The City College of New York has been seen as one of the more prestigious public colleges in CUNY for a long time now. It’s seen as the “flagship college” of CUNY and as a comprehensive teaching, research and service institution dedicated to accessibility and excellence in undergraduate education.
So now that we’re past the advertising part, here’s the secret that CCNY isn’t really telling you: everything isn’t awesome here in Harlem. Or at least at City College.
President Lisa Coico’s letter to City staff and faculty to begin the semester was the equivalent of reminding everyone that “everything is awesome” and that everyone should keep doing the job they’ve been doing so far.
Sound familiar? Ever see “The Lego Movie?” For those who may understand the reference, President Coico is Emmet Brickowski, believing and preaching to the rest of the staff that everything is sunshine, rainbows, pretty snow and, of course, awesome. (Insert the “Everything is Awesome” song here.)
Sorry to break the news, but City is more broken than a Lego set fresh out of the box.
Yes, registration went smoothly and outpaced last semester thanks to the updated servers, but that’s just about where the bus stops.
CUNYFirst has still given students issues as far as financial aid and keeping their classes. Students have had classes dropped out of the blue going into the semester and early on while others had issues getting their financial aid money, or getting grades posted onto their account.
President Coico’s letter also congratulates “a few whose recognition during this very busy time might have gone unnoticed.” She mentions Seamus Scanlon winning a Brown Foundation Fellowship, Kevin Foster being featured in an articles in the New York Observer and Dr. Neville A. Parker winning the 2014 Distinguished Contribution to University Transportation Education and Research Award. While they are all worthy of the congratulations, Coico forgets to mention one person whose kept everything together for the college community throughout the year.
Nowhere in the letter is Celia Lloyd mentioned or thanked. Lloyd took the leadership reigns in improving CUNYFirst and never once thanked the student Ombudsman Carloz Pashmina for his work in helping fix student issues, thus keeping the student body healthy. Not that she would know any of the “smaller” people, right?
Nowhere in the letter do we get an update on the Stem buildings, nothing on the future of Marshak, nothing on student spaces or club spaces and nowhere does she mention any incentive or desire to improve the college community. Student spirit is at an all-time low, and by all-time low, that means nobody gives a single damn about anything at City, something that can destroy a college down the road and more students are suffering from stress-related symptoms than ever before. We know college is going to be stressful and hard, but it shouldn’t be like this.
Toss in the lack of improvements to social services, the lack of access to elite progress for minorities, lack of further investment to accessibility to seminars and the increased tension between student life and NYPIRG and things at City seem to be more on a hell bound spiral than any other school in CUNY.
City isn’t perfect, and we’re okay with that – heck, no school in the country is “perfect.” However to ignore all of the issues that are really going on in the college community and not bring up anything seems more naïve and irresponsible than anything. We need a president, or a leader who’s going to step outside her bubble, or her New York City luxury apartment and start making this the best campus in CUNY once again.
It’s bad enough that nothing is awesome. It’ll be worse if nothing is done about it.