USG Report: Board of directors needs additional student input

Every semester, students pay a student activity fee, which provides additional funding for athletics, clubs and organizations, student government and student media outlets. While part of the money is devoted to printing and technology fees, the other portion is spent on activities and events.

Each year, if these organizations do not spend the money that they are allocated, they generate a surplus fund that can be utilized at a later date. Baruch College’s board of directors oversees this pool of money and votes on the allocation of these funds.

As president of the Undergraduate Student Government, I sit on the board along with four other undergraduate students, one graduate student, members of the faculty and staff and two independent directors, who are former students.

The board meets once a month to vote on funding proposals brought to us based on the activity fee. Despite the frequency of board meetings, students are hardly ever present.

Students get to vote for their student representatives who sit on the board, but do not have much of a say after that—we want to turn that concept on its head.

Over the next two months, USG will be rolling out our participatory budgeting initiative. This will give students who are interested in completing large-scale projects around the school a chance to see their ideas come to life. All ideas are welcome no matter how big or small they are. The proposed projects will funded through the USG surplus.

Through the month of March, USG will facilitate a number of workshops that will allow students to brainstorm ideas in order to help the Baruch community. From there, we will flesh out the ideas and formulate in-depth proposals for the various projects.

We will work with the respective departments around campus to make sure that all projects are within the realm of feasibility. At the end, we will create a final list of projects.

These projects will go on the USG ballot at the end of April so that all students may vote on them. This will allow students to still have a voice in our government, even if they do not have time to be completely involved in the process. The projects that receive the most votes will be funded.

No one knows the needs of Baruch better than the students and, through this process, we will give you a voice and a vote to address these needs. As the process moves forward, we hope that you will join us and work to make Baruch a better place for all.

Daniel Dornbaum is the president of USG. He can be reached at daniel.dornbaum@usgbaruch.com. His office is located at 3-272 in the Newman Vertical Campus.