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CUNY Bernard M Baruch College

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Recently, Baruch College has been in the news for protests against tuition hike. The greatest asset to an individual in this country is "freedom of speech." With that, both students and faculty members gathered outside Baruch to rally against the raise. However, by the evening, CUNY board of trustees had made their decision: they approved the $300- per- year increase in tuition. So, don't be alarmed when you see that bill increasing in amount every year. While the increase in tuition is a bummer, Baruch College, located at Lexington Ave and 24th Street (NYC), buzzes with students of various age and ethnicity.The college has been consistently named one of the most diverse schools in the United States. Baruch doesn't have a big campus environment like other CUNY colleges, but rather consists of 3 main buildings: 1. North Vertical Campus---NVC (most of classes are held in); 2. Field Building, also called the 23rd Building; and 3. The library located on 25th street. Being that it is a commuter school, Dr. Mitchel B. Wallerstein, (President of Baruch College) is trying create a public plaza for students, which is to be situated between the NVC and library. While that is still in process, one can enjoy Madison Park, located just a few steps away. At the park, you can sit and enjoy your coffee during the fall, or read a novel and bask in the sun during spring. Union Square is also not far, and is the spot for shopping and hanging around. Baruch location is optimal. If you are hungry, you can walk a few blocks and be in the center of Indian cuisine, or walk to the other side, and find yourself eating Vietnamese. I find myself exploring the area and always finding different cuisines to eat. Not to mention, there are many halal stands that you can visit, if you are in a rush and need something quick to eat. In terms of education, Baruch provides opportunities in business (Zicklin School of Business), arts & sciences (Weissman), and public affairs (School of Public Affairs). While it branches into liberal arts and public affairs, Baruch is mainly synonymous with the Zicklin School of Business. Many students, international and domestic, enter as undergraduates to major in a specific field of business, with Accounting and Finance being the top contenders. When it comes to registration, it is difficult to get into a class that you really want, because you are competing with other students for seats. Many of the professors are amazing, but there are a few that I have encountered that haven't been the greatest. However, that is life. You have to learn to adapt yourself to certain situations and make the best of it. On a positive notes, professors are always available during office hours to provide extra help and guidance. So don't hesitate to drop by their offices and ask for their help. There are others sources you can turn to in order to improve your academic performance. If you are struggling in a subject, there is the SACC (Student Academic Consulting Center) tutoring service that can be used. Along with SACC, the writing center provides guidance to help you hone your writing skills. Furthermore, the Bernard L. Schwartz Communication Institute, helps in developing your communication skills. Baruch stresses communication and writing intensive course to help students improve in both areas. One of the complaints with the college is that it doesn't emulate the campus feeling. To combat the issue, various clubs and organizations exist to provide the social atmosphere. To give a number, there are more than 160 clubs registered and recognized by Student Life. To get students involved, clubs collaborate with each other to host events such as Masquerade Party, Dress For Success Fashion Show, Relay for Life, and many more. Clubs hours (Tuesdays & Thursdays from 12:30-2:30PM and Fridays from 6:00-8:00pm) are specifically set aside, so students can get out of the confines of their classrooms and socialize/network with their peers. When I started my freshman year at Baruch, I felt lost and alone. Transitioning from high school to college wasn't a piece of cake. The setting and the people were all new. However, I soon settled in and went with the flow. I would wake up in the morning, get ready, and take the MTA to arrive at the college. Then take out my ID, swipe through the turnstile (just like swiping the metro card), and go to my classes. Speaking of ID, it is a hassle to go from one building to the next. If you want to enter the library, you have to swipe your ID. If you want to enter the computer lab, you have to once again swipe your ID. Oh! and if you want to enter the gym, guess what, you have to swipe your ID. It is understandable the safety measures Baruch implements, but at the same time, as a student it becomes a tad bit annoying. It is especially frustrating when you're running late for a class, but you're more late when you have to search through your bag to take out your ID to swipe and enter. But, rules are rule and so one has to follow them. After some time, it becomes a part of your routine when coming to Baruch. So remember, always have your ID handy, or else be ready to put in your ID# through the computer system in order to receive verification from the security that you may enter the educational facility. Furthermore, you will certainly get your daily dose of exercise, for the escalators that are located on the floors don't function. Repairs have been started, but they are still not functioning at the moment. So you have couple of options to choose from: 1. Use the main elevators (stop at main floors 5, 8, 11) and then walk up the stairs; 2. Use local elevators (very slow at coming); 3. Use the stairway, but you don't want to walk all the way up to 12th Floor; or 4. Walk up the non-functioning escalators. In addition, the purchasing price of textbooks is astounding. It not just at Baruch, but at other institutions as well. So make Amazon your best friend. Don't hesitate to buy used books and be on the look out for fliers posted by students who are selling textbooks. Practice your bargaining skills and ask for a better price. Lastly, if your going to the library, good luck finding a comfy cough to sit on and study. You will find students using couches as makeshifts beds by combining two couches together. So if your tired, and want to take a nap, be very quick, and dash to the library to make your bed. You will sure to get a good sleep, because it is very quite at the library, with an exception of few individuals. But, if you're not there to sleep, but rather to study, then don't worry. There are study rooms that you can rent for couple of hours. But be sure to renew the key if you need the room for extra hours because if you fail to return the key on time, then be ready to take out your wallet and pay a fee (kind of like an overdraft fee on a card). Bear in mind that with each college there are pros and cons. While Baruch is certainly not ahead with functioning escalators, it does have a great educational programs.

