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College

Opinion: Email to the Baruch College Bursar’s Office. October 26, 2021.

Greetings Baruch College Bursar,

First and foremost, thank you for the outstanding support you have provided me from the day I started at Baruch College.

The support staff at Baruch College could not possibly be doing anything more to aid the Baruch College students in their pursuit for success at school. That’s why I’m succeeding at school 🙂 

The team at LaGuardia Community College is amazing too. 

I have one quick question about my student loans for Spring 2022. 

I just received an email from the Baruch College financial aid office about a revised student loan for Spring 2022. The only difference is that TAP is removed. I received TAP for Fall 2021. 

As far as I know, nothing has changed on my side.

Usually when I contact the Baruch College student loan office, if they don’t have the answer to my question they direct me to the Bursar which is why I’m asking you. Also, if I remember correctly I believe that when I ask the Baruch College financial aid office about TAP they either direct me to the Bursar or TAP directly. 

I know this has nothing to do with CUNY. I’ll probably send TAP an email after I hear back from either you or the financial aid office. 

Thank you again for the stellar services you provide for the Baruch College students and have a great day. 

Ever upward, 

Mark Pine 

Categories
College

Opinion: Thoughtful email to the Baruch College financial aid office.

I wanted to share this email with the blog as an example of how I treat people.

I just received an email saying that about $2,000 has been removed from my financial aid for Spring 2022 by New York State (TAP) if I’m correct.

This is the email I just sent to the Baruch College financial aid office on October 26, 2021.

Greetings Baruch College Financial Aid Office, 

First of all, I wanted to say thank you for the amazing help with my financial aid since I started at Baruch College. You have helped me make the process of transferring from LaGuardia Community College to Baruch College as seamless as possible. 

I have a feeling that it has absolutely nothing to do with anyone at CUNY but I wanted to mention the email I just received from you before I contact TAP. 

I just received a revised financial aid offer for Spring 2022. At a quick glance, the only difference is that the TAP was removed from my Spring 2022 financial aid.

I received TAP for Fall 2021. Is there any information you might be able to provide why TAP was removed from my financial aid? Or, should I just contact TAP directly? 

I know that this has nothing to do with anyone at CUNY. I know that CUNY goes above and beyond to support the CUNY students.

If it wasn’t for CUNY I wouldn’t know about any of this. 

Please advise. 

Thank you again for the stellar financial aid support and have a great day. 

Ever upward, 

Mark Pine 

Categories
College

Opinion: Email to Baruch College defending myself. October 25, 2021.

Greetings Baruch College,

The following is the answers to the questions I received from you a few hours ago. Please let me know if you require any additional information. 

Dear Mr. Pine – it appears each week I get a complaint or concern reported to me about you.  

Can you please share one complaint you have received about me?  I keep to myself in regards to students. I treat all my professors with the utmost respect at all times. If you look at any email I’ve ever sent to any professor, they are all respectful.  

This time, it appears you did not complete a group assignment where you were to be interviewed or to interview one of your peers for a class assignment. Why did you not complete the assignment as required? 

I was assigned an in class project to interview a student. I respectfully and professionally interviewed a student. I didn’t record that interview but I just recorded a bunch of interviews outside of school for another class project. If you listen to any of them you will hear how polite I am with everyone.  

There was another assignment to go outside, take off our masks and take pictures of a student from class. I respectfully and politely said that I don’t feel comfortable going outside of school and talking pictures of another student.  

Please note that as you advance in your coursework, it will become extremely challenging for you to maintain a good standing in your classes if you continue to object/refuse to participate in group or teamwork in the class. Group work is part of the application process of learning in today’s higher education, particularly in communications classes, and especially if you pursue internship opportunities.   

I didn’t refuse. I just did a project where I interviewed a student. I was professional and respectful. I’ll interact with students.  I just don’t feel comfortable going off campus, taking off my mask, and taking photos of a student. I’ll gladly interact with students inside of Baruch College classrooms.  

