July 22, 2018 | ° F

Baffo backs affordability

RUSA Presidential Candidate | Baffo wants to see student petitions, letter to Board of Governors for tuition decrease

Photo by Michelle Klejmont |

Kristine Baffo, a School of Arts and Sciences junior, plans to focus on student input.

Kristine Baffo said she wanted to bring more focus on shared governance, textbook costs and public safety to the Rutgers University Student Assembly. 

Baffo, School of Arts and Sciences senator at-large, is running for president of RUSA in its elections next week. She hopes to expand student input on the administration of the University and RUSA itself. 

“We named our [political] party the Alliance of Scarlet Knights because we want students to ask us about their concerns,” she said. 

Baffo, a political science major in her third year at Rutgers, joined RUSA at the request of former President John Connelly. She served a year as a Douglass senator before running for her current position.

Her party’s platform includes three major goals: giving students more options for shared governance, reducing textbook costs and protecting students both on and off-campus.

Other Big Ten schools have multiple policies to reduce prices. She suggested having more books on reserve at libraries and working with professors so they can offer alternatives to bookstores and print textbooks.

She wants to have more shared governance between students and administration in every section of the University. 

“If a student wants to get involved with Career Services and have an input on jobs … they should be able to sit on a board,” she said. 

Baffo wants students to be able to have more voting capabilities on administrative boards. Her ultimate goal is to have a voting student member of the Board of Governors.

Quality of life is a big deal as well. She wants to work with the administration from Rutgers Residence Life on housing issues and improve transportation quality by putting Wi-Fi on buses.

As a member of United Black Council at Rutgers, she wants to carry out their campaign for improving tuition equity for students. 

She would like to see more student petitions and letters to the Board of Governors asking for a tuition decrease.

Inside RUSA, she plans to establish a sustainability committee that will work with the University to form major environmental initiatives. 

To connect with students, she would like to use newsletters to stay in touch with students and have a “meet the candidates day” after the election.

She commended Pavel Sokolov, the current president, for his work connecting RUSA with administration and would like to continue his improvements.

“It’s been easier to get a lot of projects done,” she said. 

By Erin Petenko

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