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The best thing about college is the fact that it opens you up to new experiences. In high school, I never thought I would take a TV production class or a Latin Studies class. Baruch is a very large commuter school in midtown Manhattan. Our campus was “the city”, which sounds way more appealing than it is. There was barely any room to sit or study inside. If you wanted to eat lunch on one of the concrete benches outside, you breathed in car exhaust. On the plus side, I would have never gotten the chance to intern at giant media firms if I attended a school with a suburban campus. One thing I would change about my school is the lack of social space for students. We had one small lunch room for 15,000 kids, and another tiny seating space. Come on, the administration should have taken one conference room on the upper floors and made it into a hangout area. Also, I really wanted to join a sorority, but all of them were either all-Latina or all-Asian. Now I have plenty of friends in all cultural groups, but I would have liked to see more diverse sororities. The school is way too overcrowded. When I entered as a freshman, you could still fit in the first elevator. Now, during peak hours (11 – 5), you have to wait for the 2nd or 3rd elevator or walk (yes I said walk) up the escalators that always stop working. The main building is brand-new, but everything breaks all the time. The walls in the classrooms are sterile while, and the science building on 23rd street looks like a run-down high school. Most of my time on campus was spent in the library studying or hanging out in the lunch room. Since this is a commuter school, there isn’t much space to hang out with friends. The college administration at Baruch is extremely unhelpful. Whenever I had a question about student loans or financial aid, I had to stand on a line that stretched around the corner. I was then greeted by a sullen-faced employee who gave me a vague response. The guidance counselors are a joke. One actually told me I had to take an Excel exit exam in order to graduate. Now, I hate Excel and spent hours practicing on the computer. I even bought a CD. Then I decided to double-check with the dean, who told me I didn’t need to take the exam at all. Regarding school spirit, Baruch students are either very interested in clubs and activities, or are like me – go to class, get the work done, and concentrate on life outside of school. Most people worked part-time, so classes were a way to advance in the workplace. Of course, the same students you saw hanging out smoking after every class were the ones who spent hours playing cards in the cafeteria (there was actually a Russian card playing club). There were some legitimate clubs that organized every week. The fashion club, the yearbook, Hillel, and a few sororities come to mind. Interestingly, I always saw a lot more fliers for sorority events than fraternity events. There was NEVER any space in the computer lab, especially in my senior year. If you wanted to print, good luck. You had to literally stand around like a hawk and hunt for an open computer. The school was fine when I was a freshman, but the administration packed in students like sardines toward my graduation.