Also, I discussed with you several times not to share your personal life with classmates, unless it is pertinent to the classwork. I am told you continue to do so. It is the case?

After all the emails between you and I, I’m not sure where this question is coming from.  

I was interviewed by a student for a class assignment. That is the only time I ever spoke with a student in over a year.  In the interview I spoke about being homeless because it was an interview about me. The student I interviewed spoke about her life.  

Due to the alarming amount of complaints from students against students at  New York colleges I have requested to keep to myself in regards to students. You said no.  Now your asking me not to share my personal information with students? 

The only time I interact with students is when it’s mandatory and that has been one time this year.

Anytime I interact with students and professors I treat them with the utmost respect. I follow the instructions of the assignment and nothing more.  

The one time I respectfully refused to interact with a student is becasue I didn’t want to go outside, take my mask off and take pictures of another student outside of school with no teacher supervision.   

Additionally, we discussed your deleting the following statement from your Baruch e-mail signature, yet it remains: “I always treat everyone at Baruch College with the utmost respect at all times. That includes staff, professors, security guards, and students. Treating people respectfully is more important than anything.” Again, what is the relevance of this statement? It only causes confusion. Do it, don’t write it. 

The reason that sentence is there is to let everyone I interact with at CUNY know that I respect the work everyone does at CUNY.  

I’m going to respectfully request for a new contact at school. In my humble opinion this email is borderline abusive. Especially due to my stellar track record at CUNY.  If I have to continue to receive these types of emails from you I will but I’m formally requesting another contact at Baruch College CUNY.  

Regardless of how you speak with me and or email me I will treat you with the utmost respect at all times. That doesn’t mean I enjoy these types of emails.  I’m not going to speculate why you are signling me out. I will gladly share that I don’t take it personal.  

I will continue to treat you and everyone else at CUNY with the utmost respect at all times.  I have a perfect record at Baruch College and LaGuardia Community College in regards to my behavior.  As far as I know my probation is under appeal.

The only student I have ever spoken with at Baruch College is one woman who is in my JRN 3060 class. The project was to interview each other. I spoke about being homeless. She spoke about the topics she was interested in. It was a professional interview. I acted like I was on an interview for the NYC Comptroller’s Office. 

I don’t drink. I don’t smoke.  I don’t have a criminal record. I do my schoolwork 7 days per week. I treat everyone with the utmost respect at all times. 

In regards to the request to take that one sentence off my email signature, I’m not sure why that’s an issue. It’s an issue to have this sentence at the end of my email signature? 

I always treat everyone at Baruch College with the utmost respect at all times. That includes staff, professors, security guards, and students. Treating people respectfully is more important than anything.

I have completed either 3 or 4 semesters at CUNY while living in the street homeless the whole time. I’m as clean as any homeless person can be. I just had the flu shot, I’m vaccinated, I’m about to get my booster shot. I have a place to shower. I have a place to keep clean clothes. I treat everyone respectfully and keep to myself.

You said I have to interact with students and I did for the one assignment. I don’t think it’s fair to ask me to go off campus with students unsupervised. I’ll gladly interact with students in the school. 

Right now I’m writing this email while sitting on the steps of the subway platform on 77 Street and Lexington Ave in Manhattan. There is another homeless person yelling at me to illegally let him in to the subway through the door. I’m ignoring him.

After I do more homework, I’ll take a nap on the steps of the subway. Usually the NYPD comes around at about 5 AM and wakes up most of the homeless people.

Sometimes the NYPD writes me a $75 ticket for sleeping on the steps. I just paid about $700 to the MTA TAB for those tickets.

Next I’ll change my cothes, take a shower and be at school around 7 or 8 AM. I’m doing the best I can with what I have. I might get a 2.5 this semester, I might get a 3.0. My main concern is that I pass.

Regardless what my GPA is, I’m going to pass all my classes. I’m going to continue to treat everyone respectfully. I’m going to continue to follow the rules. 

In addition to being successful at Baruch College, my goal is to get into an apartment. Baruch College is helping me get there. 

