NYU students come from over 130 countries, and the Class of 2023 has no ethnic majority. To make sure these diverse voices have a platform, the NYU Student Government Assembly (SGA) connects NYU’s student body to the school administration and faculty as well as other organizations. Altogether, it comprises more than 75 elected student officials. They strive to make NYU a better place for every student by fostering community and awareness through on-campus events and advocacy work.
Speaking out for marginalized and underrepresented communities to create a space that is both inclusive and equitable for all is chief among the NYU SGA’s priorities. “SGA is grounded in universal student perspectives and experiences. We aim to represent all groups and demographics within NYU,” says Niharika Singh. A recent grad of the College of Arts and Science (CAS), she was also president of the Class of 2020 Activities Board. She points to the Assembly’s efforts to address food insecurity as a point of particular pride. “Through our efforts, we were able to help create the Courtesy Meals program, which has become an important resource for NYU students,” she says.
Joshua Gilmore, a Gallatin rising senior, is an alternate senator at-large for LGBTQ+ students of color. He joined the NYU Student Government Assembly after attending their Diversity Committee meetings. “I really liked the fact that we could actually change things,” he explains. “I get to advocate for my constituency, voice their concerns, and make their lives easier. Recently, I held a town hall focused on queer and trans students of color. We’re working to include pronouns on rosters and standardize preferred names across all departments. SGA does a lot of hard work to serve the student body.”
Many NYU Student Government Assembly events emphasize giving back to the community. They also focus on promoting health and wellness, preparing for postgraduate life, and socializing with classmates. “Our recent Make One Take One event was a hit,” says Tafaani Khan. She is a CAS rising senior as well as the president of the Class of 2021 Activities Board. “We encouraged students to make holiday cards to send to hospitalized children while also making a ‘self-care’ treat bag for themselves. It feels good to do good.”
If you are interested in shaping the NYU student experience, the NYU Student Government Assembly offers a plethora of opportunities. First, you can join a committee that focuses on an issue you care about. Next, attend an Assembly meeting, which are open to all students. If you want to do more, you can also run to be a school senator. Additionally, you can apply to be a senator at-large, representing a specific minority constituency. Tafaani affirms, “I found my home at NYU through SGA. If you want to step outside of your comfort zone and take on new and exciting challenges, SGA is a great place to start.”
Go Global, Stay Involved
Just because you’re out of the country doesn’t mean you have to miss out on student government. NYU’s degree-granting campuses in Abu Dhabi and Shanghai have their own student government bodies. What’s more, if you head to one of NYU’s global sites, you can represent your cohort as a senator at-large.