USG Report: Students should peruse CUNY's capital plan

CUNY administration recently released a revised copy of their five-year master plan titled “The Connected University CUNY Master Plan 2016-2022.” The document outlines the next five years of the university on a general level and includes student population expectations, requests for university funding, campus capital projects and much more. For students of both CUNY and Baruch College, a few things from this plan should catch their eyes.

First, the five-year plan was not distributed effectively to the mass student population even though everything in the document pertains directly to students. This is an issue that should have been addressed because there are countless ways to engage students in the process. Faculty from the administration are able to get the word out using campus newspapers, email blasts from local college administrators and even social media campaigns. Students should be able to learn about the future of their university without having to navigate through the trenches of the university website to find the document.

Secondly, in the plan, the university once again calls for tuition increases. This is extremely disappointing as the university acknowledges the need for additional funding but insists on relying on the money in students’ pockets. Administrators state the importance of investing state and city funds into our university but wish to burden the students even further. By calling for tuition hikes, they let the state officials, who refuse to invest more in CUNY, off the hook.

On a lighter note, CUNY’s five-year capital plan highlights Baruch’s Field Building on 23rd Street and Lexington Avenue as a sight for major renovations. Currently, we are in Phase 1A in which an initial $90 million will only scratch the surface of renovations the building needs.

If any of these issues strike your core, the Undergraduate Student Government participates in lobbying efforts at the state and city level to give legislators the student perspective. We travel to Albany and City Hall to meet with members of the State Assembly, State Senate and City Council in order to discuss the importance of investing in CUNY and maintaining an affordable public school education. On a more local level, we register students to vote on campus and hold town halls and information sessions on key Baruch issues.

Students have a lot on their minds but I implore you all to stay in tune with university and college-wide issues. It may affect you more than you think.

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.

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