I worked on this email for 3 hours. I can spend another 10 hours on this email but I have schoolwork and I want to take a nap before school. 

Thank you for your consideration.  

Please advise,

Thank you and have a great day. 

Ever upward, 

Mark Pine 

I always treat everyone at Baruch College with the utmost respect at all times. That includes staff, professors, security guards, and students. Treating people respectfully is more important than anything. 

Categories
College

Email to Baruch College about privacy. 10/20/2021

Greetings Baruch College,

One of my professors gave an assignment to go outside of the school with another student for 20 minutes and take pictures of each other without our masks. 

I respectfully and politely said I don’t feel comfortable with the assignment. 

The professor said I’m going to be reported so I’m letting you know my side of the story. 

I respectfully said I don’t feel comfortable with the assignment and that was it. 

I didn’t get into any of the reasons why, I just politely said I don’t feel comfortable with the project. I’m sitting quietly at my desk. 

Thank you and have a great day. 

Ever upward, 

Mark Pine 

Categories
College

Opinion: Email to RF CUNY about working at Baruch College. 10/20/2021

Greetings RF CUNY, 

Thank you for the amazing opportunity when I was at LaGuardia Community College. It was a lot of fun working for the Research Foundation of CUNY. 

Currently, I’m a student at Baruch College. I was curious if RF CUNY is going to be back next semester.

I was told by the CUNY Edge office that RF CUNY is canceled for all full-time CUNY students this semester. 

I used to work for RF CUNY in the library of LaGuardia Community College. The extra money was amazing that’s why I’m hoping the program is back next semester. 

I emailed this email once before. Someone responded and said the email went to the wrong department. 

I know we have about three months before next semester so it might be too soon to know if the RF CUNY program will be reinstated. I hope it is. 

If possible, please let me know if you have any information. If not I’ll sit tight and keep my fingers crossed for next semester. 

Thank you again and have a great day. 

Ever upward, 

Mark Pine 

Categories
Life New York City Opinion

Opinion: Message to the Commissioner of HRA in New York City. October 7, 2021.

Greetings Steven Banks, Commissioner, Department of Social Services, 

First and foremost thank you for the help. HRA saved my life after people I grew up with paid NYC law enforcement to sabotage my web marketing clients. I have no criminal record. I don’t do anything illegal. I don’t drink. I don’t smoke. I’m a full-time student at Baruch College (12 credits this semester). I wish the public heard about homeless people like me more often.

I always treat everyone at HRA with the utmost respect at all times. Your staff is as good as it gets. I hold you all in the highest regard. 

As I stated, I’m a full-time student at Baruch College. The CUNY Edge office and I sent all the paperwork to prove that I’m a full-time student. For some reason, my Access HRA account is showing that they want information about job searches. 

“You need to give us these documents. If you don’t give us these documents, you may not receive benefits. You can view SNAP examples or view Cash Assistance examples. Proof of Job search activities (FIA-1021b Declaration of Job Search Activities) Proof of Eligibility for SNAP again because ABAWD rules are met (or no longer need to be met).”

My access HRA account also says Next Recertification Due: June 2022

Previously, I worked for RF CUNY. I was notified that RF CUNY is canceled this semester for full-time students.

Please let me know what I need to do to meet my requirements. The best way to reach me is via email or if you email me a phone number I’ll call. 

Thank you again for the amazing support you provide for everyone who receives benefits from HRA including myself. 

Please advise. 

Thank you and have a great day. 

Ever upward,

Mark Pine

Categories
College

Opinion: Email to my Baruch College professors about being street homeless in regards to student groups.

Greetings Professor,

First of all, I wanted to thank you for your consideration both last semester and this semester. I understand you have a lot of students, and you have always gone above and beyond to help me succeed in your classes. I understand the importance of student groups towards learning how to interact with others and that it’s mandatory. 

In regards to tomorrow’s student pairs, I have one quick question.

I was thinking about when I was in school two or three decades ago. Back then, I knew a lot of students and their parents. In my humble opinion, there are a lot of students and their parents that would not want their child being in pairs with street homeless people. My parents would not have approved of my brother and I being in groups with street homeless people. 

