It is important to vote for NYPIRG funding to continue the work of the League in the community
In this week’s election, students at Syracuse University and the SUNY College of Environmental and Science and Forestry are expected to vote yes for the Chapter of the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) on campus. At the end of the ballot, students can vote in the referendum to vote yes or no to continue supporting the chapter as part of the student activity fee. This important vote will create prosperity for the student body to pursue the mission of empowering youth over the next few years.
NYPIRG is an extremely important service to both the SU/ESF student body and the community at large. Every year – even during lockdown – the NYPIRG Chapter hosts at least one community food and menstrual product drive to help those in need in central New York, bringing hundreds of food and hygiene products to donate. These efforts have made positive contributions to the greater Syracuse community by increasing accessibility to daily necessities.
NYPIRG also regularly conducts large-scale surveys nonpartisan voter registration services on SU and ESF campuses to ensure students know how to register to vote and are aware of upcoming deadlines. Since the chapter began in 1973, NYPIRG has registered thousands of students to vote at SU and ESF. NYPIRG was also the pioneer for helping to pass important legislative bills like the first statewide mandatory seat belt law passed in New York State which was possible thanks to voting efforts towards elected officials.
NYPIRG students have also strong advocate for college affordability. By meeting regularly with lawmakers, organizing petition campaigns, organizing letter-writing campaigns, and calling the offices of elected leaders, NYPIRG amplifies the voice of students to fight for a more affordable and accessible higher education system in New York State. NYPIRG knows that with expanded opportunity programs like HEOP and EOP, better financial aid like TAP and Bundy Aid, and enhanced mental health resources on campus, students can thrive and have a better college experience.
Last March, NYPIRG organized a statewide student empowerment conference open free to all SU and ESF students to hear from advocates and higher education officials on the issue of mental health on campus. Participating in these events gave me insight into how organizations like NYPIRG create opportunities for students to go to college, especially when many of us want a home away from home and depend on the ‘financial aid. I personally understand these struggles and advocate for reduced wait lists and increased diversity among mental health professionals on college campuses.
SU and ESF students complete an internship with NYPIRG for one credit each semester. Working alongside the full-time Project Coordinator, a team of volunteers, and student leaders, the NYPIRG Chapter consistently proves that building nonpartisan student power can drive real change for a better and better New York State. fairer. As a former intern myself, I enjoyed the challenge of working with other brilliant students to improve the livelihoods of the communities around us. No day was alike when it came to taking these initiatives to implement change. I felt a vision to defend these values of responsibility, proactivity and service to improve the public interests of our society. Knowing that I have educated someone else on clean energy or registered someone to vote are small steps towards celebrating the goal of democracy and diversity.
The campus community would suffer without NYPIRG’s nonpartisan voter registration, higher education advocacy, environmental actions and events, consumer justice services and community food and product drives. This is exactly why students should vote yes for NYPIRG SU and ESF this week to continue building student power on campus, in central New York and across the state. My experience with NYPIRG over the past three years has been nothing short of amazing and I hope other students can play a major role in this vibrant organization.
Together, we can carry on the legacy of ensuring our campus community has a platform to address the issues that matter most to us. Go Orange!
Bryan Reynoso, Class of 2023
Published on April 6, 2022 at 11:21 p.m.