By David Aronov

The true value of Wagner isn’t just in the classroom or doing homework, but also in the events organized by the student groups or administration to build community. So if you work full-time, you might not be able to make it to events outside of class, and therefore don’t see as much added value from student groups. If you work part-time, you might make it to some events and see some added value, but something is still missing from your student experience.

However, there is a common denominator that plays a role in every student’s experience — student government. At Wagner, it’s the Wagner Student Association (WSA). WSA oversees the nearly 25 student groups on campus, serves as the students’ advocate with the administration, and hosts events to foster community and promote professional/academic development. 

Wagner is arguably one of the most important schools of NYU, yet because of its small size, it’s also often the most overlooked. As a school of public service, we are the future leaders who will be creating and influencing policy that will impact virtually every other field. Yet, WSA’s annual budget has remained static despite the number of student groups growing each year. 

As WSA President, my top priorities include advocating for more student space and resources in the Puck building, and enhancing the student experience by building a greater sense of community for all students, opening the door to more opportunities for engagement and professional development. Often, walking around Puck on the 3rd floor seems like a ghost town. A majority of the cubicles and offices are empty, and it just seems like a missed opportunity to create more student space, whether it’s a room to take a call for a phone interview, a student lounge, or a coffee/tea space where students can take a quick break. There are small adjustments that can be made to build a greater sense of community and boost school morale. I always say that half of grad school is doing the homework, and the other half is professional development through networking and attending events. 

More space also gives student groups more flexibility and ultimately a louder voice for students, and the power of a student’s voice should not be undermined. But I can’t do it alone — and that’s where you come in. Getting the most value out of your tuition and experience at Wagner is through events and community, and that’s only possible if you join me in fighting for policy change, including school policy. Your chance to get involved in student life can mean a variety of things. You can talk to your student representatives and give feedback, you can attend an event, you can start a petition, or you can run for WSA. 

We’re stronger together, so let’s prove it. If we don’t like something, we should speak out. Ready to be a change-maker? Come out to WSA’s first Town Hall on Thursday, September 19, 2019 from 5:30pm to 6:30pm in the Rudin room at Puck.

David Aronov is a second-year MPA-PNP student specializing in Management and Leadership. He is the 2019-2020 president of the Wagner Student Association.