State University of New York (SUNY) at New Paltz’s chapter of the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) recently chose Ryan Long as its newest project coordinator, taking the role after Ariana Basco’s departure from the spot.
Long said he had been interested in the position since the end of his senior year, and is happy to have become the latest person to lead NYPIRG.
“I am definitely grateful because in this economic downtime, there are so many people—especially recent college graduates— struggling to find a way to make ends meet,” Long said. “I feel great and very optimistic about the upcoming year, and that I was blessed with the opportunity to do something that I enjoy.”
Long, a former New Paltz student senator, said he believes his previous role on campus will help him with his new position.
“NYPIRG and the student government work hand in hand, so being a New Paltz alum who is aware and familiar with the structure of the student government, along with many of the people on the student government, is surely an asset,” Long said.
Long said he believes many of the skills he learned as a senator will be especially useful as the NYPIRG project coordinator.
“My reasons for becoming a part of the New Paltz Student Association and now working for NYPIRG are very similar in that I wanted to be able to have an effect socially and politically in my community. Some of the skills that have transferred over from being active on campus to the working world are leadership skills, event planning and working on issues concerning the public,” Long said.
Ariana Basco, the former NYPIRG Project Coordinator and current member of the Town Police Commission, agreed with Long, and said she met him when he was a senator and felt he would be “excellent” for the position she left.
“He is a great combination of professional and fun, which is exactly how the New Paltz NYPIRG Chapter has operated,” Basco said.
While she believes Long has what it takes to succeed at the position, she admitted the job can be difficult.
“I remember the job being daunting at first, but it’s like activist boot camp. You learn really fast as you go, and it really helps to already be familiar with the campus,” she said.
Long said he hopes to continue the work NYPIRG and Basco have done on campus, but will continue to think of ideas that he believes can make NYPIRG better.
“The New Paltz chapter of NYPIRG has had a strong legacy over the years,” Long said. “I’m looking to continue that successful legacy, [and] build on it, while bringing whatever fresh ideas I may have.”
As for this year and in the future, Long said he would like to see a rise in the amount of members NYPIRG has, while expanding on past successes.
“I would love NYPIRG to continue to reach a diversified audience and work with a broad range of organizations such as other advocacy organizations, cultured organizations and Greek life,” he said. “All of NYPIRG’s campaigns are extremely relevant in some way, shape or form to each student here at SUNY New Paltz, and I’m hoping that by reaching out to as many organizations and students as possible, that more people will be able to recognize that and become actively involved with NYPIRG.”
By being NYPRIG’s project coordinator at New Paltz, Long has finished a goal he’s been striving for over the last year, and hopes to use his position to create an impact.
“The real task is leaving my impact within this community and I’m glad that NYPIRG has given me the possibility to do so,” he said.