Get a (graduate) Life

by Daniel Battista

Just a few short months ago, I enrolled here at Baruch as a graduate student after a number of years living and working in New York.  If you are like me, you saw the opportunity and potential in Baruch and couldn’t resist.  And right about now, you are probably doing the balancing act:  school, family, running businesses or managing projects, working, internships and volunteering.  It can get tough.

Your schedule may be tight, but coming to school just for classes and then making a beeline for the door means you are missing an important part of being back in school – graduate life.  There is much to be gained during your time here and the secret is simply taking some time to get involved.

This is why I am proud to have joined with a full slate of candidates running for the Graduate Student Assembly. We are the NEW BARUCH ALLIANCE. We are committed to enhancing the Baruch community through innovative leadership, robust advocacy, and vigorous programming. Our goal is to create new opportunities for personal and professional growth as well as to provide a greater voice for students in academic affairs.

As a diverse group with members and supporters from all three schools, we are on a mission to enrich the graduate experience here at Baruch.  We have built a team that will unify and bring new life to the graduate community by providing better support to clubs, fostering real relationships between student leaders, and hosting dynamic, memorable events that are far more appealing than just the average social – and that’s only the start of it.

We can all get so much more out of our time here at Baruch.  The time is ours to make the most of this opportunity.  I believe Baruch students are extraordinary.  Vote for the NEW BARUCH ALLIANCE in this April’s election and we will truly reflect the quality, caliber and passion of our student body.

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Comments
7 Responses to “Get a (graduate) Life”
  1. grad student says:

    What does innovative leadership mean? What kinds of things will you be advocating for? How will you change student input into academic affairs – isn’t most student participation governed by the bylaws of the faculty committees? This sounds like a lot of buzzwords without much substance behind them.

    • danny2015 says:

      Thank you for expressing your concerns and questions.

      Yes, there are “buzzwords” and big ideas in my blog about the New Baruch Alliance, but I assure you, none of them are empty, without substance or reason, or impossible. This submission was meant to simply introduce the New Baruch Alliance to students.

      While I would like to discuss specific, concrete ideas and plans- where they come from and why we have them, I feel that providing details of our party’s platform and initiatives as a response may be inappropriate in this forum. Our intentions and message are positive. We are seeking to foster better relationships between the three schools and overall, improve the graduate experience. HOW we plan to do this and some specific ideas can be found on our Facebook page (link below) or by contacting any of the candidates listed there. We’d love to have ANY graduate student attend a campaign meeting to learn more or to get involved. Meetings are posted on the page as well.

      You’ll also be seeing us around campus in aqua-green shirts this week and next, meeting more of our classmates to find out what is important to them, what else they would like to get out of their time at Baruch, and hopefully, gaining their confidence and vote so that we may bring new life to our GSA. I invite you to chat with any of our candidates during this campaign- it will make your vote more informed and make our democratic process at Baruch more ideal.

      The bottom line is that Baruch graduate students deserve (and want!) more and better- and we are here to try and make that happen.

      Respectfully,
      Daniel Battista

      http://www.facebook.com/newbaruchalliance2011

      • grad student says:

        To be honest, I’m not very comfortable speaking with any of you in person, considering the ad hominem attacks happening below. I’ve looked at your Facebook page and it doesn’t appear that any of you have much of a sense of what the GSA is actually empowered to do.

        -The GSA has absolutely no input into the faculty evaluation process; any changes to the process will require negotiations with the faculty union, which I’m pretty sure the GSA isn’t authorized to get involved in.

        -Does the GSA have any input into space allocation in the Vertical Campus? I don’t think you can keep the promise of allocating more student space.

        -The Office of Student Life already allocates lockers to clubs, but it’s nice of you to be willing to take credit for the work they’re already doing.

        -How would any student representative be able to effectively monitor all of the offices that provide student services? And do you think that those offices are unaware of any shortfalls in services?

        The attitude I’ve seen in this post and the comments here is that the New Baruch Alliance believes that past GSAs are either too corrupt or too stupid to carry out the ideas that make up your platform, that the faculty and the administration are unaware of any problems in our community and that the support staff who work increasingly hard to be able to continue to serve us with always-diminshing resources are our adversaries. I think this attitude is both arrogant and naive and would be incredibly detrimental to the student community.

      • danny2015 says:

        I can only assume you are current GSA member or a candidate as well. And, it sounds like you are all set with your own nameless, faceless campaign- which you have decided takes place in the comments section of my blog post.

        Dan spoke only from his experience and voiced his personal feelings- and I speak from mine. I decided to run because of my personal experience and my desire to try and do more for a better Baruch. There is no reason to perceive your classmates’ desire to become involved with student government and to improve Baruch (however impossible you think it may be) as an attack, arrogance or foolishness.

        Now that I think of it, maybe this is what Dan spoke of? Not feeling welcome or being made to feel you do not understand or that you cannot/should not change something or bother getting involved?

        In any case, I’d be genuinely glad to meet you in person on campus, whoever you are, and have a friendly, respectful conversation. After all, it seems we both care about Baruch, so no reason to feel uncomfortable.

        Good luck with your campaign and the rest of the semester.

  2. Daniel Seda says:

    My personal experiences with our current GSA have been awful! They have tried to bully me into thinking that I am not welcome to and cannot make a difference here at Baruch. They see any new, innovative ideas or ways to improve student life as competition to their nepotistic stronghold in OUR political governance. Currently, our GSA is almost completely comprised of ZICKLIN graduate students. Some of these GSA members have created clubs, which the GSA protects and supports by way of a competitive advantage towards receiving funding. I have had the displeasure of corresponding with a few GSA members who have made it clear to me, much like the comment above, that any effort to equalize representation in the GSA by participating in a democratic election process is merely noise and not substantive or warranted of any attention. This has been the case, in my experiences, and for a number of other graduate students who have reached out to the GSA for guidance and received little in regards to attention or concern. This is why it is imperative to seek more representation in the GSA. Times change, bylaws can be rewritten, and change is inevitable. Thank you for taking the time, Danny, to make your voice, and the voices of so many other graduate students, heard and taken seriously. I look forward to voting for you and the New Baruch Alliance at elections next week!

    • Emily Rotella says:

      Hi, my name is Emily Rotella, I am the current student affairs chair on the GSA. I just want to say that I have tried my hardest to enhance and improve the educational experience of all Baruch students here. I and the GSA support all new student groups. All club budgets are public information and I welcome all students to analyze the funding, the budget requests by which the GSA judges funding, and the past histories of all clubs requesting funding. In addition, all of us have been elected through the college regulated democratic processes to our positions, some of us 2 or 3 times, the records of which any student may also access.
      Dan and Daniel, I look forward to working with both of you and your entire team to continue improving the educational experience for all students at Baruch, and I commend your involvement thusfar. Though we are on separate tickets, I am thrilled to know that so many students at Baruch want to get involved and be part of this process!
      Peace,
      Emily

      • danny2015 says:

        Emily,

        Thanks for your response and thoughts. I look forward to getting to work with you in some way as well in the future, and thank you for the work you’ve done thus far in the GSA.

        Respectfully,
        Danny

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