergraduate Student Government and Office of Student Life put effort into organizing events and on-campus activities, the reputation the college has accumulated sadly holds true. Club life at Baruch is greatly lackluster and is in need of revision in order to provide a more fulfilling student experience.
“Clubs and organizations span a wide range of interests. There is something for practically everyone. Membership in a club offers you a place to meet new people, as well as an opportunity to develop important communication, organizational and leadership skills,” reads the OSL webpage.
The webpage’s statement is truthful in some regard. Some cultural clubs, such as FUSION, Hillel, the Latin American Student Organization and the Vietnamese Student Association, provide a taste of their respective cultures by hosting popular events throughout the academic year.
The crowds that attend these events, however, seem to be composed of already-involved students. To uninvolved students, however, it may be difficult to know what events are happening around Baruch. It is important to address this problem because those left-out students can potentially benefit from these clubs and events.
OSL sends out a bland weekly newsletter on what happens at Baruch, but this newsletter fails to address club or community related events. For one, the newsletter seems to favor organizations that are closely intertwined with OSL, as exemplified by its promotion of events hosted by the Office of Health and Wellness.
To better cater to the students at Baruch, OSL should gather a list of weekly events that clubs are hosting and send them out in a coherent and engaging format. The current newsletter can easily be ignored by students and a revised version should desperately be considered. Getting specific mentions of club events in the newsletter would not be a difficult task.
Additionally, televisions around Baruch should be used more efficiently. There are televisions strategically located in high-traffic areas, but only a couple of them regularly show events happening around Baruch. The rest are dedicated to the nearest center by their location, such as the Starr Career Development Center on the second floor and the Center for Academic Advisement on the fifth floor. The television on the eighth floor shows an error message on the screen.
There are also televisions on the 12th and 13th floor that are shut off. All of these monitors could be used to show more events happening around Baruch. The monitors can also be used to shout out clubs so that students could find out about their existence.
Finding club locations is not an easy task. Club information is provided on the Baruch website, but with its unappealing layout, the website looks out of date. On top of that, the website is not very user-friendly and some of the cited locations for club rooms are inaccurate.
Across from the escalator on the third floor, there is a banner frequently displayed to look down onto the second floor. These banners usually present a monthly theme. To show its dedication to students, OSL should instead hang a banner that lists weekly events.
Aside from the lack of student exposure to events, the rest of the issues fall on the clubs themselves. Many times, clubs will announce that they are hosting events on their pages and then either fail to show up or cancel last minute. The Hindu Student Association, for example, recently promised to host two tabling events to prelude its Diwali event, but ended up not showing up for either. Last month, Women in Business tried hosting an event featuring a chef who was willing to come in and talk about her thriving business. This event was also canceled last minute.
These cancelations discourage students from getting involved. No one wants to set time aside in his or her schedule only to find that the event is canceled. Clubs need to make students feel more welcome and need to strive to provide the best experience through reliable events and communication.
Although OSL works hard to make life at Baruch more community-oriented, a re-envisioning of its approach is necessary. Clubs need to foster welcoming environments and work hard to be reliable.
Most of all, students need to be more exposed to the events and activities available to them. If students are aware of their options, maybe they will get more involved. Only then would Baruch truly be able to provide an environment that caters to its community.