SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC NEWS) – It’s election season at Syracuse University (S.U.) as the running begins for Student Association (S.A.) positions for the Fall 2023 semester. SA member Richard Kaufman IV described the campus role of the organization as threefold: advocating for what students would like to change on campus (S.A. is to thank for free dorm laundry), event planning, and coordinating with registered student organizations. While all of this aids the students at S.U. the impact of S.A. can be felt off campus and in the community as well.
The Student Association provides a variety of recurring events to help the surrounding community in Syracuse. According to Kaufman, they hold community service weeks each semester, with services ranging from street cleanups to clothing drives in support of the local community.
The Student Association has also taken to addressing the broad problem of racism and bias on college campuses, as S.A. President David Bruen issued a campus wide update condemning racism and any kind of bias related incidents. The release of the update came in response to recent events at S.U. as Bruen detailed, “There were three bias related incidents,” said Bruen, “the best we can do is talk about policies and talk about individual cases to the extent that we can affect some kind of outcome.”
While S.A. doesn’t have the power to take major action against these incidents, they are the driving force that speaks out against prejudice in all its forms here at S.U. and that gives them an impact in the community, and on other campuses around the country. While it is certainly not a competition of any sort, Bruen said that S.U. is about average in terms of handling bias related incidents, relative to schools around the country.
Fellow S.A. member Otto Sutton referenced Syracuse’s history of bias related incidents as motivation for the actions taken by the Student Association, saying, “Everyone is aware of what’s gone on in the past 4 years, the goal of this [organization] is to stand against some of that and work with admin to try and reform.”
While they are an on campus organization run by and in service of students at S.U. the Student Association shows the importance of involvement in the community and sets an example for schools everywhere, showing intolerance for bias related incidents. That makes their impact bigger than just S.U.