RUSA speaks for students


Column

As University President Robert L. Barchi continues his first year as the leader of New Jersey’s flagship institution of higher education, we in the Rutgers University Student Assembly, your student government, prepare to meet with him for the first time tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Student Activities Center on the College Avenue campus. Students are free to come ask questions if they wish. However, we, as a body, have some very specific concerns, which we have asked the president to address in his speech.

As students begin the first exams and papers of the semester, we can’t help but think about the aspirations of countless undocumented students whose wishes to attend college remain unfulfilled. In America, a college education can change a life in innumerable ways and maximize the potential of an individual. We want to push for the state’s greater support for its own people, and we believe that Barchi can help lead the change needed for a more equitable and just education system in our great state. There is much more that can be done toward charting a brighter future for our students and those who have not yet had the wonderful opportunity to attend the University.

Second, it is pivotal to underline the importance of student input in all aspects of the university’s decision-making process. As representatives of the student body, our University’s largest and most important stakeholder, we believe it is our duty to ensure that the deepest concerns of students are acknowledged and acted upon in the ongoing developments at the University, especially the University Strategy Initiative. Without question, students are the first to be affected by decisions that are made by the administration, and rightly so, must have an outlet for their valuable input.

We are the ones who ride the buses and live in the residence halls, eat in the dining halls, and walk the streets of New Brunswick and Piscataway in the evening from the libraries. We are the population that is primarily here for education in classrooms that are going to be refurbished thanks to our combined efforts in passing the bond referendum. Without any doubt, we know what it is like to be students. We are the students. Our opinions matter, our opinions deserve to be heard and we adamantly believe that our input can lead to a university that is more sustainable and holistically better at serving our needs and those of the New Jersey community. Too often do we hear students complain about things they believe cannot be changed for the better here on the banks, but we fundamentally believe otherwise. What makes a university truly great is the individual student’s reciprocal love for his or her own alma mater. We are ready to give back to the University that has given us so much, and we only ask that it accept our efforts.

The RUSA body is excited to welcome Barchi tonight. We would also like to remind students that RUSA meets every Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. in the SAC.

Sherif Ibrahim is a School of Arts and Sciences junior and vice president of the Rutgers University Student Assembly. Pavel Sokolov is a Rutgers Business School junior and treasurer of RUSA.


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