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The best thing at Baruch is definitely the location and the amenities that students here enjoy. First off, Baruch is located on 24th Street and Lexington Avenue, which is basically on the southeastern fringes of Midtown. In short, the school is close to the two main areas of business activity in the city, the other one being, of course the Financial District. In fact, there’s a saying at Baruch that reads like this: “It’s not that far from 24th Street to Wall Street.” This saying confirms the geographical proximity but also attests more importantly the unique fiber that runs through our school. One thing I would change is to involve more people in learning about the selective recruiting process that financial firms have for applicants seeking to secure a summer internship or even an internship during the semester. What most people in Baruch think is that if they manage to graduate on time, everything will take care of itself. First of all, we do have a great resource, which is our STARR career development center. There, students can seek advice on how to a resume and cover letter, as well as participate in mock interviews to take some of the jitters away when going on a real interview. Every student should take advantage of this resource early on and not wait until they are about to graduate in order to get an internship. Another crucial thing that people fail to be aware of is that most of these summer internships may lead to full-time job opportunities with the firm, of course, depending on the performance during the internship. Second of all, I would try to have more classes or extracurricular events that are geared toward educating students on some of the things they should know before going on the interview. As Baruch students, we need to impress employers with the skills and knowledge we have about the finance industry. Walking into that interview unprepared does not bode for that student’s prospects for getting that internship and at the same time reflects poorly on the school itself. The school size is fine the way it is now. However, the only two things that I have comments about are the housing and the old school building. Currently Baruch does not have dorm to house their students. While I am aware of the fact that not all students would like to dorm, those that do don’t have much in the way of options. There is one residential development undertaken by City College – another good college under the CUNY umbrella, which allows students from Baruch looking for affordable housing to live with City students in a building close to their campus. New York cannot really be called a college town per say since the city is quite huge and hosts a great variety of different population, not only college students. That’s the good part about living in this beautiful city. The opportunities abound at every corner.

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- The best thing about Baruch is definitely the number of activities that it is involved in. Located right at the heart of New York City, Baruch has access to some of the finest institution, right in it's backyard. Its students always have somewhere to go, something to see. - One thing I'd change is install additional elevators and working escalators. With the student population of approximately 15,000, it is crucial that students would be able to go where they need, at the time they need to. - The school is just right. With over 14 floors of access on the vertical campus building, as well the Newman Library and the 23rd Street building, it is enough to house everyone adequately. - When I tell people I go to Baruch, they ask "what's that"? I tell them about the history of Baruch, what it is most notable for, and then they begin to understand and accept my studies. - I spend most my time in the Newman Library and VC's computer labs studying and finishing assignments. - The Baruch administration is excellent. Everything is efficiently maintained, and is easily accessible, with minimal downtime. The staff is very friendly, always giving a helping hand, without a question. - The biggest recent controversy on campus I believe was the stolen CUNY laptop filled with sensitive Financial Aid information of thousands of students. - There is an extreme amount of school pride. Judging high turnouts to the sports games, various events and pep rallies, the participation and joy is always immense. - There is nothing unusual about Baruch, except for the unique architecture of the VC building. - One experience I'll always remember was right outside the vertical campus building. Not paying attention, I almost stepped on a pigeon that has been hit by a car. I believe I evaded a traumatic breakdown that day. - The most frequent complaints are the packed elevators during peak times and the non-functional escalators between the second and fifth floors. Another is struggling to properly swipe IDs on turnstiles.

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The best thing about Baruch is the opportunities it provides. We have an excellent career center that helps students find jobs and internships. This secures your future to know you have people helping you gain experience with something relating to your major. In addition, we also have a tutoring service, a writing center, mock interviews, resume reviews, etc. that are useful for students. Baruch is a satisfying size in my opinion because I would not be happy with a small school where everyone knows each other. I like the feeling that you can meet someone new almost everyday. When I tell people I go to Baruch, they immediately link it with business and my friend from Cornell even told me she heard that the prestige for Baruch is becoming better. There are not that many buildings for Baruch because there are the 23rd building which is also the same building the high school is in, the Vertical Campus (VC) building of fourteen floors that consists of a majority of classes and activities, and the library building across from the VC. Baruch is not exactly a town because it is located in Manhattan, the mid-town areas of 25th street and Lexington Avenue. People come and go and remain in a rush just like the rest of New York City residents because people seem to be living in a fast-paced world which is also witnessed at Baruch of people running to their next class or appointments. A big complaint at Baruch would be in the VC when you have to rush to class. Make sure you have at least 15 minutes to spare if your class is on the 11th floor or higher unless you plan to run up/down the stairs (which you might have to because the main elevators only stop on the 2nd, 5th, 8th, and 11th floor) because it is really crowded as we have to wait for elevators and people are jam-packed, squeezing their way just to fit in an elevator. Moreover, our escalators are frequently broken causing a traffic jam of people.

