right to mix with people

The point that the way our lives are shaped by our circumstances, but also that our circumstances can be changed, and we rightfully should take control of that, is one that I recognized from discussions with my friends post-high school. We often argued the case that high school provided a structured location and time, yet enough free room for spontaneous interactions for friends to bond, because it was fairly easy to participate in creating how you wanted your school day to be. I see the right to the city as essentially having the same argument as the right to establishing accessible and inviting lounges/plazas/etc at a college. With the right to the city in mind, what kind of specific changes would you like to see in your life in Baruch/NYC?

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2 Responses to right to mix with people

  1. Kelly Wu says:

    I think it is extremely interesting to view Baruch College as a city, and determining whether or not Baruch students actually have the “right to Baruch College.” Like Anderson says, I believe that a major component of the “right to the city” is “creating different opportunities for different types of people to interact in a variety of places.” Baruch College has one of the most diverse student bodies in the world, and its student population largely contributes to the “spontaneous interactions” that Anderson endorses. I believe that the lounges and plazas at Baruch College help provide an initial platform for this type of interaction to occur. The clubroom area helps members of the same clubs create friendships with one another and the lounge areas support relationships between people who have similar academic interests. Political platforms at Baruch College also serve to represent student interests and allow students’ voices to be heard. I believe this is a great start to allow Baruch students to have the “right to Baruch College.” However, with all of this, Baruch still seems to be lacking the vibe of colleges with an actual campus. With all its diversity, students still tend to cluster around those of similar interests or racial and ethnic background, separating the “us” from “them,” as Frug suggests as a distinct division between cities, but happens in a much more subtle way at Baruch College. Therefore, in addition to just having a plaza, I would like to see much more activities being hosted in the area. Activities such as multi-cultural events would encourage more diverse interactions. I would also like to see the implementation of nature, maybe even a garden, into the plaza and Baruch College itself, thereby creating a more open and inviting atmosphere. I think Baruch does a good job in providing a platform for Baruch students to have the right to Baruch College, but there is definitely more room for improvements.

  2. Sean Proctor says:

    I think the notion of contrasting Anderson’s ‘right to the city’ against our ‘right to Baruch College’ is very interesting. Ideally if ones right to the city could be like our right to the college, that would be a great scenario. I believe as students, we have more rights than we could inevitably hope to have as citizens in NYC. While our power as individuals seems small at times, together (this year alone) there has been significant change brought about to our benefit, highlighted by the closing of 25th street.

    The thing that differentiates these aforementioned rights the most is that in Baruch, there are no students with significantly more power than the collective student body. Elected representatives must run each year, and club chairs have to act for those they represent (which is often a very small population). In the larger scope of the city, there are people with much more of a ‘right to the city’ than others, which is not very ethically defensible. Unfortunately, there is no way to combat this issue, especially because of the extent money has become in politics, and because of this peoples voice’s will never have the same power.

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