Upcoming Plans for the Legislative Session
By: Olivia Frasca
This past fall, The New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) held several key events to highlight their dedication to students at the College of Staten Island.
NYPIRG is a leading advocate for CUNY and SUNY students. The organization has an office at CSI, located in 1C-218.
Garrett Shor, Project Coordinator for NYPIRG at CSI, is a liaison between students and the advocacy group.
The student-led organization offers “an array of extracurricular activities and opportunities [for students] to participate in important public policy discussions, through which they can learn a wide range of valuable skills, contributing to a well-rounded educational experience,” according to their official website.
NYPIRG accomplished many goals last semester, including voter registration, tabling events, and meetings about resources and accessibility.
They registered over 1,000 new voters on campus, a significant achievement as primary and election seasons approach.
In October, NYPIRG partnered with the CSI Sustainability Club and the CSI women’s soccer team to collect food donations around the neighborhood, known as ‘Trick or Eat.”
NYPIRG also provides advice for individuals preparing for Small Claims Court. Students can reach out to trained volunteers at NYPIRG’s Small Claims Court Action Center (SCAC) by phone, email, or office hours.
SCAC services are free, but volunteers do not give legal advice or courtroom representation.
Interested in getting involved? NYPIRG welcomes students wishing to expand their experience in public affairs through internships.
With the New York State legislative session underway, Shor mentions that NYPIRG will call on legislators to increase funding for student opportunity programs, school infrastructure, and environmentally-friendly policies.
“The governor needs to stop short-cutting all the programs that support higher ed and really reaffirm the state’s commitment to higher education for all,” explains Shor.
In December, NYPIRG staff and students led a rally outside the governor’s office in Manhattan to encourage more funding for opportunity programs.
CUNY’s Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP), for instance, is “proven to be very effective and empowers a lot of students to go to CUNY who otherwise wouldn’t be able to,” says Shor.
Students can learn more about ASAP in 5N-112. The program provides a range of financial, personal, and academic support, including a MetroCard.
Search for Education, Elevation and Knowledge (SEEK) is a similar diversity & opportunity program unique to CUNY. Potential and eligible students can visit the SEEK tutoring center in 1A-108.
On January 21, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced his executive state budget for fiscal year 2020. He proposed a $143 million increase in higher education, bringing funding up to $7.6 billion.
NYPIRG continues to make a lasting impact on local and state levels. The organization empowers students to make their voices heard and equips them with career skills to enter the workforce after graduation.
Stop by 1C-218 to get involved with NYPIRG, or reach out to Garrett Shor at firstname.lastname@example.org.