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Because Baruch is part of the CUNY system, people who are unfamiliar with the school are unimpressed. However, people who know that Baruch is the best of the CUNYs react nicely. I spend most of my time at Baruch outside of the main building at the tables they have set up, or in the BPAC (Baruch Performing Arts Center). The best thing about Baruch is the staff. The professors are wonderful and knowledgeable and super helpful. The unfortunate part of Baruch is that it has no sort of "campus" atmosphere. Everything is very solitary, making it difficult for students to get to know each other. There is barely any school pride, the sporting events aren't really taken seriously (aside from the players). The most frequent student complaints are the elevators/escalators. The main elevators only stop on floors 2, 5, 8, and 11. at 2:30 on a monday afternoon it is nearly impossible to get to your class on the 13th floor unless you arrive 20 minutes early and don't mind waiting for an elevator for 15 of those minutes. The escalators only go up to the 5th floor, and they are ALWAYS broken. There is almost a 0% chance of getting all working escalators up to the 5th floor. because they're broken, there's always congestion of people trying to walk up and down the same escalator. We have express elevators hidden on the 1st floor, but even though not everyone knows about them or uses them, there's always a long line to wait. And the elevators are really small, so they don't even hold many people. Baruch has a beautiful library, but it's very hard to find any material within it.

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What's good about Baruch is they have money. Lots of it. They have a fully equipped mock trading center and everywhere you turn there are workshops and seminars helping students to get on the road to being professionals. Recruiters from top private banks like Goldman Sachs come here to give presentations on the best way to get in. A minor inconvenience of their much touted "vertical campus" is that even with five large elevators, it is difficult to find one to squeeze into during peak hours. As far as people's reaction to me telling them I go to Baruch, those who are familiar with it take it as an indication that I must be going for the money. Which I am. Another annoying thing is that the rather small first 2nd floor area is always filled with students promoting whatever charity it is they are involved in. It gets a little tiring going up the steps to take the elevator and having some gung-ho "motivated" type yelling about some crap at the top of their lungs or, worse yet, accosting you while you're on the way to class. When certain events take place, the entire area can look like a circus. The administration so far has been surprisingly pleasant and professional. I'm pleased with that. I spend most of my time either in classes on in the library and computer lab. If you didn't already know, Baruch is a commuter college. But if the social factor is important to you, you won't have a lack of choices in finding a club to join. Club life is very active here.

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The best thing about Baruch is that there are no boundaries to waht you cannot do. When attending Baruch, you are literally on your own. There are great people to meet there and Baruch offers so many programs and so many internships and networking luncheons and so many clubs and much more. If there were one thing I would change about Baruch, it would be the living environment. They should start creating dorms but I reaize this isn't quite possible as of right now since there is limited space. Baruchs administration isnot bad. They are very helpful and explain everything to you inorder for your process to go along in a smooth manner. There is definitely a lot of school pride in Baruch when it comes to USG elections; choosing President and VP. Nothing is really unusual to my eyes. One experience I will always remember in Baruch are their networking luncheons, and their internship program offers provided by different companies. It is such a wonderful experience. Most frequent student complaints are smoking. People are smoking way too much and it tends to bother those who do not smoke. Also the womens bathroom, the ladies tend to leave the water running all the time. Watch! One day there will be no water, then what will we do!

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The best thing about Baruch is probably the cheap tuition for a fairly good education. One thing I'd change is the no dorming ability. I spend most of my time on campus in class. There is no college town in New York City; this is the best city in the world, with plenty of opportunities; there is no need to sit under a tree and "study" like they show you in many college brochures. If you want to sit under a tree and study, go to Central Park. The biggest recent controversy on campus?...hmm...the escalators will never fully be working - - that pisses me off...but we don't have campus shootings (knock on wood). There is not a lot of school pride because everybody commutes, and who cares about athletics in a commuter school. Baruch is unusual in the amount of minorities going to school full time; literally every country is represented in Baruch which is pretty cool. Some complaints I hear from students are the work load for some classes, but moreover, the horrible professors. Some departments are good, but when a department is bad, like math/accounting department, there will be no good teachers to take to prepare you for the final.

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The best thing about Baruch is it's diversity. I previously attended 2 schools (junior high school and high school) that were very culturally homogenous, and I found it difficult to feel comfortable, and at Baruch I rarely have that problem. Of course there are the sororities and fraternities that rule the hallways during off-class hours, but other than that, finding someone to hang out with is on problem. I think that the size is just right for now, but as the student body increases, the space available for classrooms will need to increase as well. I spend most of my time on campus either in class or in the computer lab on the 11th floor (it's usually the emptiest one). Most people are surprised by the fact that I go to Baruch, because I was accepted to every school that I applied to, including NYU and Fordham, but I chose Baruch b/c it's the only school that offered me full financial aid, and has a great accouting program, and thus far I have no complaints. On the contrary, I know several people that feel that the registrar's office is a bit unorganized at times, but luckily I have not had any negative experiences with them.

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