USG Report: USG addresses student concerns and changes

Welcome back, Bearcats! Over the break we saw many significant changes happening around us.

The Undergraduate Student Government will continue to represent every student and fight for the issues that matter to you. Whether you are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Asian, Hispanic, black, white, documented or undocumented, we will work for you. There are nearly 2,000 international students among us representing more than 170 different countries. This diversity is what makes the Bearcat pack strong.

In addition to national politics, there are major local legislative updates of which you should all be aware. Gov. Andrew Cuomo released his state budget proposals through a series of speeches across New York state. Students may have heard about his Excelsior Scholarship program, which looks to provide low and middle-income students with funds to make their tuition free.

While this is a worthwhile discussion and we applaud Cuomo for starting this conversation, there are other parts of the plan that are under scrutiny. For example, in his proposed budget, Cuomo calls for five years of tuition hikes at $250 per year at both the CUNY and SUNY branches. This is completely contradictory to his plan to make public university systems free. In fact, it goes in the opposite direction of the Excelsior program and puts an even heavier burden on students.

USG plays a key role in the state’s budget process—representatives will be frequenting Albany to lobby legislators and other elected officials for increased funding to CUNY and SUNY schools and, in particular, to Baruch. Turning even closer to home, there is exciting news regarding Baruch’s campus.

Construction on Phase 1A of the 23rd Street building will begin in the coming months. The total renovation will take a while, but we are moving in the right direction. Phase 1A includes an upgrade to the power generator for improved elevator usage. Additionally, the entire lobby of the building will be redone, making the entrance ADA accessible.  We will continue to update you as we learn more about the construction process.

As the world around us moves at an increasingly rapid pace, it is easy to forget that you have the ability to create positive and meaningful change at all levels. Be it a change in your club or a change in federal law, the key is staying involved and engaged. As always, your student government is here to help if you need it.

We look forward to an incredible Spring semester!

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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