I’m not sure if there is anyone who would approve of their child being placed in pairs at school with street homeless people. Albeit, I would like the decision to be up to the students if possible. 

I just wanted to go on the record and say I am not embarrassed at all about being street homeless. I’ve been homeless for five years or longer. My main goal is to get a roof back over my head. I’m past the point of embarrassment. 

The reason I bring this up is that it would make me feel more comfortable if you ask the class if anyone doesn’t mind being in a pair with a street homeless person. Of course, it’s your class and I’ll gladly follow any instructions you provide. I just thought I’d mention it to you here. 

I’m respectfully going to let the person in my pair tomorrow know that I live in the street during the interview. This way if someone sees me around town sleeping on a subway platform or something like that, they aren’t surprised. 

I’m used to being street homeless, although it gets a little wild living in the streets of Midtown Manhattan, especially these days. I plan to use the writing skills I’ve learned in your classes to share my experiences one day. 

Even though I’ve made it very clear that I would have preferred to maintain my privacy from students, I assure you that I will act like I’m on an interview to get a job at The New York Times tomorrow. During the student pairs, I will be concise, serious, professional, and courteous. 

Thank you and have a great day.  

Ever upward, 

Mark Pine 

Categories
College

Opinion: Email to the New York City Council Committee on Education about student interaction.

10/3/2021

Mark Pine

Baruch College CUNY student

RE: Student interaction / Student groups. 

Greetings New York City Council Committee on Education,

I love Baruch College and The City University of New York. 

I always treat everyone at Baruch College CUNY with the utmost respect at all times. That includes staff, professors, security guards, and students. Treating people respectfully is more important than anything. 

I never participate in controversial conversations at Baruch College out of respect for people’s feelings. 

I love Baruch College and The City University of New York. It’s the best opportunity ever.

I’ve been living in the street homeless for the past five years. I believe that Baruch College CUNY is going to be my bridge to having an apartment. 

I never intentionally partake in risky behavior. I don’t drink. I don’t smoke. I don’t party. I don’t have a criminal record. 

I would like feedback from the New York City Council – Committee on Education regarding an issue I’m having at Baruch College CUNY. 

I read that there are thousands of complaints from students against students every year in New York Colleges including New York City. 

I read that CUNY is spending millions of dollars per year to defend complaints and lawsuits from CUNY students against CUNY staff and professors. 

I politely asked the Baruch College CUNY staff if I could be excused from having to get into small groups and pairs with students. 

I don’t mind getting into a big group and keeping quiet and observing. 

I’m referencing getting into a small group or pair. 

The Baruch College CUNY staff responded and said getting into small groups and pairs with students is mandatory and non-negotiable. 

Even though I disagree with the Baruch College CUNY staff on this one issue, I hold them in the highest regard and treat them with the utmost respect at all times.

The Baruch College CUNY staff and professors are as good as it gets. I appreciate the opportunity to be part of the Baruch College family. When I graduate from Baruch College I would like to attend a CUNY graduate school. 

For the last three semesters (two at LaGuardia Community College and one at Baruch College) I have been lucky enough to avoid student groups.

I don’t date and I’m not looking to network at Baruch College. I’m a people person and I enjoy meeting people but not under these circumstances.

I would prefer to network outside of college where I don’t have to worry about complaints and getting in trouble at school. 

I will also let all students in my groups know that I live in the street and am homeless just in case the student doesn’t want to be in a pair with a street homeless person. 

I also notified my professors that it’s OK to notify the class that Mark Pine (me) is street homeless. I want the students in the class to know upfront because I’m confident that a lot of students and their parents wouldn’t want their children in small groups with street homeless people.

It’s common knowledge that homeless people, in general, have a bad reputation. 

Please advise if there is anything I can do to respectfully avoid student groups at Baruch College. It’s such a small part of school but has the ability to derail my entire education. 

Thank you and have a great day. 

Ever upward,

Mark Pine