This past Tuesday, all NYU students received an email from the CAS fifth year and Student Body President Juan Manuel Calero Canaval regarding the restructuring of NYU’s student government. The new system’s biggest change would allow for all students in the university to be able to take part in the Student Government Assembly meetings, as well as actually engage in discussions. This is drastically different from the previous system’s Student Senators Council, where each SSC senator was limited to bringing one person, and these guests were not permitted to speak. Ultimately, this change, allowing more student voices to join the dialogue on important decisions made throughout the school, takes a more multifaceted approach to inclusivity at NYU.
The new change to the student government is a step in the right direction. Before the policy overhaul, if a student wanted to attend a meeting, they could only do so if invited by a senator. The old system of SGA essentially alienated the students who were being affected by these policies without giving them a voice to raise the issues that they experienced. The new system of SGA invites a more democratic process to NYU’s decision making, and if students want to raise certain issues or bring discussion to the SSC meetings, they are now welcomed. However, while this change invites more students to be more involved with the SSC, students have expressed their apathy in the past toward voicing their opinions. NYU students have an alarmingly low voter participation rate, at 12 percent, as well as a low town hall attendance. This means that the restructuring of student government must also come with an effort to get students to attend the SSC meetings.
Along with increased involvement from students at the New York campus, the updated government structure’s Global Student Council allows for student involvement across all of our global campuses and sites. Students abroad are still impacted by the decisions made by Student Government, and are now finally getting the representation and voice they deserve. Prior to this change, many NYU students abroad felt detached from the main campus. The GSC will hopefully work toward bridging this gap and keeping students engaged with the Student Government’s discussions and initiatives, regardless of their location. The new system is an important step toward interconnecting NYU’s campuses and cementing its mission of being a globally based university.
Email the WSN Editorial Board at [email protected]