New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

Guest Essay: From square one to Washington Square, your voice matters

Angela Chou is the new chair of the NYU Student Government Assembly.
Mikaylah Du
(Mikaylah Du for WSN)

Guest essays reflect opinions from writers beyond WSN. If you’d like to submit a guest essay for consideration, please email [email protected].

What does it mean to be an NYU student? Is it pulling all nighters at Bobst Library? Is it meeting new people across all majors, from Tisch to Tandon? Or maybe, it’s exploring our campus that’s hidden in the city — the local thrift and coffee shops?

As the newly appointed NYU Student Government Assembly chair, I am committed to empowering every student at NYU and guiding our institution towards a future of change. I am a junior studying Global Public Health and Media, Culture, and Communication at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. Since my first year at NYU, I have served as a member of the Student Government Assembly and the president of the 2025 Class Activities Board. My involvement at NYU has extended to programs including Alternative Breaks and NYU Welcome, where I served as a welcome leader and had the unique opportunity to plan and host the Voices Unveiled: Spotlighting BIPOC Trailblazers event this past fall.

Throughout my journey at NYU, I have turned my focus towards a central goal: empowering students. But empowerment doesn’t stop with me; it begins with you. Each of you possess a unique voice and perspective that has the power to drive positive change in our community. Whether you are a first-year finding your footing or a senior ready to leave your mark, your voice matters and deserves to be heard. I challenge you to step out of your comfort zone, speak up for what you believe in and take ownership of your university experience. Whether it’s joining the SGA, running for a leadership position, voicing your ideas or simply engaging in conversations with your peers, there are countless ways to make a difference.

At the heart of our university lies a vibrant community of diverse individuals, each with their own unique perspectives, passions and aspirations. Yet, oftentimes these voices can be lost or go unheard. That is why I am here: to ensure that every student’s voice is not only heard but amplified and valued. Empowerment means recognizing the worth and potential of each and every student and providing them with the tools, resources and support they need to thrive. Whether it’s advocating for changes in campus policies, organizing community events or simply lending a listening ear, I am committed to advocating for all students.

In the previous academic year, the SGA has achieved notable milestones! Steinhardt’s Undergraduate Student Government created a new food pantry aimed at addressing on-campus food insecurity, our Diversity Committee hosted a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Leader gathering to unite student leaders across the university, and our “Conceptualizing the Palestinian Struggle” teach-in facilitated crucial conversations and educated supporters of the Palestinian struggle on the urgent humanitarian crisis in Gaza. Advocating for initiatives that uphold the interests of our student body has been rewarding. In my capacity as the director of operations in the SGA this past year, I have been working on introducing sharps containers in NYU’s bathrooms, creating a Basic Needs Center to provide free, short-term housing for students, and passing resolutions advocating on the creation of an SGA Operations Committee and increasing transparency in NYU’s vendor contracts.

As the SGA chair, I will advocate for policies and initiatives that prioritize student well-being and create a sense of belonging for all members of our community. Whatever issues or concerns you have, whether it’s improving access to mental health resources, improving student worker compensations or amplifying student voices in university decision-making processes, the SGA will push to ensure that change happens. Our main priorities in the new academic year are to continue upholding Project 61 to make the SGA a household name, amplifying the voices of underrepresented groups and transforming the SGA into a welcoming and empowering space for all students. 

We have the power to shape the future of our university and create a campus community that is truly inclusive, vibrant and empowering for all. Together, let’s write the next chapter in the story of NYU, a chapter filled with resilience, unity and empowerment.

WSN’s Opinion section strives to publish ideas worth discussing. The views presented in the Opinion section are solely the views of the writer.

Contact Angela Chou at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Mikaylah Du
Mikaylah Du, Illustration Editor
Mikaylah Du is a first-year studying Media, Culture, and Communication. She's a fine art nerd and one of the few people that actually likes writing essays. Follow her art account on Instagram @mikaylahdoodles to see her post once in a blue moon.

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    AlexApr 19, 2024 at 5:37 pm

    Beautifully written, love this