Students returning to campus last week immediately noticed changes in services provided by the school. Sofia Shockman created a poll on the NYUSH — All Classes and Study Away Facebook group on September 5, because she was upset about apples and peanut butter missing from the second floor cafe selections.
James Bromley, Student Body President, responded two hours later, explaining that “it’s been a hectic switch-over from the previous vendor” and that a “wider range of vegetarian/vegan options” will be available soon in the cafeteria. He also reminded Shockman that there is a QR code that allows students to send thoughts to the vendor, rather than having to post on the Facebook group.
This QR code was one of the first policies instituted by Bromley and Student Body Vice President Branden Taylor. Taylor and Bromley began their work over the summer, shortly after they were elected. They met with the new cafeteria vendor, Compass Group, on August 25 before school started. Before their meeting, they posted on the same Facebook group asking for student feedback on the weekend and dinner service.
But, the cafeteria is not the only issue that Taylor and Bromley have already tackled. As they watched the Class of 2017 graduate last year and got feedback from their experiences, they began working with NYU Shanghai’s Career Development Center “to improve opportunities for international students,” Bromley said. “Last year, it was heavily geared to Chinese students, but now that the regulations have changed, we can do more,” he added. Taylor said that they plan to “work closely with them throughout the year.” For after graduation? “We also need an independent platform for networking graduates from our school specifically beyond Facebook,” Bromley said.
Furthermore, they believe we need to “recognize the importance of the school’s integration into Shanghai and China,” Bromley said. Their candidacy was announced on April 20 of this year, along with their “explosive policy proposals,” as Bromley wrote in the Facebook group. Their proposal mainly highlighted their advanced Chinese knowledge and involvement in NYU Shanghai’s student life. Both Bromley and Taylor attended Princeton in Beijing’s summer program and are now working with the school to establish a Study Away program in China. “Immersion in a Chinese campus is a shell you can’t break out of,” Taylor said, compared to the level of Mandarin students can learn at NYU Shanghai.
They are also working with the Chinese department at NYU Shanghai to establish a Chinese peer tutoring program, “not just academically, but applying how you study it and get to the point you’re at,” Taylor said.
In terms of more minor issues that arise, Bromley and Taylor plan to rely heavily on class representatives that were elected last week: Mengzhu Chen of the class of 2018, Millicent Wong of the class of 2019, Amy Ernst of the class of 2020 and Tyson Upshaw of the class of 2021. “The class representative roles are especially important and we need to utilize them more,” said Bromley. Taylor hinted that, “in the future we may try to establish a mentoring program in a casual way to be more informal for making a transition.”
The newly elected class representatives and soon-to-be announced other members of student government will be working with Bromley and Taylor to help improve the school and student life. They are also confident in their abilities to work with members of the administration, due to “mutual trust and respect on both sides,” Taylor said. “We’re doing what’s best for the school,” Bromley said, “not the other way around. It’s not about having leadership on your resume, it’s about getting done what needs to get done.”
This article was written by Allison Chesky. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch.
Photo Credit: NYU Shanghai