Lang Student Union off to Slow Start
This year’s New School block party teemed with hundreds of New School students, faculty and staff. During the annual celebration, student leaders helmed dozens of tables lined up along the street, recruiting prospective members to their respective organizations. One key student group, however, was conspicuously absent, their table unmanned and devoid of any promotional literature— the Lang Student Union.
At present, Lang College’s student governmental body has no members. The LSU is reeling from a mass graduation of its leaders, as well as the departure of their administrative advisor from The New School.
Elections for new LSU facilitators, however, are scheduled for September 21, according to an email sent to all Lang students on September 15.
“All of the facilitators graduated or committed to other things in the fall,” said Jon White, assistant dean of student affairs at Lang. Students elected to the LSU are called facilitators because “rather than maintaining hierarchy through an executive board, LSU relies on a principle of shared leadership,” said the email.
According to their constitution, the LSU’s mission is to “better Eugene Lang College by fostering community, empowering students and disseminating information.” Their efforts are aided in part by a $40,000 annual budget, paid for by the activities fee that all students are charged. Yet despite this clear mandate and abundant funding, the LSU’s impact seems absent from the Lang community.
The LSU’s defunct blog was last updated April 2, 2010. Additionally, the LSU’s office, which is listed as room 072 at 65 West 11th Street, is now occupied by Robin Mookerjee, co-chair of the literary studies department. As of press time, there was no word from Lang administration regarding where the LSU’s office will be in the future.
The LSU’s absence in the Lang community is compounded by what some students feel is overall apathy towards Lang student involvement with The New School.
“A lot of students don’t participate in [on-campus activities], so I don’t find the need to go to [LSU] events,” said Lang literary studies major Irene Lee.
Despite the indifference of many students, some believe the LSU should play a larger role on campus, such as Lang sophomore and environmental studies major Ian Johnson.
“[They] should keep the students informed about what’s going on around campus,” Johnson said.